Weekly Feature Archives


Posted November 24, 2015

DARKNESS OVERTOOK US. In the midst of absolute night, in the heart of the Cordillera Sarmiento, Camilo and I returned from the summit of Cerro Alas de Angel. The fog closed in, and a white wind filled the gloom, deepening our blindness.

Lizzy Scully's Social Media Guest Postings November 16-22

Posted November 24, 2015

Between November 16 and 22, we posted Lizzy Scully's photos and video to our social media pages as part of the alpinist community project. She calls her collection "The Middle Path".

A Stairway to Heaven on the Matterhorn

Posted November 20, 2015

Sixty-five-year-old French alpinist Patrick Gabarrou is always watching the mountains. He spends a great deal of time in the Alps—he sees them in different seasons, different lights. He discovers features that are not often visible—features less-devoted climbers might miss.

Anna Pfaff's Social Media Guest Postings November 9-15

Posted November 18, 2015

Between November 9 and 15, we posted Anna Pfaff's photos and video to our social media pages as part of the alpinist community project.


Posted November 17, 2015

NO PLACE SUCKS UP SUN like the Johnny Cat enclave at the Cat Wall, Indian Creek. The maroon cliffs are striped with perfect, cleaved fissures like vertical gateways into a hidden world. The desert heat can be oppressive, but in late autumn, the low golden rays cast long shadows over the walls.

Ashes and Air

Posted November 13, 2015

JAGGED RIDGELINES DARKEN and blur in the dim light. A palette of blues merges into thick, bland grey. I lean my head forward to rest on the rock wall in front of me. I pay out slack listlessly as the rope twitches to Chantel. In the murk of early morning, we find ourselves 2,500 feet up the Denali Diamond, with another 5,500 feet of mountain above. We've taken turns belaying each other as we explore the "snow band" for possible bivy spots. So far, we've found only shallow ice over steep rock. After thirty hours of climbing, my fatigue dulls the brilliant Alaskan skyline. I forget the gift of moving in such extraordinary terrain. I might as well be checking out at the grocery store.

The Andy Tyson Memorial Fund

Posted November 11, 2015

As climbers, we expect the unexpected. We know events happen out in the world—a hold breaks beneath a foot, a cam pulls during a short fall, a rock plummets down a mountain couloir, or a cascading avalanche scours a benign slope. We do what we can to mitigate risk and danger, but we know that bad stuff happens during good times.

Jeff Shapiro's Social Media Guest Postings November 2-8

Posted November 10, 2015

Between November 2-8, Alpinist contributor Jeff Shapiro posted his photos and stories on our Instagram, Facebook and Twitter pages as part of our Alpinist Community project. Shapiro was instrumental in our most recent issue's feature story, "Going Home." He's been featured in NewsWires including "Grosvenor Sees Third Ascent," and "Trip Report: New Mixed Route in Glacier NP and the story Searching for Light in the Dark Arts."

Thwarted on Nuptse

Posted November 6, 2015

I've just recently returned to the US from my second trip to the Nepalese Himalaya. In late September I met up with Ueli Steck in Kathmandu, and the next day we flew to the Khumbu region. Our plan was an alpine-style attempt on the southeast buttress of Nuptse East, the line named "Moonlight Sonata" by its first ascentionists, Valeri Babanov and Yuri Koshelenko. In addition to Nuptse, we had procured permits for Lobuche East and Cholatse, for nice acclimatization options.

Tom Frost: How You Do Anything Is How You Do Everything

Posted November 4, 2015

When climbing historian Steve Grossman describes Tom Frost, he calls him a "visionary who redefined climbing style; an engineer who helped revolutionize climbing equipment; an artist whose iconic photography documented the most celebrated first ascents on Yosemite's big walls; and a conservationist who led the international effort to save historic Camp 4." Filmmaker Tom Seawell, who worked with Frost on several projects over the years at Frost's lighting business Chimera, recognizes the similarities between how he managed the company and its employees and how he treats his climbing partners.