Table of Contents

weekly feature

Cartography of Prayers: Pemako

In this story that first appeared in Alpinist 54 as part of a series titled "A History of Imaginary Mountains," Harish Kapadia recalls a journey inward while visiting a mystical Himalayan land known as Pemako. Kapadia, 72, received the 2017 Piolets d'Or-Asia Lifetime Achievement Award on November 3 in Seoul, Korea. He is the first Indian to receive the recognition.

The Raven at the Door

In this Full Value story from Alpinist 60, David Stevenson gets caught in a storm returning from a hut trip in Alaska and suffers a heart attack, forcing him and his partner to spend a cold night in a shallow snow cave. In the aftermath he discovers a new significance to a haunting experience that happened decades earlier in his childhood home.

Through the Telescope

In this Mountain Profile essay from Alpinist 60, Associate Editor Paula Wright tells the story of a lasting partnership between two leading female alpinists and their adventures on la Meije in the late 1800s.

Still Distant Temple: Zoroaster, Grand Canyon

In this On Belay story that first appeared in Alpinist 60, Jeff Snyder writes of completing a first free ascent of the Southeast Face of Zoroaster Temple (III 5.11+ R, 520') in the Grand Canyon with Zach Harrison and Blake McCord. The climbing was dangerous and crumbly in a hot desert, but Snyder discovers an appeal that is rooted far deeper than the cacti that pioneering climbers once slung for protection on the Temple's first documented ascent in 1958.

Vanishing Uplands

Alpinist Editor-in-Chief Katie Ives recounts the lives of Austin Post and Edward LaChapelle and their contributions to the study of glaciers and snow, including their influential 1971 book Glacier Ice, which contained words that now read like early warnings of the impacts of climate change: "Much of modern civilization exists by virtue of a delicate balance between this climate and present snow and ice masses." In the decades since its first publication, this collection of glacier photography has become a powerful testament to both the beauty and losses of its frozen worlds. Ives now ponders what might happen if more climbers were to look beyond some of our focus on individual fulfillment to face the bigger challenge that confronts us all.

Slovenians establish two new routes in the Kishtwar Himalaya

In this guest feature from the American Alpine Journal, Urban Novak reports on two new routes that he established with Marko Prezelj and Ales Cesen this past June. They acclimatized with a Grade 'D' route on Peak 6013, and then got lucky with a weather window that allowed them to complete their main objective, the west face of Arjuna (ca. 6250m). They named their route All or Nothing (ED+ M7+ WI5+ A0).

Threshold Shift

Nick Bullock recounts his first ascent of the North Buttress of Nyainqentanglha Southeast in Tibet with Paul Ramsden in 2016, and his subsequent return from Tibet to England to help his aging father. Back home, Bullock confronts the death of his mother, the loss of climbing friends and the uncertainties of Brexit. This story first appeared in Alpinist 57 and was recently named the best Mountaineering Article of the year at the Banff Mountain Book Festival.

Light Before Wisdom: The East Face of Cerro Kishtwar

"Light Before Wisdom": In this article from Alpinist 54, Hayden Kennedy shared moments of laughter and uncertainty from his 2015 ascent of the east face of Cerro Kishtwar with Marko Prezelj, Urban Novak and Manu Pellissier.

A Mysterious Lonely Path: The Life of Francek Knez

On October 6, Slovenian alpinist Francek Knez passed away. During the course of his lifetime, Knez completed over 5,000 international climbs, including the first ascent of Hell's Direttissima on the east face of Cerro Torre. Bernadette McDonald profiled the visionary and reclusive mountaineer in Alpinist 52: "He seemed to draw energy from the natural landscape, tending his soul and feeding his imagination. Or maybe he garnered strength, not from the landscape, but from his inner core."