Weekly Feature Archives

The melting glaciers of Koma Kulshan

Posted February 20, 2020

In this story that was commissioned as part of the Covering Climate Now campaign, Ilana Newman and photographer Matthew Tangeman document how melting glaciers have caused drastic changes to some popular climbing routes on Koma Kulshan (Mt. Baker) in Washington.

In Search of Lost Peaks

Posted January 27, 2020

In this Sharp End story from Alpinist 68—which is currently on newsstands—Alpinist Editor-in-Chief Katie Ives goes in search of a secluded alpine basin to retrace the steps of a famous guidebook author, Harvey Manning.

A Visit with Dee Molenaar (1918-2020)

Posted January 22, 2020

Dee Molenaar died January 19 at age 101. In honor of his inspiring life, we are sharing a profile written by Michael Ybarra for the Climbing Life section of Alpinist 36 (Autumn 2011). Sadly, Ybarra preceded Molenaar in death, when he died in the summer of 2012 while climbing solo in California's Sierra Nevada Range. Both men are dearly missed.

Melting Giants: La Meije, Massif des Ecrins, France

Posted January 3, 2020

For 141 years since its first ascent, mountaineers from around the world traveled to climb la Meije in the Massif des Ecrins of France. Meanwhile, the permafrost that held its stones together was melting. On August 7, 2018, rockfall destroyed much of the normal route. In this On Belay story from Alpinist 68, two locally based guides—Benjamin Ribeyre and Erin Smart—recount a search for a new way up the peak amid the uncertainties of the planet's future.

Tool User: Kendal Mint Cake

Posted December 23, 2019

In this Tool Users story that first appeared in Alpinist 68—which is now available on newsstands and in our online store—John Hessler explores the history of an energy bar invented in 1869: the famously (or infamously) sweet Kendal Mint Cake.

Blood That Dreams of Stone: Antonia Pozzi, Climbing Poet

Posted December 16, 2019

During the early twentieth century, the talented young poet Antonia Pozzi sought freedom from her family and her society amid the rock spires of the Dolomites and other Italian peaks. In this feature story from Alpinist 68, David Smart provides an introduction to her career, along with translations of three of her climbing poems, with the help of Brian McKenzie and illustrations by Rhiannon Klee.

Local Hero: Katie Sauter

Posted December 10, 2019

Whether they've collected summits, books or memories, many climbers long to preserve records of the past. In this Local Hero story from Alpinist 68—which is now available on newsstands and in our online store—Paula Wright presents the person responsible for cataloguing and managing one of the most extensive of these collections: Katie Sauter, director of the Henry S. Hall Jr. American Alpine Club Library.

The Less You Talk

Posted December 3, 2019

In this Climbing Life story from Alpinist 68, our digital editor Derek Franz articulates the value of staying quiet while climbing with his wife. "I've learned that my enthusiasm can be a detriment," he writes. "My impulse, ever since I was a kid, has been to try to offer guidance.... I want to encourage her; I want her to realize the ability she has. My words usually come out wrong."

The Thing with Feathers: On mountains, climate science and hope

Posted November 27, 2019

In this story that was commissioned as part of the Covering Climate Now campaign, Michelle Dowd reports on her time spent observing scientists at Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory in Colorado last summer and considers today's climate crisis through the lens of her deeply religious upbringing.

Pandora's Box: The Brief, Brilliant Life of Kei Taniguchi

Posted November 26, 2019

In 2009 Japanese alpinist Kei Taniguchi became the first woman to receive a Piolet d'Or for her first ascent of the Southeast Face of Kamet (7756m), with Kazuya Hiraide. During the final years of her life, Taniguchi continued to explore challenging new routes, while hinting at a mysterious personal quest. Piecing together diary entries and interviewing family and friends, her biographer Akihiro Oishi tries to see inside what Taniguchi called "the Pandora's box."