Climbing

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What would be the best mountaineering boot to avoid the beat-up shins I get with plastic boots? Are there boots made with this problem in mind? I know that it's not an uncommon one for women. Heather San Jose, California

I'm a casual rock climber and want to upgrade my entry-level rock shoes. I see there are both cbered and fairly flat models available, but why would you ever need to crunch up your toes and wear the cbered model? All the advertising refers to higher performance, but I don't really understand how this helps. So I may go for a flat shoe, perhaps one with a Velcro closure for easy in-and-out access. What do you think? Karen Wellington, New Zealand

In the red-rock high ground of South Africa, climbing still comes down to black and white. Greg Child goes on belay to explore the crags, boulder gardens, and post-Apartheid complications of the world's next climbing mecca.

For years, virtually no one could beat Lynn Hill to the top of a climbing wall. Then along came Isabelle Patissier, and beyond a shadow of a doubt things are changing.

Help Wanted: Exum Mountain Guides, the country's premier climbing service, is looking for supremely talented alpinists with world-class résumés for seasonal work in the Tetons. Must be willing to follow in the footsteps of legends. If qualified, don't bother calling. We'll find you.

Outside‘s March 2004 article “Facing the Fall Line” chronicles big-mountain snowboarder Steven Koch’s quest to become the first to summit Everest and then set a never-before-attempted line down its treacherous North Face. Accompanying Koch on the Everest expedition was mountaineer-photographer Jimmy Chin, who captured the powerful images that accompanied…

When Stephen Koch set out to snowboard the insanely steep Hornbein Couloir on Everest, he knew he might die trying. He chose life.

On a deadly route in Patagonia, two hotshot climbers seek truth—and the summit

How Joe Simpson's best-selling thriller became a stunning film epic

Wellness Secrets of Adventure Athletes

A journey to the cradle of climbing reveals a strange new alpine environment, where glaciers are melting, mountains are falling, and nothing is as it was

Sometimes the toughest climb is out of your mind and into your own animal skin

“Schoening leaned into his ax and braced himself for the impact. The rope thinned, then drew taut as a steel wire. For the next five minutes, he kept six men from falling of the face of the mountain.”

"He died doing what he loved best," they always say. But when climbers meet their end on the high peaks, the ordeal is just beginning for their wives, husbands, children, parents, and friends. An exclusive excerpt from Where the Mountain Casts Its Shadow

Running the numbers on the world's tallest mountain

So you want to climb a mountain, but you’ve never done it before. No sweat—there’s a first time for everything. Even the world’s greatest climbers were once beginners like you, gearing up with ropes, carabiners and crampons and heading for the hills for their first technical ascents. To help fuel…

Three years after a notorious kidnapping in Kyrgyzstan, new evidence and big changes emerge from Central Asia

Cut your alpinism chops on North America's best routes.

Experience is the key to mountaineering prowess, but high-altitude fitness makes all the difference on summit day

Lodges at base camp? Tourists on oxygen? Everyone seems to have a vision for the next 50 years on the world's highest mountain.

Meet Apa Sherpa, who will attempt to break his own record of 12 Everest summits this month

Who says you can't take your children mountaineering? The trick is to choose the right summit—then watch as they amaze themselves by scaling it. These five peaks, in order from easiest to hardest, are handpicked to bring out your kid's inner Messner.

Dave Hahn delivers the latest news from Base Camp

Low's Gully is a 6,000-foot chasm that gets deadly when it rains. This month, a team of top canyoneers take it on, with only one way out.

In Bhutan's pristine alpine sanctuary, even a heathen climber can see the light

By Pieter vanNoordennen

Thirty years after losing his brother on a Himalayan peak, Reinhold Messner battles ugly accusations that he abandoned him at the top.

