Ed Roberson is the author of many books of poetry, including To See the Earth before the End of the World. A dedicated mountain climber, Roberson traveled extensively throughout South America in the 1960s and ’70s. He has received several awards for his work and has taught at the University of Chicago, Columbia College, and Northwestern University. His poems “Peru” and “The Age of the Climber” appeared in Alpinist 58 (2017) and Alpinist 67 (2019), respectively.
In this feature story from Alpinist 70, Craig DeMartino writes about how he survived a hundred-foot ground fall in 2002. After doctors fused vertebrae in his back and neck, he decided to have his right leg amputated below the knee. He now mentors others who have suffered life-altering injuries, all while making the most of life with his wife and kids.
Alpinist Tad McCrea has been using the latest model of the Petzl Quark ice tools for the past year. As a longtime user of the earlier models, he reports that the tools continue to live up to his expectations. He writes, “If you already have a set of the last Quarks, maybe you don’t need to jump to an upgrade just yet, but if you want a set of axes that handle it all, and are in the market for an alpinist’s dream tool, look no further.” 4.5 stars.
In this fiction story that first appeared in The Climbing Life section of Alpinist 50 (Summer 2015), James Edward Mills imagines a Black 17-year-old named Jamal from Washington, DC, who finds himself dangling from a rope inside a crevasse in Alaska, pondering his attraction to the mountains in spite of what his classmates back home had told him: “Climbing is one of those fool things white people do.”
The Vermont-based adventure company Get Out And Trek (GOAT) announced on May 14 that they are developing the outdoor industry’s first Outdoor Equality Index (OEI) to help companies and organizations improve their diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts targeting LGBTQ+ communities. The group will survey participating companies from June 2020 through June 2021.
In this Sharp End essay from Alpinist 70, Alpinist Deputy Editor Paula Wright reflects on words by Nan Shepherd while sheltering in place during the COVID-19 pandemic. Wright writes, “To allow yourself extended periods without frenetic motion is itself a cultivated practice. As the mountain would teach: there is value in being still…. In times of crisis, we have the opportunity to recalibrate our relationships with each other, with our activities and with the land.”
As travel restrictions for the COVID-19 pandemic continue, climbers around the world connected remotely through Facebook on May 17 to raise their glasses in a toast to the life of Matteo “Berna” Bernasconi, a highly regarded Italian alpinist who died in an avalanche while ski-mountaineering in northern Italy on May 12. He was 38 years old. Bernasconi worked as a mountain guide since 2011, was a prominent member of the elite Ragni di Lecco (Lecco Spiders) club and is credited with numerous first ascents across the world, especially in Patagonia.
In this story from Alpinist 69–which is currently available in our online store–Graham Zimmerman writes of his adventure on Link Sar with Steve Swenson, Mark Richey and Chris Wright. They traveled to the Kaberi Glacier in the Karakoram Range of Pakistan In the summer of 2019 to climb the 7041-meter peak that they had dreamed about. For Zimmerman, the expedition was a chance to learn from some of the most experienced Karakoram mountaineers and challenge some of his own youthful assumptions about alpinism, risk and life.
Alaskan climber Clint Helander generally prefers softshell jackets instead of hardshells when climbing and skiing, but the Rab Muztag GTX Jacket proved to be an exception. He writes, “I have always appreciated the ability of softshells to breathe and stretch while I methodically plod up steep snow slopes. In my mind, Gore-Tex jackets were still too heavy and restrictive in regard to movement…. I was happy to be proven wrong.” Five stars.
In this story from The Climbing Life section of Alpinist 69–which is now available in our online store–Bosley Sidwell (or was that Steve Jervis?) poses some trivia questions. Think you’re versed in climbing lit and historical ascents? Take the quiz and find out!