Alpinist Magazine Issue 74 - Summer 2021

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Cover: Zoran Bešlin at ca. 8200 meters on the Southwest Ridge of Makalu (8485m), Nepal/ Tibet, during the 1975 Yugoslavian expedition to the South Face. Seven climbers from the twenty-one-person team, including Nejc Zaplotnik, climbed to the summit. All returned, though some lost toes to frostbite. [Photo] Janez Dovžan



Mountain Profile: Slesse
Three kilometers north of the border between Washington and British Columbia, Slesse (Selísi) rises to a dark, fang-like point at 2429 meters. Visible from parts of Vancouver on clear days, the peak has featured in stories for thousands of years, from tales of Stó:lō residents to the discovery of the crash site of Flight 810 to reports of some of the hardest alpine routes in the Cascades. Tami Knight provides an overview of the history, while Greg Child and Brette Harrington recount a few of their experiences on this storied peak.
Earning Making My Place
For a long time, photographer Tara Kerzhner struggled to find a sense of belonging in the climbing world. Then she met the accomplished rock climber Emily Harrington, and their friendship gave Kerzhner the confidence to make her own place there.
Nejc Zaplotnik, Mountain Poet
As one of the first ascensionists of the West Ridge Direct of Chomolungma (Everest), Slovenian alpinist Nejc Zaplotnik (1952–1983) was among the great climbers of the twentieth century. To many, however, he is best known for his lyrical memoir, The Way (Pot in Slovenian), which gave voice to the dreams of his generation and beyond. Mountaineering historian Bernadette McDonald recounts some of the key moments and mysteries of his vibrant life and shares translated passages of his book that still reverberate today.
Letters to a Young Climber
When Doug Robinson hiked into the Palisades in 1968, he didn't yet realize how much his new climbing partner would influence his life as an author and a guide. Herein, Robinson recalls the significance of mentor- ship and storytelling in his own life—and for the next generation.



Sharp End
Of summits and sunsets.
A reader realizes what the important questions are.
On Belay
As a young man, Gregory Crouch thought that making ascents of Superpin and Hairy Pin—two of the most dangerous routes in the Needles—might make him feel worthy of the area's bold climbing history. Decades later, he tries to unravel the meaning of the adventure that ensued.
Tool User
Peter H. Hansen investigates the backstory of one of the most iconic pieces of historical mountaineering gear: hobnailed boots.
The Climbing Life
Jerry Auld conjures the summit register of Tabula Rasa. Sarah Audsley finds a door in the mountain. Erin Connery discovers what really holds his attention. Nima Tenji Sherpa searches for his path through the hazards of high mountains.
Samantha Symonds finds solidarity amid small peaks.
Local Hero
Dani Reyes-Acosta celebrates the community- building work and mountain adventures of ice climber and backcountry skier Vasu Sojitra.
Off Belay
Mingma Gyalje Sherpa recounts the first winter ascent of K2.

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