Category archives for Climbing

Climber and mountain guide Melissa Arnot has summited Everest five times. She is attempting two more summits in the 2014 season. She and Dave Morton co-founded The Juniper Fund. Everest is a beautiful and sacred place. Anyone would be hard pressed to disagree with that sentiment. Each season an international community pops up with a…

Sam Elias is a professional climber for The North Face. He has traveled all over the world for climbing. Currently, he is living in Morocco in a remote mountain village, developing new climbing and working with a humanitarian aid organization called the Atlas Cultural Foundation. His first report can be seen HERE. He is @bookofsamuel…

See our favorite classic, emerging, and secret ski towns. On March 1, the very first day of 38-year-old ski mountaineer Greg Hill’s own version March Madness—to climb and ski 100,000 vertical meters (300,000+ feet) in just 31 days—he took his two kids, ages 7 and 8, to their first summit on British Columbia’s 8,086-foot Mount Mackenzie.…

Austrian climber David Lama was transformed by his experience on Cerro Torre. As he said in his Adventurer of the Year profile, “Cerro Torre will always be a special mountain to me. It changed me from a sport climber into an alpinist.” After five expeditions to the region in order to complete the first free ascent…

See more about Everest. The 2014 Everest climbing season is upon us and teams have already begun their treks to base camp. Each season has its own surprises and headlines, with last year’s “Everest fight” stirring a media blitz. The 2014 season will see some  changes, with new regulations in place to attempt to reduce…

Sam Elias is a professional climber for The North Face. He has traveled all over the world for climbing. Currently, he is living in Morocco in a remote mountain village, developing new climbing and working with a humanitarian aid organization called the Atlas Cultural Foundation. The Atlas Mountains are a series of mountain ranges that…

Even after all the magazine covers and films, Alex Honnold still lives in his van—though now it’s hooked up with solar power. And last week Alex and fellow climber Cedar Wright departed on a solar-focused adventure for Sufferfest 2—a month of biking, camping, and climbing through the Southwest that will culminate in bringing solar power to Navajo…

The first night of the 22nd Piolets d’Or, Kazakh climber Denis Urubko summed it up: Mountains (and oceans) are the last wild places on Earth. We go to these places to remember we are humans in nature, to seek lessons from the wild, and to get away from the trappings of human civilization. But as humans…

Cerro Torre is such a difficult climb that only the climbers themselves can document the upper reaches. “The more remote my expeditions became, the more important it was for  me to document them myself,” says 23-year-old Austrian climber David Lama. See what went into filming the Adventurer of the Year‘s historic first free ascent of Patagonia’s…

There was a storm coming and, without an open sky, it was a terribly dark night. The flicker of far off lightning would periodically light up more than 1,000 feet of granite cliff that fell straight below me. It had been four days since I started up the sheer walls of El Capitan. I found…

Climber Matt Moniz, with his dad Mike, climbed to all the highest points in the 50 states in 43 days, a feat which made him one of our Adventurers of the Year—and our youngest honored Adventurer ever. On April 3 I’m off to Nepal to begin an expedition I’ve been dreaming about most of my…

Temperatures suddenly drop and clouds dominate the skyline. Light rain morphs to flurries. The wind gains strength driving snow sideways through the canyon we’ve called home for the last week. Some hoods go up, but other than that no one seems to notice. It’s business as usual on the last day of the 2nd Annual…

Climbing in Patagonia can be a weather waiting game. But when the conditions are unsuitable on the peaks, adventures abound in the climbing gateway town of El Chaltén, Argentina. Here we see David Lama, one of our 2013 Adventurers of the Year, enjoying a little R+R before making his historic first free ascent of Cerro…

In webisode #2 from the film Cerro Torre: A Snowball’s Chance in Hell, Austrian climber David Lama, one of our Adventurers of the Year, explains the history of the Compressor Route and the difference between aid climbing and free climbing. Be sure to click on “CC” in the video player on the lower right to get…

Austrian climber David Lama‘s incredible natural abilities to ascend things showed at an early age. After mastering sport climbing, David, now 23 years old, shifted his focus and aspirations to free climbing and alpinism, eventually to claim one of the greatest free ascents in history—the first free ascent of the Southeast Ridge on Patagonia’s Cerro…

Climber Will Gadd and photographer Christian Pondella, a dream team athlete-photographer duo with 15 years of experience working together, worked together to get this shot on the first ascent of Overhead Hazard. Will claims it is the hardest route multi-pitch mixed route in the world so far and the coldest he has ever been—now that’s saying…

“Climbing is about having fun,” says Shane Messer. “That’s what it’s all about. But we’re here tonight to train.” He might have added, To train for the Nationals, but his listeners don’t need to be reminded. What a scene. Around Messer stand some 35 boys and girls, ranging in age from nine to eighteen. From…

I flicked the 10th leech from my left sock before noticing the blood soaking my midsection. Seven fat leeches had feasted there, and they were now dropping off one by one. But who can complain—this comes with the territory when you are in one of the earth’s last great rain forests. Surely it is worth…

Alex Honnold just did his first climb in Patagonia. And it was pretty spectacular. He teamed up with Tommy Caldwell to make the first ascent of the Fitz Traverse, which involved climbing seven peaks in five days along the Cerro Fitz Roy ridge line. Honnold and Caldwell waited for their weather window, then covered three miles…

We just heard back from Alex Honnold, who has been busy in Patagonia pulling off an epic feat of alpinism with Tommy Caldwell—a complete traverse of the Fitzroy Massif in five days. The Internet connection in Patagonia is so slow that Alex has not actually seen the video everyone is talking about of his ropeless…

Love in the Tetons

At the heart of every great adventure there is a love story. And for National Geographic Emerging Explorer Juan Martinez, the long journey from the streets of Los Angeles to the craggy peaks of the Grand Tetons took a romantic turn on the day he met National Park Ranger Vanessa Torres.  Both dedicated to introducing…

Read Mark Jenkins’s previous “Navigations” essays. “The big day,” John said. “Yup,” I replied, rubbing my eyes. It was three in the morning. We were standing on the South Rim of the Grand Canyon aiming the beams of our headlamps down the South Kaibab Trail—a mule-stomped trough of glistening ice running between snowbanks. The trailhead…

See more photos like these in our Extreme Photo of the Week gallery. “It’s always a challenge to wake up and climb in the dark, but the glow of sunrise makes it all worthwhile. These are the moments I live for,” says Utah-based, big-mountain skier Caroline Gleich of this moment on the south ridge of Mount Superior…

The multifaceted Renan Ozturk, one of our previous Adventurers of the Year, has many stories to share—even more than we realized. We first came to know Renan years ago when he was a new North Face-sponsored climber who liked to paint and animate mountainscapes while on expeditions. That love of visuals and storytelling led him to…

Last night ABC News’s Nightline featured the story of Sano Babu Sunuwar and Lakpa Tsheri Sherpa, our 2012 People’s Choice Adventurers of the Year.  The two Nepali friends completed The Ultimate Descent by climbing Everest, paragliding down, and kayaking to the Indian Ocean. It was a source-to-sea expedition beyond compare. And they did it without…