Michael Kennedy gives tribute to John Bachar.

Subscribe today and receive 33% off with Promotion Code ALPHC3.
Our readers sound off.
Don't miss the 2010 Backcountry Magazine Gear Guide, shipping now.

Earlier this year, photographer James Q Martin approached Alpinist with the concept of an all-women photo essay. Rather than focus on the usual high-gloss cliche of "shapely bodies" overlaid on rock, Martin hoped his subjects would evoke their own gritty, disparate struggles and triumphs. "I've been moved," James says, "by the way each female climber faces down... expectations and redraws the idea of what is beautiful for herself, redefining her identity in the heights."

Recently, we spoke with a dozen passionate female climbers, and each had a unique philosophy on being a woman in a male-dominated sport. Many expressed strong convictions, positive and negative, about labels like "first female ascent"--read four perspectives inside this newsletter. The result: "The Beautiful and the Beast," a 14-page montage anchored by James's striking photography. If you haven't received Alpinist 27 yet, subscribe today. (Promotion Code ALPHC3 scores you 33% off.)

The Pack is back. We’re giving away a free backpack every day for a month. That's 31 chances to WIN!