Alpinist Magazine Issue 84 | Winter 2023

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Cover: Patrick Lalonde peers through the narrow exit moves of Tut’s Thumb (WI4+) in the Katahdin massif’s North Basin, Baxter State Park, Maine. [Photo] Brent Doscher


Mountain Profile: Katahdin
Nestled into the woods of northern Maine, beyond the reaches of roads, Katahdin rises out of the 2,200-mile-long chain of Appalachian Mountains. Its weathered cliffs of pink-and-grey granite have inspired painters, poets and climbers for centuries. Katahdin, wrote East Coast climber Arnold Wexler after a two-week visit to the mountain in 1945, “rises in isolated splendor above a limitless forest of fir, spruce, and birch, laced with glittering lakes and serpentine rivers and streams.” Abbey Collins shares glimpses into the mountain’s history, which is marked by epic tales and well-kept secrets. Henry Barber and Laura Waterman recount their own experiences, with stories of climbing steep ice with suboptimal gear and route finding from a summit wrapped in clouds during the cold, quiet days of winter on Maine’s highest peak.
Painting on Location
In early 2023, Klara Maisch ventured to Denali base camp to paint Begguya from the Kahiltna Glacier. Herein, she reflects on the risks and rewards of painting remote mountain landscapes on location.
Passing the Rack
Tom Livingstone’s Young Alpinist Group (YAG) aims to give climbers from the United Kingdom and Ireland the type of mentoring he wished he’d had. In this story, he recounts what inspired him to start the YAG. “There’s a difference between what ... young alpinists want and what they really need,” he writes. “I was lucky enough to make a few mistakes without getting badly burnt.” Meanwhile, YAG alumni Carrie Beadle and Tim Exley share their perspectives.



Sharp End
Derek Franz weighs the pros and cons of the Piolets d’Or.
Our readers write.
Escape Route
Derek Franz and Paula LaRochelle share book recommendations. Abbey Collins chats with IFMGA guide and 2020 Piolet d’Or recipient Alan Rousseau. Plus the story of how a toe ended up on display at the Neptune Mountaineering and Ski Museum, and a photo gallery.
On Belay
Priti Wright meditates on the long and unlikely journey that led her and her husband, Jeff Wright, from Florida to the northern flanks of K7 Central.
Tool User
David Smart frames a narrative around handheld cameras.
The Climbing Life
Brian Laidlaw contemplates the void. Amrita Dhar greets the New Year. Sophi Rutherford finds community in climbing. And Caroline Gleich revisits her harrowing trek to Gasherbrum II and the floods that devastated regions of Pakistan in 2022.
As he sorted through photos in the University of Alaska Fairbanks archive in 2022, Matthew Sturm uncovered lost records of a long-debated 1910 ascent of Denali. Sturm transports readers into the story behind the photos—the questions they address and those still left unanswered.
Local Hero
Samina Ahmed and Shehla Anjum share the story of Abdul Joshi, a mountaineer who grew up in the remote Shimshal Valley of northern Pakistan and now aspires to become his country’s first IFMGA-certified guide.
Off Belay
Tami Knight extolls the virtues of print media in the way only she can—with talking cartoon rats.

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