Alpinist Magazine Issue 52 - Winter 2015

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Freedom in the Hills
For decades, female alpinists have made extraordinary ascents from remote big walls to storm-swept peaks, yet their numbers have remained relatively low. Charlotte Austin explores some of the barriers of the past and the potential for the future. Sílvia Vidal, Jarmila Tyrril, Pat Deavoll, Ines Papert, Jewell Lund, Lee Myoung-hee, Kei Taniguchi and Natalia Martínez share ascents and ideas that have inspired them in recent years.
Available Light
With the constant shifts of clouds and sun, darkness and light, the mountains as we perceive them are in perpetual fux. Photographer Emily Polar travels from the Cordillera Blanca to the Himalaya, exploring alpine landscapes on the edge of change.
A Mysterious, Lonely Path
The reclusive Slovenian alpinist Franček Knez has no car, computer or phone. Over the decades, he has completed some 5,000 international climbs, including the frst ascent of Hell's Direttissima on Cerro Torre. Bernadette McDonald seeks to learn more about the sources of his unique vision.
Before Nightfall
In 1978 Johnny Waterman's 145-day frst ascent of the Southeast Spur on Mt. Hunter (Begguya in Dena'ina) became one of the most astonishing solos in history. Tirty-seven years later, fellow New Englander Michael Wejchert examines the accumulation of stories that made Waterman's life and mysterious death an enduring part of mountain lore.


The Sharp End
Off the map.
Sculptor Philip Birchef shares memories of the "Buhlites" climbing club—and how Hermann Buhl's legacy has infuenced his own climbing and art.
On Belay
In July 2015, the artist and climber Kate Rutherford travels with Jasmin Caton to the Purcell Wilderness of British Columbia, seeking to climb—and paint—an unclimbed black pillar on the east face of Wall Tower. Meanwhile, back in the Cold War days, a frst-ascent team of thirteen searches for vertical and political freedom on a Dresden sandstone tower.
Tool User
Anders Ax follows a steep Yosemite crack to where it pinches down to a seam—the critical juncture that spurred Yvon Chouinard and Tom Frost to invent the world's thinnest piton, the improbable and unforgettable RURP.
The Climbing Life
Tara Kramer says good-bye to her home crag. Andy Selters recalls dreams of fight. Alexis Perry collects his remembrances of climbs past. And Brendan Leonard meditates on life and death in the fatlands and the hills.
For decades, Craig Fry, David Evans, Randy Vogel and Spencer Lennard have debated what really took place during the frst ascent of one of the most classic routes in Joshua Tree, California. Herein, Brad Rassler examines the shadowy dance between landscape, imagination, history and memory.
Local Hero
If you've spent time at Joshua Tree, you likely met (or stayed with) the "Mayor of Joshua Tree," Todd Gordon. Cameron Burns profles this generous teacher, family man and avid frst ascensionist.
Off Belay
Matt Samet ofers six "helpful" tips for training your infant to be the next superclimber of the future. With cartoons by Tami Knight.

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