Table of Contents

sharp end

Editor's Note

The editor of Alpinist sounds off. Again.


Ed Webster vies for Women in Love.

Tool Users

Our assistant editor celebrates the book that most of us have read.




Cerro Torre controversies, historical omissions and some literary advice.

climbing life

The Climbing Life

Katie Lambert falls, then mends; Clint Helander quoths the raven; and Gallaudet Howard writes more fiction.


First Ascent

In 1994 Alex Lowe was the "undisputed chief" of the North American climbing community. He was also a great mentor to his friends. After an attempt on a new ice climb ended in wild flight, Lowe gave Doug Chabot the courage to finish Airborne Ranger.

Full Value

In 1981 Phil Broscovak plotted a first winter ascent on a terrifying Black Canyon wall—an exploit that seemed a sure way to enter the history books. The result proved to be one of his "wildest wild hairs" ever.

Off Belay

It was a dark and stormy ridge....

features content

Earth, Stone and Sky

Much of the world's great climbing literature describes grand adventures on big, snowy peaks. On a short desert crag, Peter Beal sought a different kind of transcendence.


As a small boy, Ralf Gantzhorn fantasized about sailing to the most beautiful mountain in the world. Years later, he saw a photo of Monte Sarmiento—and a never-ending journey began.


In the aftermath of this year's accidents, Colin Haley set out to climb a new route on Mt. Foraker and to explore a landscape of fear, loss and persistent desire.

Searching for Namibia

Since the early days of Himalayan expeditions, Western explorers have longed to fill in the world's "blanks on the map." But what about the local residents who are already familiar with these "unknown" peaks and cliffs? In a remote corner of Namibia, Majka Burhardt strove for a deeper connection between cultural understanding and vertical adventure.

On the Trails of the Glaciers

In 1909 the Duke of the Abruzzi attempted K2. Although he didn't get the summit, his expedition photographer, Vittorio Sella, captured some of the most beautiful mountain images in history. A century afterward, Fabiano Ventura traveled to the Karakoram to re-create these and other legendary shots. Along the way, he uncovered visual proof that the world's glaciers are shrinking.

local heroes

Local Hero

Blake Herrington presents one force behind the Cascades' "climb local" renaissance: a young alpinist who creates big backyard routes ground up, in a push, with no bolts and often without motorized transport.

new sharp end

On Belay

Louis-Philippe Menard recalls his novice years on Quebec's biggest stone, and Chris Van Leuven re-enacts a history of chossaineering.