Mountaineers

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.
  • 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.