Prometheus Unchained

Mick Ward reminisces about the British magazines that transformed climbing media as we venture ever further into the digital age, in memory of the late Ken Wilson.

Prometheus Unchained

The Finest Routes in the Alps - Grand Pilier D'Angle North Face

Located on the upper Peuterey Ridge in the western corner of the Brenva Glacier basin, this is a remote and spectacular part of the Mont Blanc massif. The faces are impressive, and abundantly decorated with huge tottering seracs. The north face of the Grand Pilier d'Angle offers a stunning selection of mixed, ice and rock routes.

The Finest Routes in the Alps - Grand Pilier D'Angle North Face

Helen Mort - No Map Could Show Them

No Map Could Show Them. The pioneering Victorian women in mountaineering of the early twentieth Century. The women whose narratives and achievements became lost in the mountains, where they forged paths and ascended; their stories brought back down to earth, only to be silenced by the patriarchy.

Rediscovering and amplifying the voices of these female mountaineers today is acclaimed poet and keen climber Helen Mort, in her latest poetry anthology No Map Could Show Them. Natalie Berry interviews Helen on combining the introspective world of writing with the creative escape of the great outdoors, alongside poem readings and our UKC filmpoem 'Dear Alison.'

Helen Mort - No Map Could Show Them

Leo Houlding: The Man in the Mirror

In July 2015, Leo Houlding led a five-strong team to make the first ascent of Reflections, (E6 6b, A3+, 1250m) on the North West face of the Mirror Wall in Greenland, spending twelve nights on the wall. Although cracking the Mirror was unlikely to cause a superstitious seven years of bad luck, it proved to be a life-affirming trip for Leo in many respects.

A film of the team's ascent - Mirror Wall - is now available online for free. Our UKC Digital Feature explores the ascent through interview, photographs, an interactive topo and the film itself, presented by Berghaus and Coldhouse Collective.

Leo Houlding: The Man in the Mirror

The Width of Life

It's not the length of one's life that matters most; it's the width. Dave, in touching so many of us, led a very wide life, and that is to be admired.

The Width of Life

The Finest Routes in the Alps - Grandes Jorasses

The north face of the Grandes Jorasses is one of the steepest and most beautiful in the Alps. At 1.5km wide and 1200m mile high it is an impressive sight. Alongside the Eiger, Drus, Matterhorn, Piz Badile and Cima Grande di Lavaredo it is one of the six 'classic' north faces of the Alps.

The Finest Routes in the Alps - Grandes Jorasses

The Master of Moves

FOR ALMOST HIS ENTIRE LIFE, Jacky Godoffe, the 59-year-old French bouldering legend and World Cup routesetter, has lived in the forest of Fontainebleau.

The Master of Moves

The Finest Routes in the Alps - Lenzspitze

From the west the Lenzspitze appears as a rather modest bump at the southern end of the Nadelgrat. However from Saastal to the east and the Oberland to the north it shows its true form and its beautiful NE snow face, the Dreieselwand, is instantly recognizable.

The Finest Routes in the Alps - Lenzspitze

A Range of Revelations

In March 2015, Ben flew to Alaska with his long time climbing partner Pete Graham. Their objective was in the Revelation Mountains, 100 miles south of Denali.

A Range of Revelations

The Finest Routes in the Alps - Aiguille Verte

The jagged silhouette of this magnificent route can be seen high on the skyline when travelling along the Chamonix valley. It is a long, inspiring and commiting line that for most parties will require at least one night bivouacing under the stars.

The Finest Routes in the Alps - Aiguille Verte

Barbara Zangerl - Sharing the Line

For Babsi Zangerl, climbing the intimidating Bellavista, one of the hardest alpine multi-pitches in the world at 8c, wasn't about conquering the route's huge roof. As Babsi quested upwards, trusting rusty pitons and terrible rock, she and her partner, Ambassador Jacopo Larcher, depended totally upon each other. "The most important thing is not standing on the summit...probably the most important thing for me is to share these experiences with somebody."

