Table of Contents

weekly feature

Freedom Catalogue

In this Climbing Life story from Alpinist 58, Spencer Gray tallies the amount of resources and human labor required to produce the gear that he used to enjoy a single excursion into the mountains. He explains: "I submit this catalogue as proof of something true of much of modern life: the social and environmental cost of reaching these out-of-reach places, and returning safely, is unsustainably high."


Early expeditions often combined the exploration of new heights with a search for rare botanical specimens. More than a century after both natural history and mountaineering fractured into subdisciplines, Associate Editor Paula Wright explores the impacts of climbing’s science gap and the need for a more unified focus on conservation in this Wired story from Alpinist 58.


In this story from Alpinist 59, Alison Criscitiello recalls her friendship with the late Anna Smith, a climber who sought a life of spontaneity and freedom in wild places.

Inaccessible (1853-1917)

Henry Duhamel was an influential figure in the early exploration of la Meije, one of the last, great unclimbed Alps in the Massif des Ecrins in France. This essay by former Vertical editor Claude Gardien—part of Erin Smart's Mountain Profile in Alpinist 59—recounts Duhamel's rich life as an inventor and explorer who never quite attained international fame and who died after slipping on ice in a military barracks during World War I, but who nevertheless helped usher in a new age of French mountaineering and skiing.


In this On Belay feature for Alpinist 59, Indian Alpinist Karn Kowshik describes a journey of self-discovery during his time in the mountains of Spiti Valley, India, where he first dreamed of becoming a climber. After gaining experience in other ranges, he then returns to Spiti in search of unclimbed waterfall ice.

The World as It is Not

During the mid-twentieth century, an ardent conservationist and Cascades mountaineer planted a series of elaborate hoaxes in Summit magazine. He hoped to prod readers to see the mountains in fresh and unfamiliar ways—and to remember the value of wild lands. In this Sharp End from Alpinist 59, Editor-in-chief Katie Ives talks with some of the climbers involved in the story, as well as friends and family members, to learn more about the great imaginary mountains of Harvey Manning (1925-2006).

The Accidental Mountaineer

As a single mom living in California, Ana Beatriz Cholo never imagined she would become a mountaineer. But she began climbing peaks in her state, and she eventually earned a spot on a Denali climbing team organized for female military veterans like her. Cholo shares how the experience helped her in this Climbing Life Story from Alpinist 59.

Unclimbed Nepal: The Explorations of Paulo Grobel

In this guest feature from the American Alpine Journal, French guide Paulo Grobel reports on his explorations of Nepal's Damodar Himal, north of the Annapurna group, and the first ascent of a subpeak of Himlung Himal, a popular 7,000er north of Manaslu. This story provides a sneak-peak from the 2018 AAJ.

In the Bear's Lodge

Many climbers observe the voluntary climbing ban at Bear Lodge (Devils Tower) during the month of June as their way to show respect for local Native American cultures. In this Climbing Life piece from Alpinist 57, Nick Mott speaks with Milo Yellowhair from the Oglala Lakota and Arvol Looking Horse, Chief of the Nakota, Dakota and Lakota, and others to learn more about their views on the history.