Weekly Feature Archives

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.

An excerpt from Chris Kalman's award winning book, "Dammed If You Don't"

Posted November 30, 2021

Today we're sharing an excerpt from an award-winning book written by a longtime Alpinist contributor and former intern Chris Kalman and illustrated by Craig Muderlak. "Dammed If You Don't" is Kalman's third book and recently won the Mountain Fiction and Poetry category at the annual Banff Mountain Film and Book Festival. Book competition jury member Pete Takeda wrote: "Kalman's third book asks a very topical question: Can we love a place to death? Kalman answers this question with a spare quality that evokes a bit of James Salter. His portrayal of a lush, pristine Chilean valley is immediate and profound. His writing is peppered with the intimate details that also bring the characters, their foibles, and struggles to life. Their dilemmas soon become our dilemmas. Perhaps the best thing about 'Dammed If You Don't' are the plot twists, building to a final scenario that is plausible, disturbing, and strangely uplifting."

In the Wake

Posted November 23, 2021

Alpinist 76 is now available on newsstands in our online store. In this Sharp End essay, our editor-in-chief follows in the footsteps of Harvey Manning up real mountains in the Cascades after years of research to write a book about his imaginary peaks. As she climbs the classic South Face of the Tooth, she recounts his descriptions of formative experiences in 1947 that helped inspire his efforts to preserve the land from threats of timber and mining development. Seventy-four years after Manning's ascent, Ives strains her eyes through a haze of smoke to catch a glimpse of the range as Manning may have seen it. She writes: "While I trace more of Harvey's hikes, I also think of what it means to write about beloved and imperiled things: to cross the arched back of a glacier and feel how much it is both living and dying, its meltwater murmuring in hundreds of voices between the blue walls of crevasses. To walk through the green shadows of giant moss-strung trees that, one hot summer day, might burst into flame."