Table of Contents


The Diamond

Once forbidden, the Diamond has offered two generations of climbers a vertical rock wilderness only a short distance from urban America. Roger Briggs details the history of his 900-foot, high-altitude home crag, while David Rearick, Royal Robbins, John Bachar, Charlie Fowler and Tommy Caldwell recount their days on the greatest little big wall in the lower forty-eight.

climbing notes

Mt. Fury

Ambush Peak

Cho Oyu


Kedar Dome

Miyar Valley

Mt. Moffit

Nangma Valley

Phari Lapcha West

Trango Group

Trango Tower

editors note

The Human Code



In which we present the talent.



Epistles from Bethlehem are just the start of it.


Mark David Wilford

Mark Wilford's first climb, at age eleven, was an alpine free solo that nearly killed him. Indeed: the first one's always free.

climbing life

The Climbing Life

Observations from the field.

first ascent

Mt. Slesse

The only obstacles between Fred Beckey and the first ascent of Mt. Sleese's 2,700-foot northeast buttress were miles of dense underbrush, exposed slabs, hanging seracs and the wreckage from a horrific plane crash. Problem? No problem. He's Fred Beckey.

sharp end

Tanja Grmovsek

Fresh off the first female ascent of Trango Tower, Slovenia's top female alpinist reflects on ballet lessons, role models and the future of women in the mountains.

off belay

Why Mark Westman Isn't Famous

features content


At either end of the world lie peaks you've never heard of, vistas you've never seen and lines to stir your imagination. All you need to find them is a high-latitude approach vehicle and 5.14 sailing skills.

In A Push

No one had ever done a free ascent or a single-push ascent on the north face of Mt. Alberta before. Would a new line go, free and in a day? Of course it would. Welcome to the Canadian Rockies, where it's not all 5.9 A2 anymore.

The Walls, The Walls

For someone raised in the rigid confines of Soviet Communism, the mountains represented an escape. When communism collapsed, they became something more: an opportunity to travel, and to live.

The Wall of Hate

When two young guides open a new route in Patagonia, they discover the most dangerous part of alpinism may be thinking about it.

Little Man, Big Mountain

Photographing climbers on some of the planet's biggest objectives convinced this Swiss photographer of one thing: it's a big world out there. A photographic tribute to the vastness, and to our attempts to find a place within.