The Climbing Zine captures the climbing lifestyle with humor, insight, challenges and rewards via a collection of mid-length essays both in fiction and non-fiction. (About 65 pages, $3.99 per digital issue — available on Kindle and Nook and $10 for print version. Price includes shipping.)
The magazine is published out of Durango. Contributors come from throughout Colorado, North Carolina and Yosemite, California.
Now in its fourth issue, The Climbing Zine gives its writers a space to express their stories without the confines of many modern climbing mags. Topics include the following:
Mike Reddy suffering a near fatal fall on Mt. Sneffels, which resulted in spinal cord damage. Mike takes the reader on a journey where he contemplated his own death, and then re-emerged to discover Paradox Sports, an organization that helps disabled athletes succeed.
Another story, by Jesse Zachaer titled Blackened, follows a group of guys as they get in over their heads by taking on a long, hard aid route in the Black Canyon called the Hallucinogen Wall. The author poetically describes finding purchase for his small hooks, the teams’ dynamic and increasing synchronicity, as well as the challenge of explaining to loved ones that the quest is safe despite the obvious risks and challenges they must all overcome in order to succeed.
Luke Mehall, the editor, weaves the struggles of looking for employment and love while climbing Utah’s Indian Creek.
Cliff Cash takes the reader on a fictitious journey of pot growers who embark on a trip to a made up area, the Mushroom Wall set in the Black Canyon. It has a strong resemblance to the route described earlier in the Zine called Blackened. Trimmers, as the pot manicurists are called, weave stories on their near misses with the law, climbing trips to the Black, and how they’ll spend their loot. The life and risks of an underground pot grower are shared as the Feds move in.
The hallucinatory tales continue in the next chapter, again by Mehall, in his poem about America, freedom, and mind explorations.
Yosemite climber Scott Borden explains his theory of biomechanical evolution and its relationship with climbers.
The latest issue also includes a review of Jennifer Lowe-Anker’s book Forget Me Not.
Finally, the closing shot is a near-death pic of Keith Brett who miraculously – and with a smile of surprise and relief – lived through a solo fall down the North Chimney on The Diamond.
The Climbing Zine captures the life of the fringe dweller climber.