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Derek Franz

The Full Circle Everest expedition. Expedition leader Phil Henderson is third from left in the back row. [Photo] James Edward Mills

Full Circle Everest team summits: first Black expedition to the top of the world

Full Circle Everest–the first all-Black expedition team (with Sherpa support) to attempt Chomolungma (Everest, 8849m)–attained success when several members stood on the highest point of the world before sunrise on May 12. With this news, we revisit an article from Alpinist 75 (Autumn 2021) by James Edward Mills, titled “Climbers of Color Come Full Circle: The Future of Expanded Representation.”

[Photo] Courtesy of Takeshi Tani and Toshiyuki Yamada

Japanese team completes first ascent of Kangchung Nup’s NW face in Nepal

After several attempts by other talented climbers in recent years, two alpinists from Japan completed the first ascent of the Northwest Face of Kangchung Nup (6089m) in Nepal. Takeshi Tani and Toshiyuki Yamada estimated the difficulty of their 900-meter route–which they climbed, round-trip from Gokyo village from April 21 to 24–to be ED1: M5 WI4/AI4. “It was really dry conditions this spring, which is safer than usual because there was less avalanche hazard,” Tani said. “We found a beautiful ice strip middle of the NW face and climbed pretty much straight up to permanent ice. Great conditions like snice make everything different.”

Clint Helander and Andres Marin on top of Golgotha (8,940') in Alaska's Revelation Range after completing the first ascent of Shaft of the Abyss (VI AI5 R M5 90° Snow A0, ca. 4,000'). [Photo] Courtesy of Clint Helander

Clint Helander, Andres Marin complete their “dream route” on Golgotha in Alaska’s Revelation Range

On March 25, Clint Helander and Andres Marin stood on top of Golgotha (8,940′) in Alaska’s Revelation Range after completing the first ascent of Shaft of the Abyss (VI AI5 R M5 90° Snow A0, ca. 4,000′). They had previously attempted the route three times together in 2016, 2017 and 2018, reaching a high point about halfway up in 2017 with Leon Davis before a crampon broke.

Grit and Rock Award

2022 Grit and Rock Award recipients announced

The recipients of the 2022 Grit and Rock Award for female first ascents have been announced. This year’s winners include Priti and Jeff Wright (USA); Lise Billion, Maud Vanpoulle (France) and Raphaela Haug (Germany); Nadine Lehner, Isidora Llarena and Rebeca Caceres Lente (Chile); plus a general grant to the French National Female Alpine Team (ENAF). The grant is intended to bolster female participation and leadership in exploration and alpine-style ascents. Teams of any nationality that are led by, or composed mostly of, women are eligible.

Olympic silver medalist Nathaniel Coleman climbs Wrist Rocket (V9), his favorite route in Little Cottonwood Canyon, which would be impacted by the proposed tram or expanded bus lanes that are being considered by the Utah Department of Transportation as preferred alternatives for future transit in the narrow canyon. [Photo] Tim Behuniak

Climbers rally against proposed tramway and expanded bus lanes in Utah’s Little Cottonwood Canyon

A big decision that was anticipated to be made this April has been pushed back to summer after the continued outpouring of comments regarding the future of Little Cottonwood Canyon just outside of Salt Lake City, Utah. The decision facing the Utah Department of Transportation is whether to proceed with one of two plans: build a massive tramway along the length of the canyon to serve the ski areas, or widen the road for expanded bus service. The Salt Lake Climbers Alliance and other groups say those plans are too focused on the ski resorts during the winter and that there are other options that would better preserve the climbing and access to other parts of the canyon while protecting the natural environment and beauty of the area.

Carlo Traversi places protection on Magic Line (5.14c), Yosemite Valley. [Photo] Christian Adam / Black Diamond

Carlo Traversi is first to have sent both Magic Line and Meltdown (5.14c) in Yosemite

Carlo Traversi has once again proven himself as one of the best all-around rock climbers in the world, with his recent redpoint of Yosemite’s Magic Line (5.14c) on February 27. Traversi is the fourth person to send the route, and the third to do it placing all the thin gear on lead. This ascent also makes him the only person to have sent both Magic Line and Meltdown, another thin crack in Yosemite (first climbed by Beth Rodden in 2008) that has earned the grade of 5.14c.

American Alpine Club Awards logo

American Alpine Club’s Annual Award and Benefit Gala resumes in-person event in Denver after two-year hiatus

The American Alpine Club’s Annual Award and Benefit Gala is returning to an in-person event in Denver, Colorado, on Saturday, March 26, but people will still have the option to tune in online this year. Jordan Cannon and Mark Hudon are this year’s keynote speakers, and the awardees are Pat Ament, Sean Bailey, Natalia Grossman, John Heilprin, John Kascenska, David Nyman, Rick Reese and Joe Terravecchia. Arlene Blum and Steve Roper are receiving honorary AAC memberships.

The image shared with the open letter against the Russian invasion that was posted on Mountain.RU. The photos are portraits of Ukrainian climbers.

Russian and Ukrainian climbers speak out against the invasion of Ukraine

Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on February 24, some Russian climbers have publicly spoken out against their country’s aggression. In a country known for reprisals against people who openly oppose President Vladimir Putin’s regime, this act involves personal risk. Meanwhile Ukrainian climbers confront the attacks on their country. The Russian climbing website Mountain.RU posted an open letter, which hundreds of people had signed by March 2 and other professional climbers have shared statements of their own.

Outline of Ukraine, based on a UN map of Ukraine and the Flag of Ukraine. [Image] Courtesy of the United Nations Cartographic Section; Alex Khristov, Wikimedia

International climbing organizations cancel events in Russia in response to the country’s invasion of Ukraine

In response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on February 24, the International Olympic Committee called for the cancellation of all sporting events that were scheduled in Russia and Belarus. In turn, the International Federation of Sport Climbing (IFSC) and the International Climbing and Mountaineering Federation (UIAA) have cancelled the World Cup sport and ice climbing competitions slated to take place in March and April.