Ace your age: 50 lessons in 50 years, part five

ROOM TO ROAM

Canyoneering in Zion National Park enticed the author and Dan Johanson (pictured) to try a new pursuit.

Interviewing Royal Robbins ranks among the experiences in my modest writing career. Robbins pioneered Yosemite rock climbing, achieving historic first ascents on both Half Dome and El Capitan. But when we met in 2009, he spoke mostly about his favorite kayaking first descent on the Middle Fork of the San Joaquin River.

Arthritis led Robbins to shift from climbing to kayaking in his 40s. ...

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