Men’s Journal Names the Best Climbing Achievements of 2019

As 2019 grows to a close, we can now take a little time to reflect back on the year that has passed and appreciate everything that has happened. It has indeed been a busy year in terms of adventure, travel, and life in general.

2019 also saw some huge accomplishments take place in both high altitude alpinism and rock climbing, giving us some of the most memorable moments of the past decade for sure. To celebrate those moments, Men’s Journal has compiled a list of the most daring feats of the year, some of which are historical landmarks for sure.

If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you can probably guess a couple of the expeditions that made a list. No one will be surprised to find Nims Purja on any “best of 2019” run down from the world of outdoor adventure, and he made the cut with MJ as well.

Purja, for those living under a rock, is the former Gurkha soldier who managed to climb all 14 8000-meter peaks in just seven months, shattering the old record by more than seven years. Along the way, he also managed to capture the attention of thousands of people who normally aren’t interested in mountaineering at all, which is no small feat in its own right.

The other big accomplishment that was sure to make the cut is Alex Honnold and Tommy Caldwell’s sub-two-hour ascent of The Nose on El Capitan. The most iconic route in all of rock climbing remains a major draw with the world’s top climbers, and what these two pulled off is the equivalent of breaking the sub-two-hour marathon mark.

Only they did it well before Eliud Kipchoge managed to accomplish that same feat on the ground. It’s difficult to overstate just how impressive this ascent was, but it was groundbreaking and inspiring all at the same time.

There are plenty of other great milestones to celebrate on the Men’s Journal list as well, but I’ll leave them for you to discover. Needless to say, they are all worth a look back on before we turn our attention to 2020. Check out the entire list here.

Kraig Becker