Alpinist Magazine Issue 66 - Summer 2019

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Featuring Yosemite climber Lonnie Kauk (the son of legendary climber Ron Kauk and Ahwahneechee descendant and basketmaker Lucy Parker). In an oral history, friends and family join Lonnie in narrating his journey from growing up beneath the granite cliffs of Tu-Tok-A-Nu-La (El Capitan) to seeking to honor his ancestors through his first redpoint ascent of his father’s Magic Line, considered one of the most difficult single-pitch trad climbs in the Valley.

*The digital issue is a downloadable pdf


Magic Line
The son of legendary climber Ron Kauk and Ahwahneechee descendant Lucy Parker, Lonnie Kauk has long felt a deep connection to the rocks of his home in Yosemite Valley. In this oral history, Lonnie, friends and family recount his journey from growing up beneath the granite cliffs of Tu-Tok-A-Nu-La (El Capitan) to making the first redpoint ascent of his father's Magic Line, once considered the most difficult single-pitch climb in the Valley.
Jeremy Collins reflects on a few of the luminaries of Zion––from the Indigenous Paiute people to legendary climber Jeff Lowe and famed painters and artists––in the only way he knows how: climbing the sandstone towers and picking up a pencil to draw. In Collins's attempt to free climb Moonlight Buttress, he finds just what he was looking for in its shadow.
Thirteen Feet Under
Last April, while scouting ice climbs deep within Canada's Banff National Park, Michelle Kadatz was engulfed by an avalanche that swept her 650 feet down slope and buried her at a depth far beyond the reach of her partners' avalanche probes. Her improbable rescue, however, wasn't as unusual as what she experienced while entombed thirteen feet under. A year layer, Jayme Moye recounts Kadatz's accident.
Through the Lens
In 2015 Amy Liu was at base camp preparing for an ascent of Chomolungma (Mt. Everest) when an earthquake hit Nepal. Struck in her tent by avalanche debris, Liu was later air-lifted from base camp to a hospital. During her long recovery, she traveled to the Canadian Rockies, where she discovered that seeing mountains through a new lens could help restore her connection to the landscape.


Sharp End
Climbing in the "Age of Wonder."
One reader reflects on "The Secret of Silence"; another remembers her son.
On Belay
At 4000 meters, the Spiti Valley is home to one of the highest concentrations of unclimbed waterfall ice in India. In January 2019, a group of climbers and reporter Maya Prabhu convened for the first-ever Piti-Dharr Ice Climbing Festival to explore some of the remote, jeweled falls. Meanwhile, Diné climber Len Necefer ventures to Waw Giwulk, a sacred peak to the Tohono O'odham people in southern Arizona.
Tool User
For thousands of years, humans have left traces of their presence on mountain summits. Herein, Allison Williams documents the rise of a peculiarly American method of chronicling ascents: the summit register.
Climbing Life
Austyn Gaffney seeks out vistas. Cassidy Randall chronicles the life and times of mountaineer Mary Vaux, one of the few women studying glacial recession at the end of the nineteenth century. Chip Brown considers what the mountain kept. Tami Knight forgets her password, while Derek Franz searches for words among the rocks. And Don Nguyen becomes a mountain guide.
Full Value
William Dwyer III recounts a tale from deep within a crevasse at the bottom of the earth—and of his reorientation to life above ground.
In 1827, at the dawn of glacier science, physics professor James D. Forbes first set foot on the Mer de Glace, the largest glacier in Chamonix. Herein, John Hessler recounts the professor's earliest field experiments on the laws of glacial motion and the new relevance of complex fluid dynamics equations in an era of global climate change.
Local Hero
Michael A. Estrada profiles Emily Taylor, the first known Black woman to climb the Nose and the founder of Brown Girls Climbing, whose work to make US climbing more diverse feels more momentous to Taylor than the moment she stood atop El Capitan. 
Off Belay
Anna Callaghan goes far and away on the Ptarmigan Traverse.

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