Alpinist Magazine Issue 48 - Autumn-Winter 2014

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Mountain Profile
In his Sierra guidebook The Good, the Great, and the Awesome, Peter Croft calls the Palisades "the most mountainous mountains in the Sierra Nevada." Half-hidden behind foothills, these spiny 13,000- to 14,000- foot peaks have allured decades of alpinists, eccentrics and wanderers. Doug Robinson follows a "trail of mentors" that leads from the early mountaineers of the Sierra Club, to generations of prolific soloists such as the eccentric Norman Clyde, to the PSOM guides and the merry band of Armadillos—and to the legendary "poetry-reciting Zen truck driver" Smoke Blanchard, who declared that mountaineering should be both "picnic and pilgrimage." Daniel Arnold, Joan Jensen, Peter Croft and Cameron Burns share tales of their own quests amid the quiet, wild stone.
Aberrations of Light
Tired of commonplace adages about the "golden hour," Andrew Burr decides to take a break from images of alpenglow. Instead, he challenges himself to create art out of the time of day most climbing photographers avoid: high noon.
The Echo of the Wind
For decades, Tommy Caldwell has pursued hard routes on big walls and high peaks. But as a new father in his mid-thirties, he begins to question: What has he actually learned? In February 2014, his first ascent of the legendary Fitz Traverse becomes, in part, a quest to understand a generational shift.


The Sharp End
The Art of the Approach: In praise of cliffs where you can't belay from your car.
A graduate student unpacks more of the myths of mountain tourism. A librarian and a sailor share stories of meeting and missing the late, elusive Charlie Porter. And a reader adds a footnote to a Mountain Profile.
On Belay
After the death of her brother Michael in June 2012, Suzanne Ybarra noticed a reference to a mysterious "El Hermano" amid his files, along with photos of a massive unclimbed wall. In 2014 one of Michael's friends, Libby Sauter, organizes an expedition to make the first ascent and complete his dream.
Tool User
Described by the famous mountaineering writer David Roberts as a man "for whom no expedition was long enough," Don Jensen spent years creating the perfect homemade gear for his epic excursions. Brad Rassler tells the story of the rare "Jensen Pack," a relic of its creator's intense climbing and quiet ingenuity.
Tico Allulee reads between the lines of gobie scars. Mark Conrad Rodell dreams of Yosemite during the Thailand coup. Derek Franz finds both doors and mirrors in the cliffs.
The Climbing Life
Nick Bullock writes the soundtrack of the mountains. Gwen Cameron celebrates Jeff Lowe's Zion years. John Hessler goes mountaineering with monks. And Luke Mehall narrates the origin of Creeksgiving.
Local Hero
Hayden Kennedy fishes for the hard-to-catch Troutman.
Full Value
As a young man, Will Mayo became obsessed with the philosophy of Søren Kierkegaard. Little did he know that the writings of this nineteenth-century Danish existentialist would become his guide as he struggles to understand the dilemmas of the modern climbing world and the darkness in his imagination.
Off Belay
Matt Samet outfits climbers for the age of the panopticon.

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