Weekly Feature Archives

Cartography of Prayers: Pemako

Posted November 15, 2017

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.

Slovenians establish two new routes in the Kishtwar Himalaya

Posted November 9, 2017

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

Posted October 18, 2017

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.

Hayden Kennedy and Inge Perkins remembered

Posted October 14, 2017

Alpinist Digital Editor Derek Franz recounts memories of the lives of his friends Hayden Kennedy and Inge Perkins after their recent deaths in Montana.

Light Before Wisdom: The East Face of Cerro Kishtwar

Posted October 12, 2017

"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

Posted October 10, 2017

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."

The Changing Faces of the Outdoors

Posted October 3, 2017

As she recalls her own experiences as a woman of color who enjoys the outdoors, Teresa Baker interviews members of various organizations who strive to help a wider range of people experience the mountains, forests and cliffs—not just the typical faces most often seen in media and ad campaigns. "By coming together to create a more inclusive industry," she points out, "we can better guard against the threats to the environment that affect not only outdoor recreation, but our communities as a whole."


Posted September 22, 2017

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.

Unclimbed Nepal: The Explorations of Paulo Grobel

Posted September 20, 2017

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.

Inaccessible (1853-1917)

Posted September 14, 2017

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.