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Backing Off Backing Off  by Isaiah

I've pushed on uphill above treeline when it's pretty cloudy out, I've taken a 20 foot pendulum fall and then went on to finish the route in five more pitches, and I've summitted at 5PM more than I care to admit.

My attempt is to try and explain what goes into backing off a route. I'm also going to try and try and glorify retreating off routes because untold numbers are alive that made the right choice to head down before it was too late.

My most recent failure in the mountains was a failure to solo a grade one ice climb that I soloed the day before. I was just before the crux and I was looking at it and so many things were different. I had two ice axes instead of two ice tools like the day before. My axes weren't exactly sharp. My crampons weren't exactly sharp either.

The Science of Warmth The Science of Warmth  by Scott Dusek

There's a multitude of theories and personal preferences when it comes to staying warm. Possibly the only uniting factor amongst these hypotheses is that they share the same goal - fighting off the cold.

This article will explain the basic principles of what creates and maintains warmth.

Getting to
Know the Night Sky: The Northern Hemisphere Getting to Know the Night Sky: The Northern Hemisphere  by TrekAdam

Getting to know the night sky is fun, easy and can provide you with a wealth of knowledge in regard to navigation at night. This article focuses on the northern hemisphere only. It wont be long until I post on the southern hemisphere. Even memorizing the shapes of the constellations and then locating them in the night sky can be rewarding.

If you're out in the wilderness, take a moment one night to look up at the sky and marvel at its wonder. Stars millions of light years away, gallaxies and nebulas - the night sky provides enough detail to keep the mind wandering for hours.

This article covers most of the northern hemisphere's constellation and goes into detail about particular stars and their magnitudes, colors and degrees above the horizon line at peak. Other miscelaneous information, such as angular separation (distance) from star to star can be found as well. Inside I show a simple method to count degrees in the sky and I am happy to take questions about the method if it is not understood.

Climbing Hitches Climbing Hitches  by Brian C

Among the many knots that are regularly used in climbing, hitches are among the most common. They are very practical in a variety of setups, but they truly shine in rescue scenarios. Friction hitches like the prusik, klemheist, autoblock and bachman can be used to backup rappels, ascend a fixed rope and to haul a struggling or injured partner. Every climber should know these knots, how to tie them and when they might be useful in relation to the specific types of climbing that they do. This article is intended to provide a list of the most common hitches, their "normal" use, and a few pros/cons of each.

Grizzly Bear Grizzly Bear  by FlatheadNative

Anyone who frequents the Rocky Mountains will more than likely see a Grizzly. Perhaps no animal instills more fear in the Rocky Mountains than the Ursus arctos horribilis. The Latin name itself references an animal that is horrible. Many of us have stories to share. Most of them end with a great memory, some of them don’t. It is the stories of the ones who are injured by Grizzlies that creates the image of a horrible blood thirsty killer. In actuality, Grizzly Bears are like any animal and would generally prefer to avoid human contact. Grizzlies, like most other animals, will only attack when they feel threatened or cornered.

I have been fortunate to see many Grizzlies in my numerous trips into Glacier National Park in Northwestern Montana. Allow me to share two of my Grizzly encounter stories...

How I Vote
a Mountain or Route Page-What I am Looking For How I Vote a Mountain or Route Page-What I am Looking For  by Scott

I am writing this article, so I have something to link to every time I explain my vote, and most especially when I receive a PM. I don't want to just write the same thing over and over again, each time I vote.

Anyway, I treat everyone the same, and do not favor any other member over another when it comes to voting. I do not pick on anyone, or favor another. I vote on climbing information, and this is of the most importance.

Herrington is Wrong. Blake Herrington is Wrong.  by jacobsmith

Just to be clear, when Blake Herrington wrote Mark Twight is Wrong, it was one of the foremost young climbers of the Pacific Northwest engaging with a man who is perhaps the most important spokesman of late 20th century American alpinism. It’s an important debate and he had a right to weigh in. I, on the other hand, am some random guy on the internet spouting off about things I’ve only read about.

That said, I am going to disagree strongly with Herrington and argue that he has missed the point about “cheating” entirely. Mark Twight climbed and wrote about climbing with a religious fervor that made him to climbing in the 80s and 90s what Walter Bonatti was to climbing in the 50s and 60s. Conventional mountaineering history will probably remember Bonatti as the more important figure, but in intellectual terms, in the way they thought about climbing, they are peers. Herrington recognized this ideology with his original one line preface: “Forgive me Mark, for I have sinned,” the term “religious fervor” is Twight’s and he referred to his own climbing as jihad. Given this understanding of the man’s work, it is disappointing that Herrington didn’t give Twight’s logic a little more benefit of the doubt, and instead made a snarky, sarcastic commentary on another man’s purism. This is not to say that I have anything against snarky, sarcastic commentary in general, I’m just beginning to notice that it is only actually convincing, or even very funny, if you already agree with the point being made. What I am therefore going to do is not defend Twight’s logic per say, which is, as Herrington pointed out, flawed, but rather show how both of them are addressing the wrong issue, the question is not of what is allowed, but rather of what is the goal.

infallible method to become POTD and POTW The infallible method to become POTD and POTW  by Bruno

I dedicate the present article to the stunning POTD/POTW of Mont-Blanc, Trango Towers, arches, mushrooms, foxes, butterflies and garden flowers that every day inspired me to climb the office stairs instead of taking the lift.

I hope that this article will not hurt anybody’s feeling. I think that we should just be able to laugh about ourselves once in a while. And, most important, please keep voting on my pictures, as I would also have a chance to savour the incomparable taste of being POTW once in my life…

Each SP member has been dreaming about reaching the immortality by accessing to the exclusive club of the POTD award winners…

Vertical Relief Vertical Relief  by BobSmith

I live in the Piedmont region of North Carolina. It’s not an area known for having mountains or gorges or much in the way of exciting topography. The name means, after all, “Foothills”.

Living here the best you can generally expect when it comes to mountains or chasms are long-distance views of the Blue Ridge from various points along the roads and byways. Close enough to give you the fever, but not near enough to satisfy your jones for the high country. However, when I get really desperate for a taste of the vertical, there is one spot where I can go and at least pretend I’m around something that can be called a mountain:

Crowders Mountain State Park.

SummitPost Scores. V2 vs V3
vs the Eiger SummitPost Scores. V2 vs V3 vs the Eiger  by hansw

One morning in January 2013 I noticed that the score of one of my pages had gone from 90% to 95%. What took them so long to see the true value of my writings, I said to myself. Life was good. For a while anyway. Until I saw that some of my scores had gone up and some had gone down. I had an uncomfortable feeling of confusion. The sticks didn’t fit together. Something had to be done to find out what had happened.

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