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Underland: A Deep Time Journey.

Mountaineering in reverse: Tales from the Underland

“A peak can exercise the same irresistible power as an abyss,” Theophile Gautier wrote in 1868. Robert Macfarlane’s new book Underland explores the landscapes below our feet where, as Sarah Boon writes in her review, “people appear to find something similar in caves to what they experience in the mountains–clarity of thought and vision.”

She Explores. [Photo] Katie Ives

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in the Outdoor Media Landscape: A Note from the Editors

As they praise the publication of She Explores–a 2019 anthology of women’s outdoor stories and photos–Alpinist editors Katie Ives, Paula Wright and Derek Franz write, “We felt struck by two thoughts: how rare outdoor publications like this book, with such a variety of women’s images and voices, were in the past; and how much the field of outdoor literature still needs to broaden to include the vast constellations of under-represented and long-silenced voices today.”

Ten-year-old Selah Schneiter leads the bolt ladder to Boot Flake on the Nose, El Capitan, Yosemite. [Photo] Schneiter family collection

10-year-old Selah Schneiter climbs the Nose of El Capitan

Ten-year-old Selah Schneiter of Glenwood Springs, Colorado, climbed the Nose of El Capitan (VI 5.8 C2, 2,900′) on June 13 after a casual five-day ascent with her dad Mike Schneiter and their close family friend Mark Regier. Selah appears to have the youngest documented ascent of the Big Stone, but the age record wasn’t part of Selah’s or her parents’ incentives. “We did this climb for us; it was her energy and her idea,” said Mike, who is an AMGA guide.

Tu-Tok-A-Nu-La (El Capitan) with Half Dome in the background, Yosemite. [Photo] Murray Foubister, Wikimedia

The Story of Tu-Tok-A-Nu-La

The following story is an Ahwahneechee creation story of Tu-Tok-A-Nu-La (El Capitan) as told by Julia Parker, an Ahwahneechee descendant of Yosemite Valley, mother of climbing legend Ron Kauk and the grandmother of Ron’s son, Lonnie Kauk. This story originally appeared as a sidebar to a feature about the Kauk family, Lonnie’s childhood in Yosemite and how he made the first redpoint of his father’s route “Magic Line,” for which the story is named.

Pete Takeda is pictured here on a 2005 expedition to Nanda Kot with the east face of Nanda Devi East / Sunanda Devi in the background, which is just in front of the main peak of Nanda Devi in the Indian Himalaya. Takeda authored a two-part Mountain Profile about the area in Alpinist issues 62 and 63 (Summer and Autumn 2018). [Photo] Pete Takeda collection

Five bodies found in avalanche debris on the flanks of Nanda Devi East / Sunanda Devi; three others presumed dead

Eight climbers are presumed to have been killed in a large avalanche on the flanks of Nanda Devi East / Sunanda Devi in the Indian Himalaya while attempting an unclimbed satellite peak referred to by its elevation as Peak 6477. Photos from a helicopter search conducted by the Indian military on June 3 showed evidence of five bodies in the avalanche debris, which was near their last known camp at around 5400 meters. The other three members of the group are presumed dead.

On April 5, 2018, three skiers were caught in an avalanche while ascending Sentinel Pass in Alberta, Canada. When the snow settled, Michelle Kadatz, pictured, came to rest beneath thirteen feet of debris. [Photo] Tim Banfield

Thirteen Feet Under

Last April, as she scouted ice climbs deep within Canada’s Banff National Park, Michelle Kadatz was engulfed by an avalanche that swept her 650 feet down slope and buried her at a depth far beyond the reach of her partners’ avalanche probes. While entombed thirteen feet under, she experienced something that seemed as improbable as her eventual rescue. One year later, Jayme Moye recounts Kadatz’s accident.

Chip Powell relishing the clean wide hand crack that marked the start of the headwall. [Photo] Chris Kalman

Maxim Personal Escape Rope: A tag line made for alpinists

Chris Kalman recently took the 7mm Maxim Personal Escape Rope to the big wall jungle of Cochamo, Chile, where he used the tag line to haul gear and rappel while exploring new routes. The Maxim PER is designed to be strong, light, water-resistant and its stiffness makes it less prone to getting snagged. Kalman reports that the rope is a great tool for alpinists, though they should be careful hauling with it to avoid core shots. Four stars.


American Alpine Club hosting the Excellence in Climbing Celebration on June 1

The American Alpine Club is hosting its annual Excellence in Climbing Celebration on June 1 at its headquarters in Golden, Colorado. Tickets start at $20. Laura Waterman and Ken Yager will be inducted into the Hall of Mountaineering Excellence and Kelly Cordes–this year’s recipient of the H. Adams Carter Literary Award–will deliver the keynote address.