The 10 Most-Read Climbing Articles of 2018

The most popular climbing stories of the year, as chosen by the eyeballs of our readers.
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#10. The Hidden Environmental Cost of Climbing Chalk


"The biggest problem with [magnesite) mines is the dust, and that dust has a huge impact on the environment and local people."

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#9. Alex Honnold and Tommy Caldwell Set Sub-2-Hour Nose Speed Record

El Capitan Yosemite The Nose National Park Rock climbing

Photo: russellstreet/Flickr; CC BY-SA 2.0

"For their third time breaking the Nose speed record (in a row), Honnold and Caldwell have achieved their goal of taking it under 2 hours."

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#8. Opinion: The Free Solo Documentary Addressed Some Uncomfortable Truths, But Ignored Others

Alex Honnold Freerider Free Solo El Capitan Rock Climbing Documentary

"For most of the documentary, the filmmakers do an admirable job of scrutinizing Honnold's plan, which is why it's so jarring when they stop."

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#7. Unsent: The Ultimate Belay Test

Sendhaus unsent belay test funny rock climbing gym

"See that card zip-tied to that man’s harness so he can’t remove it, ever? That mean’s he’s belay certified. You’re not. If you climb, you’ll die."

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#6. In Defense of the “Soft”: A Response to Cedar Wright

Eric HansenLeeping Lemurs Custer State Park Black Hills South Dakota Rock Climbing

In a piece for Outside Online, Cedar Wright lamented what our sport is losing as it grows. Mason Voehl argues that he's missing what it's gained.

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#5. Your First 7 Climbing Partners

Rock climbing selfie instagram iphone partner sport

From the Insta-Sender to the Guide, you'll climb with at least a few of these seven climbing archetypes in your early days of getting outside.

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#4. Obituary: Jim “The Bird” Bridwell (1944-2018)

Jim Bridwell Pacific Ocean Wall Yosemite Rock Climbing

Bridwell was one of the great innovators of the modern climbing era, bringing a tech-savvy meticulousness coupled with a go-for-it attitude to his countless first ascents.

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#3. Jonathan Siegrist: Climb to Train—How to Improve by Simply Climbing

Rock climbing

"Climbers often ask me, 'What’s the secret!?' They expect that some savage hangboarding routine is the key. But my suggestions tend to be simple."

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#2. Unsent: Why I’m Gonna Chop the Bolts on Adam Ondra’s Silence


Overbolted. Contrived. Climbed in poor style. Should have gone on gear. The crustiest trad dad explains why Adam Ondra's landmark 5.15d should be erased.

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#1. Two Expert Climbers Killed in Fall From El Cap’s Freeblast


Our most-read story of the year was a sad one. When Jason Wells and Tim Klein, two extremely experienced El Cap climbers, were killed in an accident on Freeblast, it left the community wondering, what happened?

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