In 1942 two teenagers set out on one of the boldest adventures of all time: In a sea-to-summit push, they would attempt to climb Mount Waddington, a formidable and remote mountain widely considered the most difficult in North America. Unsupported and cut off from any outside contact, Fred and Helmy Beckey pulled off a masterstroke. Here, for the first time, American mountaineering legend Fred Beckey tells the story.
Stranded high on Nanga Parbat after an extremely rare winter ascent, Elisabeth Revol and Tomek Mackiewicz were beyond help. Even if a rescue team could be found, time would almost certainly run out before they could reach the stranded climbers. Even if the rescuers did get there in time, the question remained: How would they get two incapacitated climbers off an 8,000-meter peak in winter?
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A Rock and Ice editor travels to Northern Norway for the Arctic Ice Festival and discovers a veritable ice climbing heaven.
Snell’s Field, the climbers’ camp outside Chamonix, France, was for 20-odd years a squalid (if free) conglomeration of makeshift rain shelters, tents and rolling wrecks typically populated by British, American and German alpinists, none of whom especially liked the others. When it rained in the Alps, which was often, the football-field-sized campground became a fetid bog. Wine by the cheap liter was the elixir for depression, anxiety and boredom. There were fights and police raids—the Brits were especially fond of pilfering from the Cham merchants. Sometime around 1990 the officials and townspeople had had enough and the place closed for good. In “Climbers’ Camp Chamonix,” first published in Ascent in 1972, John Svenson (an artist by trade) succinctly captures this madcap bygone era, with a sobering continuum.