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10 Best Photos of 2012

Rock and Ice's mission is to deliver the very best in climbing writing and photography. Every year we receive thousands of photos from climbers all over the world. To sort through the images is to journey, if only vicariously, to the coolest and wildest places imaginable.

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Rock and Ice’s mission is to deliver the very best in climbing writing and photography. Every year we receive thousands of photos from climbers all over the world. To sort through the images is to journey, if only vicariously, to the coolest and wildest places imaginable and bear witness to some of climbing’s pivotal events, such as this year’s logjam on Everest and the unveiling of an arch in China that is so large a jet fighter once flew through it. Here, we are pleased to present the best of the best, Rock and Ice’s top 10 photographs of 2012.

Number 10: Alex Evans rides out a storm on the Mark of Zorro pitch on Zodiac (VI 5.7 A3), El Capitan, Yosemite. Photo by Andy Bardon, published in Rock and Ice, April 2012.

Number 9: Beth Rodden on Ali Baba, a fun, well-protected route at Pinnacles National Monument. Photo by Jim Thornburg, published in Rock and Ice, October 2012.

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Number 8: Stephane Hanssens sticks the dyno on the wild, steep fifth pitch (5.12b) of Maria Rosa, a new route on the Tuyuren Wall on Amuri Tepui, Venezuela. Photo by Jean-Louis Wertz published in Rock and Ice, September 2012.

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Number 7: Jake Hirschi on Lal Leve (6a+) at Secteur Magic Wood, Madagascar. Photo by Nathan Smith, published in Rock and Ice, April 2012.

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Number 6: Dave Graham and Wheel of Life (V15), Grampians, Australia. Photo by Keith Ladzinski, published in Rock and Ice, July 2012.

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Number 5: Dave Graham hanging high on the mega line Central Latitudes (5.13c), Muline crag, Grampians, Australia. Photo by Simon Carter, published in Rock and Ice, December 2012.

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Number 4: Chris Schulte and his new problem Cobra Commander (V10), in the Ice Caves of Independence Pass, Colorado. A perfect hot summer day escape. Photo by Keith Ladzinski, published in Rock and Ice, December 2012.

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Number 3: You hear about crowding on Everest, but until you see it, the reality is impossible to comprehend. This year the lines were as long as ever and dire predictions of a repeat of Into Thin Air abounded. In this photo climbers trudge up the slopes of the SE Ridge on their way to the summit. Photo by Ralf Dujmovits, published in Rock and Ice, October 2012.

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Number 2: Whitney Boland navigates the hanging chandeliers of La Banda del Bucho (5.12b) on the island of Sicily. Photo by Andrew Burr, published in Rock and Ice, September 2012.

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Number 1: Dani Andrada and Ramiro Calvo on the eighth pitch of Corazon del Ensueno (5.14b), Great Arch, Getu Valley, China. The cave, site of the 2011 Petzl Roctrip, is so massive a jet fighter once flew through it. Photo by Sam Bie, published in Rock and Ice, March 2012.