This photo by Klaus Fengler should have run in the Into the Light photo essay in our July issue. We didn’t publish it because no one is really climbing. Sharma is chilling at a belay while Stefan Glowacz jugs on a fixed rope. With print space limited we almost always choose photos of climbing, but in this case the image, taken in the dark in a cave in Oman would have added to the story by showing one of the complexities of climbing a multi-pitch route out a nearly horizontal ceiling.
This photo of Said Belhaj shows what must be the world's smallest indoor climbing wall. As you can see, it is barely one sheet of plywood, and crammed right over his bed. This photo, cut from Andrew Bisharat's feature profile of Belhaj in the February issue, would have shown Belhaj's dedication to his craft—he literally lives, eats, breathes—and sleeps—climbing.
Our February issue published a feature on tower climbing on Navajo lands, and its various political, social and economic complexities. In this Andrew Burr image, we see climbers atop Venus Needle. We did publish a similar photo, of the climbers on the route and with the ground in the foreground, but I now like the one we didn't publish even better. Seeing the climbers on the summit emphasizes their isolation and brings home the point that the adventure is far from over. They still have to get down.
The route Delicatessen (5.13d), on the island of Corsica, must be one of the world's coolest rock climbs. This image, by Stefan Schlumpf, wasn’t published in July's Amazing Route section because the leader is standing around. Still, I find the rock unimaginably sculpted and the ledge inviting. This photo makes me want to go try it.
We didn't publish this photo of Jonathan Siegrist in the feature on Wolf Point, Wyoming in the April issue simply because we didn’t have room. The photographer Caroline Treadway really nailed the moment—Siegrist is straining off a shallow mono and the sweep of the seemingly blank wall around him makes the climbing seem even less probable.
We rarely publish photos of low balls or sit starts, but I wish we would've run this photo taken by Ken Etzel of a boulder problem near Flagstaff, Arizona (February issue.) Although the boulderer is only a few feet off the ground, the moves ahead look super cool—I like photos that inspire as well as inform.
Looking back on the Cliff Notes destinations article we published in August I realize that we didn't include a photo that established a sense of place for Arizona's Oak Creek Waterfall area. We ran photos that show climbers in action … but what does the area look like? This photo by Blake McCord would have answered that question and raised another: When do I get to go on vacation?