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Back in 1970 you could start a magazine out of your basement for $900. And that’s what Climbing founder Harvey Carter did. Issue No. 1 was just 24 black-and-white pages with a blurry cover butt shot of an unnamed climber on a 5.7 in Garden of the Gods, Colorado. While that inaugural edition was scrappy, the passion of its writers, editors, and photographers was clear with features such as Galen Rowell’s “Hetch Hetchy: First Impressions” and Layton Kor’s “Climbing in the Black Canyon of the Gunnison.” Carter’s editorial provided a mission statement, of sorts, too.
“The editors of Climbing claim no authority for assuming this task other than the fact that we believe the magazine is needed and we have the desire and the capacity to supply it,” he wrote. “Being climbers ourselves, we relish the task and will do our best to serve satisfactorily.”
Carter’s words still ring true today. Climbing is still run by passionate climbers who are stoked to share the sport in all of its disciplines.
While Climbing’s core has remained the same, the sport has changed and we’ve evolved with it, publishing larger four-color issues including the annual coffee-table edition of Ascent (founded in 1967 by climbing legends Allen Steck and Steve Roper). You may notice that, as of today, our website looks a bit different; this redesign showcases a lot of great things happening at Climbing: a better layout for our stories and photos, a more intuitive site navigation, and the addition of Rock and Ice as a companion website.
You’ll probably also notice a that we have a new focus on membership, with our Active Pass and Climbing Pass programs that include more of what you want—all things climbing and beyond.
Our premier Active Pass membership includes:
- Annual print magazine subscription from your choice of Climbing (includes annual coffee-table edition of Ascent), Gym Climber, Backpacker, Beta, Trail Runner and others. (U.S. members only.)
- Exclusive, member-only content on Climbing.com
- A personalized feed and ad-free experience from all the Active Pass titles, including Climbing, Backpacker, Beta MTB, Trail Runner, Ski, VeloNews, Yoga Journal, Peloton, Women’s Running, Vegetarian Times, and more
- Access to the Rock and Ice Vault with over 3,000 stories—18 years of content
- Your choice of two free books from our library that includes How to Train by climbing coach Neil Gresham, and How to Climb, by the editors of Rock and Ice
- Access to our “Intro to Trad Climbing” and “Intro to Sport Climbing” online courses, a $200 value
- Early access to the John Long Writing Symposium and our annual photo camp
- Access to the Warren Miller film archive—47 ski films dating back to 1961
- Exclusive yoga and meditation challenges from Yoga Journal
- Meal plans and recipes from Clean Eating and Vegetarian Times
- Roll Massif Events: For you cyclists, get free entry to the Elephant Rock cycling sportive and virtual events, plus 25% off all other events and their online store
- Annual entry to the Fly Fishing & Warren Miller film tours
- And much more!
I’m a climber not a mathematician, but I know that a $99 Active Pass membership far exceeds its sticker price—there’s $200’s worth of online courses alone. It’s a great deal, and we’ll soon add even more benefits.
Not interested in all those sweet perks? You can still subscribe to our Climbing Pass for $49 annually, which gets you a one-year print subscription from your choice of Climbing (still includes annual coffee-table edition of Ascent), Gym Climber, Backpacker, Beta MTB, Trail Runner and others (U.S. members only), and an ad-free experience on Climbing.com with exclusive, member-only content.
We understand that not everyone is in a position to join these programs today, which is why the majority of our digital content will remain available, free of charge, going forward. And we encourage you to sign up for our newsletter, to ensure you never miss a thing.
The future is bright, and the Active Pass membership program is one new way we continue to offer best-in-class content while delivering on our original mission, laid out by Harvey Carter in 1970.