Alpinist 25 - the Silver Issue
Posted by sibylle in books, films, photography, utah, Yosemite, Eulogies (Saturday January 3, 2009 at 8:13 am)


And the last issue

Shortly before Christmas, an unknown group bought Alpinist Magazine for $71,000. Originally on the block for as low as $30,000, I’m glad they got this much and hope to see a magazine published again, like a phoenix rising from the ashes.

However, while everyone still thinks the poor economy may get worse, it may be difficult to find investors to support a new publication.

There’s also the question of business model —Alpinist published a high-quality magazine with few ads, hoping to support it with subscriptions.

Dougald Macdonald, editor of the American Alpine Journal, provides an shrewd analysis of why Alpinist didn’t survive.

Though considered the best climbing magazine in the world, readers were unwilling to pay for that quality.
“It never attracted nearly enough readers to turn a profit,” said Macdonald. “Climbing and Rock & Ice . . .  deliver . . . what readers and advertisers want to see”

“Alpinist executed the limited-advertising, high-subscription-price, “reader supported” business model, it simply didn’t work in the tiny climbing market,” Macdonald concluded.

I’m particularly anxious to see Alpinist or a related magazine resume publication. I wrote a story for issue 25, originally titled “Bev’s and my Grand Adventure”, that appeared as yet another incarnation of “Walls Without Balls.”

The editor asked me to write about Layton Kor, Alison Sheets, and my first ascent on the Rainbow Wall in Red Rocks. I’d started this story when the editor told me that Alpinist would fold..

Perhaps I can write it for the new magazine.


1 comment for Alpinist 25 - the Silver Issue »

  1. I believe that ‘Alpinist’ was the model for ‘The Snow Magazine,’ published our of Aspen by Bonnier. It either hasn’t lasted or it is being so discreet that no editor’s name even appears on the website (

    Comment by Claire Walter — January 3, 2009 @ 4:45 pm

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