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Butchart: Grand Canyon's 12,000 Mile Man Harvey Butchart: Grand Canyon's 12,000 Mile Man  by MarkDidier

Considering Harvey Butchart was a mathematics professor he would probably appreciate that his Grand Canyon exploits are always listed numerically. Harvey spent 42 years exploring Grand Canyon, and in those years he: Hiked over 12,000 miles; Spent 1,023 days below the rim; Discovered 164 routes through the Redwall Limestone; Discovered 116 rim to river routes; Climbed 83 buttes and temples, 28 being first ascents; Over a 17 year period became the first person to walk end to end through Grand Canyon.

Why Do You
Climb? (in your words) Why Do You Climb? (in your words)  by FlatheadNative

Whether the day is spent climbing on a local route or crag or extended days are spent achieving the mountain summit of a lifetime there is something that drives us to rise above our limitations and conquer the challenge.

Climbing through the Winter
Solstice Climbing through the Winter Solstice  by Ted Eliason

For an addicted alpine long-route climber, the winter solstice is the mid point of a seasonal withdrawal from something that gives life meaning, purpose, and images in the mind’s eye that keep the rest of life in balance. The lungs lose some of their calibration to the high altitudes. The stomach consumes holiday abundance unchecked by days out above the timberline, burning scarce calories for warmth and energy against the cold.

A rebel plant - Helleborus
niger A rebel plant - Helleborus niger  by selinunte01

Autumn and winter is coming to central Europe and to the Alpine regions and with them the dying of the plants, the falling of the leaves, the decay of all what is sprouting, blossoming and producing fruits and seeds during spring and summer.

Soon enough there is the first snow, covering the ground, giving a definite stop to plants life. Light your oven, prepare your skies and wait till springtime for the first tiny blossoms to reappear……

You are wrong!

maps & GPX routes Embedded maps & GPX routes  by visentin

Over recent years, Global Positioning Systems (GPS) have become more and more sophisticated and in turn, their popularity has grown considerably. Their functionality has also improved and as a result the use of GPX files has become an increasingly common occurrence.

At the same time, the use of online mapping facilities such as Google Maps and its equivalents has grown considerably, allowing users from around the world to share their topographic data over the internet. For sites such as Summitpost, which aim to share beta on all manner of outdoor activities, this has created a number of interesting possibilities for sharing information. The displaying of route information is particularly relevant, and although still in its infancy, the incorporation of GPX files with this kind of software has made this an ever more practical solution.

Wrestlemania Wrestlemania  by Gangolf Haub

When hiking in the Alps or the prealpine ranges we often encounter typical animals like ibexes, chamois or marmots. We also notice birds, alpine choughs, ravens or the huge birds of prey like the golden eagle. Some of us will take photographs of butterflies or grasshoppers and sometimes even lizards make it to the pages of SP. But rarely do amphibians get into the limelight, most likely because of the clandestine life they lead. This little article is dedicated to the Alpine Salamander (Salamandra atra) which will be referred to here with its German name: the Alpensalamander.


Right in the middle of the road a tiny black sculpture seemed to be standing and as I got closer (of course I had walked by noticing nothing) I realized that here was my first Alpensalamander. And the second as well. One atop the other. First we suspected indecent behaviour (in the middle of the road!) but we soon found out that something different seemed to be going on. One of the little guys was simply relaxing on top of the other's head. Of course I took out my camera and started to document this for posterity. We soon found out that we had interrupted a wrestling match.

My Outdoor
Mementos My Outdoor Mementos  by silversummit

There I was in early September, sitting on the table in the orthopedist’s office a week after returning from my Washington state trip. We were arguing over whether my ankle was broken or not and, I lost. My fall down the scree on the Upper Skyline Trail at Mt. Rainier wasn’t as innocuous as I thought. But by not going immediately to an emergency room at Rainier I avoided a hard cast and instead, limped around in an air cast for six weeks. Another broken bone. And I also added to my growing collection of soft boots, air boots, shoulder slings and x-rays.

Heinrich C. Berann's
Stunning Map Artwork Heinrich C. Berann's Stunning Map Artwork  by StephAbegg

Heinrich Berann (1915-1999) is the father of the modern panorama map. Berann was known for his unorthodox habits of landscape manipulation, such as rotating mountains, widening valleys, and vertically exaggerating features. Berann painted four panoramas for the U.S. National Park Service (NPS) that demonstrated his genius for landscape visualization: North Cascades National Park (1987), Yellowstone National Park, Yosemite National Park, and finally Mt. McKinley National Park (1994). Some of his work is now in the public domain and can be found via the links at the bottom of this page.

Golden Larch Trees
(Enchantments) Golden Larch Trees (Enchantments)  by StephAbegg

When autumn arrives in the Enchantments, the basin turns golden as the Alpine Larch trees prepare to shed their needles. This is a spectacular scene like no other. These flaming yellow larch trees deserve a page just as much as any climb.

The following page is chock full of photos of a golden yellow theme (taken during 3 separate trips in Oct 2008 and 2009). There are also some cool facts about the larch tree, and a little general information about the Enchantments here and there.

Walking with Mr. Muir Walking with Mr. Muir  by dwhike

The following is my humble tribute to a man whom I consider to be one of history’s greatest figures. It is a story of a man whom I can personally identify with. My love for the wilds, the quiet corners of the world, and natural wonders both great and small draw me to Muir as a common bond. No doubt, many of the places I have visited in my short life owe their existence to the conservation movement which had its beginnings, literally, in Muirs hands. No one before or since seems to have grasped the wonders of the natural world with such insight and clarity as John Muir did. Because of all this, I present the following article. I simply invite you to take a few minutes walking with a man who I draw an immeasurable amount of inspiration from…

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