Cover: Ed Webster climbs out of a crevasse he named “Jaws of Doom” during a first ascent on Chomolungma’s Kangshung Face in 1988. With Webster on the climb were Robert Anderson, Paul Teare and Stephen Venables—who became the only climber to make the summit.“During the three foodless days of our descent,” wrote Webster in Alpinist 27, “starving, severely frostbitten, barely able to stand up, we should have died. Instead, we survived, with friendship.” [Photo] Robert Anderson/Ed Webster collection
- Mountain Profile: Kusum Kanguru
- In 1978 the Nepal Mountaineering Association opened up eighteen so-called “trekking peaks” for climbing. Among them was Kusum Kanguru, a triple-summited peak rising to 6370 meters in the Khumbu region. But the climbing on Kusum Kanguru “can in no way, even by its most moderate route, be compared with the more straightforward climbs” on most other designated trekking peaks, Bill O’Connor wrote in The Trekking Peaks of Nepal. “Whereas many Nepal peaks are ideal for well-led groups with limited experience, this mountain is not.” Herein, alpinist Barry Blanchard traces the history of those climbers—from heavily laden expeditions to small, lightweight parties—who’ve sought out Kusum Kanguru’s quieter slopes. Meanwhile, Lhakpa Norbu Sherpa, Jennifer Lowe-Anker and Hiroyoshi Manome share their own stories about the mountain.
- Painting Resilience
- Mary Catherine Eden, aka @tradprincess, is better known for her ascents of difficult cracks in the desert, but painting was a passion long before she ever put on a harness.
- Ed Webster: Photos and Footprints
- During the 1970s and ’80s, Ed Webster had a hand in the first ascents of some of the most famous routes in America, from New England to the Southwest. The highpoint of his climbing career was a first ascent on the Kangshung Face of Chomolungma with Stephen Venables, Paul Teare and Robert Anderson in 1988. Webster was also a devotee of climbing history. He died unexpectedly of natural causes in November 2022 at age sixty-six.
- Sharp End
- Derek Franz considers the hardest objectives for today’s alpinists.
- Our readers write.
- Escape Route
- Abbey Collins and Nathan Conroy share reading recommendations. A glimpse at the mystery of a really old biscuit. Plus six questions for French climber Lise Billon and a photo gallery.
- On Belay
- In July 2022 Jacopo Larcher and Barbara “Babsi” Zangerl free climbed every pitch of Eternal Flame on Pakistan’s Nameless Tower (6251m) on their first try without falling. Larcher recounts some of the humbling experiences that galvanized their partnership and taught them the skills that enabled their historic accomplishment.
- The Climbing Life
- Mayan Smith-Gobat questions the role of climbing in her life. Nutan Shinde-Pawar documents a meaningful success for Indian big-wall climbers. Cole Taylor embraces the nonstop rhythm of a whirlwind day.
- Full Value
- In 1972 Douglas McCarty was just out of high school when a query about an apartment led him to Dave DeLap, one of the three university students who in 1923 made the second confirmed ascent of the Grand Teton. A hundred years on, McCarty recounts the tale of his former landlord’s historic climb.
- Local Hero
- Holly Yu Tung Chen honors Peggy Oki, a skateboarder-turned-surfer-turned-climber who folds art and activism together to raise awareness about the threats facing Earth’s oceans.
- Off Belay
- Mailee Hung takes readers into the mountain landscapes imagined by painter Crystal Liu—where a golden moon hanging peacefully over sharp peaks evokes feelings of desire and surrender.