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Featured Trip Reports

A 50 State Highpoint Completion on Denali by Puma concolor

"And down the stretch they come," I announced just a couple of weeks after thoroughbred American Pharaoh had ended a 37-year Triple Crown drought in America's Sport of Kings. "22 years of chasing state highpoints is about to come to an end."

But American Alpine Institute's Team 6 wasn't in the lowlands of Belmont Race Track on Long Island, New York. Instead we were nearly 20,000 feet higher making our way across Denali's "football field" with the summit of North America's highest peak seemingly close enough to touch. Less than two hours later, I found myself choking back tears as I took those final steps onto my 50th and final highpoint. "Yo Adrian, I did it!"

And what a journey it had been. Not just on this breathtaking world-class peak, but starting on Mount Marcy in July 1993 long before I had entertained any kind of thought of traveling all across the United States in pursuit of high places. At just nine days shy of my 46th birthday, my state highpointing journey had stretched across nearly half of my life, often taking a back seat to the more pressing concerns of every day life. But it was never far from my thoughts and always close to my heart.

Return to Form by Castlereagh

The first week of my trip was plagued by worry and anger about being sick and losing my wallet on the first day of my climbing vacation stumbling down from Crazy Peak. Physically weakened by a throat infection/inflammation and an intense hacking cough, I kept Sam waiting a-plenty on our hikes of Francs and Windy in the Absarokas. The lost wallet meant I had to divert my Montana/Idaho/Wyoming trip with a one day detour to Salt Lake to grab a credit card I had my bank send to Greg’s address.

Honaker Trail to San Juan River by nader

San Juan River originates in the San Juan Mountains of southwestern Colorado. On its way to join Colorado River, San Juan River carves a 1300 ft deep canyon in southeastern Utah. The canyon is best seen at Utah’s Goosenecks of San Juan River State Park. Parallel bands of cliffs separated by steep slopes go down all the way from the rim to the bottom of the canyon making it appear impossible to reach the river. Honaker Trail is a well-defined but unmarked trail that sits a few miles to the northwest of the Goosenecks. It somehow takes you down through the cliffs to reach the river.

Pico de Orizaba by MishaCZ

A group of friends from Colorado decided to climb Pico de Orizaba (18,491'), the highest volcano in Mexico, at the end of March 2017. I got recommended a local company (Nómada) who can set us up with logistics and I have to admit we lucked out - they took care of everything and made the trip a huge success.

We left Denver on Friday afternoon (took only 1/2 day off), got to Mexico Intl' Airport at 11:30 PM. Nómada set us up with a van and drove us to Tlachichuca. We stayed at Canchola House and after breakfast, took jeeps (already waiting for us) to drive up the 4x4 road to Piedra Grande Hut Base Camp that is located at an elevation of 4,270 m (14,010 ft).

Featured Articles

Compass Basics: An Introduction to Orientation and Navigation Compass Basics: An Introduction to Orientation and Navigation by vanman798

The basics of compass usage are surprisingly simple and can be mastered quickly; and once learned they will certainly become an invaluable skill for any hiker, mountaineer, back country skier or suchlike outdoor enthusiast. However, if you are anything like most of us, chances are you have been packing a compass around for years, on your outdoor adventures, without fully utilizing it. It’s probably time to change that, isn’t it? Essentially a compass is nothing more than a magnetized needle, floating in a liquid, and responding to the Earth’s magnetic field consequently revealing directions.

1966 - The DRUS Rescue 1966 - The DRUS Rescue by ericvola

13th of August 1966: two Germans, Heinz Ramisch and Hermann Schridell started the ascent of the West face of the Drus; caught in a storm, they stopped on the small ledge below and to the right of the pendulum, 700 meters above the ground. They will spend ten days on the wall. Plunged into an adventure largely above their capabilities, they will be the cause of one of the largest mountain rescue operation ever done in the Alps.

CRYSTALS OF THE MONTE BIANCO (<b><i>The Crystal Hunters</i></b> First Part) CRYSTALS OF THE MONTE BIANCO (The Crystal Hunters First Part) by Antonio Giani

Franco Lucianaz was born in Aosta February the 16th, 1941 and he lives in fraction Valpettaz (Charvensod). Ex Regional dependent USL of the Aosta Valley, ski monitor and president of the Aosta Valley Mineralogical group "Les Amis di Berrio" (from 1995). Because of his long and proven career of mineralogist (cristallier or researcher of champions of crystals) he is defined by now in the local environment a "legend."

Featured Photos

Snow ridge of Krestovsky volcano Snow ridge of Krestovsky volcano by firelizard

Yerupaja, (S)E Face from Siula Punta Yerupaja, (S)E Face from Siula Punta by sharperblue

Photo of the Moment

Olancha Peak
May 22, 2017 10:23 PM by sierraman

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May 21, 2017 8:05 AM by Silvia Mazzani

Photo of the Week

Piz Cambrena (3604m)
May 13, 2017 10:09 AM by Lodewijk

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