R.I.P Alpinist

The magazine you keep — a stack of Alpinist
in the middle of my climbing library.

My favorite magazine, Alpinist, shut its doors today after only 25 quarterly issues.  Alpinist was what I’d call a “coffee table magazine” — it was printed on thick, glossy paper, featured stunning photos, clean design, great writing, and almost no ads.  It was too nice to throw away, so most of the issues are stacked on my bookshelf with other climbing books.

In America, rock climbing is a misunderstood sport.  It’s viewed as “extreme” in the same vein as skydiving and motocross.  The truth is that climbing, and most climbers, are anything but extreme.  Climing is all about controlled movement, enjoyment of nature, and minimizing risk.  Nonetheless, it remains a niche activity, which makes it tough for climbing-related businesses to thrive.

Alpinist was never profitable — It relied on the financial support of a dot com millionaire.  I guess the recent financial crisis made the magazine feel like a less worthy investment.   So long, Alpinist — maybe in a few years the issues on my bookshelf will be collectors items.

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