Confirmations from the Publisher on the Alpinist Relaunch

by Tom Markiewicz on March 18, 2009

The other day I wrote about the reports of Michael Kennedy editing the new Alpinist. If you haven’t had enough of the Alpinist news, there’s even more.

Alpinist released a press release which clarified a few points:

Founded by Christian Beckwith and Marc Ewing and operated in Jackson, Wyoming, until the autumn of last year, the quarterly Alpinist features a timeless, clean design with minimal ads. Publishing only the highest quality and most authentic climbing art and writing, Alpinist portrays the essence of the climbing life, inspired by an ethos of beauty, purity and style, and a dedication to help preserve the natural world that makes all adventures possible.

“My aim is to continue to explore the heart and soul of the climbing experience,” says Kennedy, “building on the incredible foundation Alpinist has developed over the last six years.” Widely known in the climbing community for his work at Climbing Magazine from 1974 to 1998, Kennedy served as an advisor to Alpinist since its inception in 2002. In over 35 years of climbing he has ventured far and wide, from pioneering Colorado ice climbs to lightweight alpine climbs in Alaska and the Himalaya, and he remains an active rock climber and backcountry skier today.

Dougald MacDonald, who initially wrote about the possibly of Alpinist targeting a broader audience than the previous incarnation, posted part of a conversation he had with Kennedy:

“I’d say the new Alpinist is going to be more like the old Alpinist than the old Climbing magazine. The trim size may end up like that of the Surfer’s Journal (9.5 x 11.5 inches rather than the current 9 x 12 inches), since that’s the more common “journal” size for publications printed in the U.S. The cover price will remain $12.95, although Alpinist will be offering special relaunch subscription offers with the first ‘new’ issue.”

So for those of you that were hoping Alpinist would carry on in a similar form, you may still have your wish.

I still stand by my skepticism of how this will work the second time around. The biggest loser here may be a competitor like Skram Media (publishers of Climbing and Urban Climber). For a relatively low selling price (especially for an established brand), I wonder why they didn’t just buy the assets and shelve them to prevent further competition.

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