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1981: Katahdin in Winter

As we moved higher, the fog thickened. Nancy Rich, Helen and I began putting in wands on the off chance we’d be descending this route. As the trail gained the summit plateau, called the Tableland, flat and featureless, the grade eased off and the route was marked by cairns.

1973: The Cilley-Barber Route

Whiteout spindrift avalanches, the cold temperature and bulletproof ice all made the climbing slow and progress doubtful as I skirted around the right side of some horizontal ice roofs. I prayed Dave wouldn’t fall following this pitch: my gear was in questionable, shattered ice, and I was belaying above the crux from my seventy-centimeter wooden-shafted ice axe, which I had pounded into the turf forty feet back from the top of the pitch.

Sharp End: Shiny Things

In this Sharp End story from Alpinist 84—which is now available on newsstands and in our online store—Derek Franz weighs the pros and cons of the Piolets d’Or. “The propriety of Piolets’ “Golden Ice Axe” awards in the realm of alpinism has been debated ever since the first ceremony in 1992,” he writes. “If the Piolets d’Or fail to live up to their aspirational status as a touchstone for alpinism’s greatest ideals, they at least provide us with a weather vane for the culture.”