Table of Contents


32 - Mountain Profile: The Grand Teton

At 13,770 feet, the Grand Teton reveals a complete alpine world: a foreboding North Face, sunny classic ridges, steep snow couloirs and (sometimes) ice lines. Yet perhaps what's most interesting, as local historian Paul Horton says, is "the interaction of man and mountain over the years. It's remarkable, maybe unique among American mountains, that such a complex history was so well preserved." Renny Jackson retells stories drawn from more than a century of written records and oral tradition—from vision quests to epic rescues—about the tallest peak of Wyoming's Teton Range. Irene Beardsley, Susan Chaplin, Lito Tejada-Flores, Dave Carman and Mark Newcomb describe the aspirations that led them to seek their own meaning in the heights.

58 - Etched in Stone: Memories of Dave Thomson (1955–2009)

The "Father of Canadian Rockies Mixed Climbing" left a legacy of new routes and haunting photographs. Dave Thomson's passion for the mountains, however, was more profound that any list of achievements can express. Jeremy Kroeker and Andrew Querner commemorate a man who dedicated himself wholly to a life of simplicity, adventure and wilderness.

66 - Still Life, with Sand

A few stark colors define the landscape of Sedona. The essence of the place—and the fascination of its climbing—eludes understanding. Amid the sandstone spires, John Burcham and Andrew Frost pursue its fleeting compositions of space, light and human form.


10 - Sharp End

An editor pays tribute to the mountain that remains at the heart of Alpinist.

12 - Letters

Our readers write.

14 - On Belay

"Anyone is courageous behind a glass of beer," declares Eliseu Frechou—just before a bar room conversation leads him to a rain-drenched big wall teeming with spiders and carnivorous plants. Meanwhile, our intrepid intern Andrew Freeman unveils the skeletons inside Whanganui Bay's climbing history and recounts the story behind Jim Donini's obsession with a certain cam.

22 - The Climbing Life

Observations from the dark side, the Gunks and the desert.

83 - Wired

Professor Michael Reidy unpacks the rucksack of nineteenth-century mountaineer Joseph D. Hooker—and finds that the heritage of Himalayan exploration contains more than mere Romantic tales of climbing adventures.

88 - First Ascent

Before Arno Ilgner wrote his well-loved book, The Rock Warrior's Way, he was a Tennessee youth trying to prove himself on one of the scariest cliffs in the South.

93 - Full Value

It's often said that climbing exposes our true selves. But in 1970s Yosemite, certain secrets seemed better left unspoken. Peter Haan recalls a 1975 epic with Ed Drummond and the one topic they couldn't discuss.

98 - Off Belay

Christian Beckwith, the founding editor of Alpinist, recounts his most recent project: a monument to the climbers of the Teton Range.