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..."
Remembering Alpinist's most acclaimed artist—Paul Dedi—the rare personality whose enthusiastic, witty, scrappy outlook instituted him as an offbeat bastion of the climbing and illustrating communities.
"So far we had little luck finding any climbing in Chile. But in a pension in Pucon there was a small photo on the wall showing a distant view of some interesting-looking cliffs, on a mountaintop above some woods. Our interest was roused immediately when, by chance, a local raft guide commented that no one had climbed on these walls, some of which rose 2,500 feet above the canopy."
"We live in Lawrence, Kansas, my friend, a small college town lost in a sea of plains. If by local crag you mean a two-hour drive to some crumbling, dripping limestone in Missouri, then sure, that's our local crag."