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Mountain Stories

  • Solitude and Stars
    The dance of light, from sunrise to sunset, continually paints the rock canvas of the high mountains with the skill of a master painter, yet it is ever changing. Minute by minute the tableau unfolds from predawn silhouettes of ridges and sky, to luminescent walls bathed in the first morning sun. As the hours pass, […]
  • Temporary Landlords
    Rising abruptly from the Glacier du Tour, Aiguille du Chardonnet’s spiny backbone delineates the border between France and Switzerland. In 2009 my friend Yves and I set our sites on its Forbes Arête, considered one of the finest classic climbs in the Alps. From the safe confines of the Albert Premier Hut, our route looked […]
  • A Deadly Season in the Alps
    Orage – French for thunderstorm. Just one of the new words I’ve learned as the summer monsoon season in the Alps continues to drop new layers of snow with each day that passes. Historically, late July is the most stable time to climb in the Alps, but this year, as the snow line continues to […]
  • Difficult Conditions: The Matterhorn
    We had traveled thousands of miles to be at this very spot. Atop the Riffelhorn, high above the Gorner Glacier, our gazes fixed upon the peaks and snowy ridges of the high mountains. For many, these spiny backs and snow clad pinnacles merely mark the border of Italy and Switzerland. But for us, this wild […]
  • Gearing Up: The Matterhorn
    4,000 feet of sustained, exposed climbing on unstable rock at high altitudes, leads to the summit of one of the most iconic peaks on the planet; a goal that barely 60% that try it actually achieve. The Matterhorn still claims 12 deaths annually, and up to 1,200 are rescued in the area every season. Inexperience, […]
  • Route Shopping: The Matterhorn
    Iconic peaks seem to stir something within our souls. They stand in resolute isolation, their towering heights and sheer faces impervious from the valley floor. They exude power, majesty and enslave any alpinist who dare stare too long, tracing its ridges and routes to the summit. I must confess the Matterhorn has cast its spell […]