Weekly Feature Archives

Last Unclimbed Wind River

Posted August 29, 2016

Eminent chronicler of the Wind River Mountains Joe Kelsey searches for the "last Unclimbed Wind River" peak—a quest inspired by an episode with his climbing partner, Paul Horton, on an obscure and seemingly unvisited summit: "As Paul led toward a chimney on the final pitch, he let out an equivocal chuckle.... 'What?' 'A piton.'"

My Big Scary First Ascent

Posted August 28, 2016

Before she and Bev Johnson made the first female ascent of El Capitan, Sibylle Hechtel lead her first unclimbed big wall in the Wind Rivers: "Dick handed me our minimal gear, pointed, and said, "Just head up that corner until you get to a good ledge, and set up a belay.' I gulped."

Tower I Ice Couloir, Mt. Helen

Posted August 27, 2016

Bill Lindberg and I are several pitches up a narrow couloir on the north side of Mt. Helen. A thick, even ribbon of white divides the tawny-grey granite walls that rise steeply above us on either side. The granular, late-season ice accepts the picks of our piolets and rigid crampon points perfectly. Thus far, the climb has been so straightforward that we might have rehearsed it ahead of time; we are both exhilarated to be moving rapidly on an unclimbed alpine line." In 1971, two climbers put new alpine gear to the test on what was the first ascent of Mt. Helen's now-classic ice couloir.

Sticking Needles in the Haystack

Posted August 26, 2016

In 1969, at the age of 18, Jeff Lowe climbs "like a light-footed wolf" on Haystack Mountain.

Extra Left Klettershoe

Posted August 25, 2016

After climbing classics every day," Doug Robinson recalls, "it was easy to assume that the great lines had all been snatched up. Our steps turned homeward, with lingering views of the great Cirque vanishing over Warbonnet's shoulder. One last wall, Sundance Pinnacle, hesitated our footfall." In this essay, Robinson recalls his first, first ascent in 1966.

Wyoming's Range of Light

Posted August 24, 2016

Royal Robbins recounts a sojourn to the Winds in 1964: "Two things that you don't usually find in the Sierra, but that you can expect in the Wind Rivers, are a thick population of mosquitoes and bad weather in the summer. Also, in certain areas you may encounter enormous herds of sheep."

Alpinist 55 Mountain Profile Essays | Wind River Range

Posted August 23, 2016

Read all seven essays by Royal Robbins, Doug Robinson, Jeff Lowe, Raymond G. Jacquot, Sibylle Hechtel, Joe Kelsey and Dick Dorworth from the Mountain Profile of the Wind River Range. —Ed.

Typologies of Silence

Posted August 5, 2016

In "Typologies of Silence," the Sharp End article for Alpinist 55, Editor-in-chief Katie Ives discusses some of the muted stories in accounts of early American mountaineering—as well as the efforts to create a more inclusive history today.

Between the Earth and the Sky

Posted August 4, 2016

For our Climbing Life department in Alpinist 55, high school student Kai Lightner writes about his first multipitch traditional climb on Stone Mountain, with Yosemite pioneer Doug Robinson. For more, wide-ranging stories from our print magazine contributors, pick up a copy of Alpinist 55.

Poetry Feature: Three Poems by David Wilson

Posted July 31, 2016

"Tell me again about being single-minded, / about couloirs bulging with fat blue ice / and dawn arriving high in the Alps; / how a slope exists at a perfect angle / where it all might kick in again." Read three poems from David Wilson.



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