Category archives for Climbing

Yosemite explodes at the seams with rich climbing lore. The towering granite walls of Half Dome and El Capitan attract rock monkeys like moths to flame, and any cragsman worth his sauce knows that legends are made here. Now 60 years of Yosemite’s climbing history—and its colorful tapestry of bold dirtbags and outlaws—come to life…

Even the insects in their silence seemed to know that 4 a.m. was not the time to be up and about, but there we were waking up again before the sun had even blinked an eye. As the morning stars flickered through the pine forest canopy over our campsite, we quickly made breakfast, packed up…

Half a century of climbing comes to life in the new film Valley Uprising. “It’s not just a film about climbing, but about living life in this very free, present way where the focus of one’s existence is experiential, not materialistic,” says Pete Mortimer, co-director of the upcoming feature documentary Valley Uprising: Yosemite’s Rock Climbing Revolution,…

Montana: Climb Granite Peak

Take a two- to four-day weekend to tackle the highest point in Montana. What Is It? Take on a burly 20- to 24-mile round-trip backpack excursion to top out on one of the most difficult high points in the 50 states. Granite Peak, an imposing chunk of rock located in the Beartooth Range, towers over…

From Longboarding on a Mountain Pass to Climbing with Conrad Anker in His Own Backyard No one chatted much as we trudged uphill through the forest. Mosquitos made their way into my ear each time I paused to catch my breath, and the verbal silence masked any possible diversion from the buzzing and swatting. It…

400 Miles From Yellowstone to Glacier The fourth largest state with one of the lowest populations, Montana—my home base—is still very much a wild and undeveloped place. My friends and I will drive the back roads through the heartland of the state, through countless mountain ranges, along rivers and streams seldom seen by outsiders, and up to the…

Michigan: A Grand Adventure

Tour Grand Island on foot, by bike, and by kayak. What Is It? Grand Island, located a quick boat ride from the bustling town of Munising, boasts spectacular scenery, rich history, and countless recreational opportunities. Take advantage of all this island has to offer with a multisport weekend camping adventure featuring hiking, biking, paddling, and…

For climbers, no place represents America more than Yosemite. Climbing heroes from Yvon Chouinard to Lynn Hill cut their teeth on its gargantuan walls and domes. Its soaring granite faces and swooping valleys are a Mecca for dirtbag climbers, attracting the sweat and passion of the world’s best—and forging a mythology of revolutionary hard men…

See more photos like this in our Extreme Photo of the Week gallery. Twenty-year-old German climber Alexander Megos is quietly making quick work of some of the most famous sport climbing routes in the world. Just earlier this month he ascended Biographie, also known as Realization, one of the most famous sport-climbing routes in the…

Walk one of the park’s newest, toughest trails, then enjoy an easy lake paddle. What Is It? Looking to get off the beaten path and avoid the crowds in one of Maine’s most heavily visited state parks? Try the Traveler Mountain Loop. It’s a lung-busting, 10.6-mile circuit that includes three separate mountain summits and climbs…

See the related National Geographic magazine “Empire of Rock” feature story, 3-D cave tour, and 3:30-minute video from the July 2014 edition. This expedition was supported with a grant from the National Geographic Expeditions Council. I’m teetering on a precarious stack of limestone “Jenga” blocks on a huge spire in Enshi Grand Canyon in southern China. None…

Slither, crawl, and climb on the Wild Cave Tour. What Is It? With more than 400 miles of explored area, Mammoth Cave National Park boasts one of the world’s longest cave systems. The Park Service offers an array of tours varying in length and focus so you can pick the best ones for your needs.…

On June 16, 1971, Bill Briggs stood alone atop Wyoming’s 13,770-foot Grand Teton, one of the most iconic peaks in North America. He surveyed his surroundings, saw a storm gathering in the distance, and quickly clicked into his 210-centimeter fiberglass K2 skis. Then, he skied off the summit and into history. Four hours later, when…

Climb and hike in one of Illinois’ most pristine places. What Is It? Combining climbing and hiking is the preeminent way to explore this hilly, 4,055-acre oasis hidden amidst the largely flat Corn Belt. Rock climbers can score great sandstone, top-roped routes ranging from 5.6 to 5.13 at Shelter 1 Bluff and the Devil’s Standtable…

Climb, float, and soak among the serrated peaks of south-central Idaho. What Is It? A varied weekend full of high-adrenaline adventure starts with a quick boat ride across Redfish Lake. This shuttle ushers you to some of the best hiking and climbing in the state. After a short trek up the glacially sculpted Redfish Canyon,…

Scale exquisite, vertical rock in a wilderness setting. What Is It? Lassen Volcanic National Park features a giant volcanic dome, hot springs, and a variety of secluded, high-country cliffs and outcrops that provide excellent climbing for all levels. Spend the weekend scaling cracks, arêtes, and crags that rival those of Yosemite. You’ll find that the…

At 13,770 craggy feet in Wyoming’s Grand Teton National Park, the Grand Teton is an icon. Mention you’re tackling it, and climbers’ eyes light up. It’s not the tallest nor hardest mountain, but it delivers every component of a classic adventure: 7,000 feet of elevation gain, technical climbing, dramatic exposure, thrilling rappels, and breathtaking views.…

Climber Tommy Caldwell tells us about this climb, the benefits of thick clouds, his decade-long Yosemite Dawn Wall obsession, and his favorite recovery food. “I think most climbers will drool over this photo,” says top climber Tommy Caldwell, who has made several significant first free ascents in Yosemite, Colorado, and Patagonia. “The rock is unique and perfect.…

Over the past nine years, the REEL ROCK Film Tour has been gaining speed to reach some 100,000+ moviegoers in 35 countries and a huge online audience. This year’s tour will pick up serious momentum with Sender Films‘ highly anticipated feature film Valley Uprising. The 90-minute documentary examines Yosemite National Park’s 60-year legacy of revolutionary rock climbing and thriving counterculture.…

See more photos like these in our Extreme Photo of the Week gallery. Plan a long weekend in Jackson, Wyoming. We generally think of Jimmy Chin as an amazing photographer and climber. But his first love is skiing, stemming back to making turns in jeans as a kid in Minnesota. He went on to ski Everest.…

“Everest is a shit show,” said Aaron Huey, a National Geographic photographer who is currently documenting the culture of Sherpa guides. Ten years or more ago, I mused, that pronouncement would have stirred up protestations, or at least murmurs. But this May, the Friday morning crowd, coffee mugs in hand, spilling well out the doorway…

The snow was blowing sideways blurring the stands of pines surrounding the small log cabin-style ranger station at the base of Devils Tower. We had arrived hoping to climb several routes that afternoon, but the climbing ranger advised against it, saying that high winds, dropping temperatures and snow sticking to the rock would make climbing…

Navigations: Tombstone White

Read Mark Jenkins’s previous “Navigations” essays. We left the moraine and crossed onto the glacier. It was speckled with black stones that had plummeted down the Matterhorn’s east face. Some were small as fists, some big as barrels, but all had fallen thousands of feet at a fatal velocity. The glacier was gravity’s missile range,…

Jeremy Collins is a climber and an artist. He combines his considerable talents and passions for both to communicate a deeper story about pursuing a life well-lived, a topic he has explored in many ways. In his upcoming film and book DRAWN, Collins goes deep into his own personal journey to define life by his dreams, not…

The new climbing film 14.c introduces a unique perspective on the sport that demonstrates the critical importance of family in the development of natural talent. Directed by George Knowles, the short film follows a few days in the life of Kai Lightner, a talented young man who at the age of 14 climbs with incredible…