/ NEWS: Alpinist magazine suspends operations

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Damo on 17 Oct 2008
Jackson, Wyoming — October 16, 2008 — Alpinist LLC, which publishes the climbing magazine Alpinist, runs the website www.alpinist.com and produces The Alpinist Film Festival, announced today that the October 2008 financial crisis has forced them to suspend operations.

http://www.alpinist.com/

Edit: on news page:http://www.ukclimbing.com/news/older.html?month=10&year=2008#n45384

NEW EDITORIAL:

http://www.ukclimbing.com/articles/page.php?id=1349

On the demise of Alpinist by Dougald MacDonald.
duncan - on 17 Oct 2008
In reply to Damo:

Oh dear. There goes the only climbing magazine.
cmcteir - on 17 Oct 2008
In reply to Damo: Thats a real shame - one you got past the Americanisms it was a pretty good magazine.
The Ben issue was good also
Doug on 17 Oct 2008
In reply to Damo: So Alpinist joins the likes of Mountain & Mountain Review - great magazines that presumably didn't sell enough to be viable.

Is there a market for such a magazine ? maybe something like Ascent or Altitudes which appear yearly is the only viable option ?
cmcteir - on 17 Oct 2008
In reply to Doug: Mountain Review - havn't heard that one in a while; I used to read it at school!

God i'm getting old
Lemony - on 17 Oct 2008
In reply to Doug: Is Vertical still going? I tried to find a working wbsite to subscribe at last week but came up short.
cmcteir - on 17 Oct 2008
In reply to Lemony: I think you can buy it in WH Smith?
Paul F - on 17 Oct 2008
In reply to Lemony:

Received my copy of vertical just the other day. A bit of a slim issue, but still going non the less.
tony on 17 Oct 2008
In reply to Damo:

That's a great shame. It's such a pity that the one magazine which appeared to make an effort to maintain high editorial and production standards has been unable to keep going, whilst all the others which make so little apparent effort are kept going by the weight of advertising they are able to attract. Something skewed somewhere...
cmcteir - on 17 Oct 2008
In reply to tony: Agreed...
Someone posting on the alpinist web site said it was a pity as now all there was left was tabloids and porno's!
Si Withington - on 17 Oct 2008
In reply to Damo:

That really is sh't..... really sh't
philip king - on 17 Oct 2008
In reply to Damo:
Damn bad news, that was the only mag I subscribed to ;-(

Anybody want to sell me their issue 11 so my collection is complete?
Justin T - on 17 Oct 2008
In reply to Damo:

Gutted to hear this - damn damn damn best mag (well you can't even really call it a mag) ever.
Michael Ryan - on 17 Oct 2008


Just to give you an insight here.

The majority of the World's climbing magazines operate at a loss. They are quite often supported by their parent company or benefactors/investors.

They have faced declining circulation and readership due to a more diverse climbing media... films, websites, blogs, youtube, events.... a fractured and diverse media which often is specialised to cater for the individual tastes of climbers and mountaineers.

Along side this, a professional media lives or dies by the support of its advertisers. The advertising spend of outdoor companies is more diverse than it was in the past because they have recognised that to reach the majority of the climbers and mountaineers they have to get exposure .... in these films, websites, blogs, youtube, events, magazines, in stores ..... whilst the advertising budget may have stayed the same it is spread around more.

In fact many outdoor companies effectively have their own media with websites and pro-climbers blogs.

Lastly, much of the print media have been slow to develop interactive communities, they have either come in late or have not grasped it effectively, quite often they are antagonistic to their actual readers.

It's a two-way relationship these days, not one way.

Interesting times.
adderz - on 17 Oct 2008
In reply to Damo:

climbers are just naturally tight fisted old gits
Heike - on 17 Oct 2008
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com:

O, what a shame. I just ordered a 2 year subscription as a birthday present. Do people think I'll get money back or is there no chance...?

philip king - on 17 Oct 2008
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com:
Wasn't Alpinist backed by Mark Ewing who sold Red Hat lunix in/just after the dot com boom?
Michael Ryan - on 17 Oct 2008
In reply to philip king:
> (In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com)
> Wasn't Alpinist backed by Mark Ewing who sold Red Hat lunix in/just after the dot com boom?

