Freddie and Fannie may have played a significant role in the greed-drenched financial meltdown, but Freddie and Ben and Kevin made an honest go and sent a brutally cold new route on Kangtega. They started on the north face and finished on the northeast face, while the Giri-Giri Boys made a proud attempt on the direct north face, retreating up high after two nights in hammocks without a functioning stove. Of day three, Katsutaka said, “I had super pump of the whole body.”

Alpinist folded after 25 beautiful issues that had been partially funded by a generous benefactor while attempting a bold business model that relied on subscribers rather than ads. Internet boards were awash with comments lamenting the magazine’s demise. How many of those complaining actually subscribed remains unknown.

The AAC’s International Climbers’ Meet at Indian Creek was a smashing success, but reports reported that the food sucked. Bad weather tried to ruin the club’s Craggin’ Classic event, but everyone still had a blast. The AAJ editors hosted a group of 20 editors from 11 different countries including Mexico, the U.K., Germany, Spain, the Czech Republic, Korea, Japan, and Russia, and reported an outstanding meeting. For the desert events, Restop provided wag bags and portable toilets that worked remarkably well. They saved everyone from having a crappy experience.

Lyman Spitzer Award recipients Dylan Johnson and Chad Kellogg went mega big on Siguniang. El Cap saw a new free route. Wyoming boy Mark Jenkins looked around the corner and established long new routes in the Winds, Bighorns, and Beartooths. Barry Blanchard and family moved to New Zealand, triggering rumors about Barry’s unrequited love for sheep. The rumors remain unconfirmed, but after arriving he emailed: “It is so cruel, all of the really good looking ewes can all run way faster than me.”

Surfing the web stimulated brain activity in middle-aged and older people, but the researchers did not specify whether their findings apply to the 2,312-post-long thread, on, over which end of the rope a climber should be on when placing bolts. In a study published in the European Journal of Neurology, Italian researchers found that brains of experienced high-altitude climbers showed diminished activity in several key categories. The study calls for further research: did altitude cause the damage, or does climbing attract the already dim?

At Arizona’s Vermilion Cliffs, where only a few climbers have boogied up the sandy walls, scientists discovered more than 1,000 dinosaur tracks and some rare tail drag marks. “It was a place that attracted a crowd, kind of like a dance floor,” said one researcher. Times change. Talented youngsters worldwide continue to send V-hard. Unfortunately for those prone to griping, some of them also head to the mountains. Jim Donini still gets after it. Young gun Dave Turner just left for another wild solo adventure. Speaking of which, see Far. Did you see the photo on p. 65 of the new AAJ? Don’t believe the hype, adventure still lives.

—Kelly Cordes