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Plan B: Business as Unusual

Adam Howard rappelling into the clouds at the Col du Chardonnet in Chamonix, France, in 2008 as Gordy Skoog looks on. [Photo] Jeff Diener Dear readers, contributors and partners, Stepping off the skintrack at the base of the Glacier du Chardonnet, I ask the indomitable Gordy Skoog, "What‘s Plan B for making the col if the weather socks in?" We are hours into our unguided attempt to ski the Haute Route from Chamonix, France to Zerm

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Climbers, cavers, high-rise workers help clean debris from rooftops after Zagreb earthquake

Jagor Koprek, Matija Tomorad and Marko Matosevic remove a damaged chimney above Vlaska Street in the center of Zagreb, Croatia. Koprek is one of the organizers of the volunteer movement to help clean up dangerous debris from city rooftops after the March 22 earthquake that rocked the country‘s capital. [Photo] Ivica Sturlan On March 22, a Sunday morning, Croatia‘s capital city of Zagreb was in the first week of lockdown to addr

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Nolan Smythe killed in rockfall while climbing Logical Progression on Mexico‘s El Gigante

Nolan Smythe photos from the GoFundMe webpage. [Photos] Savannah Cummins On March 6, Nolan Smythe, 26, a highly regarded climber and BASE jumper from Moab, Utah, was climbing Pitch 14 of Logical Progression (VI 5.13, 2,800‘)-- a famous 28-pitch sport climb on El Gigante in northern Mexico--when a ledge he was standing on gave way beneath him; the rockfall cut his rope and he fell 1,500 feet to the valley below. Smythe‘s lon

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Climbing rock--yes, touching real rock--can potentially spread the coronavirus

So far, the warnings about COVID-19 (aka "coronavirus") have been about climbers gathering outdoors and how groups of people in rural communities could stress healthcare resources in places like Bishop and Moab. But as of last week, a new problem has been presented for climbers: touching real stone. "If someone carrying COVID-19 touched rock--or coughed or sneezed on it--there‘s clear evidence suggesting that, yes, COVID-19 may be co

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Film festivals are offering free online viewings; here‘s what we‘re watching

A screenshot of the Winter Wildlands Alliance Backcountry Film Fest video. As the COVID-19 pandemic spread throughout the United States and the world, stay-in-place orders have forced a change of plans for all kinds of public gatherings. That includes film festivals, some of which are now offering free online viewings. Here we‘ve gathered some links to free film fests and videos that we think may be of interest to Alpinist readers.

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Something Yet Higher: Charles Madison Crenchaw Exhibit Opens at the Bradford Washburn American Mountaineering Museum

James Edward Mills stands in front of his exhibit featuring African American mountaineer Charles Madison Crenchaw at the Bradford Washburn American Mountaineering Museum, in Golden, Colorado. [Photo] Courtesy of James Edward Mills "Something Yet Higher," an exhibition featuring African American mountaineer Charles Madison Crenchaw, opened at the Bradford Washburn American Mountaineering Museum in Golden, Colorado, on February 6. Crenchaw w

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Climbing Grief Grant application period is now open; 10 apps received within first 24 hours

The application period for the Climbing Grief Grant through the American Alpine Club (AAC) and the Climbing Grief Fund (CGF) is now open. The grant "offers financial support for individuals directly impacted by grief, loss, and/or trauma related to climbing, ski mountaineering or alpinism," according to the webpage. "We received 10 grant applications within the first 24 hours," said Madaleine Sorkin, who has spearheaded the initiative

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Italian alpinist Matteo Bernasconi killed in avalanche while ski-mountaineering

Matteo Bernasconi in his element. [Photo] Courtesy of Matteo Della Bordella As travel restrictions for the COVID-19 pandemic continue, climbers around the world connected remotely through Facebook on May 17 to raise their glasses in a toast to the life of Matteo "Berna" Bernasconi, a highly regarded Italian alpinist who died in an avalanche while ski-mountaineering in northern Italy on May 12. He was 38 years old. Bernasconi worked as a

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Matt Cornell free solos Hyalite Canyon testpiece, Nutcracker (M9 WI5+, 450‘)

Matt Cornell climbing Nutcracker (M9 WI5+, 5 pitches)--with a rope and partner, prior to his solo ascent--in Montana‘s Hyalite Canyon. [Photo] Nathan Norby On February 15, Bozeman climber Matt Cornell, 25, free soloed Nutcracker (M9 WI5+*, 5 pitches), in Montana‘s Hyalite Canyon. (*The Joe Josephson guidebook lists a grade of WI6, but Cornell and other local climbers agree that the ice on the route is in good condition this ye

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Coronavirus concerns prompt American Alpine Club to conduct benefit dinner remotely

The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic--which recently reached Colorado--has prompted the American Alpine Club (AAC) to make changes to its annual benefit dinner (ABD), which is the club‘s biggest fundraiser of the year. This Saturday, March 14, instead of eating steak and prawns while rubbing elbows with climbing legends, guests are now invited to attend the event online as a "Virtual ABD," starting at 5 p.m. Mountain Time. "We‘v

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