That's correct

Like Beckwith, Marc Ewing discovered climbing in college. A computer-science and mathematics major at Pittsburgh's Carnegie Mellon University, he occasionally weekended at Seneca Rocks, in nearby West Virginia. After graduating in 1992, Ewing began tinkering with something called Linux—a new, free, nonproprietary computer operating system that was sprouting up in pieces all over the Internet. He soon realized that the working version he'd cobbled together for himself might be something his fellow techies would pay for. "It wasn't like I had some sort of business plan," Ewing says. "I just wanted to avoid getting a real job."

In 1994, Ewing and a partner formed Red Hat, a company that made and distributed Linux products and would later be swarmed by investors keen to cash in on the tech boom. Red Hat was capitalized at around $6.5 billion in 1999, and though a lot of that value subsequently vanished, Ewing is in no danger of going broke. According to the 2004 Forbes "40 Under 40" report—an annual ranking of the youngest, richest people in the country—Ewing occupies the 24th spot, just ahead of Julia Roberts, with a fortune estimated at $217 million.


http://outside.away.com/outside/features/200503/alpinist_3.html
blondel - on 17 Oct 2008
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com:

Interesting times? Changing times, certainly. It's in line with the local secondhand bookshop failing to find buyers for its books: we've changed the way we read as well as the way we live. It's all ephemeral, ideas are zipping around the globe, coming and going, sometimes we catch them, sometimes we don't, but there's always another one coming along, so let's not worry. Why should we pay for our reading now when it's all out there somewhere for free?

But after all, we can live our whole lives attached to a computer now, without ever having to worry about the real world beyond the window. It's why some of us take to the hills ... with a book or a magazine in our rucksack.
Michael Ryan - on 17 Oct 2008
In reply to an gwynne:
> (In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com)
>
> Why should we pay for our reading now when it's all out there somewhere for free?

Quality costs.
ads.ukclimbing.com
cmcteir - on 17 Oct 2008
Lemony - on 17 Oct 2008
In reply to cmcteir: Ahhhh, thankyou. Site must have been down when I looked.
Toby S - on 17 Oct 2008
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com:

Alpinist was a fantastic publication and imho nothing beats having a magazine like that in your hands. The interweb is all well and good but I think you lose some of the... soul (not sure if that's the right word?).. that you get with print. It's a real shame that it has come to this.
blondel - on 17 Oct 2008
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com:
> (In reply to an gwynne)
> [...]
>
> Quality costs.

Indeed. And sadly we live in a culture now where quality counts for a good deal less than quantity, and content counts for less than image. Or am I just getting old?

Michael Ryan - on 17 Oct 2008
In reply to Toby S:

Print has to made sustainable. You can't operate at a loss forever. Got to be pragmatic.

Alpinist may rise again: keep you posted.
Wingnut - on 17 Oct 2008
In reply to an gwynne:
>>we can live our whole lives attached to a computer now

Reminds me of a wet evening in the club hut a while back. Someone's teenage daughter was wandering around griping at anyone within earshot about how she was in danger of actually dying of boredom because she couldn't get on the internet and couldn't get a phone signal either. Eventually she came and whinged at me while I was curled up in front of the fire with a good book. I suggested she do likewise (the building has quite a reasonable library, not all of it climbing-related) and she looked at me as though there was something fundamental I'd completely failed to understand.
Michael Ryan - on 17 Oct 2008
In reply to an gwynne:
> (In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com)
> [...]
>
> Indeed. And sadly we live in a culture now where quality counts for a good deal less than quantity, and content counts for less than image. Or am I just getting old?

For a sustainable climbing media you have to embrace all climbers, and embrace both quality and quantity, short attentions and more discerning attention spans, image, style and substance.

Above all you have to be respectful of your readers who are also your contributors.

No one has done that yet.

alasdair19 on 17 Oct 2008
In reply to Heike: if you paid by credit card you'll be fine as VIsa will owe you the money back. if its a debit card or cheque then no chance.
Mr Lopez - on 17 Oct 2008
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com:

> For a sustainable climbing media you have to embrace all climbers, and embrace both quality and quantity, short attentions and more discerning attention spans, image, style and substance.
>
> Above all you have to be respectful of your readers who are also your contributors.


