There’s a ton of rock climbing blogs, but not all that many magazines. I wanted to give a quick rundown of all the rock climbing mag’s out there and why you might want to subscribe to them. They’re sorted so you might pick your own “best” rock climbing magazine due to what type of climbing your into or where you’re located. We’ll leave the blogs for another day (or you can chime in the comments to give your favorite blog some props early!).

This post was initially inspired by a question on Quora asking what the best rock climbing magazine was, and also the crazy downpour happening in Seattle.

US Climbing Magazines

Alpinist

    • The pinnacle of quality writing and photography on glossy paper.
    • It takes me a really long time to read the Alpinist because the stories are so intense–it’s more like a novel with short chapters. Since it can take me two months to read, I don’t notice that it only comes out 4 times a year. Worth the high-cost as it’s a true literary journal.
    • Geared towards mountaineers, arm-chair mountaineers, and anybody who want to know more climbing history or wants to experience the tales.

Rock and Ice

    • You’ll find well-written stories from many disciplines. They always feature fantastic photography and occasionally have some how-to’s. Training articles have been on the rise.
    • A variety of writing styles and pieces keep one reading cover to cover, trad/alpine/sport climbers will all find articles that speak to them.
    • Geared towards a more intermediate/advanced climber, R&I assumes the reader has a basic knowledge of climbing.

Ascent

    • A special annual issue from the publishers of Rock and Ice that really ups the quality (R&I do 8 issues a year, plus this guy).
    • If you don’t subscribe to R&I, it’s worth buying this yearly issue. They pull out all the stops.

Climbing

    • A great “starter” magazine. It’ll help one figure out who all the “big names” in climbing are, and what they’re climbing.
    • Many how-to’s and attempts to make climbing fun and approachable with lots of graphics and a playful feel.
    • Focused more on a weekend-warrier style climber, with lots of advice for bouldering, sport and trad climbers.

California Climbing 

    • The independent magazine dedicated to rock climbing in California.
    • Check out the online pdf’s to see stories, pictures, and reviews that may entice you to buy the printed subscription.
    • Free at climbing gyms and retailers throughout the state of California. Otherwise, you can get the printed version for $15.00 a year / 4 issues

Canadian Climbing Magazine

Gripped

    • Of course it’s Canadian, because it’s super friendly. The storytelling is always enjoyable and inclusive (bouldering, sport, trad, alpine, competition, it’s all there).
    • A fast but fun, easy-going and engaging read geared towards all levels of climbers, focused on Canadian rock climbing areas and climbers.

UK Climbing Magazine

Climb 

    • Bouldering, Sport and Trad Climbing, it covers the European gambit with stories and interviews.
    • Pretty pricey for the print version if you’re in the US, though you can save like $40 by getting the digital edition.

Climber

    • Claims it’s for ALL climbers, it has interviews, gear reviews, tips and tricks, and world-wide stories.
    • Also, pretty pricey for the print version if you’re in the US, though you can save like $40 by getting the digital edition.

Summit

    • A quarterly magazine directed to British Mountaineering Club members. Get all the news from climbing to walking to mountaineering.
    • 2.99 British Pounds per issue through the Pocket Mags App – for both iPads and Android tablets. Or you can buy print via their store. Summit magazine is free for BMC members.

Austrian Climbing Magazine

Climax 

    • Released 3 times a year Climax brings a “fresh view on climbing.” Climax was the first climbing magazine to start a regular column that deals with sustainability-related issues and they’re a member of the European Outdoor Conservation Association and 1% for the planet.
    • Climax reaches out to the die hard climbing scene as well as to the young, urban, outdoor savvy public and is written in German.

Australasia Climbing Magazine

Vertical Life 

    • Mostly a quarterly online magazine (you can download the full mag on pdf, via iTunes or Kindle), they print a high quality edition once a year.
    • Focused on Australasia Climbing, they’re covering every type of climbing there is.

Czech Climbing Magazine

Montana

    • In Czech! Founded in the 1960’s it’s Czech Republic’s oldest climbing magazine. They love all that is Czech like bold sandstone and Adam Ondra.
    • You can read some of the articles in English on their sister site eMontana.

 

French Climbing Magazine

Grimper 

    • In French! Well versed in the magazine business, they’ve already passed issue #150!
    • They have lots of gear reviews, how to’s and of course lots of pictures and climbing articles (all styles).
    • The ipad/iphone version is a ton cheaper than the newsstand version, especially if you’re overseas.

German Climbing Magazine

Klettern 

    • In German! In addition to print or digital magazine copies they have many news articles online as well.
    • They cover everything from bouldering, sport, trad, and competition. Interviews, stories, reviews…everything!
    • Google (Chrome) does a surprisingly nice English translation of their online articles.

Spanish Climbing Magazine

Escalar

    • Escalar has been devoted to reporting on worldwide climbing news since 1997. They often feature stories, interviews, history, and training.
    • It’d also be worth checking out Desnivel, Escalar’s big brother, which has a broader feature list and “has been covering all things vertical for more than 25 years: mountaineering, climbing, BASE jumping, skyrunning, interviews, gear reviews, excellent photography, you name it.” -Ricardo Iriarte
    • Both Escalar and Desnivel are in Spanish, available digitally or in print, and can be bought via a yearly subscription or individual issue.

Online (free) Magazines

The Circuit (no longer updated)

    • World Cup and Performance Magazine (not a print magazine YET, starting online, working towards magazine status).

Dead Point (DPM) (defunt)

    • News from all over the globe, also has lots of videos.

Climberism (rarely updated)

    • Northeast-focused magazine that is blog style, they also throw in a bit of world news and gear reviews.

Magazine Supplements

Climbing Narc (no longer updated)

    • Can’t wait for your next magazine subscription to arrive? Keep up with the craziest ascents online. Tons of videos too.

CruxCrush (no longer updated)

    • Inspiring lady-based reads that make up for the lack of lady-based articles found in the printed magazines. The “old” content, especially the interviews and editorials, are still worth reading.

Climbing Zine

    • A yearly zine, featuring a collection of stories from climbing authors centered around a particular theme.
    • Get the printed version for $10 or buy them even cheaper (under $5) for your Kindle

It’s worth noting, although pictured at the top of this article in our magazine shot, Urban Climber closed up shop in 2012.

If you’re willing to pay oversea subscription fees, or buy digitally, there’s at least 10 climbing specific magazines! This definitely leaves the ability to find the best rock climbing magazine for you, featuring any discipline and writing style. I’m stoked that all the magazines don’t sound the same by trying to just report the latest news and trends.

I wouldn’t be surprised at the arrival of a gym/competition magazine for the indoor-focused, nevermind, we found one in the works. But there seems to be room for a bouldering-specific publication as well! I’m also curious to see if more locally-based magazines crop up following the likes of Climerism and California Climbing. Time will tell!

Are we missing any magazines? Or want to give your favorite mag a shout-out? Let us know in the comments!

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Alison Dennis

Alison Dennis

Alison (she/her) runs WeighMyRack from her 17' travel trailer. She is currently touring the US and would love if you contacted her to meet up to talk about climbing, climbing gear, or if you have any fun and/or ridiculous adventure in mind.

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