Weekly Feature Archives

Wringing It Out

Posted July 17, 2020

In this story from The Climbing Life section of Alpinist 70, Spencer Gray experiences an unusual turn of events when he gets caught in the rain on a multipitch route while climbing with a less-experienced experienced partner.

Tool Users: Crack Climbing Gloves

Posted July 14, 2020

In this Tool Users story that first appeared in Alpinist 70—which is now available on some newsstands and in our online store—Mailee Hung considers the history, and the perceived absurdity, of crack climbing gloves.

Climbing Poems by Ed Roberson

Posted June 26, 2020

Ed Roberson is the author of many books of poetry, including To See the Earth before the End of the World. A dedicated mountain climber, Roberson traveled extensively throughout South America in the 1960s and '70s. He has received several awards for his work and has taught at the University of Chicago, Columbia College, and Northwestern University. His poems "Peru" and "The Age of the Climber" appeared in Alpinist 58 (2017) and Alpinist 67 (2019), respectively.


Posted June 20, 2020

In this feature story from Alpinist 70, Craig DeMartino writes about how he survived a hundred-foot ground fall in 2002. After doctors fused vertebrae in his back and neck, he decided to have his right leg amputated below the knee. He now mentors others who have suffered life-altering injuries, all while making the most of life with his wife and kids.

In Deep

Posted June 12, 2020

In this fiction story that first appeared in The Climbing Life section of Alpinist 50 (Summer 2015), James Edward Mills imagines a Black 17-year-old named Jamal from Washington, DC, who finds himself dangling from a rope inside a crevasse in Alaska, pondering his attraction to the mountains in spite of what his classmates back home had told him: "Climbing is one of those fool things white people do."

Roaming in Place

Posted May 27, 2020

In this Sharp End essay from Alpinist 70, Alpinist Deputy Editor Paula Wright reflects on words by Nan Shepherd while sheltering in place during the COVID-19 pandemic. Wright writes, "To allow yourself extended periods without frenetic motion is itself a cultivated practice. As the mountain would teach: there is value in being still.... In times of crisis, we have the opportunity to recalibrate our relationships with each other, with our activities and with the land."

Labyrinths of Granite and Ice

Posted May 18, 2020

In this story from Alpinist 69—which is currently available in our online store—Graham Zimmerman writes of his adventure on Link Sar with Steve Swenson, Mark Richey and Chris Wright. They traveled to the Kaberi Glacier in the Karakoram Range of Pakistan In the summer of 2019 to climb the 7041-meter peak that they had dreamed about. For Zimmerman, the expedition was a chance to learn from some of the most experienced Karakoram mountaineers and challenge some of his own youthful assumptions about alpinism, risk and life.

A Climbing Quiz

Posted April 30, 2020

In this story from The Climbing Life section of Alpinist 69—which is now available in our online store—Bosley Sidwell (or was that Steve Jervis?) poses some trivia questions. Think you're versed in climbing lit and historical ascents? Take the quiz and find out!

Mountain Profile Essays from Alpinist 69 | Mont Blanc

Posted April 20, 2020

Read the essays from our Mountain Profile about Mont Blanc.

Sharon Wood's book "Rising" is a reflection of her 1986 ascent of Chomolungma (Everest) and a male-dominated culture then and now

Posted April 3, 2020

In 1986 Canadian mountaineer Sharon Wood and her teammate Dwayne Congdon reached the summit of Mt. Everest (Chomolungma) via a variation to the difficult West Ridge route. Herein, Sarah Boon reviews Wood's 2019 memoir, "Rising," which follows Wood along her path to becoming the first North American woman to stand atop the storied peak. "Wood's book is a window into the world of women in climbing at a time when many still considered women to be inferior mountaineers," Boon writes.