Weekly Feature Archives


Posted April 6, 2012

The social climate of the Caucasus was rocked politically and economically by these measures. "The area is still dangerous may be even more than before...due to the year-long economic blockade, the local people became more desperate and chance of being robbed or killed for the reason of robbery is very obvious," writes Alex Trubachev, a guide based in Moscow whose company has halted their Elbrus tours. "Locals have lost everything—two seasons of nothing," agrees Myasnikov.

Cerro Torre Roundup

Posted April 2, 2012

Since Hayden Kennedy and Jason Kruk climbed a "fair means" variation to the Compressor Route and then removed the bolts from its upper pitches the international climbing community has been awash in discussions of climbing ethics and etiquette. In what will most likely be Alpinist.com's final post on this story we have gathered a collection of links to various Op-Ed's, blog posts, threads and Letters to the Editor here. We will continue to update this page with new links rather than creating new NewsWires should this story continue to develop. - Keese Lane, Online Editor

2012 American Alpine Club Benefit Dinner

Posted March 15, 2012

Abruzzi was a duke. Cassin was a steel worker. Perry-Smith came from family money. Heckmair was a gardener. The climbing community has always spanned the gap between those with the independent wealth to travel and climb, and those who have forsaken everything else for the mountains. I cannot claim to be as destitute as Heckmair or as dedicated as Cassin, but I always felt some jealousy for my partners' racks of shiny new cams and wiregates. My gear came off the consignment rack of the local gear exchange. The AAC Benefit Dinner was the territory of the higher end leisure class and a strange window into a society many of us at the other end of the spectrum barely understand or know about.

Exploring The Alps

Posted February 23, 2012

It is more intuitive to pursue "the new" in remote and unexplored mountains, as opposed to a well-known range. "It is often difficult to be alone in the Alps," Barmasse writes, citing the proliferation of guided climbing, staffed huts and ski lifts that bring vacationers to nearly all peaks. Barmasse wanted to experience the "authentic alpinism" that he found in distant mountains to his own backyard range. He wanted to try to keep the spirit of adventure alive, even in familiar and well-trodden territory. "These ancient and maybe old fashioned mountains, if explored from a new perspective, could be a foundation for alpinism of the future."

Grosvenor Sees Third Ascent

Posted January 27, 2012

First light revealed our next challenge; an eight-inch strip of ice transecting the rock band above. We packed up, and I started climbing. A few delicate tool placements and some dry tooling allowed access to the more moderate slope above. Shortly after Jeff began to simulclimb with me, I found myself at another intimidating challenge, another section of vertical, rotten "snice." I did my best to not pull the pitch down on myself and, fortunately, was able to place a cam halfway up.

Nautical Series: Skip Novak

Posted October 6, 2011

"I still view my first Whitbred Round The World race in 1977 as my most memorable sailing achievement. I was going out into the unknown. We were out of touch the whole time. Radios didn't work and we had no GPS; I was navigating with a sexton. I just disappeared after the start, and arrived thirty days later in New Zealand."

Nautical Series: Greg Landreth and Keri Pashuk

Posted October 5, 2011

"[T]here is a lot of common ground (between sailing and climbing)... When you're climbing, the general rhythm is that you have an anchor, a rest and then you scurry to the next spot to put your anchor in. And do it all over again. With sailing, you just stretch out the time scale by some years (and the expense by quite a number of zeros after the comma).

Nautical Series: Bob Shepton

Posted October 5, 2011

In 2010, Scottish skipper/ex-priest Bob Shepton "lured" Belgians Nicolas Favresse, Olivier Favresse, Sean Villanueva and American Ben Ditto to the coast of Greenland with photos of a virgin wall, whose location he refused to disclose until they hired him to take them there. The climbers put up several new big-wall routes, using Shepton's sailboat—Dodo's Delight—as their floating base camp.

Serkhe Khollu, Bolivia: A New Line on Crutches

Posted September 20, 2011

A rope length away from the summit of Ala Izquierda in Bolivia, Isabel Suppe was pulled from her perch on the summit ridge and tumbled 400m. She and her partner spent the following two nights in the open, trying to crawl back to camp. Her partner died of hypothermia during the second night, and she was rescued the next day. One year later, Isabel hobbled to the base of Serkhe Khollu on crutches, and put up a new line on the southwest face of this 5546-meter peak.