Alpinist Magazine Set to Rise From The Ashes

by Jack Geldard – Editor – UKC Erik Lambert (Alpinist Magazine), Sean Isaac (Canadian Alpine Journal) 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.Alpinistclosed its doors last November, just prior to the release of Issue 26. Thenew owners, HOL, plan to release Issue 26 on March 1, and have stated that they will honourall current subscriptions.”Alpinist fits perfectly into ourfamily,” says HOL president and publisher Jon Howard. “We feelclimbers, mountaineers, and backcountry and freeheel skiers all sharethe same DNA. It´s, at times, about being bold; at times about beingcautious. Kind of like how we do business.”Jonand HOL partner and Backcountry editor Adam “Howie? Howard arecurrently in negotiations with the editorial staff at Alpinist todetermine who will be at the helm.”We´ve asked ChristianBeckwith to stay on as Editor,” Adam says. “I reached him in Mexicowhere he´s doing some non-profit work. After seven years of grinding,he´s enjoying some relative downtime. But he´s genuinely excited thatwe´re carrying his creation forward. We´ll be meeting in person in thenext few weeks. Should he not come on full time, Alpinist readers canbe assured that someone of comparable skills and pedigree will fill hisshoes.”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 himup to write detailed news items to build up a reliablesource 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.