Alpinist Magazine Issue 59 - Autumn 2017

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Mountain Profile: La Meije, Part I
"La Meije...exerts over all who see it from a distance or who approach it a veritable 'magnetism,'" Roger Canac wrote in 2007. Considered the "Matterhorn" of the Massif des Écrins, la Meije was the last of the great Alps to be summited—by an all-French team in 1877. Erin Smart explores the early history of this long "impossible mountain" in southeast France, while Claude Gardien and Paula Wright profile a few of the many who dreamed of making its first ascent.
Ueli Steck (1976–2017)
The great alpinist Ueli Steck left behind a legacy of talent and mystery. With photos from his friend Jonathan Griffith, editor-in-chief Katie Ives recalls moments from the life of a man who was much warmer and more human than his oft-repeated nickname, the "Swiss Machine."
A Mountain of Shadows
This spring, Clint Helander and Jess Roskelley made the first ascent of one of Alaska's most daunting routes: the complete south ridge of Mt. Huntington. As he recounts what proved to be an epic experience, Helander examines some of the brooding history and gothic tales that have gathered around this great peak, the subject of David Roberts' famous book, The Mountain of My Fear.
Anna Smith was a bold climber who sought a life of spontaneity and freedom in wild places. After Smith's death in the Miyar Valley of India, her expedition partner Alison Criscitiello recalls the story of their friendship and contemplates the tensions between our impulse to desire both love and risk, community and solitary adventure.


The Sharp End
During the mid-twentieth century, an ardent conservationist planted a series of hoaxes in a climbing magazine to send a message about the value of wild lands. Herein, we reveal one of the great imaginary mountains of Harvey Manning.
Alex Honnold's free solo of El Capitan occasions a letter, and a Tami Knight response. Dora Keen's grandniece recalls the fallout of Keen's nights in the snow cave on Mt. Blackburn. And Brad Johnson remembers Ueli Steck.
On Belay
Eager to explore new routes in his own country, Karn Kowshik searches for unclimbed ice in the remote Spiti Valley of Himachal Pradesh, India. Meanwhile, Gaby Pilson recalls Pete's Farewell.
Tool Users
Charlie Lieu recounts the origin of the Sticht Plate, the first modern belay device.
Climbing Life
Marc-André Leclerc considers the death of a moth in the snow. Ana Beatriz Cholo becomes an accidental mountaineer. Paul Hersey passes a hammer, and the narrative, to his partner. Chip Brown unboxes his shadow. Chris Kalman is first on the scene. And Jon Popowich muses on the meaning of the Ruth.
Full Value
In 1969 a young David Roberts buzzes the doorbell at the apartment of W. H. Auden, his literary hero, in hopes of inspiring the aging poet to journey with him to Alaska's Brooks Range.
Local Hero
As a collector and digital chronicler of mountain history, Bob A. Schelfhout Aubertijn generally prefers to remain between the lines or behind the shelves. The intrepid Andrew Szalay seeks out the man behind the mysterious online avatar.
Off Belay
Derek Franz interrupts his silent partner.

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