Jackson, Wyoming — October 16, 2008 — Alpinist LLC, which publishes the climbing magazine Alpinist, runs the website www.alpinist.com and produces The Alpinist Film Festival, announced today that the October 2008 financial crisis has forced them to suspend operations.
Founded in 2002 by Marc Ewing and Christian Beckwith, Alpinist began in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, as an archival-quality publication dedicated to world alpinism and adventure climbing. The quarterly quickly gained a reputation for both superior writing and beautiful photography; by 2004, Italian climbing legend Reinhold Messner called it, "The best climbing magazine in the world today." Alpinist went on to win numerous awards; in March 2005 it was featured in a seven-page article in Outside Magazine ("The Purists") that explored its impact on American climbing.
Alpinist's website, www.alpinist.com, attracted more than 50,000 unique visitors per month. Breaking news, weekly features, video, and desktop wallpaper images were complemented by reader's blogs and gear reviews, creating a site that thousands of climbers turned to daily for both information and entertainment.
In 2004, Beckwith founded The Barry Corbet Film Festival in honor of cinematographer and adventure legend Barry Corbet. In 2005, the event was folded into Alpinist LLC as The Alpinist Film Festival (AFF). By 2008, the AFF, held each winter in Jackson, had grown to a four-day annual event that attracted more than 3,000 people each year. In 2008, the AFF began touring; events in Bend, OR; Bozeman, MT; and Boulder, CO, exported signature elements of the master festival, such as cocktail hours and live DJs, to create a fun gathering for adventure communities across the West.
"We're extremely proud of what we've been able to accomplish in the six and a half years since we started," said Publisher Ewing from his home in Chicago. "There hasn't been a publication like Alpinist since Ascent"—the iconic climbing publication that emerged from the 1960s to inspire a generation of climbers—"and our readers have been our lifeblood. We owe them everything."
"It's incredibly sad to close after working so hard for so many years," said Editor-in-Chief Christian Beckwith. "That being said, I'm deeply proud of our team for putting out twenty-five great issues, the film festival has been a blast, and I'm honored to have shared all this work and creation with our community. I'll always look back on Alpinist with joy."
Exploration of the options for the various Alpinist businesses are underway. Details will be made available on www.alpinist.com when they are finalized.