The Cosmique Arete (5.6 AI 2 5.4), on the ridge of the Aiguille du Midi, Chamonix, France. This 1,000-foot alpine ramble boasts million-dollar views of the storied Alps, and is about as low commitment as they come: A 20-minute cablecar ride whisks you from town, 9,000 feet up to the needle-like Midi. From there, you crampon up, gain the toothy ridge, climb, and finish near the cablecar station, restaurant and gift shop. PHOTO: KAMIL DANIEL JUTKIEWICZ.
Greg Larsen throws caution to the wind on Reckless Abandon (5.12a), at the Coliseum, Summersville Lake, West Virginia. PHOTO: JEFF DUNBAR.
Ted Lange (father of the photographer) cranks down on the crux of Fire Water (5.11b), a three-star sport route on Flaming Rock in City of Rocks, Idaho. Though the City is best known for its countless high-quality 5.10 and easier routes, 5.11 climbers will find a wealth of fantastic climbs and won't have to wait in line to jump on them. PHOTO: IAN LANGE.
Angie Payne lines out The Architect (V11), Index, Washington. For more on bouldering in the area, see page 58. PHOTO: NATHAN HADLEY.
Wesley Black makes the first ascent of Free Flow Agent (E551), a 5.12a trad route at the Panic Room, Krakadouw, Cederberg, South Africa. PHOTO: MICHELLE VAN ASWEGEN.
Marius Smigelskis about an hour south of Cape Town, South Africa, at Kleinmond, a crag reminiscent of the knobby and edgy Red River Gorge, Kentucky. The shooter, Tarryn Opperman, won a photo contest with the prize of attending a photo shoot under the tutelage of the photo ace Tim Kemple. In this shot, Smigelskis works his way up Zucchini (5.11a), one of about 30 moderates at the striking crag. PHOTO: TARRYN OPPERMAN.
Borna Cujic makes a rare repeat of Il Maratoneta, or “Marathon Man,” a classic 8b+ (5.14a) in Paklenica National Park, Croatia, established by the Italian free-climbing pioneer Maurizio “Manolo” Zanolla in 1987. Manolo named the route after his 100-mile run from the park to the city of Split, which he did on his rest day to let his skin regrow. Cujic, age 17 at the time of his repeat, grabbed the sixth ascent of this iconic sport climb, which has turned back many strong contemporary climbers. PHOTO: LUKA TAMBACA.
Mike Foley works through Dreamcatcher (5.14d) on the Cacodemon Boulder in Squamish, British Columbia. Last year, Dreamcatcher was the scene of an impressive onsight attempt by Adam Ondra, who fired to the obvious horizontal dike before a heel hook popped, ending his try. PHOTO: CHRISTIAN ADAM FERNANDEZ.
Corbin Usinger dispatches Atari (V6), Happy Boulders, Bishop, California. Atari is considered one of the area’s most elegant and striking problems. PHOTO: CHRISTIAN ADAM.
Liposuction (5.12a) at Reimer’s Ranch, a county-owned park near Austin, Texas, is a bona fide Euro-style tufa-tug, a rarity in the United States. Reimer’s, once privately owned by the Reimer family, saw much of its development in the late 1980s, when sport climbing was still in its infancy and mention of the area often prompted an incredulous: “There’s climbing in Texas?” In this photo, Diana Gherson proves that indeed there is. PHOTO: CHRIS VULTAGGIO.
Chance Traub on the crux 18th pitch during the first ascent of Positive Affect (5.12b, 19 pitches, 3,000 feet), with Daniel Seeliger belaying, Cochamo Valley, Chilean Patagonia. Traub and photographer Drew Smith spent two months in Cochamo and worked to establish Positive Affect in honor of Traub’s wife, Jen Dinaburg, who had recently passed away from cancer. PHOTO: DREW SMITH.
Harmony Calhoun on Foe (5.11a), Red Rocks, Nevada. Foe was established by Richard and Lisa Harrison, with Michelle Locatelli, in 2006. Richard Harrison, one of the original Stonemasters, passed away in 2014. “Richard was an avatar of the old trad ethic and mentored an entire generation of aspiring trad crushers,” wrote fellow Stonemaster and friend John Long. “In high school we used to read out loud long passages from Hermann Buhl’s Lonely Challenge—great moments that shot us onto some of the finest vertical real estate on earth.” PHOTO: RAY VALORI.
Monumental Climb. Genoveva "Jya" Minaylova makes the most of an abandoned Soviet-era monument, the Buzludzha in the Central Balkans. PHOTO: YANNE GOLEV.
Bulgarian National Champion Petja Garbova climbs the ceiling of the monument’s interior—you can now get a pump where Communists’ fists were once raised high. PHOTO: YANNE GOLEV.
The Buzludzha in the Central Balkans. PHOTO: YANNE GOLEV.
Bulgarian National Champion Petja Garbova