One of the many reasons i buy Alpinist magazine is because in my opinion it does exactly that.
It features numerous contributions from 'normal' people, not just the usual superstars you find in most mags, who may be good at climbing, but should leave the writing for people who does it better. Not only that, but it pays acceptably well to anyone who gets anything published.
The range of articles both in content and 'length' is wide, and there's a good choice of short (in my case) toilet reading, or longer bed time articles.
Also, i found it to be the only mag that apart of having the best photography, it's rich in text, and i don't read it and dump it within the hour after buying it.
I did never notice any lack of respect to it's readers/contributors, more the opposite.
John2 - on 17 Oct 2008
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com: 'Print has to made sustainable. You can't operate at a loss forever. Got to be pragmatic'

An interesting parallel is the very fine literary magazine Granta, which is owned by the daughter of Hans Rausching who is one of the richest men in Europe. It is believed to run at a substantial loss.
Glen - on 17 Oct 2008
In reply to Damo:

If anyone has a copy of issue 22 (the Ben Nevis one) they don't want. I'll happily pay cash....
JIB - on 17 Oct 2008
In reply to alasdair19:
> (In reply to Heike) if you paid by credit card you'll be fine as VIsa will owe you the money back. if its a debit card or cheque then no chance.

Have a look for the thread which dealt with the collapse of the holiday company 'XL to Kos'
http://www.ukclimbing.com/forums/t.php?t=320144&v=1#x4723429


where Nick Smith posted this link
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/programmes/working_lunch/7347146.stm
JIB - on 17 Oct 2008
If anyone's interested in a copy of Alpinist 17 :-)
threepeaks - on 17 Oct 2008
In reply to Toby S:
> The interweb is all well and good but I think you lose some of the... soul (not sure if that's the right word?).. that you get with print. It's a real shame that it has come to this.

It's also very difficult to take the interweb to the bog with you... because everyone knows that's where dreams are formed!

Dave S
a lakeland climber on 17 Oct 2008
In reply to Wingnut:

:-)

"There is nothing on earth more exquisite than a bonny book, with well-placed columns of rich black writing in beautiful borders, and illuminated pictures cunningly inset. But nowadays, instead of looking at books, people read them. "

ALC
Michael Ryan - on 17 Oct 2008
In reply to Mr Lopez:
> (In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com)
>
> [...]
>
>
> One of the many reasons i buy Alpinist magazine is because in my opinion it does exactly that.
> It features numerous contributions from 'normal' people, not just the usual superstars you find in most mags, who may be good at climbing, but should leave the writing for people who does it better. Not only that, but it pays acceptably well to anyone who gets anything published.
> The range of articles both in content and 'length' is wide, and there's a good choice of short (in my case) toilet reading, or longer bed time articles.
> Also, i found it to be the only mag that apart of having the best photography, it's rich in text, and i don't read it and dump it within the hour after buying it.
> I did never notice any lack of respect to it's readers/contributors, more the opposite.

I agree with you wholeheartedly.

My favourite climbing journal too.

Some think that there is a competition between web and print: and there is in many respects.

Too me, it isn't an either-or situation however. Print and web go hand in hand ideally, both must be done right.

To be sustainable, to be profitable, to produce quality, you have to do both... as Dave Sarkar says, nothing better than reading a mag or a book on the bog.

What I am interested in above everything, and am passionate about, is a healthy climbing media.

Mick
JIB - on 17 Oct 2008
My sincere apologies if this post appears in bad taste and seems to pick over the bones of an outstanding publication - I am gutted about the loss of 'Alpinist', it was the only magazine I would buy.


Just spoken to my bank:-

The time limit of 4 months, with respect to using Visa Chargeback to claim back debit card payments, does not apply to a subscription. Instead the time period of the subscription *appears* to allow a bigger time limit (I renewed my subscription in June, c4 months ago). Check with your bank if this applies to you.
Michael Ryan - on 17 Oct 2008
In reply to JIB:

whoooaaaaa.... hold on ...

This story is unfolding. There is a chance that Alpinist could continue.
Heike - on 17 Oct 2008
In reply to JIB and alasdair19:

thanks, I'll look into that and I'll have to find another birthday present of course.....:-(

shame, as it's a great magazine, my favourite one really.
Si Withington - on 17 Oct 2008
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com:

> whoooaaaaa.... hold on ...
>
> This story is unfolding. There is a chance that Alpinist could continue.

