Weekly Feature Archives

Sharon Wood's book "Rising" is a reflection of her 1986 ascent of Chomolungma (Everest) and a male-dominated culture then and now

Posted April 3, 2020

In 1986 Canadian mountaineer Sharon Wood and her teammate Dwayne Congdon reached the summit of Mt. Everest (Chomolungma) via a variation to the difficult West Ridge route. Herein, Sarah Boon reviews Wood's 2019 memoir, "Rising," which follows Wood along her path to becoming the first North American woman to stand atop the storied peak. "Wood's book is a window into the world of women in climbing at a time when many still considered women to be inferior mountaineers," Boon writes.

Mountain troops rope up and strengthen bonds during the Partnership for Peace program in Switzerland

Posted April 2, 2020

In this story, US Army Mountain Warfare School officer Nathan Fry shares his experience with the NATO Partnership for Peace Program that took place in Switzerland in the summer of 2019. "At a time when international relationships seem to be fracturing, engagements such as the Partnership for Peace mountaineering course have taken on a new value in creating a shared appreciation for other cultures," he writes.

The Ahwahnee Brunch Retrospective (starring "Roger" & "Ed" in an eating contest of stupendous proportions)

Posted March 27, 2020

In this Climbing Life story from Alpinist 69—which is now available on newsstands and in our online store—Tami Knight shares some background about the inspiration of a cartoon that she created many years ago, titled "Roger and Ed at the Ahwahnee Brunch." She writes, "Roger is an amalgamation of the climbers I knew at that time in Yosemite.... Ed, on the other hand—Ed Spat to give his full name—was a real guy." In addition to her story, she has also updated the cartoon in full color.

2018: Ultra Royal Traverse of the Mont Blanc Massif

Posted March 24, 2020

In this Mountain Profile essay from Alpinist 69—which is now available on newsstands and in our online store—Ben Tibbetts writes of completing the Mont Blanc Royal Traverse with Colin Haley in 2018. The 41 kilometer route along the mountain's main axis was first attempted by Kilian Jornet and Stephane Brosse in 2012, but ended when a cornice collapsed and killed Brosse. In this story, Tibbetts confronts his own setbacks and fears after being involved in two avalanches.

Walter Bonatti: Citizen of Mont Blanc

Posted March 23, 2020

In this Mountain Profile essay from Alpinist 69—which is now available on newsstands and in our online store—Claude Gardien recounts Walter Bonatti's checkered relationship with Mont Blanc. Gardien writes: "Again and again, on mountains around the world, he'd lived through the hell of alpinists, when the elements unleash and everything becomes suffering, tragedy, grief. On Mont Blanc, he'd also known a few moments of ineffable beauty—as if he'd encountered that formidable privilege, as the writer Georges Sonnier suggested, of 'contemplating the eye of the god.'"

1912-1913: Paul Preuss

Posted March 19, 2020

In this Mountain Profile essay from Alpinist 69—which is now available on newsstands and in our online store—David Smart recounts the bold endeavors of Paul Preuss to complete the longest ridge traverse in the Alps, and his final season of climbing in 1913.

1876: A Winter's Tale

Posted March 18, 2020

In this Mountain Profile essay from Alpinist 69—which is now available on newsstands and in our online store—Alpinist Deputy Editor Paula Wright describes the first winter ascent of Mont Blanc in 1876, by Mary Isabella Straton, Jean Charlet, Sylvain Couttet and Michel Balmat. "Women are capable of everything," historian Charles Durier later wrote in his book, Le Mont-Blanc.

The Measure of a Mountain

Posted March 6, 2020

Looking at the role of summits in climbing history, from the early days to twentieth-century discussions and more recent Himalayan news about inaccurate claims, Editor-in-Chief Katie Ives asks: What is the measure of a mountain?

The melting glaciers of Koma Kulshan

Posted February 20, 2020

In this story that was commissioned as part of the Covering Climate Now campaign, Ilana Newman and photographer Matthew Tangeman document how melting glaciers have caused drastic changes to some popular climbing routes on Koma Kulshan (Mt. Baker) in Washington.

In Search of Lost Peaks

Posted January 27, 2020

In this Sharp End story from Alpinist 68—which is currently on newsstands—Alpinist Editor-in-Chief Katie Ives goes in search of a secluded alpine basin to retrace the steps of a famous guidebook author, Harvey Manning.