Alpinist Magazine Issue 50 - Summer 2015

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Alpinist 50: The Covers

"Maybe we put too much pressure on ourselves to make it perfect," artist Jeremy Collins says regarding his two covers of Alpinist 50. It's a theme we share at the Alpinist office, and what often keeps us working late at night and on the weekends. Barry Blanchard and Kitty Calhoun were the first two people that Editor- in-Chief Katie Ives, Art Director Mike Lorenz and Collins all brought up as possible characters for the cover, and after a lengthy conversation about different climbers and eras, they returned to both their original choices. "Barry's smile and Kitty's smirk were perfect for the attitude I wanted to show. It's that moment on a climb where you realize there is no place you'd rather be," Collins explains. As for the mountains in their sunglasses, he says that image represents "the dream ridge, the never-ending summits"—based off the Arrigetch Peaks in northern Alaska, a range he dreams of visiting. The reflections of the peaks symbolize how far we've come, but also how much still lies ahead.
—Chris Van Leuven, Digital Editor

Both versions of Alpinist 50—the one with Barry Blanchard and the one with Kitty Calhoun on the cover—are available, please choose which cover you would like.


The Alpinist Saga
Fifty issues deep, and we're still pushing for the infinite summit. The irrepressible Tami Knight directs a romp back through the years, with essays by Christian Beckwith, Leo Houlding, Andrew Burr, Emilie Lee, Majka Burhardt, Andreas Schmidt, Jack Tackle, Barry Blanchard and Kyle Dempster—and imagery from more than a decade in print.
Mountain Profile: The Aiguille du Dru Part I (1878–1955)
Perhaps more than any peak in the Mont Blanc massif, the twin-summited Aiguille du Dru symbolizes the evolution of technical alpinism. Herein, Ian Parnell recalls the avant-garde climbs of the earliest pioneers, with the help of Claude Gardien, Sylvain Jouty and Jeff Mercier.
In the spring of 2014, a couple of forty-something, Dr. Seuss-reading family men from Colorado, Ryan Jennings and Kevin Cooper, confront falling ice, homesickness and continual runouts on the direct north face of Mt. Johnson in Alaska's Ruth Gorge—the same arena that nearly killed them eleven years before.
In an excerpt from his book Drawn: The Art of Ascent, the artist Jeremy Collins ventures to Canada's Northwest Territories with Jeff Achey, James "Q" Martin and Pat Goodman. Amid the cold stone of the Far North, Collins searches for healing after the death of his friend, Jonny Copp.


Sharp End
The realm and the key.
On Belay
David Pickford travels back in memory from the desert rock of Jabal Misht to the sandstone cliffs of the Cederberg mountains, to explore what makes climbing unique—far from today's madding, social-media-addicted crowd.
Tool Users
If you're lucky, you own a copy of the 1964 A Climber's Guide to Yosemite Valley—Steve Roper's seminal "Red Guide." Shey Kiester unearths Valley lore to reveal the genesis of Roper's creation, and how it changed climbing in Yosemite and throughout America.
The Climbing Life
Helen Mort is put in place by birds. Brad Rassler seeks the difference between majesty and glory. Matt Samet cleans out his crag pack… mindfully. Chris Kalman extolls muddy trails and roadless wilds. And James Edward Mills' hero finds his calling in a crevasse.
Popular books recount the early days of Canadian mountaineering as a story of epic discoveries. Historians Zac Robinson and Stephen Slemon examine what often gets left out: the extent to which the "explorers" relied on the prior geographic knowledge of Indigenous guides.
One reader provides further elucidation on the elusive Troutman. Another proposes putting the blanks back on the maps. And a third wonders: Is this issue really Alpinist 50?
In Memoriam
On April 25, a few days before we went to press, we heard the news of the Nepal earthquake. Our prayers go out to all those affected.

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