When you climb in cold places, you quickly learn the value of a lightweight puffy jacket. The promise of a sunny morning can dissolve quickly in the alpine: the wall passes into shadow, belays get long and cold, and the wind picks up. An insulated jacket can make the difference between starting the next pitch excited or shivering.
Photographer Dean “Bullwinkle” Fidelman, a 1970s Stonemaster, has called Yosemite his home for decades, first arriving there in 1971. He has produced several books celebrating the park’s climbing culture.
IT’S DIFFICULT TO SEPARATE WHAT part of the Eiger’s ambience is due to its actual limestone, snow and ice, and what part is due to all the stories that played out on that grand vertical stage. I don’t think it matters at this point.Most aspirants will start with those tales finely etched in their brains. At times, along the way, they’ll climb with the souls of those who perished. That’s what happened to me.
We packed up camp high on the Roosevelt Glacier and began climbing towards Mt. Baker’s North Ridge (WI2-3, 3,000′, Beckey-Widrig, 1948), in Washington’s North Cascades, at 6 a.m. Challenging weather conditions required creative route finding. At noon, six hours later, we climbed into a storm below the summit.