Table of Contents


Mountain Profile: Mt. Robson

Ice gargoyles, serac mazes and legendary epics.... Few mountains haunt their climbers as much as Robson does. Since the early twentieth century, aspirants have struggled up the highest point of the Canadian Rockies; relatively few succeed. Barry Blanchard looks behind the mists, while Don Gordon, Ron Perla, Tom Spencer, Pat Callis, Jim Logan and Steve House contribute more gothic tales of the "King."

sharp end


A fail-proof weather forecast.

Editor's Note

The makings of our dreams.


In Through the Out Door.

Tool Users

The portaledge: an inevitable cure for insomnia.


climbing life

The Climbing Life

Observations from the field.


Escape Route

Free soloing often brings its practitoners to unusual mental states. But what if your supposed hallucination turns out to be real?

Full Value

Why call for help when one leg still works—and when you still haven't told your climbing partner all your circumcision jokes?

Off Belay

Jeremy Collins paints the mountain of lies.


In today's rapidly evolving alpine world, an American climbing writer has one question: What would Messner do?

features content

Go East

Many young East Coast climbers migrate West for the "real mountains." Colorado author Majka Burhardt tries the opposite direction. Exploring classic New England icefalls and learning from hard-core locals, she discovers that sometimes you have to go small to "go big."

The Heart of the Day

When his mother dies after a long illness, a young Cascades alpinist realizes he has sacrificed too much for his dreams. In search of healing, he ventures into the Alaskan wild. Among the Stikine Icefield's unclimbed peaks—and through the friendship of his partner, Max Hasson—Jens Holsten finds his way back home.

Shelter from the Storm

Tired of enhanced colors, beautiful bodies, blank expressions and posed moves? Photographer Andrew Querner ties in with his friends and stops preplanning his shots. The resulting images portray self-doubt, questioning and leaps of faith—the uncensored, emotional realities of the alpine world.

local heroes

Local Hero

Alaskan hardman Mark Westman finds his inspirations in the journey—and in the bush pilot, Paul Roderick, who sees him safely there and back again.

new sharp end

On Belay

Mick Fowler deflowers the UK's virgin summits. Lisa Hathaway follows trails of bones to the micro-featured walls of Mill Creek, Utah.