Posted on: June 1, 2008

[Photo] Topher Donahue

TOMMY CALDWELL was raised in Estes Park, Colorado, and bred to climb in the mountains. After a brief adolescence as a spandex-wearing sport climber, he has spent the last decade relentlessly beating his head against California’s greatest wall, El Cap, on which he has free climbed ten routes and developed early-onset arthritis.


[Photo] Andrew Burr

JONATHAN THESENGA loves Czech pilsner, his dog, his girlfriend, his family, SportsCenter, embracing bad habits, inappropriate humor, Dots and Red Vines, 68°F and sunny, Nexpa, old-school deep-drilling dub, and rock climbing of all styles—the farther-flung and more-difficult-to-reach, the better.

[Photo] Andrew Burr

Salt Lake City denizen ANDY BURR’s passion is capturing rare moments of intimate emotion set within our natural environment. His favorite photographic backdrop remains the American Southwest, where he has climbed dozens of desert towers, explored numerous slot canyons and floated many of the major rivers—all with camera gear in tow.

[Photo] Jeannie Young

Since October, STEVE HOUSE has slept in six states and eight countries, presented nearly two dozen slide shows and tested more than twenty outdoor clothing samples. His home is in Central Oregon—or is that too an illusion? Someday, he plans to find out.

[Photo] Sallie Dean Shatz

KIM CSIZMAZIA, this issue’s guest editor, has won ice-climbing championships, soloed big walls, free climbed 5.13 and written for this magazine. She currently resides in Canmore with husband Will Gadd, where they are focused on a new project: raising their daughter, Marie.

[Photo] Sergey Kofanov

Since 1980 VALERY BABANOV has accomplished more than 600 ascents throughout the former Soviet Union, the Alps, Yosemite, Alaska, the Canadian Rockies and the Himalaya. Although his chosen routes often involve serious technical difficulties at high altitudes, it’s the mental conditioning that he believes to be the most important, and the hardest, challenge.

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