Climbing and storytelling are integrated as a way of life for Derek Franz, who learned how to tie a figure-eight knot when he was eleven years old. He was leading his dad up the Diamond of Longs Peak by age fifteen and continues to chase adventure in every discipline of climbing in addition to whitewater kayaking, snowboarding and skiing. He has climbed El Capitan in a day, flashed 5.13a, rope soloed desert towers and led WI5+ ice pillars. He became the editor-in-chief of Alpinist in August 2022 after serving as digital editor since September 2016. A graduate of the University of Colorado’s School of Journalism, he wrote an award-winning column in the Post Independent for seven years while freelancing for Alpinist, Rock and Ice and other media. He is eager to discover what the future holds for alpinism and outdoor journalism.