Alpinist Magazine Set to Rise From The Ashes

© Jack Geldard
Height of Land Publications (HOL), owners of Backcountry and Telemark Skier Magazines, have finalised a deal that lays the groundwork for the resurrection of Alpinist Magazine.

Alpinist closed its doors last November, just prior to the release of Issue 26. The new owners, HOL, plan to release Issue 26 on March 1, and have stated that they will honour all current subscriptions.

"Alpinist fits perfectly into our family," says HOL president and publisher Jon Howard. "We feel climbers, mountaineers, and backcountry and freeheel skiers all share the same DNA. It's, at times, about being bold; at times about being cautious. Kind of like how we do business."

Jon and HOL partner and Backcountry editor Adam "Howie” Howard are currently in negotiations with the editorial staff at Alpinist to determine who will be at the helm.

"We've asked Christian Beckwith to stay on as Editor," Adam says. "I reached him in Mexico where he's doing some non-profit work. After seven years of grinding, he's enjoying some relative downtime. But he's genuinely excited that we're carrying his creation forward. We'll be meeting in person in the next few weeks. Should he not come on full time, Alpinist readers can be assured that someone of comparable skills and pedigree will fill his shoes."

Their plan is to keep the magazine size and paper quality to the same high standard.

"We want to honour what the Alpinist team has done," Jon says. "It's a piece of art. And we plan keep it that way."

The interplay and roles of the climbing media were really hammered home to me in a recent international meeting of climbing editors in the USA. Meeting and climbing with the staff of Alpinist, Desnivel, and many other publications, I became acutely aware that each media fills a very individual role.

The American Alpine Journal (AAJ) and, to a smaller extent, the British Alpine Journal, do a fantastic job of maintaining the historical record of world mountaineering, but after the sudden announcement of the closure of Alpinist, I wondered who would take over in bringing that information to climbers on a more regular basis? The Alpinist website was kept up to date by the tireless efforts of Erik Lambert, and with his work gone, an information gap could occur.

Step in Mr Mountain Info himself, Lindsay Griffin. Lindsay is a walking mountain encyclopaedia, well known for his guidebook work and of course the monthly feature in Climb Magazine - Mountain Info. Lindsay has taken a role with the BMC, keeping their website hot with news of world class mountaineering ascents.

Alex Messenger of the BMC commented: "Hopefully Lindsay is a permanent thing. We've signed him up to write detailed news items to build up a reliable source of mountaineering news."

In the UK, guidebooks, magazines and websites do a great job of keeping the historical record of our rock climbing up to date. We have a wealth of information, literally at our finger-tips. The load is shared between various types of media. No magazine or website takes on the responsibility of being a comprehensive record of all activity, but between us all, we seem to do okay. But what if one of us were to close?

Climber Magazine have just announced that they are looking for a new editor (UKC News Item), which shows how quickly things can change in the climbing media world. So while we at are looking forward to the return of Alpinist, we are also aware that in the current economic climate, anything could happen. We wish them the best of luck.

This post has been read 29,702 times

Return to Latest News

Support UKC

As climbers we strive to make the kind of website we would love to visit, with the most up-to-date news, diverse and interesting articles, comprehensive gear reviews, breathtaking photographs and a vast and useful logbook system. As a result, an incredible community has formed around the site - we’ve provided the framework but it’s you who make the website what it is today. If you appreciate the content we offer then you can help us by becoming an official UKC Supporter. This can be a one-off single annual payment or a more substantial payment paid monthly or yearly which includes full access to Rockfax Digital and discounts on Rockfax print publications.

If you appreciate then please help us by becoming a UKC Supporter.

UKC Supporter

  • Support the website we all know and love
  • Access to a year's subscription to Rockfax Digital.
  • Plus 30% off Rockfax guidebooks
  • Plus Show your support UKC Supporter badge on your profile and forum posts
UKC/UKH/Rockfax logo

21 Jan, 2009
Great news, I'll be getting a subscription as soon as it's all finalised.
22 Jan, 2009
22 Jan, 2009
Not the best economic climate in which to resurrect a flailing magazine but I wish them all the best. I'll be taking out a subscription just to show my support. Alpinist is an excellent publication that stands aparts from the rest.
22 Jan, 2009
Mick should give it a makeover. Potential for a reality tv show.
26 Jan, 2009
I bet my subscription doesn't raise itself from the ashes...
More Comments
Loading Notifications...
Facebook Twitter Copy Email LinkedIn Pinterest