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Crow Butte

Mountain: Crow Butte
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La Montagne Pelée

Mountain: La Montagne Pelée
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Mountain: Malemute Peak
by Matt Lemke

Croix de Toulouse via ferrata

Route: Croix de Toulouse via ferrata
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Mountain: Mitchell Peak
by Scott

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Mountain: Cima Valdritta
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Area: The Needles
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Featured Trip Reports

Extending the Pemi Loop by nartreb

Along with a few other SPers, I'd been planning a Devil's Path {Catskills} traverse for months. Puma Concolor and I eventually settled on the date of July 14th, even though that meant WalksWithBlackFlies and MudRat would have to miss it because they'd be doing their ADK Ultramarathon during that time. Then Puma's work schedule went all moebius-shaped and I found myself with a gap in my calendar.

In order to prepare / test myself for Sufferfest 2007, I needed to do a big hike in early July. Something with lots of distance and lots of elevation gain, preferably a loop so I could do it without any logistical support, and ideally something within an easy drive of Boston. As of July 1st, I had in mind some kind of loop involving most or all the northern Presidentials and the Great Gulf trail. By way of preparation, I went for an eight-mile run on the morning of the Fourth. Then on Thursday the fifth, about the time I was failing to spot the fact that I had written $h->{MtgMinutes} when I meant $h->{MtngMinutes}, I had the kind of dubious inspiration worthy of the original Devil's Path plan: why not do the loop: the Pemigewasset Loop? At only two hours from home, I could even sleep in my own bed if I woke up really early in the morning.

The Ragged Edge by LukeJennings

Always read the fine print! It is as true of climbing beta as it is of signing a contract. This thought crossed my mind as I clung to the damp, lichen covered north face of Vesper Peak. I was stuck halfway across the sheer fifth pitch traverse of the new "Ragged Edge" route. Just a few feet below me the face of Vesper Peak abruptly dropped away leaving nothing but air between the edge and granite slabs lying hundreds of feet below. Struggling to maintain my footing on damp lichen covered slab and set cams in shallow flared cracks I thought, this is a 5.7 climb? Then I remembered the fine print—the route setter had put a disclaimer in his climb description stating that, "The ratings...are potentially soft.

" Why was I there? It is a question I often ask myself on climbing trips. It was the first Sunday of October and by that time the year before the weather had turned; rain in Seattle, snow falling in the Cascades, and me sleeping in on the weekends. Based on that expectation I had stowed my alpine gear for the season instead of leaving it in a pile in my living room like usual for the whole summer when it gets used every weekend. The answer is that it was a post on Cliff Mass' popular weather blog that sent me running to the mountains where I was sneaking in one more alpine climb for the "summer" season—six harder-than-expected pitches on Vesper Peak's Ragged Edge route.

Grand Canyon Rim to Rim to Rim by Diesel

In 2011, I hiked a Rim to River to Rim (down South Kaibab up Bright Angel) in a very casual manner, in a total time of 9 hour and 15 minutes, with an actual hiking time of 7:30 minutes. That is a distance of 16.5 miles. When we popped up at Bright Angel around 5:15 PM I said toward my two beautiful hiking partners (wife & cousin) that I'd never hike Grand Canyon again, that it was stupid, ridiculous and pointless.

In 2013, I hiked Rim to Rim (down North Kaibab up Bright Angel), against everything I said the previous year. That goes to show what a "consistent" to my philosophy individual I am ... not. However, for this hike I trained well and I completed the 23.5 mile in 7:45 minutes non stop hiking. Solo hike this time. Again, when I finished I said that Rim to Rim to Rim is the stupidest idea especially that 28 miles of the hike are being done back and forth on North Kaibab trail. I said there is no variety, no diversity no fun. Whoever does it, doesn't have a life, or anything else better to hike. Little did I know what I was going to do a year from then!

Matterhorn North Face via Schmid Route by ilanam

For over a year now, our days have been filled with dreams of accomplishing The North Face Project. As our time in Europe is quickly approaching the end, these dreams are cultivating into obsessions. Having four of the six north faces remaining, it became an obsession we realized would likely have to be shelved for another trip to Europe in the distant future. We prioritized the remaining peaks, and knowing that one of them could only be feasibly climbed during the warm summer months, the eight hour away Piz Badile, we were on alert for a forgiving weather window for the other three - Matterhorn, Grandes Jorasses and Petit Dru, in order of descending obsession.

