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The Cover of the 2021 Canadian Alpine Journal Revealed

A photo of an epic first ski descent sets the tone to this year's journal

Sean Isaac is the editor of the Canadian Alpine Journal, and today the Alpine Club of Canada published his editorial and revealed the cover photo.

In an inspiring overhead image, Christina Lustenberger is seen on the first descent of Gold Card Couloir between Mount Burnham and Mount Grady, Monashee Mountains, in a photo by Steve Shannon. Read about the first descent here.

Isaac’s editorial for this year’s issue is called Reconciling the Past. In it, he wrote: The small mixed crag to the left of Hidden Dragon in the Ghost of the Canadian Rockies contains the names that needed changing. The irony is that at that time of my life, when those names first came about, I had considered myself a promoter of diversity, equity and inclusion by having featured women climbers on both front covers of my mixed-climbing guidebooks. This, of course, only illustrates how deeply entrenched a person’s biases can be—back then I didn’t think twice about potentially causing harm with a name choice. My climbing partners and I have retroactively corrected this mistake. The crag’s name was changed to Justice Wall and the routes to MLK, RBG and AOC—the initials of propon­ents of social justice movements, past and present (Martin Luther King, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez). These route names are also a retort to naysayers who have argued that climbing culture will be watered down if we just assign bland numbers or letters to routes. Letters can have meaning too.

Read the full editorial, subscribe to the journal, and see the back cover image of Brette Harrington here.