Table of Contents


Mt. Everest Part II: 1963-2009

Before Into Thin Air, small bands of friends quietly experimented with fast and light, technical and oxygenless, in Everest's hidden places. Ed Webster and Katie Ives uncover the mountain's lesser-known modern adventure-climbing history, while Doug Scott, Andrej Stremfelj, Pavel Shabalin and Dawa Steven Sherpa offer their own stories of "creative mountaineering" on the world's highest peak.

sharp end

Editor's Note

The editor of Alpinist sounds off.

On Belay

"Crumble stumps" and Pinnacles, mountains lost and found.





There are bold readers and there are old readers—and then there are some old, bold readers, too.

climbing life

The Climbing Life

Observations from the field.


Escape Route

For one climbing writer, the most classic climbs are like favorite poems: memorized and recited over and over throughout a lifetime.

Full Value

Post-breakup free soloing is a common theme in climbing literature, but this young woman finds that tumbling off an icefall is only the beginning of her story.

Off Belay

Three friends visit the legendary Layton Kor in Arizona.


A skeptic accepts an invitation to join the jury of the "new" Piolet d'Or—only to find that the alpine award ceremony satisfies more than just his curiosity.

features content

The Beautiful & The Beast

In 1993 Lynn Hill made the first free ascent of the Nose, a feat no man would accomplish until 2005—the same year that Ines Papert won not only the women's difficulty division in the Ouray Ice Comp, but the men's as well. Is the term "first female ascent" still relevant? And how does a climbing photographer even begin to put together a women's photo-essay in a vertical world where gender roles keep evolving?

Embracing Insanity

Haunted by a childhood dream, a climber searches for a way to fly free. He begins to realize that the solution to the "landing problem" may lie along the border between reality and impossibility, creativity and madness.

Symphony in Siyeh

Things fall apart in climbing and in life. But sometimes, with the right route and the right partner, you can piece the fragments together again into one symphonic moment.

local heroes

Local Hero

Josh Wharton learns from Mike Pennings that laughter can be the lightest part of alpinism. With photographs by Chris Goplerud.