I’m believer in positive thinking. But in August I found myself wondering about the disconnect between believing in the bright side and giving it lip service. On a trip to the Lotus Flower Tower in Canada’s Cirque of the Unclimbables, Ian Altman and his multiple sclerosis showed me how unyielding persistence can bridge this gap.
With the advent of GIS, satellite images and other advanced cartographic applications, it seems the world is growing smaller by the minute. But long-time Alpinist contributor Tamotsu Nakamura—though he began his explorations after the Golden Age of Mountaineering ended—begs to differ.
Damien Gildea shares his inspirations. "Repeats were given a line or two at most. Details were scarce, photos grainy—but how much help do you want? That approach, including only the essential and knowing what to leave out, reflected one of the basic tenets of alpinism. And all without the narrow-minded, style-as-dogma hectoring we get now from wannabe alpine prophets."
Smuggling climbing hardware onto planes, destroying rental cars, and climbing excellent limestone routes—the second part of an adventure series on Spain by photographer and writer Traveler Taj Terpening.
Royal Robbins shares his inspiration: High Conquest. "It's basically a history of mountaineering, but its most salient point is that the 'high conquest' of the title is not truly getting to the top of the highest peaks; it's the conquest of those weak and timid parts of ourselves we don't want running the show."
"Long periods of high pressure, steep granite, moderate glaciers, 'short' approaches from base camp and 500-meter virgin walls seemed the norm in Brujo del Torres. The more research we did, the more we convinced ourselves we had found El Dorado..."