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Ascent. Bringing the Best Climbing Stories to Life.
Ascent. Bringing the Best Climbing Stories to Life.

About Us

Rock and Ice is a magazine devoted to rock and ice climbing and mountaineering. It was first published in 1985 out of Boulder, Colorado, and in 2002 relocated to Carbondale, Colorado, under new ownership by Big Stone Publishing. Big Stone Publishing continues to operate out of Carbondale and also publishes Trail Runner magazine. It employs a staff of 14, with additional interns on a rotating basis for both magazines.

Each issue of Rock and Ice contains approximately four features, with over a dozen standing departments including the analytical Accident Report, various interviews in the Spotlight and What I've Learned departments, Training and Medicine departments, gear reviews, a section of coping and survival stories called My Epic, personal and humor columns, and photo galleries. Features range from adventure stories to destination pieces, human-interest profiles, topical and historical pieces, and polemics.

The magazine maintains a robust website presence, with continual news and video updates, a weekly e-mailed newsletter containing an essay by an editor, also news reports, photos and video. Another weekly e-blast is the popular Friday item called Weekend Whipper, which shows climbing falls and gives commentary or explanation.

The magazine is available in print or digital editions worldwide.

Duane Raleigh, publisher and editor in chief, has climbed for 45 years and worked in publishing for 25. He is author of hundreds of routes in areas from Yosemite to the Fisher Towers to southern Texas, and has climbed worldwide. He is a former member of Yosemite Search and Rescue, the author of four books including the National Outdoor Book Award-winning Knots and Slings for Climbers, a former columnist for Sports Afield, and winner of the 2013 American Alpine Club Literary Award. Most recently, with John Long, he edited Yosemite, The Iron Age, published by Patagonia Books.

Jeff Jackson, editor, is a former climbing guide and author of hundreds of new routes from boulder problems to big walls in Colorado, New Mexico, Texas, Mexico, Peru and the Yukon. He was the first recipient of a James A. Michener Fellowship and is a former creative-writing teacher at Southwestern University. He earned a Masters' Degree at the University of Texas and was a Senior Fellow at Dartmouth College.

Alison Osius, executive editor, has taught climbing in the United Kingdom and in California, Washington State and New Hampshire, and for years competed at national and World Cup climbing events. She is author of Second Ascent: the Story of Hugh Herr; a newspaper columnist; past president of the American Alpine Club; and winner of the 2007 AAC Literary Award. She studied literature at Middlebury College and has a Master's Degree from the Columbia University School of Journalism.

The magazine's editor at large is Andrew Bisharat, and contributing editors are Andy Anderson, Barry Blanchard, Whitney Boland, Tommy Caldwell, Geof Childs, Will Gadd, James Lucas, John Long, Niall Grimes (United Kingdom), Neil Gresham (UK), Chris Parker and Dr. Julian Saunders (Australia).

Art director is Randall Levensaler, production manager is Quent Williams, associate publisher is Paula Stepp, and senior photographer is David Clifford.

The magazine uses both staff-written content and imagery, and many articles and photographs from freelance contributors. Other editorial and photographic contributors over the years have included Reinhold Messner (Germany), Jeff Long, Ed Douglas (UK), Galen Rowell, David Roberts, Chris Schulte, Caroline Treadway, Jim Thornburg, Mayan Smith-Gobat, Calum Muskett (UK), Keith Ladzinski, Boone Speed, Greg Epperson, Corey Rich, Sam Bié (France) and Simon Carter (Australia).

Each year Big Stone puts out eight issues of Rock and Ice and an annual feature compendium called Ascent, an anthology of essays and reflective mountain writing. Two articles from Ascent 2013, "Down and Out" by John Long and "A Cultural History of the Ice Axe in Eight Fascicles" by David Stevenson were, respectively, nominated for a National Publisher's Award and named a Notable Essay in Best American Essays of 2014.

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