Suspension: How a Bridge Helped Me Cross My Fears

Riding the gondola to the top of Kicking Horse Mountain Resort. Photo and words: Lisa Kowieski 10:00 a.m. Kicking Horse Mountain Resort, Golden, British Columbia: Rain is coming down hard and the fog and heavy rain clouds have hidden the mountain range in a thick blanket of gray. Four of us are raised into a clearing in the middle of it; the 360-degree [...]

Leave No Trace: Correcting Common Beliefs in the Wild

Illustration by Lisa Kowieski “Ladies first,” the hiker said, stepping off the trail and gesturing to the thin strip of rooty ground next to the swampy trail. He watched in bemusement as our group of women splashed straight through the mud and puddles, chattering to each other about the best place to dig a cathole. I do this frequently: walk through puddles and talk [...]

Flash Foxy Women’s Climbing Festival: No Excuses

words and photos provided by Kayleen Castelli 6:30 a.m. Bishop, California: The sun is beginning to light the horizon. I want to snuggle a little deeper into my sleeping bag. Instead, I crawl out of my tent and breathe a sigh of relief. Today, a Friday, I am thankful not to be at work. Frankly, I am also thankful to no longer be in a [...]

Injured: A Holiday Blessing

words and photos: Catherine Slater Our adventures started 24 hours later than planned after the Manchester airport ran out of de-icer. As John, my boyfriend, and I sat on the plane full of Norwegians, we couldn’t help but be a bit embarrassed. Compared to the crazy winters in Norway, our English weather was pretty mild, yet we still couldn’t take off. We were [...]

Lessons from Lead Climbing: Balance in the Risk

words by Rachel Clark; illustration by Lisa Kowieski   A forty-foot wall is really high when you’re only a little taller than five feet. I was 18 when I first climbed. My friends took me to an indoor climbing gym, where I got about halfway up the wall and immediately wanted down. My sweaty hands agreed, but my belayer did not. Refusing to [...]

GQ Style: You Took Climbing & Made it Into Sexist Advertising

Climber: Pamela Shanti Pack Photo: @jasongebauerphotography An open letter to GQ Style editors There are many reasons behind climbing’s growing popularity. It can be an accessible leisure option or an extreme adventure in the wild—and it looks good on camera. Us climbers can be protective of our discipline, but it’s so good that we feel compelled to share it. That’s why seeing [...]

Scientific Adventure: Greenland’s Caves & Climate Change

photos by Robbie Shone   Gina Moseley returned home after a one-of-a-kind adventure. Her journey was sparked by a mission: to reconstruct the climate change history of Greenland. To do so, she, along with her team, planned to go deep into a remote system of caves and retrieve samples from ice cores. Through these, she hoped to study the past and understand the [...]

Women’s-Only Courses: A Teen’s Take

words: Abigail Perez-Martinez; photos: Gregory Irrgang My life started out as an adventure. I was born on a military base in Heidelberg, Germany on October 1, 2002. When I was one week old, my parents climbed into a car on a whim and drove with me from Heidelberg to Paris, France, as well as Belgium, Switzerland, and the Netherlands. It was a road [...]

Connecting through Art: A Smith Rock Climbing Community Project

words by Meg Kahnle   As I hiked to the base of the wall, I imagined that the gravel and rocks under my feet despised mornings as much as I did. But there was anticipation this morning; so much, in fact, that my palms were sweating and my heart swelled with excitement. That day was to be my first time climbing in the [...]

Shadow of Half Dome: Yosemite’s Burden

Half Dome rises like a tombstone from the densely forested floor of Yosemite Valley. From the vantage of Glacier Point, the towering rock looks its full height, topping off just short of 2,700 meters. It’s here, on the roof of Yosemite National Park, that the valley reveals its catalog of natural wonders: a panorama that includes Half Dome — and a thick layer of smog.  Upon close [...]