The wildest stories and scariest epics always come from mountaineers and alpinists. Climbing magazine's profiles and interviews with high-level mountaineers and ice climbers are packed with amazing tales of adventure, along with insight into what motivates these climbers to risk so much in the pursuit of remote peaks.
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    Doctor of Climbology: 13 Must-Follow Climbing Websites, Blogs, and Podcasts

    Doctor of Climbology is your shortcut to becoming cultured in climbing. An imperfect, unscientific guide to 55 must-read, must-see, must-hear climbing stories from masters of the art. Here are 13 sources for digital climbing media interesting, funny, or outrageous enough to keep us clicking back.

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    Everyday Hero: 5 Ordinary Climbers Who Saved a Life (Part 2)

    The “brotherhood of the rope” is the unspoken bond between climbing partners who trust each other with their lives. But what happens when the best way to aid your stricken partner is to leave him behind?

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    Everyday Hero: 5 Ordinary Climbers Who Saved a Life

    Because of experience and training, innate ability and fortitude, or just instinctive reactions in moments of crisis, average climbers can respond to deadly emergencies in extraordinary ways. With courage, calm, stamina, strength, and ingenuity, on a day when nobody expected anything but the simple pleasures of climbing, they end up saving a life.

  • 50 Years Later with Jim Whittaker and Tom Hornbein

    Jim, you told Gombu to go first to the summit, but he wouldn’t, and you summited together. "There was a great debate about who got to the summit first with Hillary and Tenzing, and I felt it clouded the fact they had both climbed the mountain. So we walked side by side and reached the summit together."

  • Cast of Characters

    Twenty-one climbers and scientists took part in the 1963 Everest expedition. Here are the major players mentioned in our sneak peek of The Vast Unknown.

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    Invisible Wounds

    Hours before sunup, we click on our headlamps and follow the blue-hued cones of light on the first steps of what will surely be a very long day. We’re embarking on a 20-mile traverse of the Mummy Range in Rocky Mountain National Park, over the course of which we’ll summit seven peaks over 13,000 feet. For the first half hour or so, our crew of eight military veterans doesn’t say a word—the only sounds are gravelly footfalls and varied degrees of labored breathing in the thin alpine air.

  • Survivors - Enduring Desperate Situations

    Survivors - Enduring Desperate Situations

    We surveyed readers and more than a dozen climbing historians and writers in North America and Europe to collect 25 stories of stamina, ingenuity, and human will, some well-known, others not. Our hope is to remind readers to take care and prevent accidents--to"do nothing in haste, look well to each step," as Whymper famously said after the Matterhorn tragedy.

  • Staying Alive

    Staying Alive

    Survival tips from climbing rangers - Nobody expects to be loaded onto a litter and evacuated off his first big wall. Or stuck in a snow cave, out of food and fuel, hypothermic, and praying that a storm will quit and someone will find him. Yet it happens, every year, and not just to newbies. Climbers make mistakes, or get unlucky, and rescue rangers drop from the sky and save our asses.

  • Erik Weihenmayer Interview: Alpamayo Ascent

    Erik Weihenmayer Interview: Alpamayo Ascent

    When he was 13, just heading into his freshman year of high school, Erik Weihenmayer lost his eyesight, impeding his ability to play baseball, soccer, and basketball--some of the things that define boys in their teenage years.

  • AMPED: The climbs back home for three veterans

    AMPED: The climbs back home for three veterans

    Three wounded Iraq War Veterans recount their near-death stories and triumphant climbs back home.

  • The Guidebook Odyssey - Unearthing the epic task of writing a guidebook

    The Guidebook Odyssey - Unearthing the epic task of writing a guidebook

    Never a fan of guidebooks, I’ve long had a “just pick a route that looks good and climb“ mentality. “It’s supposed to be an adventure!“ I’d tell myself. Until one fateful day at Colorado‘s Eldorado Canyon.

