Issue 71

Fiftieth Anniversary of Americans on Everest

Fiftieth Anniversary of Americans on Everest

The expedition’s equipment was the best gear available in 1963. Photo: Barry Corbet Surviving members of the 1963 American Mount Everest Expedition gather in Richmond, CA on February 23 The American Alpine Club will host a dinner to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the successful effort to put the first Americans on Everest. In attendance will be expedition members Allen Auten, Tom Hornbein, and Jim Whittaker all in their eighties, as well as team leader Norman Dyhrenfurth, now in his mid-nineties. In the words of AAC marketing director Erik Lambert, “On May 1, 1963 Jim Whittaker and Sherpa Nawang Gombu summited Mount Everest. Their ascent stands among the greatest mountaineering feats of all time and secured Whittaker’s place as the first American to summit the highest peak on earth. Their ascent has given inspiration and courage to countless climbers pushing through setbacks to achieve an ultimate goal. The imposing summit...
The Great Ski Race

The Great Ski Race

Photo Tim Hauserman 37th Anniversary, Sunday March 3rd, 2013, 9AM Hundreds of cross-country ski racers will gather for the 37th annual Great Ski Race on March 3. This historic 30K (18-mile) event begins at Tahoe Cross Country Center above Dollar Point in Tahoe City, winds through the forest and mountains of North Lake Tahoe, and ends at the Cottonwood Restaurant in Truckee. The race is one of the largest cross-country races in the West. Every year, 800 to 1,100 ski racers, touring skiers, disabled athletes and snowshoers turn out for the race looking for achievement and adventure, or maybe just the famous finish-line party, which includes live music, a hot lunch, prizes, raffles, and beer for the age-qualified participants. Sierra Nevada Brewing will once again be pouring this year. The race is the main fundraising event for the Tahoe Nordic Search and Rescue Team, a non-profit all volunteer organization...
Winter Oasis

Winter Oasis

The Tuolumne Meadows Ski Hut provides warmth and companionship for Sierra pilgrims By Leonie Sherman • Photos by Daniel Kangas Modern skis have grown fat to accommodate a need for excitement and adrenaline in a fast paced, media driven world. But those long sleds we attach to our feet were first designed to facilitate travel in the mountains during long, snowy winters. A ski tour in Tuolumne Meadows allows you to connect with ancestors of yore by using skis for their original purpose. So, just for a while, forget shredding, carving, and turning and concentrate on the simplicity and improbable beauty of gliding over seven feet of crystallized water in its fluffiest form. Explore anywhere you please, because trails no longer matter. You’ll see Tuolumne as never before, in a way you’ll never forget. Telemark turns in a dome wonderland. Photo: Daniel Kangas I used to mourn the first flurries...
The Natural

The Natural

2012 training run on Iztaccihuatl, Mexico, 2012. Photo: Rachael Lincoln From climbing prodigy to rock gym pioneer to outdoor educator, Peter Mayfield is just hitting his stride By Brad Rassler In the predawn hours of July 13, 2011, Peter Mayfield walked through the skeletal remains of Manzanar, the mothballed World War II Japanese internment camp located hard by Highway 395, in California’s Eastern Sierra. Seven miles distant, in serpentine repose, lay Mayfield’s objective for that day: the Himalayan-scaled northeast ridge of Mt. Williamson, with its 10,000 vertical feet of weathered granite stretching from high desert scrub to its 14,389’ summit — the longest ridge in the Sierra Nevada. Glancing downrange, Mayfield could just make out the monolithic east arête of 13,225’ Mt. Carl Heller, bathed in alpenglow; beyond Carl Heller, and out of view, loomed the summits of Mts. Russell and Whitney, both over 14,000 feet, with Whitney, of...
Fortune Favors the Bold

Fortune Favors the Bold

The 1963 American Mount Everest Expedition (AMEE) Risked Everything and Paid a High Price for Success By Matt Niswonger • Photos by Barry Corbet On February 22nd, the American Alpine Club will host a weekend in the San Francisco Bay Area to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the first American expedition to successfully climb Mount Everest. The weekend will be made possible by Eddie Bauer, an AMEE original sponsor. As the American Alpine Club convenes to mark the golden anniversary of the AMEE’s climb, members and guests will reflect on this historical achievement during a weekend of scheduled events. Honored members will include expedition members James Whittaker and Tom Hornbein, now in their eighties; as well as expedition leader Norman Dyhrenfurth, now in his mid-nineties. AMEE climbers Nawang Gombu, Luther Jerstad, Barry Bishop, Norman Dyhrenfurth (leader), Jim Whittaker, and Tom Hornbein. Photo: Barry Corbet Summiting Everest in 1963 is...
Editor’s Note: Issue 71

