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The Lines Between. Watercolor on paper. Selkirk Mountains, British Columbia. [Artwork] Claire Giordano

The Shadow’s Edge

In this feature from Alpinist 67, which is now available on newsstands and in our online store, Claire Giordano shares stories and paintings that depict her search for hope in an era of melting ice, endangered glaciers and climate crises. After recovering from a severe childhood illness, she grew up to become a mountaineer and an artist, using her climbs and her paints to explore the fragility of both wild landscapes and human life. With this collection of mountain watercolors, she searches for hope in an era of melting ice, endangered glaciers and climate crises. “We walk the line between shadow and light,” she writes, “and we slowly move forward.”

This photograph of the Himalaya was taken from the International Space Station in 2004. Visible from left to right are: Makalu, Chomolungma (Everest), Lhotse and Cho Oyu. [Photo] Courtesy of NASA, Wikimedia

Human Dimensions of Climate Change in the Himalaya: An interview with anthropologist Pasang Yangjee Sherpa

Alpinist Managing Editor Paula Wright interviewed Pasang Yangjee Sherpa for the Alpinist Podcast in 2017 and followed up with her again this month. Born in Kathmandu, Yangjee Sherpa is an anthropologist who specializes in the human dimensions of climate change in the Himalaya. She says that “mountaineers are really well equipped to be advocates for talking about climate change…because of the kind of intimate relationship mountaineers have with the natural landscape, with mountains, snow and glaciers…. So I would like mountaineers to speak more about it and share what they know with the public.”

Climber representatives pose in front of the nation's capital in Washington, DC, last year during the Access Fund and American Alpine Club's third annual Climb the Hill event, which included more than 60 delegates. [Photo] Stephen Gosling

Climbers join activists worldwide in demand for action on climate crisis

Climbers and activists are meeting this week in Washington, DC, to lobby Congress on a host of issues, including the climate crisis, energy development and leasing reform, recreation access and enhancement, and public land management agency funding, in addition to recreation and conservation land designations such as the ongoing legal battle over national monuments that were reduced by the Trump Administration in 2017. Known as Climb the Hill, the event is the fourth annual lobbying session organized by the Access Fund and the American Alpine Club.

Whitney Clark treks to the Torre Valley in Patagonia with the Mystery Ranch Scepter 50 backpack. [Photo] Rhiannon Klee

Mystery Ranch Scepter 50: a comfortable pack for hauling loads in the mountains

Whitney Clark tested the Mystery Ranch Scepter 50 backpack in Patagonia and in the Sierra Nevada Range. She reports that the pack provides a comfortable suspension system and is great for hauling loads. “I think that the Scepter 50 does really well if you have just the perfect amount of gear, but it does not adjust well to smaller or bigger loads,” she writes. Four stars.

Chris Kalman climbing Up In Smoke (5.12) at The Peaks Crag in Flagstaff, Arizona. The pitch has a little bit of everything, from thin face, to stemming, to corner crack climbing, and even some delicate toe-tapping through a panel of small shallow pockets. The Scarpa Maestro excelled on all counts. [Photo] James Q Martin

Scarpa Maestro Mid: A worthy all-around shoe that rivals the TC Pro

Chris Kalman put the Scarpa Maestro Mid through the paces on different styles of climbs to see how they compared to his La Sportiva TC Pros, which have set the standard for this type of shoe for several years. Kalman notes some differences between the shoes, each with its own strengths and weaknesses, and concludes that the Scarpa Maestros are a solid alternative, especially for people who have not found an ideal fit in the TC Pros. Four stars.

Mt. Hooker with Gambling in the Winds (V 5.12+, 2,000') drawn in red. [Photo] Austin Siadak

Friends complete Hayden Kennedy’s vision on Mt. Hooker: Gambling in the Winds (V 5.12+)

In 2015, Hayden Kennedy and Whit Magro spent a week in Wyoming’s Wind River Range establishing a route over new terrain over halfway up the northeast face of Mt. Hooker. On the last day of their trip, they free climbed to Der Minor Ledge, 800 feet from the top of the wall, where they traversed right and finished on the Boissonneault-Larson. They dubbed their route Gambling in the Winds (5.12). In the aftermath of Kennedy’s death in October 2016, his friends Jesse Huey and Maury Birdwell returned to Mt. Hooker over the last two seasons to complete his route. Last year was “dismally cold and wet,” Huey told Alpinist. But this year they managed to free the remaining 800 feet directly to the top, spending two days on the wall, August 9-10. Two weeks later, Magro managed a one-day, team-free ascent with Harrison Teuber.

The Epaulette (West) Ridge of Mt. Waddington follows the right skyline. The bergschrund that the climbers jumped down at the end of the ridge below the summit is visible as a shadowed line, just below the horizon on the white slope. [Photo] Courtesy of John Scurlock

Simon Richardson and Ian Welsted complete first ascent of Waddington’s West Ridge

On August 3-7, the Scottish alpinist Simon Richardson and Canadian alpinist Ian Welsted made what is likely the first complete ascent of the West Ridge of Mt. Waddington in the Coast Mountains of British Columbia, and possibly the first traverse of the mountain (from Fury Gap to Rainy Knob) as well. “The crenellated upper west ridge… is such a major structural feature,” Richardson said, “it is difficult for the 21st Century alpinist to believe it was unclimbed, especially on a mountain with the stature of Mt. Waddington. But in today’s world, where technical difficulty is often paramount, there are still major lines that have been overlooked. Quite simply, the complete West Ridge of Waddington should have been climbed decades ago!”