Heller was born and raised in New York. He attended high school in Vermont and Dartmouth College in New Hampshire where he became an outdoorsman and whitewater kayaker. He traveled the world as an expedition kayaker, writing about challenging descents in the Pamirs, the Tien Shan mountains, the Caucuses, Central America and Peru
An award-winning adventure writer and a longtime contributor to NPR, Heller holds an MFA from the Iowa Writers' Workshop in both fiction and poetry. he is a contributing editor at Outside magazine, Men's Journal, and National Geographic Adventure, and a regular contributor to Bloomberg Businessweek.
Heller is also the author of several nonfiction books, including Kook: What Surfing Taught Me about Love, Life, and Catching the Perfect Wave, The Whale Warriors: The Battle at the Bottom of the World to Save the Planet's Largest Mammals, and Hell or High Water: Surviving Tibet's Tsangpo River. He lives in Denver, Colorado.
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