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Crystal Tower First Ascent
Crystal Tower First Ascent

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John Long: Guilty Pleasures
Lynn Hill and I spent the winter of 1981 in Las Vegas, climbing daily at Red Rocks and plowing through nights at dead-end jobs. After roughly 10 seasons of climbing 300 days a year, my learning curve had flattened and I found myself singing the same old song.
Armenia Rock Climbing
Six-sided columns ran up basalt ramparts like a stack of Grecian pillars. A dike of perfect gold stairs split a strange, 300-foot tower of gray choss. Snowy mountains with slopes of varicolored grasses fell precipitously to orchards, sedge and clear rivers. Gorges of volcanic rock were cloaked in fog.
Crag Clown
It's fall, but the Red River Gorge is so humid we're all looking for a break from the heat. The lights are finally set for a portrait I'm taking of a big name, 5.14-sending sponsored athlete, when over walks Nelson Carayannis, a climber of considerably less talent and strength. Carayannis, casually gripping a Gatorade bottle, asks if I'm ready.
An Encounter with Fred
Joe Josephson phoned with an interesting proposal: Fred Beckey had come to town for a reunion of Montana's Dirty Sox Club, a guild of Montana climbers from the 1960s through the 1980s.

If anyone has earned an honorary membership in a group named Dirty Sox it is Washington's Fred Beckey, sovereign of American DirtBag Climbers.
Acopa Merlin
When the magician saws his lovely assistant's body in half, then rejoins her, I don't ask any questions. I just let the magic work, and enjoy. No surprise, then, that I dig Acopa's latest offering, the Merlin.

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