Weekly Feature Archives

Solo on Friable Rock on Cerro Marconi Sur

Posted June 16, 2015

On April 16, several days after his partner Thomas Bubendorfer experienced foot problems and the pair aborted an attempt on Cerro Torre, Austrian alpinist Markus Pucher made the first ascent, solo, of the remote West Face of Cerro Marconi Sur. The 8,150-foot (2484-meter) peak is the high point of a jagged ridge in the Cordon Marconi range northwest of Fitz Roy and Cerro Torre on the eastern edge of the Patagonia Icecap.

Dean Potter's First Visit to Patagonia

Posted June 11, 2015

It was 1999, and this was our first climbing trip to Patagonia. His dark, unkempt hair hid his eyes, and his jaw betrayed no emotion. But as the plane's wheels screeched along the tarmac, he looked over at me with concern and asked, "How do you say 'bathroom' in Spanish?"

Mystery Brings Adventure: Film Highlights Libecki-Payne Ascent of Remote Spire on French Polynesian Island

Posted June 10, 2015

When the unlikely pair of Mike Libecki and Angie Payne teamed up to climb the south face of 3,264-foot Poumaka on the jungle island of Ua Pou in French Polynesia, they knew it would push them beyond their emotional limits.

No Guarantees

Posted June 3, 2015

At noon on April 25, 2015, I was walking with my client on a rocky trail in the valley between the Nepali villages of Chukhung and Dingboche. The air smelled of wood smoke and juniper. A handful of shaggy yaks grazed in the distance. There was no wind. The ground shook without warning. I lurched sideways. Rocks the size of pickup trucks crashed down the valley walls to our left and right, bouncing like rubber balls before shattering into splinters.

Video: Speed Ascent of El Cap's Zenyatta Mondatta

Posted June 2, 2015

On October 3, 2014, David Allfrey, Skiy DeTray and Cheyne Lempe climbed the 16-pitch A4 El Capitan testpiece Zenyatta Mondatta, shaving several hours off the speed record. Yesterday, DeTray's cousin Dave Coy sent us an 8.5-minute film, containing footage he captured during their climb.

"Give Everest a Break:" An Interview with Norbu Tenzing Norgay

Posted June 1, 2015

We talk with Norbu Tenzing Norgay, son of Tenzing Norgay Sherpa (who summited Mt. Everest with Sir Edmund Hillary in 1953), to learn about the unfolding humanitarian crisis on Everest.

Reflecting on A Friend's Climbing Path

Posted May 28, 2015

Ten years after a brutal fall left him shattered, James Lucas achieved a life-long goal: a free ascent of Freerider on El Capitan in a single day. Jens Holsten reflects on his friend's accomplishment, and on a life committed to climbing.

New Mixed Climbs on Norway's Senja Island

Posted May 22, 2015

Senja Island, the second largest island in Norway, is a spectacular and pristine land that faces the open Norwegian Sea on the country's ragged northwest coast. The coastal region, with its fickle winter weather, is perfect for mixed climbing protected by trad gear.

The Call

Posted May 13, 2015

Lately I've been missing the quiet wilderness of Argentina and have been feeling the pull to return to the simplicity of those windy peaks on the edge of the Southern Hemisphere. In 2002 I visited the smoking mountains of El Chalten and entered into perhaps the most powerful flow state I've ever experienced. The Call describes this vague process. I don't understand it any better today than I did back then, but every moment I'm pursuing my arts is an attempt to further the deepness of these elevated states.— Dean S. Potter

Never Ending

Posted May 7, 2015

Last week, we published a NewsWire by Jens Holsten on the 1,250-foot alpine route he and Vern Nelson Jr. established in the Cascade Mountains in memory of alpinist Chad Kellogg. As a follow-up, Holsten agreed to republish his story Never Ending from Alpinist 47 on his travels with Kellogg in the Cascades and their last climb together in Patagonia.



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