by Kelly Cordes
What makes a good cover? Well, as with most things, that depends. What do you want? Sex appeal? Eye candy? Or are you hoping to convey something more? The story behind the image means something. To me it does, anyway. Since 2000 I’ve been one of the editors of the American Alpine Journal, and we try to capture the previous year in big new routes, worldwide, in our annual edition, as we’ve done since 1929. Right now we’re frantically trying to wrap things up and get the 2011 book to press.
What to put on the cover? It should probably be from one of the feature articles – we select features based on what we (with consultation from others in the serious alpine community) consider the most badass, interesting and inspiring big climbs of the previous year. And after sorting through the barrage of butt-shots, we find some gems and make a decision.
[From left: Covers of the 1998, 2006, 2007 AAJs.]