The founder and director of SHIFT and its parent organization, The Center for Jackson Hole, Christian Beckwith moved to Jackson, Wyoming, in 1994, and started his first publication, The Mountain Yodel. In 1996 he became the youngest person to edit the world’s premier mountaineering journal, The American Alpine Journal. In 2002 he co-founded Alpinist Magazine, an archival-quality climbing quarterly that Reinhold Messner called “the greatest climbing magazine in the world today.” More recently, he started The Alpinist Film Festival; coordinated the Teton Boulder Project, which developed a bouldering park at the base of Jackson’s Snow King Mountain to honor Teton climbing pioneers; launched Outerlocal, a social media website for adventure athletes; and started The Town Pump, a summertime bouldering series. He has hitchhiked across Europe, Asia and North America, made expeditions to Kyrgyzstan, Alaska, Peru and Tibet, skied the Grand Teton half a dozen times, and established numerous first ascents and descents around the world.
Beckwith was raised on a working farm in mid-coast Maine. After graduating from high school, he studied in Italy for a year as part of the AFS Study Abroad Program. He graduated phi beta kappa, cum laude from the University of Vermont, where he was part of the inaugural Buckham Overseas Scholar Program, studying for a year at the University of Kent, Canterbury, England. A Grassroots Athlete for Outdoor Research, he has been featured in Outside Magazine, The New York Times and podcasts such as Mountain and Prairie and ParkLeaders. His writing has appeared in Alpinist, The Huffington Post and Rock & Ice. He and his wife, Dr. Giovannina Anthony, live in Jackson with their daughter, Soleil.