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Expedition Medicine Expedition Medicine  by markhallam

This article is suitable for small groups, travelling light into the greater mountain ranges or other remote mountain areas. It is particularly aimed at trekkers or climbers, intending to go to altitudes of less than 7000 metres – and on straight forward routes, where there is some risk of illness but not great risk of physical injury.

Much in this article still holds true for the higher mountains, so it may still be worth a read if you are off to tackle one of the eight thousanders – or an unclimbed face on a remote Andean peak. But on such as these, risk of illness and physical injury is very much greater and you may be advised to have a seasoned expedition doctor in the party – who has current experience of trauma management as well as altitude awareness.

The article is on expedition medicine, but it is intended to be interesting as well as useful to non-medics especially. Many light weight parties go to altitude or to remote areas without having a doctor or nurse in the party. It is to be hoped that this article would provide a basic guide to some of the medical hazards which are possible – and to treatments which at the least may prevent the trip being spoiled for some or all of the party, but at most could save a life.

A History
of Climbing in the Cascade Mountains A History of Climbing in the Cascade Mountains  by jacobsmith

Mountaineering has long suffered from a lack of historical consciousness. While climbers are, by and large, an educated community, few have formal training as historians and fewer still have any conception of the effect this lack of serious historical attention has had. Consequently, climbers often have a peculiar ahistoricism, in which they are aware of their history, of the events of the past, but chronically underestimate how different that history is from the present.

Mountaineering is not a single strand, a singular impulse running through history. There is not an innate “climber instinct” that they (we)1 are all tapping into. Rather, mountaineering has been constantly shaped and re-shaped, so as to be almost completely unrecognizable from its genealogical origins, by both the cultures from which the climbers come and the mountains to which they go.

Home Is
Where the Heartache Is Home Is Where the Heartache Is  by Bob Sihler

It is dawn in Yellowstone, again. I love dawn here. It is not just because the traffic, especially the RV and bus traffic, has not arrived yet. It is not just because of the glow the early sunlight casts on the trees, meadows, hills, and mountains; or because of the mist that rises from the streams and turns a blinding white as the sunbeams strike it. It is because the world-- the primordial world-- has begun again. A few remaining slivers of it are, by Greater Yellowstone, along with just a handful of other places in the world, preserved in hoped-for perpetuity.

Somewhere, grizzly cubs are playing while their mother huffs in disapproval and tells them to move along, for she knows the urgency of fattening up for the long, brutal, and unforgiving winter that follows the glorious but brief Yellowstone summer. Somewhere, wolves are following the ancient cycle of kinship and survival that makes them among the most-durable, least-understood, most-loved, and also most-hated creatures on the planet; a lucky few humans hear their howls and feel a chill and an emotion they cannot explain but which will stay with them for the rest of their days. Somewhere, a mountain lion silently watches its intended prey; its scream, unlike the wolf’s howl, is alien to us and speaks of an instinct and a fierce solitude that would drive all but a few of us insane.

Learning to Rock Climb Learning to Rock Climb  by Scott Dusek

A lot of people would like to learn how to Rock Climb but don't know where to start. This article will provide a simple road map through the learning process.

There are many ways to learn to climb stone. This is a generic approach I have compiled from teaching friends and guiding. It's methodical and direct and provides a safe path to self-sufficiency and competency in the vertical world.

If any terms or concepts are unfamiliar - don't worry - it will all make sense in time. In the beginning everything seems daunting and unforgiving, that is normal, rest assured that your outlook will change as you learn more. The modern system of Rock Climbing is exceedingly well thought through and very safe. However, it requires time, focus, and respect to learn how to rock climb properly.

on Rock Climbing Risk Reflections on Rock Climbing Risk  by pookster1127

The flake, which I weighted with both hands, sheared off without warning, leaving me instantly airborne with the 10.2 mm rope, a # 7 stopper, and my belay partner providing my only assurance of safety. Many thoughts crossed my mind in that instant of time, but I distinctly remember one, “How could that be? There was chalk all over that hold.” Equally troubling was the “lunch pail” sized rock hurtling down on the climbers below.