Do tell?

ads.ukclimbing.com
Hugh Cottam - on 17 Oct 2008
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com:

You can't really blame people Mick for worrying about their subscriptions. To be honest I'm surprised that there hasn't been considerably more discussion on that topic. I you think it may continue then you'd be better off not reporting its demise. Who's going to sign up for a subscription now?
HDog on 17 Oct 2008 - hanchau.jpl.nasa.gov
In reply to Damo:

And I just wrote a check for a two year subscription for $89.95. I shoulda known, same thing happened with Mountain.
captain paranoia - on 17 Oct 2008
In reply to adderz:

> climbers are just naturally tight fisted old gits

That'll be the Dupuytren's contracture...
Michael Ryan - on 17 Oct 2008
In reply to Hugh Cottam:
> (In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com)
>
> You can't really blame people Mick for worrying about their subscriptions.

I don't.

Adam Long - on 17 Oct 2008
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com:

I wonder how many more subscribers they'd need to break even? 50%? An appeal might work, I've always bought them from a shop. They seem to limit the amount of advertising too, its nice but I could cope with a little more.
Vip1r on 17 Oct 2008 - 5ac6e943.bb.sky.com
In reply to Damo:

That's a shame-much better mag than the ego-stroking UK ones-it's more akin to a coffe table item- the Playboy of climbing mags!
GrahamD - on 17 Oct 2008
In reply to Vip1r:

I doubt if Mrs D would entertain the idea of Playboy on our coffee table.

Back on topic, I wish I'd bought a copy of Alpinist now to see what the fuss is about.
SI A on 17 Oct 2008 - 77-102-252-52.cable.ubr03.hawk.blueyonder.co.uk
In reply to Damo:


nooooo. that will be a real loss. How can we help them keep it going?

A truly beautiful piece of work.
Vip1r on 17 Oct 2008 - 5ac6e943.bb.sky.com
In reply to SI A:

You gotta read and not just look at the pictures mind...
kajsurfer on 17 Oct 2008
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com:
By far the best "magazine" available for surfers is The Surfer's Journal. It is pretty unique in that it is reader supported and not reliant on advertising.

From their website:

"Now in our 17th year, The Journal was founded in 1992 by Debbee and Steve Pezman, who prior to that had spent eight and twenty-one years respectively at the helm of Surfer magazine....... The Journal concept is a specialized hybrid, a cross between a book and a magazine........ is content driven with restricted availability, and is reader supported (as opposed to advertising), a concept that is unique in the periodical publishing world. This strategy leaves us free to tell the truth and explore the peripheries while emphasizing purist non-commercial aspects that are at the core of wave riding."

The journal is of course expensive compared to typical outdoor rags but as with most things you get what you pay for and in this case that means high quality articles with thoughtful writing and immaculate images. It goes far deeper into the soul of its subject matter than any other magazine I have ever read.

I know climbers are tight fisted. I certainly am. But if this journal manages to survive perhaps it could act as a template for something to satisfy the more cerebral amongst mountain lovers.


Dean - on 17 Oct 2008
In reply to Damo:

Wonderful magazine ... truly classic editions every now again. I pretty much bin all magazines after I've read them ... but have kept all my Alpinist's ....

Got my renewal notice on the desk in front of me ..... was waiting to see if they'd survive this fallout ... it's sad they haven't ....
Doug on 18 Oct 2008
In reply to kajsurfer: sounds like Ascent (although I'm not sure its still published) or the French 'Altitudes' (although issue 4 is very late)
In reply to Dave Sarkar:

> It's also very difficult to take the interweb to the bog with you... because everyone knows that's where dreams are formed!

With wireless and a laptop its surprisingly easy!
nathanmanc - on 18 Oct 2008
In reply to Glen: We have a couple of copies of 22 (and a few of the other recent issues) at the Cotswold store at Manchester Climbing Centre.. we don't post out tho, sorry.
JIB - on 18 Oct 2008
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com:
> (In reply to JIB)
>
> whoooaaaaa.... hold on ...
>
> This story is unfolding. There is a chance that Alpinist could continue.

Thanks Mick, please keep up the feed of information. I've subscribed since #11 (and the most-recent sub renewal in June was for 2 years) so I would far prefer Alpinist to continue; it is the best climbing mag on the market and I've never had any problems with my sub, even changing my address - as I have said on other threads here in the past.

(Was aware that there was a '4 month limit' with visa chargeback...and my sub was at that limit but now I know that I've additional time - and the bank won't do anything until they are sure that Alpinist has gone - I'm in no particular hurry)

I hope they resolve their problems and make it through this difficult time.

Thanks

Jan
In reply to Damo:

NEW EDITORIAL:

http://www.ukclimbing.com/articles/page.php?id=1349

On the demise of Alpinist by Dougald MacDonald.

This topic has been archived, and won't accept reply postings.