Cover: Sébastien Berthe on the Changing Corners pitch (5.14a) on the seventh free ascent of the Nose of El Capitan (Tu-Tok-A-Nu-La) in 2019. He was the first to free climb the route ground up without rappelling from the top to practice any of the cruxes beforehand. The climb took him eight days, during which he ran low on rations. Lynn Hill was the first to free climb the Nose in 1993. In 1994 she became the first to free climb it in a day. This year, to minimize his carbon footprint, Berthe sailed across the At- lantic to join Siebe Vanhee in a bid to free climb the Dawn Wall (VI 5.14d). [Photo] Alex Eggermont
- Worth the Weight?
- Over the course of the spring season of 2021, in addition to their guid- ing jobs, Michael Gardner and Sam Hennessey established a new route on the daunting Isis Face of Denali (carrying skis for the descent), climbed the Bibler-Klewin on Begguya (Mt. Hunter) and summited Denali again by the Cassin Ridge, with Adam Fabrikant, before making the first ski descent of the Northwest Buttress and trekking out of the Alaska Range to Deenaalee Bene' (Wonder Lake). Weighing on Gardner's mind, however, were the potential costs of such experiences. Since his father's death in a climbing accident in 2008, he has known intimately how "every loss creates an irreplaceable void" and how "the fabric of a community is altered forever."
- After Dusk
- As he read Tom Hornbein's Everest: The West Ridge, Indian photojournal- ist Sujoy Das was struck by intense descriptions of darkness and stars near the summit of Chomolungma (Everest). He set out on his own expeditions to document the haunting beauty of Himalayan nights.
- In March 2020, when her hometown of Vancouver, British Columbia, went into lockdown because of the pandemic, climbing artist Tami Knight was taking care of her ninety-six-year-old mother. Faced with the uncertainties of her mother's remaining days, Knight found inspiration in memories of past alpine adventures.
- Sharp End
- An Alpinist editor ponders her obsession with early season ice.
- On Belay
- For more than two decades, Choi Suk-mun has climbed around the world, including first ascents on giant Himalayan peaks; yet he remains haunted by a five-pitch rock route back home in South Korea.
- Paula LaRochelle recounts tales of a Lost City.
- Tool User
- John Middendorf finds the original hooking pitons in an unexpected place.
- The Climbing Life
- Erin Connery learns to write from the mountains, Jerry Auld dreams of falling in an unexpected way, Talley V. Kayser pens an ode to a stunted tree that shelters her, Rosie Bates untangles her life, and Claire Waichler paints glaciers.
- Full Value
- As she begins another rescue on a cold, windy night, ranger Robbi Mecus considers the weight of the past missions of her life.
- Micheli Oliver contemplates some of many metaphors of ascent for herself and other Indigenous women.
- Local Hero
- Shawnté Salabert shares the climbing philosophy of Erynne Gilpin, founder of Indigenous Womxn Climb.
- Off Belay
- In a cave in Brazil, Leslie Hsu Oh catches a glimpse of all that lies beyond the frames of photos and the edges of maps.