Climbing Stories

Ken Etzel
Stone Locals

Rediscovering the soul of rock climbing.

71:00
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Primary Source

Alex Megos tells the story of his Bibliographie.

Alex Lowther
9 min Read
Road Trip to an Unfamiliar Place

A climber takes a road trip to Bishop and Las Vegas, and breaks down the narrative of who travels and who climbs.

Brittany Leavitt
23 min Read
Sunnyside Up

Last November, Fitz Caldwell (age 6) finished his first multipitch climb, Sunnyside Bench in Yosemite National Park. He did it with his dad, Tommy.

Tommy Caldwell
3 min Read
First Photo: Mount Whitney

A Sierra trip with good light and only one case of altitude sickness.

Kyle Sparks
9 min Read
What Comes Next

Rolando Garibotti looks back at a lifetime spent in Patagonia and forward to the generation following in his footsteps.

Rolando Garibotti
4 min Read
Exactly Where You Are Supposed To Be

Tommy Caldwell's first trip to Patagonia

Tommy Caldwell
3 min Read
SOLO

Colin Haley on the experience of soloing the Supercanaleta

Colin Haley
4 min Read
Six Years Seven Summits

Kate Rutherford Remembers the North Pillar of Fitz Roy

Kate Rutherford
3 min Read
From the Ground Up

For this climber, good food is activism.

Kate Rutherford
5 min Read
Vince Anderson Q&A

When Vince Anderson took a break from alpine climbing, his mountaineering attitude manifested itself in a single-speed hardtail, on which he’s won some of the sport’s most grueling races.

Jesse Selwyn
13 min Read
The Song Remains The Same

How a father and son found a way to climb one of Utah's most sought-after ice routes in a bygone era.

Andrew Burr
3 min Read
Perched On A Wild Border

Sometimes when I look at the Fitz Roy Range, I see a silhouetted jawline of mountainous teeth that gnash the sky. Other times, the teeth transform to fingers that don’t crush aspirations but cradle them, like a hand cupping something precious. The distinction really depends on whether I’m looking at the mountains from the relative…

Timmy O’Neill
3 min Read
Rotpunkt

Through failure and success, Alex Megos strives to be the best climber in the world.

50:27
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Finding Granite and New Limits in Madagascar

I wake early to the dazzling heat of the African sun. Perched 400 meters high on a huge granite face in central Madagascar, all I can see is black and blue, the color of the Malagasy granite meeting the sky and, coincidentally, the same color as large areas of my body from the constant abuse…

Robbie Phillips
13 min Read
Lessons from Yosemite’s First Climbing Guidebook

Lessons from Yosemite’s first climbing guidebook “I have this idea,” Mikey texted last October. “Let’s climb all of the suggested routes from the Yosemite red-cover guidebook.” I agreed immediately. The tattered copy of A Climber’s Guide to Yosemite Valley arrived in the mail less than a week later. First published in 1964 by the Sierra Club,…

Timmy O’Neill
5 min Read
How Roy, New Mexico Became a World-Class Bouldering Area

The patchwork history of public lands that transformed the area around a small New Mexico town into a world-class bouldering area We left the Mills Canyon Rim Campground, where we’d been living for three cold January weeks, just before dawn on our last morning in New Mexico. I pulled over to the north side of…

Eric Bissell
8 min Read
A Day at the Yosemite Facelift Cleanup

On an incredibly clear, early autumn morning, the aging Yosemite Search and Rescue (YOSAR) van bumped along Tioga Pass Road, taking precariously tight turns at an alarming speed. Twelve of us were crammed in the back, chattering and bracing ourselves against the van’s interior walls. When the road was no longer passable for vehicles, we…

Jane Jackson
7 min Read
There Is Only Send or Fail. Just Ask Alex Megos.

He’s on a mission to be the best climber in the world.

Alex Lowther
18 min Read
Adventure Over Adversity

Paradox Sports Brings Accessibility to Climbing

Kitty Calhoun
6 min Read
Finding Refuge in Iran’s Climbing Culture

Fog from the distant Caspian Sea swirled around us as we left the road, crossed a narrow mountain stream on a rickety footbridge of wornwooden planks, passed a pungent corral full of dank, scruffy sheep, and started the steep climb to Alam Kuh base camp in the Alborz mountain range of Iran. Brittany Griffith, Kate…

Beth Wald
6 min Read
Robbie Phillips on Establishing a Maybe-Impossible Route in Cochamó Valley

On establishing a route in Cochamó Valley that might be too hard—but might not. It often blows me away, the apparent randomness that sets the paths leading us through life. Just over a year ago, a friend of mine met Crispin Waddie while working on an oil rig in the North Sea. A member of…

