Weekly Feature Archives

Hermann Buhl: A Hero Undiminished

Posted June 17, 2014

Jerzy Porebski and artist Ewa Labaj explore the great alpinist's life in a comic strip. For many, including Reinhold Messner, Buhl was, and always will be, a legend. "When Buhl was declared missing I cried, too," Messner wrote.

The Illusion of Control

Posted May 30, 2014

Harvey Carter's words become a catalyst for writer Chris Van Leuven's quest to understand how climbing prepares us for the challenges of ordinary existence, the approach of old age and the unavoidability of loss.

The Life, Times and Scary Climbs of John Turner (1931-2014)

Posted May 15, 2014

Fifty-five years ago, the famous Recompense at Cathedral Ledge was first climbed with wooden wedges. It was by the imagination and British boldness of this gentleman, John Turner, who injected new life into a stagnating New England climbing scene in the 1950s. Another New England great, Ed Webster, recounts Turners' more venturesome climbing tales in this web feature.

The End of the Everest Myth

Posted April 28, 2014

To look behind the layers of mythology that still gather around Mt. Everest is not merely a matter of pointing out differences in mountaineering styles. To the degree that Sherpas and other local guides remained invisible in international Everest stories, their concerns, their risks and the value of their lives appeared invisible, too.

Three Springs

Posted April 25, 2014

"[I]n 'post'-colonial democracies where ethnic minorities carry the burden of insidious and vicious prejudices at every turn, Sherpas are fortunate. Everyone loves us, everyone trusts us, and everyone wants their own collectable one of us...."

Sean "Stanley" Leary: 1975-2014

Posted March 4, 2014

A strong climber, bold BASE jumper, future father and good friend, remembered.

Ulvetanna: In the Jaws of the Wolf

Posted February 28, 2014

Between January 20 and February 3, a climbing team of five Norwegians and the British alpinist Andy Kirkpatrick climbed in capsule style for 27 pitches up the thrice-attempted South Ridge of Ulvetanna in Antarctica's Queen Maud Land. Herein, Kirkpatrick tells their tale of success.

El Potrero Free Solo: A Q&A with Alex Honnold

Posted January 20, 2014

Alex Honnold talks about the most technically demanding and involved big wall he's yet soloed, and why it was so easy.

Oxford Climbers Find Mishaps, Tomfoolery and New Routes in Greenland

Posted November 27, 2013

During a five-week climbing bonanza this summer, Oxford University Mountaineering Club members Tom Codrington, Jacob Cook, Ian Faulkner and Peter Hill sailed among the granite cliffs of Greenland, establishing six new big-wall routes, including two up the thrice-attempted Horn of Upernivik Island (1700m). Along the way, Seal hunters shot bullets over their heads, one rogue husky ate vital climbing equipment, and they made memories they would eradicate from their minds if they could.

Yosemite's Young Pup: Cheyne Lempe Talks About His Salathe Wall Solo

Posted November 15, 2013

Though he had climbed El Capitan in a day—three times—twenty-two-year-old Cheyne Lempe spent the days leading up to his solo attempt on the Salathe Wall (VI 5.9 A2, 2,900') trying not to puke out of the apprehension. "Tomorrow I'm going to try to climb the Salathe Wall on El Cap, in one day, by myself... Man, all those words in the same sentence just sounds... sounds like it's going to be a lot of suffering...."