Weekly Feature Archives

The Thing with Feathers: On mountains, climate science and hope

Posted November 27, 2019

In this story that was commissioned as part of the Covering Climate Now campaign, Michelle Dowd reports on her time spent observing scientists at Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory in Colorado last summer and considers today's climate crisis through the lens of her deeply religious upbringing.

Pandora's Box: The Brief, Brilliant Life of Kei Taniguchi

Posted November 26, 2019

In 2009 Japanese alpinist Kei Taniguchi became the first woman to receive a Piolet d'Or for her first ascent of the Southeast Face of Kamet (7756m), with Kazuya Hiraide. During the final years of her life, Taniguchi continued to explore challenging new routes, while hinting at a mysterious personal quest. Piecing together diary entries and interviewing family and friends, her biographer Akihiro Oishi tries to see inside what Taniguchi called "the Pandora's box."

Robert Paragot (1927-2019): An Old Man's Lesson

Posted November 7, 2019

Robert Paragot, a highly influential alpinist and Fontainebleau boulderer, passed away at his home near Paris on October 24 at age 92. French climbing journalist Claude Gardien reports that Paragot continued to be involved in the climbing community up until his death: "He was a great climber and a very nice man." Chris Schulte, an American climber who has referred to Fontainebleu as a "second home," summarized Paragot's career: "Exceptionally well rounded, Paragot achieved many difficult and historic ascents in the Great Ranges of the earth, from the north faces of the Drus and the Grand Capucin in the Alps, to first ascents on Aconcagua and Huarascan in South America, as well as Mustagh Tower, Jannu, and Makalu in the Himalaya." In honor of his life, we're sharing a story from Alpinist 12 (2005) in which Paragot recounts the very beginning of his climbing career.

Denali, A Universe

Posted October 23, 2019

In 1913 Walter Harper, an Irish-Athabascan climber, became the first person to stand on the summit of Denali, soon joined by teammates Harry Karstens, Robert Tatum and Archdeacon Hudson Stuck. In this Wired story from Alpinist 67, which is now available on newsstands and in our online store, Harper's grandniece, Jan Harper-Haines, shares a few family histories of his short, but remarkable life.

The Unclimbed

Posted October 18, 2019

In this story from The Climbing Life section of Alpinist 67, which is now available on newsstands and in our online store, Ana Beatriz Cholo faces a difficult choice: Following an unexpected cancer diagnosis, she must decide if she is willing to forgo her long-dreamed-of expedition to Denali to reunite with her estranged father. She first wrote about her ambitions to climb Denali in a story for Alpinist 59 (2017) titled "The Accidental Mountaineer."

David Guterson's book "Turn Around Time" applies mountaineering themes to youth, aging

Posted October 11, 2019

Sarah Boon reports that David Guterson's new book Turn Around Time applies the mountaineering concept as "a metaphor for life." The book-length series of prose poems cover "the themes of youth, aging and compassion for the elderly," Boon writes. "It also investigates the boundaries between reality and myth, and common sense and imagination in the outdoors. Illustrations by Justin Gibbens enhance the whimsical nature of the book."

Alpinist 67 Mountain Profile Essays | Mt. Hubbard, Mt. Alverstone and Mt. Kennedy

Posted October 1, 2019

Read the essays from our Mountain Profile about Mt. Hubbard, Mt. Alverstone and Mt. Kennedy in the St. Elias Range of Alaska and Canada.

1998: The Pugilist at Rest

Posted September 27, 2019

In this Mountain Profile essay from Alpinist 67, which is now available on newsstands and in our online store, Barry Blanchard relives a couple of new routes that he explored with Mark Wilford in 1998 on Mt. Alverstone in the St. Elias Range. He recalls one particular moment: "I lay raw and exhausted, shouldered to the mountain and anchored to it.... Our ledge was two feet at its widest and nine feet long. Strangely, I felt secure, as if I belonged there, as if I'd been in land like this at some time in the past."

1996: The Wall of Arctic Discipline

Posted September 26, 2019

In this Mountain Profile essay from Alpinist 67, which is now available on newsstands and in our online store, Jack Tackle writes about his time on the north face and north ridge of Mt. Kennedy, which culminated in a freezing epic with Jack Roberts in 1996 when they lost a crampon and spent nine days on the wall waiting out storms. "Years later, I still reflect upon the solace, joy and suffering we experienced together," Tackle writes.

1967: Summer on Mt. Saskatchewan

Posted September 25, 2019

In this Mountain Profile essay from Alpinist 67, which is now available on newsstands and in our online store, Andrea Rankin recounts the women's expedition to climb Mt. Saskatchewan in 1967, which was Canada's centennial year. Rankin writes: "The Alpine Club of Canada coordinated with local and federal governments to organize the country's largest-ever mountaineering endeavor, with more than 200 climbers attempting peaks in the Steele Glacier area, and 52 climbers attempting first ascents in the St. Elias Mountains." Rankin's team was one of four that was assigned to each of the thirteen unclimbed peaks in the Centennial Range.