This profile of Alex Honnold first appeared in Alpinist 35 (Summer 2011). In this piece, Alex Lowther cover’s Honnold’s sudden rise to fame, from his childhood and the death of his father, to how he balances the demands of his professional climbing career with his personal priorities.
From September 11-17, Nick Aiello-Popeo shared some photos and stories with the #alpinistcommunityproject. Aiello-Popeo made his first trip to Talkeetna, Alaska, at the age of 20. The trip catalyzed him to become a full-time climber. He now lives with his wife in New Hampshire, where he guides in North Conway. He returns to the Alaska Range for two to three months every year.
On June 13-14, Katie Bono completed a round-trip ascent of Denali’s West Buttress in 21 hours, 6 minutes. This is likely a female speed record, and it is the third or fourth fastest known time overall. Bono made the ascent in difficult conditions with heavy wind and drifting snow that forced her to break trail on the way up and down, sometimes navigating in a whiteout. She sustained mild frostbite to her face.
Spanish climber and ultra-runner Kilian Jornet completed two rapid Everest ascents without using fixed ropes or bottled oxygen on the North Col route in one week, on May 21 and 27. He pushed on through illness and windy weather, summiting in 17 hours and returning to advanced base camp in 28:30 on his fastest attempt. This story includes an interview with Jornet and a look back at some of the history of rare fast and light Everest ascents.
In this Full Value story from Alpinist 58, Rick Accomazzo tells the story of a mission he participated in as a member of Yosemite Search and Rescue in July 1975 that has haunted him ever since–its memory compounded by the loss of his friend and climbing partner Tobin Sorenson in 1980. Illustrations by Andreas Schmidt.
The Black Diamond Access Hoody has kept Alpinist Digital Editor Derek Franz comfy in a variety of temperatures and conditions since January. He’s happy with the jacket except that the zipper started having trouble after one month of light use.
From November 13-19, Cosmin Andron and Cristina Pogacean shared some photos and stories with the #alpinistcommunityproject. They are two Romanian alpinists. Cosmin is a former philosophy professor turned full-time mountain guide while Cristina, the saner half of the family, is a civil engineer who also moonlights as a certified mountain guide.
Bree Loewen’s brilliant memoir, Found: A Life in Mountain Rescue, is a compelling tale of life and death, motherhood and wilderness, rescue and recovery–and a must-read for anyone who travels in the backcountry.
Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke’s interim report on Bears Ears National Monument recommends “revising” or reducing the monument’s boundaries while keeping some areas protected. On April 26, President Donald Trump ordered Zinke to review all national monuments designated since 1996 and issue a final report by late August.
Tommy Caldwell’s autobiography, The Push, is as daring as his multitude of world-class climbing accomplishments, which range from 5.14 and 5.15 sport routes around the world, and towering free ascents on Yosemite’s El Capitan–including the first free ascent of the Dawn Wall (VI 5.14d) in January 2015 with Kevin Jorgeson–to the first completion of the Fitz Roy Traverse in Patagonia with Alex Honnold in 2014. Caldwell’s writing is honest and vulnerable, which makes his moments of triumph even more inspiring.