Weekly Feature Archives

Back(side) Pain

Posted November 24, 2014

"Sixty-five Sierra routes that first summer; about a dozen the next, a fifth of them first ascents. Brutal-as-hell approaches with seventy-pound packs, decrepit knees and bad footwear. I blame Steve, but really, he and I were just the syringe plungers, and the Sierra Nevada was the heroin."

More than a Mountain

Posted November 21, 2014

Peter Croft ambles along "the local epicenter of sideways mountaineering"—the High Sierra's Palisades—in his own Peter Croft kind of way.

The Nature of Memory

Posted November 20, 2014

Joan Jensen searches through old boxes to uncover memories of her daring yet methodical soulmate, the late Don Jensen.

Middle Palisade

Posted November 19, 2014

One tenacious historian relives the early days of Palisades climbing.

A Note from Our Palisades Profile Writer

Posted November 18, 2014

I thought I knew the Palisades, my home range. That is until I was deep in the process of writing a Mountain Profile about them for Alpinist 48.

Picking the Plum Line on the Storm Creek Headwall

Posted November 12, 2014

"...As Marc neared the station, he asked if all climbing in the Rockies was this good. I had to apologize for spoiling him on his first route."

Chasing the Ethereal on South Howser Tower

Posted November 4, 2014

There are only a handful of days in a climber's life where weather, conditions and partner line up like the planets aligning to create a rare event: a magical first ascent.

Yosemite Hardwomen: An El Cap Speed Ascent Debrief

Posted October 30, 2014

An interview with Valley speed climbers Quinn Brett, Libby Sauter and Mayan Smith-Gobat.

The Calling: A Life Rocked by Mountains

Posted October 9, 2014

In 2006, Barry Blanchard wrote "The Calling" for Issue 15. In writing his new memoir, The Calling: A Life Rocked by Mountains, Blanchard used the Alpinist feature story as a springboard to continue exploring the climbs and partnerships that developed from his childhood musings growing up in Calgary.

Barbara Washburn: Accidentally Adventurous, Deliberately Brave

Posted October 3, 2014

As a mother, wife, climber, cartographer and self-described "accidental adventurer," Barbara Washburn was the antitheses of a '40s housewife. "Sometimes [my] home would be in an igloo, at 12,000 feet, sharing Tang-flavored fig pudding with my husband; or as the lightest climber going first to test the cornices on a narrow exposed ridge; or staring out at summit views that no one else had seen."