Cover: Babsi Zangerl on her 2019 free ascent of the Pre-Muir Wall (VI 5.13c/d), El Capitan (Tu-Tok-A-Nu-La). One of today’s top big-wall free climbers, Zangerl made the second free ascent of Magic Mushroom (VI 5.14a), with Jacopo Larcher, as well as a free ascent of the Nose (5.14a), among other hard routes. [Photo] Jacopo Larcher
- The Cresset and the Light
- In 2015, the late Kyle Dempster penned a letter to older generations: “The alpine style that you so passionately embodied is no longer a light contained within the bounds of any narrow chamber. The cresset has been smashed to pieces, and the flames are ablaze on the sharp skylines of the earth.” For our seventy-fifth issue, more than thirty climbers, researchers and activists consider the future of alpinism in a precarious world—from the evolutions of style and quests for the remaining unclimbed peaks, to the developments (and dilemmas) of technology, the struggles of expedi- tion staff for better working conditions, the effects of climate change and the pandemic, and the shifts in philosophies toward expanded represen- tation and responsibility both on summits and in stories.
- Opening the Door Wider
- For a long time, the climbing photos that appeared in outdoor publica- tions were mainly taken by men. Photographer Nikki Smith presents images and perspectives from some of the many women and non-binary people who are transforming the world of climbing photography today.
- The Moonwalk
- When Seán Villanueva O’Driscoll arrived in Patagonia in early January 2020, he didn’t know that he’d end up staying there for more than a year. By immersing himself in his nearby surroundings, he encountered a deeper sense of place—one that culminated in a remarkable traverse across the skyline of the Fitz Roy peaks.
- Sharp End
- How getting lost can lead to finding new ways.
- On Belay
- Three-time recipient of the Pilot d’Or, Kazuya Hiraide recounts his decades-long encounters with a Karakoram mountain that became, for him, a symbol of his growth as a climber and a human being. Meanwhile, Mei Ratz recalls a “beautiful day" with her dad, Jim.
- Tool User
- As Eric Rueth examines the history of glacier glasses, he finds forms of protective eyewear that date back thousands of years.
- The Climbing Life
- Douglas Brockmeyer recalls a magazine photo that changed the course of his life. Katherine Indermaur writes poems for a fourth-century female climber. And Erin Connery looks at a wall in thirteen different ways.
- Full Value
- As Natalia Martinez prepared meticulously for a solo traverse of Mt. Logan in the St. Elias Range, she strove to take every possibility into account—only to find herself in the midst of an unexpected natural disaster.
- Local Hero
- Oh Young-hoon, editor of Alpinist Korea, memorializes Kim Chang-ho and his philosophy of “being-mountaineering.”
- Off Belay
- Our contributing writer Mailee Hung presents the innovators of the useless.