Freddie Wilkinson

Pick up the September 2013 edition of National Geographic to read writer Freddie Wilkinson’s feature story about this expedition. Queen Maud Land—the adventure starts in sun-soaked South Africa in late spring. On the evening of November 11, 2012, a little after dinner hours, a group of men steadily forms in the back corner of the departures terminal…

Few climbers know Nepal like Pete Athans. Beginning in 1981, the Washington-based high-altitude mountaineer has made regular pilgrimages to Mount Everest and other regions of the Himalaya. At last count he had participated in 16 expeditions to the world’s highest mountain, attempted five different routes, and personally summited seven times. Along the way, Athans learned…

Simone Moro has a simple answer for anyone who feels that Mount Everest and the rest of the 8,000-meter peaks are too crowded these days: go in winter. The ebullient, outspoken Italian alpinist has made the first winter ascents of Shisha Pangma, Makalu, and, most recently, Gasherbrum II—an epic climb that was chronicled in the…