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Cover: Sonnie Trotter on Cobra Crack (5.14), Squamish, British Columbia. Photo: Paul Bride
2006 GOLDEN PITON AWARDSAnother year, and nothing has changed, right? Wrong. 2006 saw perfect style, high-volume ascents from climbers ages 13 to 48, and progress, progress, progress. … The fifth annual GPAs highlight a year of highlights. By Dan Dewell
EARTH, WIND, AND RUBBLEFar from the bustle, the buses, and the endless queues for Moonlight Buttress, climbers are discovering another side of Zion — its elegant, if not chossy, alpine ridges. Sure, they’re only 5.7, but they’re huge on adventure.By Fitz Cahall Photos by James Q. Martin
CANADIAN BACON — the SONNIE TROTTER InterviewCanada’s best free climber explains why he almost quit climbing, why his parents aren’t millionaires, why he loves his country so much, what’s up with his Superman tattoo, and who the hell Terry Fox is.By Jonathan Thesenga
EDITORIALA Tale of Two Searches. While the mainstream media turned the Mount Hood tragedy into a sensationalized circus, Charlie Fowler and Christine Boskoff, two of America’s most accomplished alpinists and guides, have mysteriously gone missing in China.LETTERSOver the past month, letters have poured in from readers in Afghanistan, the California State Pen, Africa, Finland, and even Massachusetts — here are the best.HOT FLASHESHoulding and Potter make Southern Belle’s second ascent, Tilly Parkins becomes first Australian woman to boulder V12, tragedy on Ama Dablam, Edu Marin and Chris Sharma tick La Rambla Direct (5.15a), and more bouldering and sport-climbing madness … OFF THE WALLHas El Cap ever truly been photographed, until now? Is dirtbagging dead? Does rodeo clipping own? Plus, Chris Lindner’s new look for spring, Obe Carrion: Then and Now, why Dog the bounty hunter is en fuego, and more …CLASSIC CLIMBSJoin a Rocky Mountain National Park local for this three-pitch, mixed must-do in Colorado’s high alpine. It’s All Mixed Up and it’s all goooood.BY TOPHER DONAHUEWhipped Night climbing — it’s not just for epics anymore.BY MAJKA BURHARDTGALLERY Caves full of Greek tufas and Kentucky pockets, M9s and V9s, and a crazy-thin, vertical 5.14 crux sequenceTECH TIPSAlpine: Traverse happy — a ridge runner’s handy guide Ice: Sharing the ice — the way of the peaceful winter warriorEQUIPMENT Pad Perfect: Medium-sized crashpads for all your bouldering needsJUST OUTAcopa’s Lowrider, the Grivel-SCARPA GSb crampon/boot system, Patagonia’s Gritty Pack, Metolius’ twist on rope marking, and one of the most thrilling climbing DVDs ever: E11GEAR YOU NEEDFor bolting your dream line10 THINGS YOU DIDN’T KNOW ABOUT … Pre-climb rituals, those crazy mental and physical gyrations we use to rev up for a hard send