Santa’s little climber: one move from the top on Hitchcock Pinnacle at Arizona’s Mount Lemmon. Q: A few of us from Virginia want to take a rock-climbing trip somewhere warm during the Christmas holidays. We’re considering Red Rocks in Nevada and California’s Joshua Tree National Park, among…

This September, speed climber Dean potter flashed Half Dome and El Capitan in a continuous 23-hour, 23-minute blitz that left his competition eating chalk. The 30-year-old Zen king of Yosemite is the first ever to free-climb—that is, use ropes and protection only as backup in case he falls, but otherwise…

With his supreme skills on rock, hypercompetitive intensity, and new-age bag of tricks, Dean Potter scrambles up big walls faster than any man alive. So what's the trajectory of all this velocity?

A generation ago, mounting an expedition meant drafting a herd of porters, slogging loads of gear to a rocky base camp, and laying siege to a Himalayan peak. These days, light, fast, and self-supported expeditions are in, and multisport explorers like Mike Libecki, Mark Synnott, and Brad Ludden are showing us how to do it. Here, our preview of the hottest adven

Every adventurer knows those magical moments when it all flows—and those wretched times when it won't

High over Hemingway's Africa, our hero discovered a last epic feat somehow still undone. Going where no man has ever bothered to go before, he vowed to become the first person to descend Mount Kilimanjaro on a pair of stubby Kneissel Big Foot snowboards. Never mind that it was illegal, and basically insane.

A quarter-century after he changed everything by summiting Mount Everest without supplemental oxygen, Reinhold Messner is looking fit, feeling adventurous, and acting about as mellow as a snapping turtle. Ah, well: Great men aren't always sweethearts—and Messner is still the best there ever was.

Remember the lessons of Everest 1996? Nobody else seems to. The world's highest peak is more crowded than ever—and ripe for a deadly reckoning.

Monsoon hopeful: Arizona’s Mount Lemmon Q: We had planned a climbing trip to northwest New Mexico and southeast Arizona but are worried there’s nowhere open given the recent fires. We’re looking specifically for top-roping spots. The skill level in our group ranges from amateur to intermediate, and…

For two credulous seekers, dreaming of the lost big-wall treasure of the Sierra Madre Occidental is better than the real thing

Still Breathtaking After All These Years

After a dark year, Nepal offers up a trove of glittering new prizes: 103 peaks and miles of virgin terrain

When the weather turns ugly and conditions get rough, every mountaineer must make the ultimate choice: storm the summit, or call it quits.

It sounded like a good idea at the time: Journey to the sopping epicenter of the wettest place on earth, bag the peak, and get back in time for supper. But that was before the clouds clamped down on Mount Waialeale. Before the jungle closed in and the map became irrelevant. Before the machete-wielding, pig-hunting swamp guide said, "Would be so easy to get lost

A famed Texas climbing route gets cloned indoors

br NAME: LISA RANDS AGE: 26 GIG: BOULDERING SPECIALTY: TECHNICAL OUTDOOR CLIMBS HOMETOWN: BISHOP, CALIFORNIA HEIGHT: 5′ 4″ WEIGHT: 115 POUNDS SEEN NEXT: September 14 and 15 in Rovereto,…

#1 You must merge with the living energy of the mountain. #2 That nagging headache may be the result of an avalanche that has just crushed your tent. #3 In order to endure the most dire physical suffering at 25,000 feet, you must inhabit other dimensions free from pain. (Note: Pain returns upon reentry into the body.) #4 You will be compelled to ascend the most harrowing face in the Himalayas, alone. #5 Go home, break both of your legs, and start all over again.

WILL GADD is a world-class adventurer who wants his exploits to pay off. He tackles breakthrough climbs all over the planet (sounds good), makes so-so money doing it (less good), and could easily get killed every time he goes to work (sounds bad). Is this any way to make a living?

