Table of Contents


42 - Rock, Mountain, Climber

On May 6, 2010, Katsutaka Yokoyama and Yasushi Okada reached the end of Mt. Logan' s 8500-foot southeast face, the biggest unclimbed wall in North America. The next day, they kept going: 3,000 more feet to the east summit (19,357') and over thirty kilometers down the East Ridge and around the glacier to their base camp. To the climbing community, it was one of the boldest alpine-style journeys in recent years. For Yokoyama, it was a chance to practice his own form of moving meditation.

52 Welcome to Fantasy Island

In 2009 Mike Libecki tried to live out his dream of making the first ascent of a tower on a remote Yemeni island. He soon realized that all travelers' fantasies are never really what they seem—and that the truth may be even more elusory after you reach the real summit.

62 Impressions from the Background

Tony Riley eulogizes the parts of twentieth-century Karakoram expeditions that got left out of most official accounts: behind the foreground of the first ascents, there was the broader context of the surrounding landscape and the inner effects of accidents and exploration.

66 The Kingdom of the Moon: An Antarctic Trilogy

French alpinist Lionel Daudet began a quest in 2006, " not for higher summits, but for different ones." During three expeditions to the Great South, he and his friends sailed through icy waters and battled giant cornices to stand on top of unclimbed—and scarcely known—Antarctic peaks. In the process, they found that the best adventure stories are the ones that never end.

78 Dionysian Fire

As a young artist, enamored with Michelangelo' s work, Shelley Zentner wanted to paint her own muscular figures with " turbulent inner worlds and violent emotions." For a while, she struggled to find the right subject matter. And then she discovered climbers.


10 - Sharp End

The worlds within our words.

13 Letters

Some readers write; others offer literary criticism.

16 On Belay

Albert Leichtfried remembers the aurora borealis above Norway's Lyngen Alps and the beauty of climbing in a place where most first ascents happen unrecorded, and quiet personal adventure is the only meaning. Meanwhile, Jeff Apple Benowitz recalls the name of the route that defined his scraggly youth, and Tami Knight reminds us that our shit really does still stink.

26 The Climbing Life

The Move. The Night. The Crash. Followed by the Guidebook to the End of Climbing History.

84 Wired

Today, even some cutting-edge alpinists bring satellite phones, video cameras and/or laptops to report their expeditions in "almost real time." Cory Richards takes an honest look at the effects of modern alpine filmmaking and new media—including his own.

90 Local Hero

Many North American climbers strove to become "hardmen" during the 1970s. Decades later, fifty-eight-year-old Beth Bennett still climbs hard.

92 Full Value

Androids and other nightmares pursue an ex-assistant gamekeeper up a climb, while ice avalanches chase him down.

98 Off Belay

A tribute to Zorka Prachtelova