• On his sixth expedition to China (2013), Libecki leads the third pitch of a big wall first ascent in the Western Kokshaal-Too, Tien Shan Mountains, while Ethan Pringle belays. Photo by Keith Ladzinski.


    Sixty feet up a shattered wall of basalt in the Arctic, I just hoped to find a place to set up my portaledge, out of the reach of polar bears. The rock—for lack of a better term—was shitty. But I was still headed up. A couple of soccer ball–size rocks crashed onto the talus to my left, exploding like small bombs. As I hammered in a knifeblade piton, a huge flake shattered like a plate of glass. The fragments sounded like ceramic tiles as they hit the talus below. I needed to find a way up this wall, but this line was death.

  • Claassen

    9 Months, 9 Countries: Claassen and Glassberg Debriefed

    Paige Claassen and Jon Glassberg spent nine months, from June 2013 through the end of March, traveling the world, climbing, and raising money and awareness for community-oriented nonprofits around the globe. We gave them about a week to settle in at home in Colorado and then asked them to tell us more about the trip.

  • MotivateHP

    How to Motivate

    Slogging up a snowfield, panting beneath a heavy pack, with a couple miles to the next camp. Flaming forearms on the rock, still three pitches from the summit. These moments are difficult to break through on your own—how do you keep a whole team moving? Even if you’re not an aspiring guide, keep these useful incentives in your head next time you or your partner starts struggling.

  • GuideHP

    The Guiding Life

    Swiss-French, slightly built, mellow, self-assured, and my neighbor on a flight home to Colorado, he wrote his name into my journal in Euro-cursive, with a phone number, too: Jean Pavillard.

  • Alex-Stasia-Cedar-Sufferfest-660

    Inside the Sufferest: Two World-Class Climbers. On Bikes.

    Cedar’s 18-minute film titled Sufferfest was selected to tour the world with the Banff Mountain Film Festival. Check for showing locations and dates. Or head to to view the film in five smaller episodes.

  • Golden Piton Awards 2013

    From the first 5.14d onsight to runout 5.13 traditional routes to a multitude of V-hard bouldering flashes, Climbing pays tribute to the most inspirational climbers, ascents, and routes of 2013 with the 12th annual Golden Piton Awards.

  • Matt-Segal-Air-China-Fall-1

    To Bolt or Not to Bolt

    I operate under a philosophy that routes don’t need to be repeated safely, so I don’t establish them that way. The joy in climbing routes like these is all my own, and I don’t always feel the need to equip routes with the greater community in mind. Some people might view my approach as reckless. I always try to have a minimalist approach to establishing new lines, but others place a higher importance on repeatability. To each his own—but it’s important to think through your bolting philosophy as a first ascensionist. Have a reason to place—or not place—each bolt.

  • Matt Segal makes the first ascent of Orangutan Roof (5.13+) in Independence Pass, Colorado, in 2008. Photo by John Dickey

    The Art of Development

    The rules of accepted practices in route development are often unclear and confusing; they differ from region to region, usually because of the area’s history, local ethics, laws regarding drilling, and more. To help decode the topic, we picked the brains of a unique cross section of first ascensionists to help paint a picture of the first ascent landscape in America today.

  • Enga-Lokey-Soweto-660

    The Nut Chronicles

    Climbing nutcraft evolved in Great Britain about a half century ago, but its roots go back even further. As early as the 1920s, British climbers had carried pebbles in the pockets of their knickers, slotting these stones into wide spots in cracks and tying them off—with scary-looking hemp cord—for pro. True artificial chockstones were just a small conceptual step away, but it took a few decades. During the 1930s, rock climbing—then much more closely allied with alpinism than it is now—was at an ethical crossroads.

  • Fixed Anchors in the Wilderness

    Flashback: It’s the summer of 1998, and you’re 500 feet up the Sun Ribbon Arête on Temple Crag, one of the High Sierra’s finest alpine rock peaks. The scattered morning clouds have quickly turned into ominous thunderheads, coming your way. With nothing ahead but even more exposed climbing for 1,500 feet to the summit, you belay up your partner, have a short discussion, equalize a nut and a sling around a horn, and begin to rap. Two hundred feet lower you pull your rope, leaving the anchor in place—thus committing a federal crime.

  • David-Lama-Cerro-Torre-Feat

    2012 Golden Piton Awards: The Year in Climbing

    With Climbing magazine's 11th annual Golden Piton Awards, we celebrate the biggest, hardest, fastest, and scariest ascents of 2012. Prepare to be inspired. Winners include The American Alpine Club, Cameron Hörst, Brooke Raboutou, Ashima Shiraishi, Alex Honnold, Kyle Dempster, Hayden Kennedy, Sean McColl, Adam Ondra, Tomoko Ogawa, and the Red River Gorge, Kentucky.

  • Sharma-Yoga-Warmup-158

    Chris Sharma