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La Montagne Pelée

Mountain: La Montagne Pelée
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Mountain: Malemute Peak
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Croix de Toulouse via ferrata

Route: Croix de Toulouse via ferrata
by markhallam

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Mountain: Mitchell Peak
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Mountain: Cima Valdritta
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Area: The Needles
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Featured Trip Reports

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.

Alps International Expedition 2014 by markhallam

“Hang on Rob!” I shouted at the Dutch member of our team of three “I don’t like the look of that cloud... “

Somehow, from out of a clear sapphire blue sky the Mönch had gained an ominous looking cap. Crampons creaking on the hard rough surface of the glacier I scrambled out of yet another minor crevasse and stopped to look properly.

“Well – you’re the weather expert...“ For some reason Rob, a.k.a. rgg, a.k.a. The Peak Monster deferred to me on matters of weather predicting.

We were at around 2700m, struggling through a wilderness of chaotic and fractured ice – somewhere in the vicinity of Konkordia, a great glacial confluence miles and miles up the Grand Aletsch Glacier, in Switzerland. It had taken all the previous day to get to this point and we had just spent the night out on the ice, our little camp boxed in on all four sides by crevasses. We were now barely 300 metres away from the camp and just climbing out of about the twentieth crevasse of the morning thus far, when I called for the stop.

Walker's Haute Route: Chamonix to Zermatt (with my parents, 2013) by StephAbegg

In its entirety, the Walker's Haute route is an 188 km (give or take a few km) hike from Chamonix (France) to Zermatt (Switzerland). It is typically broken into 14 days, although it is possible to combine or skip days by foot or with the assistance of public transportation. But there is no reason to rush it, since the route is a marvelous adventure of snow-capped Alps rising out of spectacular valleys, delightful Swiss villages and remote alp hamlets, flower meadows and fragrant forests, icy streams and majestic glaciers, and much much more.

I first hiked the Walker's Haute Route in 2005, with my sister who was at the time doing a foreign exchange program in Grenoble, France. My parents, too, had become intrigued by our rich experiences on the route, and had decided that someday they too wanted to do this hike. That someday came in the summer of 2013, when my dad was scheduled to be in Europe for a conference at the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich. My parents invited me along as their unofficial guide, and I jumped at the opportunity for a second adventure on the Walker's Haute Route. This was probably the most memorable and enjoyable trip I've ever done with my parents.

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

User Profile Image User Profile Image by mcross

Normal route North Ushba Normal route North Ushba by mipoddu

Normal route North Ushba

Photo of the Moment

Mount Teneriffe summit pano
Nov 19, 2014 10:29 PM by kevinsa

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Eagle Plume Tower
Nov 18, 2014 6:28 PM by SarahThompson

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Alpamayo Sunset 2014
Nov 9, 2014 10:36 AM by albanberg

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