I was at prAna last night for their Scapegoat party—chatting with Beaver about elephant going online 100%, got some good advice, chatting with huge rock climber Dean Potter about…Alpinist magazine going out of business. He asked me about it, figuring as a magazine nerd I’d know something, but I’d only heard a week before and knew nothing. So, two google clicks later, here’s the scoop:
In an echo of our recent e-nnouncement, as well as that of Backpacking Light (with thanks for tip to Pat Smith) well-loved Alpinist is indeed closing its operations. Not sure exactly why—it was a quality, well-loved, well-written, pioneering publication that made you want to support it, put it on their coffee table, keep it on their shelves for years after reading. Our condolences and best wishes for a rebirth, online or otherwise. For those jonesing for quality climbing journalism, their visually stunning, content-overflowing web site appears to be as alive and well as ever.
It is with sadness that we announce that Alpinist has closed its doors.
We began Alpinist almost seven years ago in a moment of serendipity. What would it be like, we wondered, to create the magazine of our dreams? Twenty-six issues later (if you count Issue 0, which we do, and notwithstanding Issue 13, which we skipped) (sorry about that) we close with heartache, but not without a sense of accomplishment. The critical acknowledgement was welcome: three Maggie Awards, for Best Overall Design, Best Quarterly and Best E-Newsletter; Print magazine’s Regional Design award; a seven-page article in Outside magazine, “The Purists,” about our effect on American climbing. But more important were you, our community of readers, contributors and advertisers. Sometimes we felt this significance in letters you would write; other times, in chance encounters at the City of Rocks, in Squamish parking lots, in Hyalite, on routes here in the Tetons, we felt it when you approached us and expressed your gratitude, your enthusiasm, your stoke. We folded because there weren’t enough of you, but for our nearly 9,000 subscribers, and the countless other readers who picked us up on newsstands and passed us along to their friends, we spent hours, days, weeks, getting everything between our covers just right. We fought to publish Voytek Kurtyka’s “Losar,” Barry Blanchard’s “A Climber’s Tale,” Colin Haley’s “Going Square,” Tommy Caldwell’s “El Capitan.” It was an honor to reproduce Giulio Malfer’s photographs of climbing’s luminaries: from Andrej Stremfelj in Issue 1 to Jonny Woodward in Issue 20, we showcased some of the great climbers of our time. The artwork of Jeremy Collins, Tami Knight, Sean McCabe, Andreas Schmidt; the photographs of Thomas Ulrich, Glen Denny, Monique Dalmasso, Jonathan Scurlock, Andrew Burr: we included all of them according to the William Morris dictum, “Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.” For six and a half years…