Robbie Phillips
7 min Read
The Complicated Gift of Inclement Weather

Weather has a way of complicating—and enriching—everything. By the time I top out, it’s snowing and it’s dark. I walk back as far as the rope will let me, and in the flattest spot I can find, I dig a hole and sit, bracing myself. I yell, “Rope-fixed!” repeatedly, but my partners can’t hear me…

Rolando Garibotti
5 min Read
Returning to India’s Mount Nilkantha After a Past Retreat

After a failed first attempt, three friends return to India’s Mount Nilkantha to confront—and embrace—the terrible, beautiful duality of a life in the mountains. It was our third day on the southwest face of Mount Nilkantha, what we’d thought would be our summit day, and it was my lead block. I wove through steep rock…

Anne Gilbert Chase
5 min Read
Quinn Brett on Her Life-Changing Accident and Her Passion for Wilderness

A climber describes her passion for the wildness of the world. My brother’s cheeks smooshed against the blue velour seat and his mouth hung slightly ajar. His gangly legs stretched from door to door, covering the back bench of our family Buick. On the floor, parallel, I fidgeted over the hump dividing passenger and driver…

Quinn Brett
6 min Read
Mountain of Storms

In 1968, five friends set off on a road trip that became legend.

52:26
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Remembering Tom Frost

Patagonia mourns the loss of Tom Frost, Yvon Chouinard’s former climbing and business partner, who passed away Friday morning. Tom, with Yvon, Chuck Pratt and Royal Robbins, made the first ascent of the North America Wall of El Capitan in 1964. He made other notable first ascents with Valley pioneers and others in Yosemite, the…

Patagonia
3 min Read
The Only Constant Is Change: Sonnie Trotter Reflects on His Life So Far

I’m sitting on a sunny bench in some random park in central Oregon holding my eight-month-old daughter in my arms and watching my four-year-old son launch himself down a slide. We’ve been on the road as a family for nearly a month now, and the daily hunt for a decent playground is often as essential…

Sonnie Trotter
5 min Read
Climbing Zodiac on El Capitan with My 13-Year-Old Daughter

May 14, 2017, Mother’s Day. Dear friends, yesterday I topped out on the Zodiac on El Capitan. Some of you have loyally and patiently supported me for almost six months while I prepared for and fretted about this adventure. Some of you have no idea what the Zodiac is. No matter. Thanks for being part…

Eliza Kerr
4 min Read
Alex Megos Sends Perfecto Mundo

Yesterday, Alex Megos sent one of the most difficult routes in the world, completing the first ascent of Perfecto Mundo (5.15c or 9b+) at the limestone crag of Margalef in Catalunya, Spain. He called it the first hard route of his life. It marked not an apex, but rather a beginning. Which raises a wild…

Patagonia
4 min Read
Images from the Chaltén Climbing Season

On the Argentine side of the Patagonian Andes, the Chaltén Massif is a dense range of extremely steep mountains, famous for Cerro Torre and Chaltén itself (the native name for the peak also known as Fitz Roy). I have been coming to this mountain range on an annual basis since 2003, often for a three-month…

Colin Haley
10 min Read
Into the Whiteout: Climbing with Simon Richardson in Scotland

It had been a while. I don’t climb in weather like this. I stay inside and drink coffee. But I dutifully marched through the whiteout, following Simon as he navigated by compass toward the highland plateau of Cairn Gorm. He was searching for a particular block of rock, from which we would rappel into nowhere…

Kelly Cordes
7 min Read
Sometimes More Than a Game: On Climbing Responsibly

When I think about climbing, I don’t think about summits. I see serrated ridgelines rising and falling between earth and sky, and sunlight slipping between spires, casting the shadows of giants onto rubble-strewn rivers of ice below, curving, moving, bending with the passage of time. I remember my partners and I, roped together with no…

Kelly Cordes
2 min Read
Unstuck in Baffin Island’s Stewart Valley

Pain pulses in my right foot to the rhythm of my heartbeats. I know something’s wrong, but the only option is to ignore it. The swelling presses against my shoe, but I’m afraid if I take it off, I’ll never get it back on. Still, I feel like I can’t complain. My foot is still…

Nico Favresse
4 min Read
How I Came to Actually Kind of Like Bouldering

As a younger climber I was totally committed to big long routes, often in the mountains and often involving a lot of suffering. The beauty of each place is what got me there, and the partnerships kept me there. I wanted to be in those big landscapes, sleeping on the wall, scoured by the wind,…

Kate Rutherford
5 min Read
Excerpt from Allen Steck’s “A Mountaineer’s Life” on the First Ascent of Hummingbird Ridge

In honor of the release of A Mountaineer’s Life by Allen Steck, Patagonia Books is pleased to share this excerpt from chapter eight.  Camp II was a desperate and fearful place. We spent seven days there in severe weather. We could not leave the tents without going onto the fixed lines; the weakened cornice behind us…

Allen Steck
6 min Read
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