Category archives for Climbing

Mountaineers’ Bodies Found 16 Years Later

The opportunity to once again celebrate the lives of two of the greatest mountaineers who ever lived has presented itself under the most incredible circumstances. The remains of American mountaineers Alex Lowe and David Bridges, who were swept away in an avalanche on Shisha Pangma (8,027 meters/26,335 feet) in Tibet on October 5, 1999, were…

After Two Years of Deadly Everest Avalanches, Nepal Introduces New Safety Measures

On the morning of April 23, a helicopter hovered over Everest Base Camp then ripped northward through the air, flying over the great Khumbu Icefall, which creaked and groaned under the warming sunshine. As the dust settled and the helicopter engine din grew faint, many Nepali mountain workers back at Base Camp breathed a sigh of…

What’s the Big Deal About Climbing Everest Without Oxygen?

When Reinhold Messner and Peter Habeler trekked to Everest Base Camp in 1978, they were the only two people on Earth who believed they weren’t marching toward their own graves. Their goal was to reach the summit of Everest without the use of supplemental oxygen canisters, a feat that remains rare today but was, in…

Can Two Climbers Improve Everest’s Bad Reputation?

The reputation of the world’s highest mountain has never been lower. Like today’s most heated political debates, there seems to be no middle ground when it comes to discussions about Everest. People are divided at polar extremes over whether Everest and all its aspirants represent everything great about humanity—or all that is wrong with it.…

Two Climbers Discover What It Takes to Fly Off an 18,000-Foot Peak

Things have gotten surreal. It’s 5 a.m. and I’m drunkenly stumbling in the snow with my old friend Matt Segal and my paragliding instructor, Matt Henzi. “I’zz reewy windy,” Segal slurs with the linguistic acumen of someone who’s had two or three drinks too many. But, to be clear, we’re stone frigidly cold sober. “It…

In Cuba, the Climbing Is Irresistible—and Illegal

One of the world’s top female rock climbers explores Cuba’s complex climbing potential. When we first start hiking to the cave all we can see is flat terrain with a perimeter of limestone cliffs in the distance. It isn’t until we veer down a discreet dirt path to an unanticipated opening that we realize that…

Take Better Adventure Photos: Shooting in Low Light in the Mountains

Like many “pros” out there, I’m a self-taught photographer—after all photography itself is not that complicated. Over the years I’ve become a lot more efficient at capturing the outdoors, but my style has never changed. Everyone has his or her own style, and that’s not something that should be force fed. But underneath every personal taste there…

14 Year Old Achieves Hardest Boulder Climb Ever Done by a Woman

A week before her 15th birthday, Ashima Shiraishi, the unlikely climbing prodigy from New York City, got an early present. During a spring-break trip to Japan, she climbed a boulder problem with a difficulty rating of V15—essentially, at the current limit of climbing difficulty. This makes Shiraishi not only the first woman to climb a…

Himalaya Scribe: ‘I Frighten a Lot of People’

The most intimidating person in Himalayan mountaineering is a 92-year-old American woman with a walker. Elizabeth Hawley (most often addressed as Miss Hawley) has lived in Kathmandu for nearly as long as Nepal has been open to foreigners. She was the first to keep good records of Himalayan expeditions and soon became the de facto…

What Was Tommy Caldwell’s Scariest Climbing Moment? Dodging Bullets in a Portaledge

You probably know Tommy Caldwell from when he and Kevin Jorgeson completed the first free climb of the Dawn Wall route in Yosemite—considered the hardest rock climb in the world. Or, you might know he was the first person to receive one of our Adventurer of the Year awards two years in a row. But did…