The chimney that comprises the second and third pitch of Skyline Traverse at Seneca Rocks, WV is notorious for rock fall. The Seneca Climbers Guide explains, “USE CAUTION: There is a large amount of loose rock at the top of the climb, and some of Seneca’s most popular routes are directly below you. In fact it is unwise to be at the base of YE GODS, DROP ZONE, and CANDY CORNER without a helmet.”

The 1rst Ascent of Mont
Blanc The 1rst Ascent of Mont Blanc  by ericvola

Up until the middle of the 18th century, the Mont Blanc was totally unknown. The Swiss scientists had explored their own mountains but had avoided the Chamonix valley (then part of the Savoy duchy and realm of Piedmont-Sardinia). Its mountains were named the “cursed mountains”.

In 1741 Windham and Pococke climbed to the Montenvers and went down to the Mer de Glace, then easily accessible as more than 130 m higher than now. They made the valley range known in the whole of Europe with their expedition’s tale published in 1744 and in French. They had come with armed servants as if they had been on an expedition to the center of Africa to find quite civilized villagers led by a benevolent prior.

Chasing the Light Chasing the Light  by Mark Doiron

Photography is all about light. That should be patently obvious to even the most casual observer. In fact, let me submit to you that it is patently obvious to the casual observer: Of the thirteen pages of photos I've posted on SP, almost every one of the photos below appear on the first page. Almost without exception, the remaining twelve pages of photos do not have particularly notable lighting.

However, finding just the right light can be a very serendipitous experience. That is, the studio photographer (a job I loath to think I'd ever have to do) is blessed in having virtually complete control over the lighting situation. Photojournalists are more interested in the story than in the light -- images with even mediocre lighting can become great because of their documentary value. The snapshooter simply doesn't care ("I'm not very good with a camera."). But, the good landscape photographer understands that great photography is all about the lighting, and that the lighting is under the control of God, Mother Nature, or whatever super being in which one professes to believe.

Distance to the Center of
the Earth Distance to the Center of the Earth  by Klenke

This is the equation to determine the distance of any point on, below, or above the surface of the Earth to the center of the Earth. It was derived (solved as an explicit equation) last year (2012) but I had not included it due here to it being intended as an appendix to a book by a Canadian author who contacted me about the matter. But circumstances have coaxed me into providing it now.

This equation uses the WGS 84 ellipsoid as it is the most current for defining the oblate spheroid shape of the Earth. This ellipsoid defines nominal (mean) sea level for the world by way of the two ellipse parameters a and b, the semimajor and semiminor axes respectively.

Obscurity Conundrum The Obscurity Conundrum  by Bob Sihler

To Post or Not To Post? That is the question.

Before I go on, let me state that what follows is based on personal feelings and judgments. Although I am a site moderator, what I am going to talk about is not a new SP policy and is not under discussion as a new policy. Also, I am not going to bring it up for discussion among the staff as a new site policy. But please read with an open mind and consider this as something SP contributors might want to think about.

So...... I have deleted almost all of my pages for peaks that have no official names and no locally or historically accepted unofficial names as well. By this, I mean the many "Point..." and "Peak..." pages I had posted, not peaks unofficially named for the benchmarks found on them. In a few cases, I changed the page to a trip report or route or incorporated essential information into another page, and there are two over which I'm still pondering what to do, but most of the pages are gone. So are many of the pictures, though I left several behind if they were relevant to other pages.

Why have I done this, especially since I have long been among those who think SP's greatest value is as a source of information for obscure peaks and since I still am among those?

We Forget Sometimes We Forget  by Michael Hoyt

Admit it. Each of us who thoroughly enjoys "the wilderness" has felt – probably more than once – that we’re owed such experiences. We convince ourselves that, if for no other reason, wild places should be preserved so we can continue to indulge our desire for solitude. In this, I am as guilty as anyone. But...

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