Editor’s Note: Issue 71

The Power of Play A view from the water at the 2013 Mavericks Invitational, with Pillar Point Air Force Station visible in the background. Photo: Mike DeGregorio Diane Ackerman, in her influential 1999 book Deep Play, identified the existence of a type of play sought by adults that unleashes a latent and highly creative part of our minds. For Ackerman, deep play is a somewhat enigmatic phenomenon. For example, some adults don’t seem to engage in play very often, while others spend their entire lives devoted to it. For those of us who have carved out careers in the outdoor industry, the long hours and low pay are mitigated by the fact that going outside to blow off steam and recapture our sanity is accepted and even admired in this line of work. Yes, we’ll do the long days at the tradeshow, but only because we get to go...
California Trails

California Trails

Mt. Tamalpais Stinson Beach – Pantoll Loop Hike Story and Photos by Haven Livingston View of Stinson Beach from the Dipsea Trail. Choosing a day hike from the myriad options in Marin County can be a serious challenge. One route that seems to make most local’s top pick list is the Matt Davis-Steep Ravine-Dipsea Loop from Stinson Beach. It’s great any time of year, you just have to pick the right day. With the coastal climate of Central California you might get drizzled on in June and have a sunny sweat fest in January. Each season serves up its own bonus from spring wildflowers to winter waterfalls. Starting the 7.3-mile hiking only trail at Stinson beach has the advantage of ending with a downhill, but starting at the Pantoll Ranger station is also an option. Either way you’ll be going downhill one way and up the other. From the...
Laughing Out Loud

Laughing Out Loud

Pro Snowboarder Iris “Lazz” Lazzareschi gets serious about the Freeride World Tour By Julie Brown • Photo by Jason Abraham Photo by Jason Abraham Granite Peak opened on a bluebird day. A stream of powder-hungry skiers and riders hiked the boot pack to Squaw Valley’s highest point. Walking along the ridge, I passed a snowboarder who was eyeing a line that would send her off a cliff and into the apron at full speeds. I couldn’t see her face behind the goggles and gear. But then she laughed. “Iris!” I said. I would know Iris Lazzareschi’s laugh anywhere—it starts deep and comes out like a contagious full-body giggle, lighting up her face. I caught a quick hug before she pushed off down the mountain, arcing her board confidently to the line she had mapped out. She went air born off the cliff, landed like a feather and disappeared into...
Freedom on the Slopes

Freedom on the Slopes

Snowskating Approaches Critical Mass By Melissa Duge Spiers Photo: Mike Steinhauser Go ahead, you can admit it. You miss the days when snowboarding made you feel like a rebel on the slopes. You enjoyed it when people nearly fell off the lift watching you carve down the hill below them on that weird new board-thingie. And you definitely miss the young fans following you on and off the slopes; peppering you with questions about that crazy thing you’re riding. With all the shredders, tele-masters and tricksters at the resorts today it is nearly impossible to distinguish yourself from any of the other baggy-pantsed downhillers. Unless you’re the next Flying Rutabaga, you are sorta …well…run of the mill. But all is not lost: hold onto your boards because you are going back to the future and will be showered with questions and attention again this season. You are freeing your...
Backcountry Bushwhack

Backcountry Bushwhack

Mountain bike portage across the Santa Ynez River from an earlier trip. Photo: Chuck Graham An 80-mile trek through the San Rafael Wilderness By Chuck Graham Twelve miles into an eighty mile backcountry trek, swaying meadows swept across the rugged horizon of the Sierra Madre Mountains. This was the San Rafael Wilderness, a small part of the Los Padres National Forest. The rolling meadows were surrounded by sandstone rock outcroppings and draped in a colorful display of lupine and other native flowers. Earlier in the day my wife kindly dropped me off in a shady grove of oak trees at Aliso Park in Cuyama, straddling the border of Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo Counties. From the trailhead I headed west following steep switchbacks ascending a range cloaked in chaparral to the crest of the Sierra Madres. Backcountry cabin built in the early 20th century and still standing. Photo:...
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