  • Dark Side of the Climber Mind

    Dark Side of the Climber Mind

    By Matt Samet, Kenneth Long, Fitz Cahall, Majka Burhardt, and Chad Shepard - We’ve gathered five essays linked by a common thread: dark manifestations of the climber mind because many climbers face these issues, but cowed by the cacophony of the dirtbag-chic, free-wheelin’ climbing community, silence themselves.

  • The Russian Way

    The Russian Way

    Russian climber Alexander Ruchkin groggily poked his head out of the sleeping bag and switched on his headlamp. Tiny crystals of ice and fog glittered in the confined space he shared with Dmitry Pavlenko. The icy portaledge fly flapped in Ruchkin’s face, making it hard to ignore the giant patch where a falling rock had recently ripped through the fabric.

  • Legends: George Lowe

    I was so unaware of the scope of rock climbing when I started. I just took it up without knowing much about these crazy people in California who were going out—but at least it got me out of the city. So, I didn’t really have these models directly early on. I mean it’s been 50 years, and my memory isn’t as good as it should be, but I don’t remember anyone explicitly. There was so little communication about rock climbing—very little within the States.

  • Malcolm Daly

    Malcolm Daly, 55, feeds his soul by feeding his friends—mole, paella, margs; sharing food is his favorite way to develop the sense of community he thrives on. Ever since two near-death experiences rocked his world in 1999 and 2004, Daly has gregariously shared his life and stories with others.

  • Better than Lucky

    I first took notice of Colin Haley in 2003, when a rock climbing and mountaineering news blurb mentioned that he and two others had done the first traverse of the Southern Picket Range, a tortuous, demanding, and little-known subrange of the Washington Cascades. I figured this 19-year-old rookie just got lucky. But a year later, he and Mark Bunker completed the second ascent of the Waddington Traverse in British Columbia, and in 2005 he made the first winter ascents of several significant Cascades routes.

  • Bloopers

    When I hang out with other pro climbing photographers, we don’t talk about things like f/stops, shutter speeds, or the newest and lightest camera body. Catching up over drinks by an open fire at Indian Creek or at some lame industry party at the Salt Lake trade show, we talk shit. Sometimes literally. This is not a story about how professional climbing photographers capture the ultimate climbing moment. These are our tales of comedy and peril—and shit.

  • Corey Rich

    Corey Rich's storytelling passion and keen eye—and a dose of good luck—have turned him into one of the most successful rock climbing and mountaineering photographers in the outdoor industry. As a partner of the prolific Aurora stock agency, his business skill and savvy are almost as impressive as his imagery. Rich, 35, has a down-to-earth persona that belies his success.

  • Rapid Transit

    In 2007, after several attempts, Ueli Steck finally broke the speed record on the original route up the Eiger north face, climbing solo and belaying himself only for three short sections. No one was really surprised. It is Steck’s backyard mountain (he lives only 30 minutes away), and he had been progressively inching closer to the record.

  • Angela Hawse

    As a climbing guide, certification by the IFMGA (International Federation of Mountain Guides Associations) is the ultimate milestone: Hopefuls must take extensive courses and pass arduous tests in three disciplines—rock climbing, alpine climbing, and ski mountaineering—over the course of five to 10 years. Angela Hawse is one of only seven women in the U.S. to achieve this status.

  • Players: Matt Maddaloni

    Friends call him “the Matt scientist.” Rock climber Matt Maddaloni works as the lead construction rigger and mechanical designer for Ziptrek Ecotours, a company that specializes in zipline-based eco-adventures. The 32-year-old Victoria, BC, native and self-taught engineer also founded a company that produces the Sea to Sky Cable Cam, a remote-controlled robotic cable cam that allows smooth aerial views for filmmaking.

  • All-Around Phenom: Ines Papert

    Fresh off winning the women’s category at the 2010 Ouray Ice Festival, the German superstar Ines Papert, 35, is fitter than ever. An all-around ice, mixed, and rock jock, Parpert swept the Ouray comp in 2005, beating all the men, and from 2000 to 2006 won a record 21 Ice World Cup events. (See Climbing No. 282 for a profile.)

