250 - August 2006

250 - August 2006

COVERA rare, beautiful sight on a rare, beautiful day — the Cerro Torre massif, Patagonia. Photo by Dean Fidelman

ADDICTED: THE ANDY RAETHER INTERVIEWHe doesn’t drink alcohol, smoke weed, dip chew, slander, steal, or have a stripper problem. The 21-year-old Raether, however, is, without a doubt, an addict. His vice? Climbing.EL FONDO DEL MONDOAt the bottom of the world, Patagonia, the name of the game is patience — biding time until the rain stops spitting, the wind dies, and you get two or three days of blue skies so you can dash up your torre of choice. Here, Patagonia veteran Kevin Thaw paints an elegant picture of the 2005 waiting — er, climbing — season.SEVEN REASONS WHY JOE’S VALLEY IS BETTER THAN HUECOThink Hueco is the best bouldering in America? Think again.¡A LA MUERTE!In the Basque country of northern Spain, some of the world’s most motivated, methodical climbers are ticking hard 5.14s left and right. So, what is it about this singular region that inspires such skill? The author took a trip to the zone’s monster limestone sport crags — or “schools” — to find out.