Weekly Feature Archives

Buffalo Soldiers in the Cavalryman's Paradise

Posted December 2, 2016

Yosemite National Park Ranger Shelton Johnson explores "the pitch of the wild" for the Buffalo Soldiers on patrol in Yosemite at the turn of the twentieth century.

The Shining Mountains

Posted December 2, 2016

Popular books recount the early days of Canadian mountaineering as a story of epic discoveries. In this story from Alpinist 50, historians Zac Robinson and Stephen Slemon examine what often gets left out: the extent to which the "explorers" relied on the prior geographic knowledge of Indigenous guides.

Lauret Savoy's Trace: Exploring Landscapes of Exclusion and Inclusion in American History

Posted November 21, 2016

Alpinist Editor-in-chief Katie Ives describes some of the reasons Lauret Savoy's 2015 book, Trace: Memory, History, Race and the American Landscape has become deeply relevant today: "Much of prior mountain literature, all too often, has been solipsistic and exclusionary. More than ever, we need writers like Lauret Savoy, who can help us see our shared land for it has been, what it is, and the many possible futures of what it can be. In a world in which so much seems starkly uncertain, there are much greater risks to all peoples than the individual and self-chosen ones that climbers face. There are also greater responsibilities that we all share."

A Backyard Big Wall Expedition

Posted November 18, 2016

A group of Idaho climbers venture into the Canadian wilderness to complete the first ascent of a route on Wall Tower (9,560') that was abandoned by Fred Beckey Carl Dietrich and Bill Ruch. They called their line The White Tiger (VI 5.11 A3, 1,600').

The Glaciers Are Retreating: Southern Alps, New Zealand

Posted November 18, 2016

In a story from Alpinist 38 (Spring 2012), Paul Hersey explores a landscape at the edge of loss on the fleeting ice fields of New Zealand's Westland Tai Poutini National Park.

Local Hero: Stephen Shobe

Posted November 16, 2016

James Edward Mills writes about one of his climbing heroes, Stephen Shobe, a mountain guide and member of Expedition Denali, a group that continues to promote diversity in outdoor education.

Seeking Space - The Climbing Life

Posted November 11, 2016

An unexpected encounter on a hillside in New Mexico leads Jane Jackson to reconsider the environmental impacts of climbers and the conservation of public lands.

Local Hero: Hanniah Tariq

Posted November 9, 2016

Vanessa Beucher writes about Pakistani activist Hanniah Tariq, founder of High Altitude Sustainability Pakistan, an organization dedicated to the well-being of expedition workers, their families and the mountain environment.

Off Route and Out of Time - The Sharp End, Alpinist 56

Posted November 4, 2016

Back in April 2016, Canadian alpinist Marc-Andre Leclerc described his solo of the Emperor Face of Mt. Robson: "My thoughts had reached a depth and clarity that I had never before experienced. The magic was real.... I was deeply content that I had not carried a watch with me to keep time.... I felt more at peace than I would have had I been counting my rate of kilometers per hour." In the Editor's Note for Alpinist 56, Katie Ives looks at the complex relationship that has long existed between evolving visions of mountaineering and the measurement of space and time.

An interview with Alex Megos about the cross-disciplines of sport vs. trad climbing

Posted November 2, 2016

Climbing phenom Alex Megos considers himself a "sport climber," but that self-designation didn't stop him from racking up to flash The Path, a 5.14 R trad route in Canada. Chris Kalman asks Megos what he thinks about the emphasis climbers put on various definitions of ascent, such as bouldering, sport climbing and trad climbing.