“There is glacial power in language, in naming things. I am here because my mother gave me a vocabulary for motion,” poet Devi Lockwood writes about her experiences growing up as the daughter of a mountaineer–in this essay for Alpinist 55. Subscribe today or preorder at the Alpinist.com store.
As a guide, I’m often asked what I carry on my harness. In addition to standard climbing hardware, plus prussic cords, a Tibloc, and a Micro-Traxion for glacier travel, I carry a knife. Once my clients see the knife, they often reference Joe Simpson’s classic mountaineering epic, Touching the Void. Unlike the moment of decision in the book when Simon cuts the rope to free himself while letting Simpson fall into a crevasse, I carry a knife for other reasons: these include to cut tat, add cordage to existing anchors, and cut the free ends from a stuck rope.
Why Mark Westman should be famous (A postscript to Alpinist 19). May’s everlasting sun hovered in a low, lateral arc over the Alaska Range, bathing the massive peaks in fiery light. Waves of clouds washed up the Kahiltna Glacier and flooded the lower mountains in an ever-darkening fog.