Weekly Feature Archives

Timed Just Right

Posted July 9, 2015

A gentle breeze drifts over my bright-yellow bivi bag, tickling evergreen bows just overhead. We doze beneath magnificent trees, poised at the foot of North Maroon Peak thousands of feet above Aspen, Colorado. A pyramid of choss just beginning to shed its winter blanket of white looms over us and just now seems in condition for an alpine ascent.

Alpinist Sponsors Upcoming Squamish Climbing Festival: Arc'teryx Climbing Academy

Posted July 2, 2015

Squamish, B.C. A salty breeze washes inland from Howe Sound, tangling the air at the busy Port of Squamish. Snowcapped mountains rise beyond the docks, hemming in the broad valley with dark misty forests.

Photo Essay: Bad to the Bone

Posted July 2, 2015

This past April, Jonathan Griffith and Will Sim endured avalanches, rotten rock and tent-flattening winds to author a new route on the unclimbed northwest face on Mt. Deborah (12,339') in the Alaska Range. Sim calls their route, Bad to the Bone, "The most spooky and unnerving thing I have ever been on." The pair declined to grade its difficulty, and does not recommend a second ascent.

Arctic Rage

Posted June 26, 2015

This week we are re-posting Kevin Mahoney's account of Arctic Rage, (WI6+ R A2, 4500'), from Alpinist 8. Mahoney and partner Ben Gilmore climbed this new route on The Mooses Tooth in March 2004.

Interview with Angie Payne

Posted June 24, 2015

Angie Payne, a multi-time national bouldering champion and the first woman to climb V13, recently took a break from bouldering to go on an adventure with expedition climber Mike Libecki. Together they climbed her first big wall, the 3,264-foot rock spire called Poumaka on an island in French Polynesia.

Mike Libecki Interview

Posted June 18, 2015

Last week we posted a piece about Mike Libecki and Angie Payne's ascent of 3,264-foot Poumaka on the island of Ua Pou in the South Pacific. Here, we interview Libecki to find out more about the expedition and his personal background.

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.