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May 30, 2024 by Marc Peruzzi

Meet a Creative: Frederick Reimers


Home Base / Jackson, Wyoming

Activities / Skiing, Paddling, Cycling, Outdoors

Why Frederick:

After nearly a decade guiding wilderness expeditions in the Rockies, Alaska, and Mexico’s Sea of Cortez, Frederick Reimers was looking for a less transient career. He landed in Jackson, Wyoming, and thought that writing for the local newspaper would be the ideal way to get to know his new community. “As a fairly shy person, I’m always amazed by the things people will tell you if you just flip open a reporter’s notebook and start asking questions,” he says. 

He was lucky to have landed at one of the nation’s best weeklies, the Jackson Hole News and Guide, where he had great mentors. “Mostly they told me to write faster and use fewer words,” he says. “It’s advice I still aspire to today.”

After two years, Frederick was recruited to Steamboat Springs, Colorado, to edit Paddler magazine, covering whitewater and expedition canoeing and kayaking, and then to San Clemente, California, to lead Paddler’s chief rival, Canoe and Kayak. In 2008, he launched his freelance career, and has landed bylines in publications like The New York Times, Smithsonian, Bloomberg, Outside, and SKI, writing on topics as varied as climbing Yosemite’s El Cap with two college buddies to paddling the concrete-lined Los Angeles River from Studio City to Long Beach. Maybe the strangest assignment was investigating petro-state Azerbaijan’s efforts to thwart Russian hegemony by building a ski resort on the Russian border. “The mountain was really steep, but when we asked the developers if they normally got a lot of snow, they told us to ask the local shepherds,” he says.

Steep ski hill perspective of two backcountry skiers climbing with gear on their backs
Frederick is an outdoor generalist—skis, bikes, boats, whatever—and he's a generalist as a writer too. But he gets after it.

Specialized Skills:

“Writing is what I do best, but it can be pretty isolating,” says Frederick. Missing the camaraderie of wilderness guiding and magazine editing, he has been seeking out more collaborative projects. Lately, he’s been producing narrative podcasts for Outside magazine with his buddy Paddy O’Connell, and recently co-write a book, “Higher Ground,” with a friend who has political aspirations. “Shared creativity is always more fun, and it usually results in a better product, assuming you have the right mindset,” he says. “How do you inspire your working partner’s best work? It’s a bit like expedition leadership, figuring out how to get the team from A to B in good style.”

More recently, Frederick has pursued the collaboration inherent in podcasting.
Reimers still keeps his hand in the product world. In this case the product is a burger and a beer from those grumpy bastards in Sun Valley.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, and that rock is under a much larger boulder, you know the name Frederick “Rico” Reimers. For decades, his byline has been synonymous with the very best in outdoor and adventure storytelling and reporting. I’ve had the extreme pleasure of working with Rico on a number of episodes of The Outside Podcast. He is among my favorite creative partners. Rico’s story acumen is top-notch, combining extensive research with captivating emotional appeal. He understands how to intrigue an audience from start to finish. Collaborating with Frederick is a dream scenario: you know you’re going to have fun, learn, and create a story of impact and depth. Whenever I have the chance to work with Rico, it’s an immediate ‘yes!’

Paddy O'Connell Writer, Podcaster, Emcee, Creative at (extra) Large.

What's Next:

Frederick is sifting through potential clients for his next book ghostwriting gig and working on a proposal for his own book project, based on a recent essay he penned on the passing of his dog for the New York Times column “Modern Love.” 

The "Modern Love" essay was really a love story about a dog. Here Rico is the gondolier for Arlo. Salmon River, Idaho.