Alpinist Magazine Issue 80 - Winter 2022-23

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Cover: Craig Pope leads on Winter Dance (WI6+ R M8), belayed by Matt Tuttle, in Hyalite Canyon, Montana. [Photo] Austin Schmitz


Odyssey on Mt. Neacola
In 1995, Kennan Harvey and Topher Donahue charged up the Medusa Face on Mt. Neacola (ca. 9,350') between Alaskan storms. "For 24 hours we sorted through some of the most difficult and diverse climbing either of us had ever done or ever will do," Donahue wrote in a 2014 blog post. "Tricky aid, hard free climbing, steep ice and bizarre route-finding kept us focused like racecar drivers for hours on end." They were caught in another storm and had to descend within view of the summit ridge. In 2019, Nick Aiello-Popeo, Ryan Driscoll and Justin Guarino paid Medusa a visit. They also suffered weeks of storms and a wet, cold night on the face before turning around. The hook was set, however, and they returned again in 2021, only to be buried by an avalanche in base camp on the first night. One week later they were back, determined as ever. Guarino tells the story.
Outer Realms
Mountain landscapes have long inspired the imaginations of climbers and storytellers alike. Whether on distant, high summits or neighborhood crags, climbing can seem like a portal to another world. For this feature collection, we invited writers Kim Fu, Endria Isa Richardson, Heather Dawe, Jerry Auld and Editor-in-Chief Derek Franz to contribute stories of speculative climbing fiction pertaining to mountain worlds, both within and beyond our own. With illustrations by Jeremy Collins.
In Search of Sublime Madness
Dominic Ngo spent five seasons flying with an aerial survey company in British Columbia, where he gained a new perspective on the way he saw the world around him.



Sharp End
Derek Franz shares his journey from Alpinist reader to editor-in-chief.
Our readers write.
On Belay
As Dakota Walz climbs the first new route in over two decades on the Painted Wall in the Black Canyon of the Gunnison, he reflects on the unraveling threads of a relationship back home.
Len Necefer traces the story of Gwazhał, the Gwich'in name for Alaska's Brooks Range.
Tool User
Bob Gaines describes the evolution of progress capture devices and their impact on big-wall free climbing.
The Climbing Life
Katie O'Reilly contemplates the meaning of "lastchance tourism" on a scorching hot climb of Mt. Rainier. Sarah-Jane Dobner reaches for the buzzer. Theresa Silveyra and Mariko Ching share stories from the first mountaineering leadership course led by women and nonbinary people of color, for women of color. David Gladish asks, "What if we almost died?"
Full Value
As he struggles to cope with the death of a friend, Jason Nark becomes absorbed in the story of the search for Matthew Greene, a climber who disappeared in the Sierra Nevada in 2013.
After coming across a 1952 photo of a woman who forged pitons, Lauren DeLaunay Miller embarked on a journey to learn more about Bea Vogel, an early Yosemite climber and ardent activist, for whom the right to choose was paramount—on the rock and in the rest of life.
Local Hero
Claude Gardien pays tribute to Simone Badier, an extraordinary French physicist whose climbs of challenging alpine routes in the 1960s and '70s have sometimes been overlooked.
Off Belay
Krystle Wright finds inspiration in boredom.

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