Calling all climbers: beckoning walls in Italy’s mighty Dolomites Q: I’m planning a trip to the Dolomites and am after suggestions of must-see places since there is so much to see and not enough days to see it all in. Is it worth bringing climbing gear for…

Gunung Rinjani Volcano: Lombok, Indonesia

On the other side of the world are other worldly sights-Tasmanian Devils, spirit houses, and the greatest reef of them all.

Want some sound business advice? Go climb a mountain. Hey, it's what all the savvy capitalists are doing these days.

Going Beyond the African Safari

Forget the Yosemite circus. Head north to Bugaboo Provincial Park, a fortress of world-class granite in a quiet corner of British Columbia.

“There is a reasonable chance somebody could die,” says a Dallas-based doctor and Hardrocker. “I’ve fallen, and almost been swept away by a waterfall.”

Beyond the top ropes and chalk stains, Joshua Tree's famous granite reveals its more mysterious faces.

A speed ascent of a Grand Canyon spire proves that light is right

His life’s grand pursuit has killed his closest companions. His bride-to-be is his best friend’s widow. His exploding fame owes as much to happenstance (stumbling upon Mallory’s body on Everest) and luck (escaping an avalanche in Tibet) as it does to his great skill as a mountaineer. An intimate look at the serendipitous, tumultuous, and nearly unbearable success of Conrad Anker.

An oral history of Everest's endearingly dysfunctional village

Alex Honnold talks with Sender Films about the history of Yosemite's climbing culture and gives his take on what free soloing is all about.  …

Exploring the most enchantingly rugged places on earth is easy. Just follow our guide to the world's ten classic treks, put one foot in front of the other—and don't forget to take it slow.

An ice-climbing trip to Scotland—land of rain, sleet, and mad outdoorsmen—brings new respect for the sport's big-hearted pioneers

Going core with Yvon Chouinard—leery capitalist, walking contradiction

A new wave of adventurers makes the case that the world has much left to offer

LAST FALL, 20-year-old human fly Chris Sharma clawed up the first 80 feet of limestone on Biographie Extensiona 70-move, 140-foot climbing route in Ceuse, south of Grenoble, France, that has yet to see its first full ascent and that is believed by many to be the hardest sport climb in…

One climber broke his back. One wandered in a daze. One tried, and failed, to save a friend. They all left behind a moment and a place that would haunt a dead mountaineer's daughter for decades. A pilgrimage in search of a lost father.

A cold mountain, a mismatched pair, and a meditation on the strange chemistry of partnership

Meet the toughest wall rats ever. Some of them are still redpointing routes (fused ankles and broken backs notwithstanding). Or running their own companies. Or passing the torch to young acolytes. A portrait gallery of American climbing's greatest generation.

If you want to get high, there's still a price to be paid for invading the towering ranges—despite some newfangled shortcuts

You could call it a youthful passion, but why mince words? What seized the author at age 19 was a fateful obsession with El Capitan.

Using cutting-edge techniques, three young mavericks set out to tackle one of the hardest routes in the Himalayas

Fall Special: The Indoor Climber's Guide to Gear, Training, and Access

Warning: Research at your own risk. Welcome to the new frontier, where scientists use extreme adventure skills in the wild pursuit of knowledge.

The treacherous history of the Matterhorn can be read in books and snowy graveyards, but to write it you've got to survive it

The peaks of the Italian Alps may look daunting, but climbing them is la dolce vita.

A crash course in old-growth tree climbing (it's tree hugging's rambunctious younger sibling). Wanna come out and have some deep fun?

A corps of rock rats in a hurry is putting the pedal to the mettle in big-wall climbing

A partner drops out, one thing leads to another, and suddenly our hero finds that peer pressure has him fighting for his life

An avalanche in Tibet takes the life of Alex Lowe

The rules (there are only three of them) remain the same for a lifetime, and they come from the mouths of babes

To save the day when the crevasse hits the fan; to be chased by AK-47-wielding bandits; to be the one guy who's gotta say, "Time to turn around, everybody"—this is what it means to be a professional guide. (Still interested?)