Sarah Boon reviews Lynn Martel’s latest book, “Stories of Ice: Adventure, Commerce and Creativity on Canada’s Glaciers,” which was published earlier this year. Boon describes the work as “a comprehensive look at how these features have shaped the ways people have traveled through and populated the land. Martel shows that we still have much to learn about the now-disappearing bodies of ice from the community of adventurers, entrepreneurs, scientists, and artists who have explored them.”
After newlyweds Luka Lindic and Ines Papert canceled their Alaska expedition this past summer because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, they reconsidered what adventures they might find close to their home. The result was two first ascents of long routes–the 12-pitch Wolke 7 (aka Cloud Nine, 5.13b, 380m) on the Hinteres Feuerhorndl near Reiteralm, and in late November, a mixed alpine route on the north face of Sagwand Spitze in Valsertal, which they named Limited in Freedom (AI6 M6, 800m).
Tad McCrea used the Fixe Ultralight Alien Revolution cams on 20 big routes in the Sierra Nevada Range this past summer and he was very happy with their light weight and performance, especially for the Double Sling design that allowed him to carry less gear for extending placements. He did not find any significant drawbacks to the latest version of this long beloved cam . Five stars
In 1990 alpinist Barry Blanchard found himself trapped in a blizzard high on Yexyexescen (Mt. Robson), the tallest peak in the Canadian Rockies–with eleven other climbers, two of whom were injured, and no certain way down. In this Full Value story from Alpinist 72–which is now available on newsstands and in our online store–Blanchard tells the story of how they all miraculously survived.
Alpinist Digital Editor Derek Franz has been wearing the unusual “armless” Ombraz Sunglasses since last spring. Instead of the typical rigid arms that are on most glasses, they are worn with an integrated lanyard that keeps them around the face or allows them to hang around the neck. The glasses also pack flat, allowing for easy stowing. Franz reports that Ombraz are highly durable with quality Zeiss Optics lenses. They are comfortable to wear with a variety of helmets but are less fashionable than traditional sunglasses. Four stars.
In this Tool Users story from Alpinist 72–which is now available on newsstands and in our online store–Brandon Blackburn investigates one of the most paradigm-shifting tools of modern alpinism: accurate weather reports.
In this On Belay story from Alpinist 72–which is now on newsstands and in our online store–a young Michael Kennedy sets out in 1977 with two of his heroes, Jeff Lowe and George Lowe, on the Alaskan expedition that culminated in the first ascent of the famous Infinite Spur on Mt. Foraker/Sultana. Looking back on that summer, Kennedy recalls how the name of the route grew to represent “far more than the physical dimensions of the climb.”
Alpinist Digital Editor Derek Franz has been wearing the Black Diamond Vision MIPS helmet on many climbs, from long multipitch routes in the Black Canyon to short bolted sport climbs. “Thanks to advancements in materials and design, helmets are now so light and low-profile that it’s harder to justify not wearing one, even at the sport crag,” he writes. “Weighing slightly more than half-a-pound…factor in the durability of the Black Diamond Vision MIPS, and you have light, comfortable head protection that will holdup throughout frequent use.” Five stars.
Lauren Shartell sent the Lightning in Vail’s Rigid Designator Amphitheatre on November 8. In doing so, she became the second US woman to climb the mixed ice and rock route. Corey Buhay chronicles Shartell’s unlikely start to climbing and her hurdles to success.
After Alpinist 72 went to press, we found that reproductions we had printed of historical images from a 1970s-era magazine appeared to contain some offensive and anti-LGBTQA+ writing. As a result of lapses in communication, caused in part by struggles to adapt to a remote workflow during the pandemic, no one from our editorial staff had reviewed those images before we went to press, and we were unaware of the content of the words (which none of the staff had read). We sincerely regret our oversight in printing these images, and apologize for the harm they may have caused. We are taking steps to ensure that this kind of oversight will not occur again in the future.