Friday night, after 24 hours of webcam creeping and weather watching, we set off for Zermatt, Switzerland, a seven hour drive. Saturday morning, we slammed back a coffee and some bars before setting off from the posh town of Zermatt (1605m) for the Hörnlihütte (3260m), the base camp for the Matterhorn's North face routes and famous Hornli ridge. Whoof... our packs were heavy and we quickly regretted not forking out the money for the lift to cut out 950m of hiking. We made it to the Hörnlihütte some hours later, immediately followed by a group of five French guides attempting our route and then another two Swiss. I brewed some beer on the patio (how?!) of the "under construction" hut and we quickly made friends, everyone notably nervous about the coming adventure. From a descending party that had to bail from just beyond the bergschrund, due to spindrift and excessive snowfall the previous night, we learned conditions were good and everyone was excited.

Featured Articles

Pioneering Revisited:Remembering the Legends of Climbing on the Grand Pioneering Revisited:Remembering the Legends of Climbing on the Grand by JRB

Pioneering spirit is fed by achievement, the more difficult the challenge, the more satisfying the process. Falling short whets the appetite for more. Failure is not to be feared, because in failing one proves that the planned objectives are not assured. There is just something about climbing the Grand; following in the footsteps of the forerunners of climbing. Our visit to the Grand Teton in 2014 caused an adrenaline surge in our novice group, not only because of its’ deep history, but the challenges that the volcanically formed Tetons serves up to rookies.

A short introduction to the history of mountain guiding A short introduction to the history of mountain guiding by KoenVl

Nowadays mountain climbing is immensely popular. Millions of tourists and mountaineers are visiting mountain ranges all over the world each year. According to UNEP (United Nations Environment Programme) and ICIMOD (International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development) approximately 120 to 170 million people are visiting mountain regions around the world each year, taking up 15 to 20% of the global tourism market, and their number is ever growing.[1] More than six thousand official mountain guides are leading many of these people around the world safely in and on the mountains.[2] A great many of them hire mountain guides to help them climb mountains or to explore mountain regions they otherwise would not dare to do. In a mountain guide they find someone who is capable of leading them safely, and in good company, to those places. But how and why did the profession of mountain guiding began and how did it develop in the course of the nineteenth century? What part played the first alpine associations? How did this profession evolve to become as important and well respected as it is today?

An interesting comparison between the driest year (2014) and the wettest year (2011) in Yosemite national park An interesting comparison between the driest year (2014) and the wettest year (2011) in Yosemite national park by kamran

On September 5th, 2011, a friend of mine and I climbed Mt. Conness in the eastern part of the Yosemite national park. The year 2011 was the wettest year on record in the north of Sierra-Nevada range. The scenery was spectacular. I don’t think anybody had ever seen that much snow in the month of September in Yosemite national park. You can see my album here. On the other hand the year 2014 was one of the driest years (if not the driest) on record in California. In order to get some sense of the difference between 2011 and 2014, you can look at the amount of snowfall in several spots in northern Sierra-Nevada range. For example the average amount of annual snowfall on top of Squaw valley ski area is about 450”. In 2010/2011 that was 810”, and in 2013/2014 it was 297.5”. In fact in Squaw valley in the past 20 years, 2011 was the only year with snowfall higher than 700”, and 2014 was the only year with snowfall lower than 300”.

Featured Photos

Elbrus summit footboll - 9 May Elbrus summit footboll - 9 May by VladimirKopylov

Playing footbal, standing on Elbrus West summit 9-th of May 2012...

Yukshin Garden 7530m (Right)Kanjut Sar 7760m(Left) Yukshin Garden 7530m (Right)Kanjut Sar 7760m(Left) by rizwan

Yukshin Garden 7530m (Right)Kanjut Sar 7760m(Left) These mountains are part of Krakoram,Hispar,muztagh, North East,Face of mountains.

Photo of the Moment

Nov 22, 2014 10:26 PM by Bob Sihler

Photo of the Day

Piz Ciavazes from South
Nov 21, 2014 9:58 AM by Silvia Mazzani

Photo of the Week

Lee Vining Canyon from the Dana Plateau
Nov 16, 2014 4:02 PM by Noondueler

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