  • The Style that Counts

    Andy Parkin and a Creative Life in the Mountains - “It was the final bit, in this massively exposed position,” he remembers. The ice looked funky — thin, brittle, dicey — and British ex-pat Andy Parkin paused to read the moves. Parkin, as has proven his habit over the years, was opening a route onsight and solo, on the north wall of the Grandes Jorasses, above Chamonix, France. All-in and fully committed, nearly 2200 feet off the Leschaux Glacier, he went for it.

  • Interview with Alpinist Adrian Ballinger

    Adrian has been living his dream as a climber, skier, and high-altitude alpine guide for over 15 years. He climbed Everest for the first time in April of this year, and the experience will be featured during the next week on the Discovery Channel’s show, Everest: Beyond the Limit. He runs a succesful business making others’ dreams of summiting some of the world’s most dangerous peaks come true. We’ve asked Adrian about what inspires him, what scares him, and what motivates him to continue his quest to push the limit, to define new boundaries, and discover the truth within himself.


    Alpinist, Engineer, Family Man, Free Spirit, President of the American Alpine Club; Seattle, Washington - Steve Swenson, 55, is the quintessential Northwest hardman. His climbing career spans four decades and includes the second ascent of the North Face of Mount Alberta, in 1981; the FA of the Northeast Face of Kwangde Nup, in Nepal, in 1989; and the FA of the Mazeno Ridge on Nanga Parbat, in 2004.

  • The Kilimanjaro glaciers are turning straight to vapor

    An Interview by Navaya ole Ndaskoi with Alex Lemunge / East African Voyage Ltd - The Arrow Glacier is no longer on Kilimanjaro. The Heim Glacier was a very famous for glacier climbing before 1996 but now almost all of it has evaporated. The Northern ice fields are mostly gone as well and half of the Fortangular glacier has receded.

  • Courage on K2: Part 2

    As told to: Kristin Bjornsen - These interviews are a continuation of the article “Courage on K2” (No. 270, October 2008), which detailed the events of August 1-2, 2008, when 11 people were killed by icefall, avalanches, falls, and causes unknown on the upper reaches of K2, the world’s second highest mountain.

  • Behind the scenes of Andy Parkin - "A Life in Adaptation"

    “A Life in Adaptation” - looks at the life of the Sheffield lad who found himself naturally drawn to the nearby moorland crags. There he encountered his first ‘real’ rock climbers. Inspired, he dedicated all of his attention to climbing, funding what became a nomadic existence through a variety of climbing-related jobs, anything that would get him to the crags. WATCH THE TRAILER

  • Riccardo Cassin - The Full Interview

    Compiled by Federica Valabrega - Climber, author, blacksmith, Italian idol of extreme alpinism on ice and rock in the twentieth century, with over 100 first ascents to his name; born in 1909 at Savorgnano di San Vito al Tagliamento, Friuli Venezia Giulia, Italy.

  • Jim Logan: The Emperor of Mount Robson

    Jim Logan, a youthful 60, runs an architecture firm in Boulder, but often plays hookie to climb in Eldorado and at the Boulder Rock Club. He ranks the Emperor Face as one of his three great climbs, along with the 1960s FFAs of the Diamond on Longs Peak and the punishing offwidth Crack of Fear (5.10) at Lumpy Ridge.

  • The other side of the 2006 “Golden Ice Axe”: Montagnes talks about Prezelj and the Piolet

    In the weeks that followed Marko Prezelj’s refusal of the 2006 Piolet d’or, at the ceremony in Grenoble, France, on January 26, Climbing sat down with the Montagnes editors Phillipe Descamps and Manu Rivaud.

  • HOT SEAT with Stephen Koch

    by Dougald McDonald - When Stephen Koch shows up on the climbing radar, it's usually as "that guy who's trying to snowboard the Seven Summits.