MY BODY IS FALLING APART at the joints. My last surgeon peeled a frayed mess of cartilage off my left humerus as he fixed a torn labrum. The bones of my shoulder socket grind on each other every time I do thumbs-down hand jams.
Death? That wasn't something I was ready to contemplate. Pain was forcing me out of bed at 2, 3 or 4 a.m. I couldn't sleep. I felt like a driver in a car skidding out of control. I kept hitting the brakes, but the car just accelerated.
Deciding on a sleeping system is a major consideration when packing for an expedition or alpine climb as a good night's sleep can make the difference between feeling groggy and slow or energized and on-point. With so many mats on the market it can be hard to choose: Classic closed-cell foam mats are virtually indestructible, but inflatable ones are often lighter, more compressible and more comfortable. 3 out of 5 stars Special Feature
Searching for Light in the Dark Arts


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Jeff Shapiro reflects on wingsuit flight after the death of his friends Sean "Stanley" Leary, Dean Potter and Graham Hunt. See the tribute to the three men in Alpinist 51 or read the feature here.

A vague memory of colorful wings, weightlessness and freedom dissolves from my consciousness as I wake to the sound of a repetitive beep. The black of morning brings a familiar recognition of uncertainty.

"How could my alarm be going off already?"

Even before I can look at the glowing red numbers, my hand finds the small, plastic button to halt the disruption.

[Photo] Jeff Shapiro Collection

American Alpine Club | Access Fund | Mountain Project
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