Posted on: March 1, 2008

[Photo] Michael Meisl

Alex Huber has enjoyed climbing ever since he summitted his first 4000-meter peak at age eleven. Twenty-six years later, the professional climber and mountain guide from Berchtesgaden, Bavaria, also holds a master's degree in physics, which helps him calculate the odds of success on big-wall free climbs and 8000-meter peaks alike.

[Photo] Jed Brown


Colin Haley, a Seattle native, divides his time between climbing, skiing and university classes. His alpine climbing, which he began with his father when he was ten, progressed through an apprenticeship in the Cascades, where he discovered a love of nasty weather and steep, unstable snow.

[Photo] Daniel Seeliger collection

When Daniel Seeliger began hitchhiking through Patagonia, he didn't imagine that he'd end up making the southern continent his home. Today, he brews beer and runs the climbers' refugio in Cochamo Valley, where he lives with his wife, Silvina, and their son, Zen.

[Photo] Silvia Vidal

Silvia Vidal. thirty-six, has spent much of her life shivering on portaledges and hauling bags that weigh more than she does. In between free climbing in Montserrat and soling remote big walls in the Greater Ranges, she relaxes a little in Barcelona, Spain.

[Photo] Pavel Shabalin collection

Pavel Shabalin, "Mr. Ak-Su," has climbed new routes from the Pamir Alai to the Himilaya, in expedition style, alpine style and every style in between. Now a grandfather at age fifty-four, he lives with his wife in Kirov, Russia, where he awaits a new nickname.

[Photo] Steph Davis collection

Trained in classical piano, with a master's degree in English, Steph Davis, thirty-five, abandoned music and academia for the nomadic climbing life. Having made first ascents in Pakistan, Patagonia, Baffin Island and Kyrgyzstan as well as free ascents of El Cap, she doesn't regret her choice—though she still keeps a piano in her trailer.

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