Mountain Profile: Jannu, the Sleeping Warrior
In Alpinist 24, the great Russian alpinist Valery Babanov declared, "Any ascent of Jannu is a leap into the unknown, and the unpredictability of the result grows geometrically with the increasing difficulty of the line.... Any path to Jannu would require the surpassing of ourselves." On the Nepali side of the Kangchenjunga Himal, near the border with India, this 7710-meter summit remains one of the most challenging peaks in the world. Paul Hersey and Andrew Lindblade chronicle stories of decades of climbers who have confronted its unique dangers and otherworldly allure. Graeme Dingle, Naoe Sakashita and Sergey Kofanov provide their own perspectives on its steep, icy walls—while local guide Dawa Sherpa describes what it's like to live and work near the base of a mountain sacred to his culture.
Gwen Moffat, Britain's first female mountain guide, became legendary for her dirtbag life in the mid-twentieth century. Decades later, a young poet, Claire Carter, turns to Moffat for inspiration as she sets out on a journey through the American West to understand what it really means to abandon everything for the mountains.
In 2003, when Nick Bullock quits his steady job to climb and write full-time, his parents sell their house and move into a boat to wander the British canals. Thirteen years later, faced with the deaths of climbing friends, the loss of his mother, and the uncertainties of Brexit, he returns from Tibet to help his aging father and to weigh the cost of dreams.
The Sharp End
Learning to Climb in the Anthropocene.
As an Alpinist reader confronts the current crises of America, he turns to a parable of the Eiger.
From Nepal to India and Bolivia, alpinist Anna Pfaff wanders off the maps and into unexpected adventures.
Paula Wright shines a light on the dark side.
Nick Mott considers the ethics of climbing on Bear Lodge (Devils Tower). Mark Rodell contemplates the difference that fifty feet make. Manasseh Franklin envisions the fates of glaciers and humanity in landscapes of change. Joanna Croston ascends the Finger. Everest guide Phurba Namgyal Sherpa recalls the 2015 earthquake.
During a 2000 attempt on Nameless Tower in Pakistan, Mexican climber Luis Carlos García Ayala became friends with a local cook, Ali Muhammad Saltoro. Seven years later, Ayala returned to the region to establish a new big-wall route and to teach Saltoro how to lead.
For a long time, mountaineering scholars had insisted that before Romantic poets and Alpine climbers, most Europeans considered mountains to be both gloomy and unappealing. Then a PhD student, Dawn L. Hollis, set out to prove them wrong.
During the 1930s, one woman joined the race to climb the feared north faces of the Alps, venturing into terrain then believed to be reserved for only the boldest (and some claimed the most reckless) men. Sallie Greenwood looks back on the extraordinary, often-forgotten life of Swiss alpinist Louise "Loulou" Boulaz.
When climbers reject imperial notions of conquering nature, what do they find in their place? Mailee Hung examines Richard T. Walker's alpine art, and its promises of "mystery, self-discovery and resistance."