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Alpinist Magazine Issue 40 - Autumn 2012

SKU# ALP4012

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This Mythical Beast

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Mountain Profile: The Eiger, Part I (1858–1938)
Rising directly above Swiss Alpine meadows, the Eiger once represented a wild realm of "ultimate adventure" to the world's great climbers. But the proximity of the peak to civilization also magnified the ideological conflicts surrounding each ascent. Martin Gutmann puts the mountain's history back in context, while Charles Barrington, Saburo Matsukata and Stephan Siegrist add their own perspective to the first eighty years.
The Bomb Constructor
In the mid-1980s, bored with life, a brilliant teenager left school for Yosemite. Amid the loose features that most climbers avoid, Eric Kohl spent decades piecing together hard big-wall ascents as meticulous and dangerous as the creation of bombs. Chris Van Leuven returns to his California hometown to attempt to understand what it means to be—as Kohl describes himself—"nihilistic, but not suicidal."
The Lho La Tragedy: Beginning of the End
In 1989 an avalanche struck six Polish climbers descending from the West Ridge of Everest. Bernadette McDonald and Jerzy Porębski recount the disaster that ended the Golden Age of Polish Himalayan Climbing and the rescue that saved one man's life. With illustrations by Ewa Łabaj.
El Capitan: The Movie
During the late 1960s, Glen Denny, Fred Padula, Lito Tejada-Flores and Doug Tompkins banded together to try to make a great movie out of an El Capitan ascent. In between dodging rockfall and scrounging for funds, they debated some of the bigger issues: Is a climb a work of art or a marketable commodity? And should the sport even be publicized at all? Before his death on June 30, 2012, Michael J. Ybarra traveled from Yosemite to Patagonia to the Tetons to meet the protagonists and record the anxieties of an era that prefigured our own.

Departments

The Sharp End
Roaming in the gloaming.
On Belay
After years of collecting cans and nude modeling to pay for his climbing trips, Alpinist's favorite Alaskan dirtbag signs up for a geology PhD program with an ambitious project: to gather samples from more than two-dozen summits, disprove the current theory on the formation of the Alaskan Range, get married, and figure out what to do with the rest of his life.
Tool Users
For centuries, mountain people have been sticking metal spikes on their shoes to cross slopes of ice. Our managing editor investigates the evolution of the modern crampon.
The Climbing Life
David Stevenson climbs after the volcano poets. Chris Kalman mourns Nick Hall. Greg Landreth sends us a postcard from the end of the road.
Wired
In 1964, the same year that the Civil Rights Act outlawed racial discrimination, Charles M. Crenchaw became the first African American to climb Denali. Nearly five decades later, relatively few African Americans participate in mountaineering and other outdoor sports. James Edward Mills looks into some of the reasons behind what he calls "the adventure gap."
Escape Route
During the summer of 2011, David Pickford and Malin Holmberg explored Djupfjord Wall in Norway's Lofoten Islands, searching for light in a time of terror.
Off Belay
Pesky rain? Black flies? No problem. Steven Jervis and Tami Knight submit a modest proposal for the Shawangunks.

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