Henry Duhamel was an influential figure in the early exploration of la Meije, one of the last, great unclimbed Alps in the Massif des Ecrins in France. This essay by former Vertical editor Claude Gardien–part of Erin Smart’s Mountain Profile in Alpinist 59–recounts Duhamel’s rich life as an inventor and explorer who never quite attained international fame and who died after slipping on ice in a military barracks during World War I, but who nevertheless helped usher in a new age of French mountaineering and skiing.
Chris Thomas and Rick Vance received a 2017 Mugs Stump Award to attempt the unclimbed north face of Jezebel in Alaska’s Revelation Mountains this past spring. The trip went according to plan–until it didn’t, and the two climbers found themselves suddenly involved in a rescue beneath dangerous seracs.
Mary Harlan, an AMGA-trained rock, ice, snow and ski guide, compares the new Hilleberg Nammatj 2 GT to the Hilleberg design she used on Denali in 2012. She and her husband stayed comfortable in the tent on a spring backcountry ski trip but would have liked to have had more interior pockets. Four stars.
As a single mom living in California, Ana Beatriz Cholo never imagined she would become a mountaineer. But she began climbing peaks in her state, and she eventually earned a spot on a Denali climbing team organized for female military veterans like her. Cholo shares how the experience helped her in this Climbing Life Story from Alpinist 59.
Two Alabamans, Ryan Little, 26, and Sam England, 30, received an American Alpine Club Live Your Dream Grant to attempt the unclimbed Chinese Wall in Baffin Island’s famous Sam Ford Fjord this past August–but the sea ice hadn’t broken up enough to allow boat access, as they’d planned. With no time to spare, they shifted their sights to a wall in the Clyde Inlet, an area that has been almost completely ignored by climbers, and they succeeded in establishing Marooned at Midnight (VI A3 5.11 R, 17 pitches, 700m) on a formation the Inuit call Umiguqjuaq.
Alpinist contributor Whitney Clark tests the durability, warmth and water-resistance of the Patagonia Nano-Air Light Hoody. It did its job but she longed for a built-in stuff sack that would have allowed her to clip it to her harness. Four stars.
Land managers and climbers have been known to have conflicting interests at times, but local climbing coalitions across the country—such as the Bay Area Climbers Coalition and Salt Lake Climber Alliance, among others—have helped organize climbers into a group of allies who can make a great difference when it comes to advocating for public land, from the grass-roots, to the national level. Laura Booth and Andrea Laue take a closer look at how we can work together as local stewards or our natural resources.
In 1870, Marguerite ‘Meta’ Claudia Brevoort attempted to become the first climber, male or female, to stand atop the highest point of la Meije, one of the last great unclimbed Alps in the Massif des Ecrins in France. In this Mountain Profile essay from Alpinist 59, Associate Editor Paula Wright relates the adventurous life of Brevoort, her nephew William Coolidge, and their dog, Tschingel, whose list of Alpine summits earned her an honorary membership in the exclusive Alpine Club.
The new GriGri+ is heavier and packed with new features, such as a switch for toprope/lead-belay modes and an anti-panic function. Chris Van Leuven learns why the GriGri+ doesn’t replace the GriGri 2 yet still adds a worthwhile option to the family of Petzl belay devices. Four stars.
On September 25-31, Jackie Niles and her friends Adam Reke, Chris Snobeck, Wade Morris and a few others shared stories and photos with the #alpinistcommunityproject about their climbing days in Rocky Mountain National Park.