October 17, 2008

a very sad day

About a month ago, the folks at Alpinist Magazine asked if I'd put together and article for their Crag Reports section for Issue 27. The direction of the article was to be centered on the evolution of mixed alpine cragging here in Idaho. I was both excited and humbled by the invitation to share with a much larger climbing population all of the great things I've come to love about exploring new terrain in my backyard. I was able to finish my rough draft by the set deadline despite being on a trip to Devils Tower with Nathan and Christine.

I received an email from Alpinist this morning and thought I'd share it:

Dear Dean,

Thanks so much for working with us. I really enjoyed your first draft—particularly in the way that you included, on so many different levels, motifs about the transformation of perspective: the surreal opening scene in which it’s unclear whether the climber is moving up or falling down, whether the mountain itself is falling; the way that the narrator learns to read the landscape and interpret its climbing potential differently. It’s hard to capture ambiguity well, and your ability to create a scene that seems almost like a Japanese painting, with a radiant, numinous stillness behind the outward motion, shows that you have a lot of potential as a writer.

I’m writing to let you know that because of the current national financial crisis, Alpinist Magazine no longer has the funds to continue publishing. I’m deeply sorry, and I hope that you’ll be able to find a home for your article elsewhere. If I had been able to continue editing your article, I would have worked on making the last few lines less vague and abstract and would have encouraged you to replace lines like “Largely influenced by my heroes and their mixed routes in the Canadian Rockies, I started to see Idaho in a different light and could easily recognize similarities in terrain” with the actual moments, scenes, climbs out of which those ideas arose. I’m not sure what I’m up to yet, but if you are planning to submit it somewhere, I’ll try to send you some actual edits in the next few weeks.

Over the past six years that Alpinist has been in existence, and the four years that I’ve worked here, contributors like you have helped us create a magazine that reflects our deep commitment to style, beauty, adventure and integrity in our presentation of the climbing life. It’s been an honor for me to work with you.

Needless to say i was devastated to learn of Alpinist Magazine's quick Exodus from our world of climbing. They provided so many of us with inspiration, worthwhile daydreams, and most of all for me and many others, meaningful friendships. My heart goes out to the Christian B. and the hard working crew of Alpinist.

Further news on the happenings with Alpinist with a great photo of CB http://www.thesnaz.com/2008/10/16/alpinist-decks/#comments