Barbara Zangerl - Sharing the Line

The Finest Routes in the Alps - Rimpfischhorn

The serrated 'stickleback' profile of the Rimpfischhorn's North Ridge makes it an easily recognisable landmark. It is located on the watershed between the Zermatt's Mattertal valley and Saastal.

A long approach over a spread of complex glaciers deters all but the most ardent of alpinists.

The Finest Routes in the Alps - Rimpfischhorn

The Finest Routes in the Alps: Mont Blanc

This route is the longest ridge climb in the Alps. It involves an 800m approach hike to a route which then accumulates 4500m of height gain and finishes at the summit of Mont Blanc.

It is a highlight of any alpinists career and most people will take two to three days to complete the route. It thus requires very stable weather and ideal conditions.

The Finest Routes in the Alps: Mont Blanc

The Finest Routes in the Alps - Grand Combin

On the Alpine horizon Grand Combin appears like a giant stepping stone. It is isolated as the only 4000m peak between the Mont Blanc massif and the smorgasbord of high mountains around Zermatt.

It is also much less frequently climbed than any of the major peaks in the adjacent areas due to its relative inaccessibility. The principal summit, the Combin de Grafeneire is the culmination of a long ridge and plateau.

The Finest Routes in the Alps - Grand Combin

The Finest Routes in the Alps: Aletschhorn

After a winter with plenty of snowfall most glaciers across the Alps will have their crevasses well bridged. Though technically not difficult the North-East ArĂȘte of the Aleschhorn is a remote and strenuous undertaking.

The Aletschhorn is a massive and shapely peak that dominates the southern flank of the Bernese Alps. It is the second highest peak in the range after the Finsteraarhorn. On the summit, high above the Rhone valley, it feels like being on the hinge of the Alps.

The Finest Routes in the Alps: Aletschhorn

The Finest Routes in the Alps: Breithorn

February is definitely not peak season for Alpine mountaineering. It is cold, slow and challenging climbing in winter... perfect time to have a bit of an adventure. As we saw last month, with a judicious choice of route we can still get out on the highest peaks in the depths of winter.

In this second part in the series "The Finest Routes in the Alps", Ben Tibbetts takes us on a journey across the East-West traverse of Breithorn.

The Finest Routes in the Alps: Breithorn

The Finest Routes in the Alps: Gran Paradiso

January in the Alps. Most of us are thinking of climbing valley based icefalls or hunting the next powder turns. It's the coldest time of year and there is an abundance of loose powder snow. The avalanche risk is often considerable or high. Can we still get out on the highest mountains?

In the first part of this series of 12 articles, Ben Tibbetts shows us the summit of one of the Alp's most spectacular mountains. The Gran Paradiso.

The Finest Routes in the Alps: Gran Paradiso

In The Bubble

Andy Earl is one of Britain's most accomplished climbers, from hard, dangerous first ascents in Northumberland, to performing at the highest level in World Cup competitions. In 2010, tragedy struck and changed the Earl's lives forever.

This piece looks at Andy's climbing career and his life before and after the day that changed everything, through the eyes of his partner; Suzan Dudink.

In The Bubble

Jeff Mercier and Nick Bullock - Rive Gauche

British climber Nick Bullock meets his French counterpart Jeff Mercier at the Rive Gauche, a steep mixed climbing crag in France.

Overcoming past differences, the unlikely pair team up for a desperate and nail-biting route. With good humoured rivalry, Bullock attempts to onsight one of Jeff's hardest climbs, but as he sketches his way high above his last runner, Mercier looking on in amusement, Bullock has to consider, has this been the ultimate sandbag?!

Jeff Mercier and Nick Bullock - Rive Gauche

Starlight and Storm

In this full screen Digital Feature, Jack Geldard and Nick Brown explore the life and tragic death of Alison Hargreaves and how her achievements have influenced her son, Tom Ballard.

With stunning historical images and exclusive video, this feature captures the experiences of Alison and Tom in an absorbing and aesthetic style and delves in to the extraordinary lives of both mother and son.

Starlight and Storm