Alpinist Magazine Issue 70 - Summer 2020

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Cover: Mike Stuart ascends Bankhead Buttress on Cascade Mountain (Minihapa, 9,386') in Banff National Park, Canada. The photographer Paul Zizka finds night photography captivating. "Nighttime makes it easier for me to convey the emotions I it awe, tranquility or insignificance," he wrote on his website. [Photo] Paul Zizka


The Magnificent Obsession
At 8125 meters, Nanga Parbat has seen more winter attempts to date than any other 8000-meter peak. Before climbers made the first winter ascent in 2016, Polish alpinist Krzysztof Wielicki had described the feat as "pure science fiction." Bernadette McDonald recounts stories from the history of winter climbing on the notorious peak. Meanwhile, Elisabeth Revol shares visions of her days on the "mountain of paradox."
In 2002 Craig DeMartino survived a hundred-foot ground fall. After doctors fused vertebrae in his back and neck, he decided to have his right leg amputated below the knee. He now mentors others who have suffered life-altering injuries, all while making the most of life with his wife and kids.
Encounter with the Alien
In August 2000, Jeff Smoot was climbing near Monte Cristo peak when a stranger with wild red hair passed by him alone. Later, as reports of a missing hiker emerged on the news, Smoot realized that he might've been the last person to see him alive. Amid strange reports of alien conspiracies and clandestine research, Smoot searches for the true story of Mike Wessels and what might've compelled him to climb alone that day.
The Monochromatic Mountain
As he flies above the peaks, photographer John Scurlock searches for a glimpse of the view that he'd always sought as a climber. Herein, Scurlock describes the journey toward the perspective that he's come to call "the Monochromatic Mountain."


Sharp End
Roaming in place.
Our readers write in about the importance of mentors; the life and death of Mont Blanc; and the perils of social media.
On Belay
Tucked away in northern New Hampshire, the Presidential Range spans about twenty miles in the White Mountains. After years of seeking faraway alpine objectives, New Englander Michael Wejchert searches out a new route, and a renewed sense of adventure, in the wildness next door. Meanwhile, Masami Onda reveals the origins of Japan's "Ben Nevis."
Tool User
As climbers continue to argue over the efficacy (or necessity) of tape, reusable crack gloves occupy an even more fraught space on the rack. Mailee Hung considers the history, and the perceived absurdity, of crack climbing gloves.
The Climbing Life
Spencer Gray suspects a mishap. Drew Thayer rides the waves. Claire Carter conjures a mountain. Kate Harris remembers the many lives of Wayne Merry. And after the loss of many friends and community members, Derek Franz asks: How do we "climb on"?
Full Value
A descendant of coal miners in the Ohio River Valley, Andy Munas reflects on the harms that the mining industry has wrought—and the freedoms that climbing appears to promise.
After viewing depictions of the Kashmir Valley in 1960s Bollywood films that constructed the valley as a romantic playground, Maya Prabhu wonders: What do we allow when we evacuate a landscape of its people?
Local Hero
In 2014 Nandini Purandare assumed the position of editor of the Himalayan Journal. Herein, Paula Wright recounts Purandare's path to the journal and her visionary aims for mountaineering literature.
Off Belay
Jeremy Collins draws.

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