Weekly Feature Archives

Local Hero: Lopsang Tshering Sherpa

Posted March 6, 2018

In this Local Hero story from the latest issue, Alpinist 61, Kapil Bisht interviews Lopsang Tshering Sherpa, who began his storied career as an expedition worker in 1959 as a kitchen helper on the 1959 international women's Cho Oyu expedition; three years later he was among those bridging the gap for Lionel Terray and the first ascent of Jannu.

The Prow

Posted February 26, 2018

Alex McKiernan suffered a spinal cord injury from a car crash in 2014 and he has slowly regained some use of his legs since then. In this story from Alpinist 60, he details the path of his recovery, and how he climbed a Yosemite big wall in 2016.

Glimpses of Higher Worlds: Bernadette McDonald's 'Art of Freedom'

Posted February 23, 2018

"'Art of Freedom,' is a brilliant work of insight, not only into the life of the great alpinist, but also about the questions that compel us to the mountains in the first place," writes Alpinist Associate Editor Paula Wright in her feature about Bernadette McDonald's award-winning biography, "Art of Freedom: The Life and Climbs of Voytek Kurtyka."

Totality from a Mountaintop

Posted February 21, 2018

In this letter to the editor from Alpinist 60, Christopher Elliott describes the solar eclipse that occurred on August 21, 2017, and the fleeting "moment of totality" that he and his fellow observers experienced from the top of a mountain.

Auden in the Brooks Range

Posted January 23, 2018

In 1969, a young David Roberts buzzes the doorbell at the apartment of W. H. Auden, his literary hero, in hopes of inspiring the aging poet to journey with him to Alaska's Brooks Range.

The Force of the Soul: Hugues Beauzile

Posted January 15, 2018

In this feature from Alpinist 60, James Edward Mills recounts the story of Hugues Beauzile, the son of a Haitian immigrant who became one of the most promising young alpinists in France before his death on the South Face of Aconcagua 1995.

The Raven at the Door

Posted December 27, 2017

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.

Still Distant Temple: Zoroaster, Grand Canyon

Posted December 23, 2017

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.

Strange Days: A look back on the previous 11 months surrounding Bears Ears National Monument and a glance at the future

Posted December 21, 2017

Alpinist Digital Editor Derek Franz documents the 11-month saga over Bears Ears National Monument, which was recently reduced by 85 percent of its original size by President Donald Trump, along with Grand Staircase-Escalante Monument, which was reduced by half of its 1.9 million acres. A series of lawsuits that are expected to reach the US Supreme Court and voracious action by groups including the Bears Ears Inter-Tribal Coalition, Utah Dine Bikeyah, Access Fund, Friends of Cedar Mesa and many others provides a glimmer of hope for those who would prefer to see the monuments remain intact.

Innovative Approach: Using paragliders to attempt high peaks in Nepal's Langtang Himal

Posted December 13, 2017

In this guest feature from the American Alpine Journal, Antoine Girard documents an experiment that utilized paragliders to approach peaks in Nepal's Langtang Himal that tend to be inaccessible because of difficult approaches or objective hazards. Girard and his partner, Julien Dusserre, landed at 6200 meters on Shalbachum (6707m), where they planned to climb alpine-style to the summit, but storms forced them to retreat. Weather patterns also prevented them from landing on their main objective—Langtang Lirung (7227m)—but they gained enough experience to prove to themselves that approaching peaks with paragliders could work.