They call the Canadian Rockies' Mt. Temple the Eiger of North America. Both peaks offer sheer north faces with steep imposing headwalls that soar 1500 meters above the valleys below, both feature compact limestone, both are regularly subject to tempestuous weather that can appear out of seemingly calm skies. Perhaps most importantly, both are steeped in mystery, lore and ominous histories.
Recently, while browsing through Instagram, I noticed about a half dozen images by Matt Van Biene--climber portraits taken in El Chalten, Argentine Patagonia. The black-and-white portraits, shot very close to the climbers, caught my eye. I sent him a quick message stating that we were interested in showcasing his work on alpinist.com.
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Big Reinhold, Little Reinhold by Ed Webster

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I first met Reinhold Messner in Kathmandu, completely by chance, in late May of 1985. My first expedition to Mt. Everest had ended a week earlier. I walked into our trekking-company office to see if there was any mail from home--and there stood Messner. He had just summited, within the past six weeks, and of course without supplementary oxygen, his eleventh and twelfth 8000-meter peaks, Annapurna and Dhaulagiri.

Read the stories by Ed Webster as we progressively post them each week for the next four weeks.

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