Table of Contents


The Cold Case: Mt. Herschel, East Face, Antarctica

The unclimbed east face of Mt. Herschel (3355m), an objective that Sir Edmund Hillary once dreamed of, more than a decade after the first ascent of Mt. Everest.

The Gift: Tahu Rutum, West Face, Karakoram, Pakistan

"I always thought it that it looked like a Patagonian spire misplaced in Pakistan," Dempster says.

The Mysterious Case of Beka Brakai Chhok, historian Eberhard Jurgalski describes the uncertain elevations of Beka Brakai Chhok's three peaks as "truly one of the most confusing subjects in the history of High Asian research.

The Question: The Direct East Face of Golgotha

The Revelation Mountains, Alaska, during Clint Helander and Jason Stuckey's first ascent of Apocalypse (9,345') in April 2013. David Roberts noticed the distant range in 1966, while he was on an expedition to the Kitchatna Spires.

Dreams of Worlds Unseen

For almost thirty years, Katsutaka Yokoyama has chased a vision of "true mountaineering." Along the way, he has accomplished some of the biggest climbs of the early twenty-first century. Now, looking back at a 2014 attempt to link Badal Peak and K7 West, he realizes that the possibilities for future alpinists might be greater than he thought.

Crazy Wisdom

The April 2014 avalanche brought worldwide attention to the struggles of Sherpa guides on Everest. Yet the deaths of Rai and Tamang low-altitude porters have remained largely invisible in the media. Ed Douglas travels to Nepal to seek the realities behind decades of mountaineering myths.

He Would Just Go: Tobin Sorenson and the Alps, 1977

In the 1970s, Tobin Sorenson became one of the world's best climbers, partly because of his unusual boldness. Some later claimed that his religion led him to believe he was impervious to risk. In search of answers, his friend Rick Accomazzo recalls a summer so full of accomplishments it seemed almost miraculous.


Nearly twelve years after Alpinist's first "Unclimbed" feature, Kelly Cordes reminds readers that there are still plenty of vertical mysteries. Damien Gildea, Kyle Dempster, Tamostu Nakamura, Mayan Smith-Gobat, Harish Kapadia, Pat Deavoll and Clint Helander share a few examples.


Full Value

Matt Samet recalls his first solo climb— and near-brush with death.

A House of Stone and Snow

In which our editor travels to California to meet the women who founded America's first monthly climbing magazine, Summit, in 1955.

Letters | A Man out of Time: Eric Bjornstad (1934-2014)

Stewart Green pens an elegy for Eric Bjornstad (1934—2014), author of Desert Rock, climber of sandstone spires and lover of open spaces.

On Belay | A Map of Lost Places: The Lacuna Glacier, Alaska Range

Growing up, the Kiwi-American alpinist Graham Zimmerman daydreamed over bygone blanks on maps. No wonder he found himself drawn to unclimbed routes above the rarely visited Lacuna Glacier, the very name of which means "gap."

The Climbing Life | Red and Blue

Doug Emory evokes the dark side of mountaineering's Romanticism. Paul Hersey memorializes a guide and friend. Tami Knight offers a modest proposal for sponsors seeking to support "safe" climbing. Helen Mort critiques depictions of female climbers' bodies in the media. And Dick Dorworth learns the real meaning of freedom.

Wired | A Dream of My Father

Austrian climber Hermann Buhl remains one of the most iconic figures in mountaineering literature. His daughter, Kriemhild, shares her experiences of what it was like to grow up "in the shadow of his myth."