Meet our new contributing editor, Kiran Herbert

SNEWS is excited to welcome the Colorado-based journalist to our editorial team.
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Kiran Herbert, a Colorado-based journalist, joined the SNEWS team as a contributing editor this summer. Photo by Noah Berg.

Kiran Herbert, a Colorado-based journalist, joined the SNEWS team as a contributing editor this summer. Photo by Noah Berg.

Who I am

The child of two diplomats, I was raised abroad in cultures that weren’t my own. Although I’d visited almost 40 countries before I turned 21, I had done little in the way of outdoor adventuring. In high school, I decided to study abroad in New Zealand, a trip that led to my first backpacking trip (on the legendary Milford Track) and lengthy day hike (the 19.4-kilometer Tongariro Crossing). Later, when I decided to attend Lewis and Clark College in Portland, Oregon, my love of hiking and camping came to fruition on the wooded trails of the Pacific Northwest, the nearby coast, and on a three-week canyoneering course in Utah.

After college, I took a year to work in the U.S. Embassy in Brasilia, Brazil, walk the Camino de Santiago across northern Spain, live on organic farms in Portugal, and explore Morocco. When I returned stateside, it was to study journalism at New York University. In that concrete jungle, I worked primarily at music magazines (Rolling Stone, SPIN, Relix), with stints at BBC America and Thrillist. I left to return west, working at 5280 in Denver before coming to Boulder to work at Mountain under the instruction of editor-in-chief Marc Peruzzi. It was Peruzzi who insisted I learn to ski and made it possible with free gear and comped ski passes.

After Mountain, I spent six months living in my Subaru and traveling to national parks, six months guiding for the tour company Backroads, and another six in Colombia and Italy, hiking and farming. Most recently, I worked at Camber Outdoors as the organization’s digital content manager. 

I’m also a brown woman, the daughter of an Irish-German mother and a Pakistani immigrant father, with a sister adopted from India.

In my spare time, I study with a Lakota ceremonial chief, I'm learning Spanish, and I officiate elopements in scenic locales throughout the Front Range. 

All this to say that my experience in the outdoors hasn’t been typical or linear, and throughout, I’ve been acutely aware of the color of my skin.

The work I do

The outdoor industry is an interesting one, advocating for climate while always trying to dream up, manufacture, and sell new gear. We fight to protect public lands while failing to protect, let alone include, the Indigenous who are its original stewards. We sign pledges to be more diverse, equitable, and inclusive, yet CEOs and board members stop short of making public apologies, ceding actual power, or overhauling marketing efforts. I’m generalizing, but in general, we’re privileged people whose “wokeness”—our belief that we’re good and progressive—gets in the way of listening to diverse voices and enacting actual change.

We still have a lot of work to do.

I’ve been given a lot of freedom from editor-in-chief Kristin Hostetter and associate editor Andrew Weaver. The stories I hope to tell will focus on justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion (JEDI) within the outdoor industry, giving light to people and topics less visible in this industry. However, I’m a generalist and will also be covering topics outside the JEDI fold.

Do you have a story you’d like to see covered? An opinion you want voiced? Or know of a brand, organization, or individual doing good work? I’d love to hear from you. Please drop me a line here.

Occasionally, I also freelance for other outlets—you can find all of my published digital clips here. You can find my ever-evolving document with anti-racist resources here (feedback encouraged) and follow me on Instagram here

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