Weekly Feature Archives

Ukrainian alpinists share stories of life amid the Russian invasion

Posted April 20, 2022

From fighting in active combat on the front lines, to scrambling to find food and supplies, to struggling to find a refuge for their families abroad, Ukrainian climbers have had their lives turned upside down by the Russian invasion. Three of them share glimpses into what their day-to-day existence looks like amid war.

Pandemic Impacts of 2020 and 2021 Raise Questions for Adventure Tourism

Posted April 7, 2022

Nepal halted on-arrival tourist visas for the majority of foreign visitors and canceled all spring mountaineering expeditions. The country wouldn't reopen until August 2020, just in time for the post-monsoon trekking season. As climbing journalist Holly Yu Tung Chen looks back on the impacts of the pandemic on the economies and health of mountain communities in Nepal, she observes some of the ongoing questions of how to make adventure tourism more responsible and sustainable in a precarious era.

I Gaze at My Mountains

Posted March 28, 2022

In "I Gaze at My Mountains" (translated by Mark Andryczyk and Yaryna Yakubyak), a Ukrainian poet and children's book publisher, Ivan Malkovych, evokes the intense significance of the Carpathian mountains, where he grew up—and where tens of thousands of Ukrainian refugees have fled during the ongoing Russian invasion of their country. We are republishing the poem here, along with links with lists of some of the many ways to help Ukrainians.

Haunted by Venus

Posted March 24, 2022

For more than two decades, Choi Suk-mun has climbed around the world, including first ascents on giant Himalayan peaks; yet he remains haunted by a five-pitch rock route back home in South Korea.

Of Thin Ice

Posted March 15, 2022

In this Sharp End story from Alpinist 77—which is now on newsstands and in our online store—Alpinist Editor-in-Chief Katie Ives looks back on autumn climbs and ponders the allure and haunting symbolism of early season ice.

A Beginner's Guide to Suffering

Posted February 14, 2022

In this feature story from The Climbing Life section of Alpinist 76—which is now available on newsstands and in our online store—Brandon Blackburn considers some influences that inspired him to climb and seek self validation through risk and suffering. He writes: "The most significant catalyst for my own shift in perspective on suffering came, as it sometimes does, after an injury."

Local Hero: Kim Chang-ho

Posted January 21, 2022

In this Local Hero story from Alpinist 75 (Autumn 2021), Oh Young-hoon, former editor of Alpinist Korea, memorializes Kim Chang-ho and his philosophy of "being mountaineering."

Yosemite Dreams

Posted December 24, 2021

In this On Belay story from Alpinist 76—which is now on newsstands and available in our online store—our digital editor Derek Franz travels to Yosemite to climb through layers of historical and personal past, and witnesses some history in the making.

Dreams of Rising Waters

Posted December 20, 2021

In this science fiction story from The Climbing Life section of Alpinist 76—which is now available on newsstands and in our online store—Mailee Hung considers the conundrum of climate change in a short essay. Her narrator declares: "I don't want to go back to the land. I grew up on frenetic cartoons and fake marshmallows in breakfast cereals; I built an academic career on movies and cyborgs. We look, guilty, at our well-heeled boots, wax poetic about the feeling of our hands in dirt, but I don't want to till the soil. The digital is like dreaming, intangible yet inextricably material: heat radiating from our bodies or server stacks. We once were wind-carved, exposed to the elements. It was hard, then, harder than skyscrapers or computer chassis. Will we be glad to have somewhere to retreat to when the waters rise?"

Interview with David Smart, author of the Mountain Profile for Alpinist 76 and winner of 2021 Boardman-Tasker Award

Posted December 13, 2021

David Smart's book, Emilio Comici: Angel of the Dolomites, received the Boardman-Tasker Award for Mountain Literature in November. The biography was published in 2020 and provided some of the inspiration for Smart's Mountain Profile on the Cima Grande in the Dolomites that was recently published in Alpinist 76. In this feature, an interview with Smart explores topics related to Emilio Comici: Angel of the Dolomites, the Cima Grande profile and Smart's writing and climbing career.