Weekly Feature Archives

The Cresset and the Light: The Many Futures of Alpinism

Posted September 20, 2021

“The Future of Alpinism,” is the theme of Alpinist 75—which is now on newsstands and in our online store. This special issue includes 18 essays from authors around the globe, along with comments and quotes from many others on the topic. We are sharing eight of these essays online, starting with the introduction by Editor-in-Chief Katie Ives, titled “The Cresset and the Light: The Many Futures of Alpinism.” She observes that “the story of the future of alpinism will not be one story, but many stories…reflecting a wide range of values, perspectives and experiences. It became impossible for me to read these essays without thinking about this collection as a letter to the future. Messages of fears and hopes"—not just about climbing by itself, but also about the broader world in which it takes place.

Running Waters

Posted August 26, 2021

During the battles of World War I, British alpinist T. Graham Brown had vivid, recurring dreams of an alpine wall he'd first imagined after reading a route description in a climbing novel and trying to locate it on a map. Years later, Brown completed his famous routes on the real Brenva Face of Mont Blanc only to find, as he wrote in his memoir, that the vertical landscape of his fantasies still haunted him: "The dream and its country persist." In this Sharp End story from Alpinist 75—which is now on newsstands and in our online store—Editor-in-Chief Katie Ives explores the topographies of inner mountains.

The Climbing Life | Alpinist 75

Posted August 18, 2021

Alpinist 75 will be available on newsstands soon. In the meantime, we're offering a preview of The Climbing Life section, with a story by Douglas Brockmeyer about a 1970s magazine photo that inspired him to become a climber (and thus changed the course of his existence), poems by Katherine Indermaur about the fourth-century pilgrim Egeria and her ascent of Mt. Sinai, and fiction by Erin Connery that explores some of the many ways people think about high cliffs and walls.

Local Hero: Vasu Sojitra

Posted August 5, 2021

In this Local Hero story from Alpinist 74—which is now available on newsstands and in our online store—Dani Reyes-Acosta celebrates the community-building work and mountain adventures of ice climber and backcountry skier Vasu Sojitra, co-founder of the Inclusive Outdoors Project.

Nejc Zaplotnik, Mountain Poet

Posted July 18, 2021

As one of the first ascensionists of the West Ridge Direct of Chomolungma (Everest), Slovenian alpinist Nejc Zaplotnik (1952-1983) was among the great climbers of the twentieth century. To many, however, he is best known for his lyrical memoir, The Way ("Pot" in Slovenian), which gave voice to the dreams of his generation and beyond. In this feature story from Alpinist 74, mountaineering historian Bernadette McDonald recounts some of the key moments and mysteries of his vibrant life and shares translated passages of his book that still reverberate today.

1993: Picture on a Wall

Posted June 17, 2021

In this Mountain Profile essay from Alpinist 74—which is now available on newsstands and in our online store—Greg Child recounts the first ascent of the East Pillar Direct on Slesse (Selisi) with Perry Beckham in 1993. To read more history about this 2429-meter peak in British Columbia, check out Tami Knight's Mountain Profile in Issue 74.

Years of Sunsets

Posted June 4, 2021

In this Sharp End story from Alpinist 74—which is now available on newsstands and in our online store—Editor-in-Chief Katie Ives ponders her obsession with mountaintop sunsets, and the question posed to her by a college professor years ago: "How many more sunsets will you see?"

No Room for Hate: Building a Community to Help End Asian and AAPI Invisibility in the Outdoor Industry

Posted April 30, 2021

During the pandemic, as hate crimes have risen against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the US, Marinel Malvar de Jesus examines ways to build a safer and more inclusive community in the climbing world, the outdoor industry, and beyond.

Remembering Karen Stolz (1955-2021)

Posted April 23, 2021

A bright light in the Adirondacks went out on April 1 with the passing of Karen Stolz from pancreatic cancer. She was 65. Karen co-owned Adirondack Alpine Guides with her husband R.L., and she was one of the earliest and longest-serving female guides in the region. "All told, she guided 37 years and around 5,000 days," said R.L.

Call It Dreaming

Posted April 17, 2021

In this Climbing Life story from Alpinist 73—which is now on newsstands and in our online store—Suzana EL Massri reexamines her dreams during years of conflict and pandemic. She writes: "A multitude of decisions, chaos and chance forms our existence. Any sense to it is created by us, and it requires a daring belief in the future. We don't get to carry a map for every corridor we enter. Sometimes the close-up reality of attaining visions requires the repetition of simple tasks. Doing a lot of almost nothing until it becomes something. Until we make it into something more, something worth hoping for."