Weekly Feature Archives

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.

Mountain troops rope up and strengthen bonds during the Partnership for Peace program in Switzerland

Posted April 2, 2020

In this story, US Army Mountain Warfare School officer Nathan Fry shares his experience with the NATO Partnership for Peace Program that took place in Switzerland in the summer of 2019. "At a time when international relationships seem to be fracturing, engagements such as the Partnership for Peace mountaineering course have taken on a new value in creating a shared appreciation for other cultures," he writes.

The Ahwahnee Brunch Retrospective (starring "Roger" & "Ed" in an eating contest of stupendous proportions)

Posted March 27, 2020

In this Climbing Life story from Alpinist 69—which is now available on newsstands and in our online store—Tami Knight shares some background about the inspiration of a cartoon that she created many years ago, titled "Roger and Ed at the Ahwahnee Brunch." She writes, "Roger is an amalgamation of the climbers I knew at that time in Yosemite.... Ed, on the other hand—Ed Spat to give his full name—was a real guy." In addition to her story, she has also updated the cartoon in full color.

2018: Ultra Royal Traverse of the Mont Blanc Massif

Posted March 24, 2020

In this Mountain Profile essay from Alpinist 69—which is now available on newsstands and in our online store—Ben Tibbetts writes of completing the Mont Blanc Royal Traverse with Colin Haley in 2018. The 41 kilometer route along the mountain's main axis was first attempted by Kilian Jornet and Stephane Brosse in 2012, but ended when a cornice collapsed and killed Brosse. In this story, Tibbetts confronts his own setbacks and fears after being involved in two avalanches.

Walter Bonatti: Citizen of Mont Blanc

Posted March 23, 2020

In this Mountain Profile essay from Alpinist 69—which is now available on newsstands and in our online store—Claude Gardien recounts Walter Bonatti's checkered relationship with Mont Blanc. Gardien writes: "Again and again, on mountains around the world, he'd lived through the hell of alpinists, when the elements unleash and everything becomes suffering, tragedy, grief. On Mont Blanc, he'd also known a few moments of ineffable beauty—as if he'd encountered that formidable privilege, as the writer Georges Sonnier suggested, of 'contemplating the eye of the god.'"

1912-1913: Paul Preuss

Posted March 19, 2020

In this Mountain Profile essay from Alpinist 69—which is now available on newsstands and in our online store—David Smart recounts the bold endeavors of Paul Preuss to complete the longest ridge traverse in the Alps, and his final season of climbing in 1913.