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Pyrenee's bears : What the
hell !? Pyrenee's bears : What the hell !?  by visentin

Some of you, and perhaps most of you if you leave in France, Spain or Slovenia, have heard at least once about the problematic of the bears in Pyrenees. Often, this topic is related by the medias, presenting both arguments and versions from the two camps, the supporters of the saving of this animal, and their opponents. Most of the time, relying on these medias, it is difficult to figure make its own opinion about the topic, because of a lack of concrete facts and information. If you poll people in the street, almost everyone will say "I love bears, they're lovely animals and I think they should be saved, but if I meet one I don't know what I would do, so I understand also the cattle breeders !" Following another approach, some other people, closer to the anti-globalism political views, tend to prefer the opponents version, which sounds less "dreamy ecologist" and closer to the local context and the reality. But often, also, without any really concrete reasons.

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Skirting
the Volcano's Edge or Acceptable Challenge? Our Family Experience on Cloudripper
and Hurd Peak Skirting the Volcano's Edge or Acceptable Challenge? Our Family Experience on Cloudripper and Hurd Peak  by Augie Medina

Enlarge Hurd Peak from Bishop Pass Trailhead This article/trip report describes an outing in the Bishop Creek drainage with my daughter, Alicia, and youngest son, Daniel. More than this, the article touches on a theme that should interest anyone who includes immediate family members on their outings. That theme is, how far do you push the envelope in an effort to provide a memorable but positive outing? Where is the line between providing them with a challenge and possibly endangering them? I don’t know whether I have answers to those questions, but I will provide a context with our recent experience.

The three of us have in recent years done a backpack in the Sierra Nevada every August. Generally, we like to climb a peak or two while we’re out there. This year, I decided on an outing out of Bishop Pass Trailhead at South Lake. I figured we could climb Chocolate Peak, Hurd Peak and Cloudripper.

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Mutiny on
Gray Wolf Peak Mutiny on Gray Wolf Peak  by T Sharp

Mutinies have occurred since ancient times when hunter-gatherers followed the alpha male until they realized that continuing to follow would prove hazardous to their well-being, whereupon the troupe either killed the old leader or simply abandoned him to his fate. Thankfully, behaviors have become more civil, and the mutiny I experienced was more an abandonment.

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The Rules of the Game - Le
Regole del Gioco The Rules of the Game - Le Regole del Gioco  by Gabriele Roth

Evey year, when the "good" season comes, we can read about the "killer-mountain", about tragedies on the mountains and (tanks to the power of media) we can see "live" the spectacular (commercial) reports of a rescue (if all is OK) or to the recovery of (more or less) unlucky climbers

And each time we must read and listen to the comments of the so-called (bigheaded) "specialists": people speaking and passing opinions with no knowledge about the sites and the situations of the accident and, basing on theories absorbed from books and magazines, make judgements about the more or less wrong behaviour of the unlucky climbers ...

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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.

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Thunder & Lightning - In
Memory of a Friend Thunder & Lightning - In Memory of a Friend  by lcarreau

The U.S. National Weather Service calculates a ONE-in-THREE hundred chance that you or a family member will be struck by lighting sometime during your lifetime.

Lightning bolts are extremely hot, with temperatures of 30,000 to 50,000 degrees (F). That's HOTTER than the surface of the sun! When the bolt suddenly heats the air around it to such an extreme, the air instantly expands, sending out a vibration or shock wave we hear as an explosion of sound. If you are near the stroke of lightning you'll hear thunder as one sharp crack. When lightning is far away, thunder sounds more like a low rumble as the sound waves reflect off hillsides, buildings and trees. Depending on wind direction and temperature, you may hear thunder for up to twenty miles away.

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Baltistan,
The Land of Highest Peaks on Earth Baltistan, The Land of Highest Peaks on Earth  by Afzal

Baltistan covering an area of 26,000 square kilometer, comprises 5 vallys: Skardu, Khaplu, Shigar, Kharmang and Rondu. The Baltistan is the part of Northern Areas of Pakistan. These vallys are very important from the mountaineering, trekking and mountain related adventure activities. The northern territory of Baltistan contains four peak above 8000 meters, such as K-2 (8611-M) (Second highest mountain in the world), Gasherbrum-I (8068-m), Broad Peak (8048-m), and Gaserbrum-II (8035-m), and many other above 7000 meters peaks, such as Masherbrum, Gasherbrum-IV, Muztagh Towers, Latok, Baintha Brakk, Chogolisa, Baltoro Kangri, and many more.

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Sunset - Il
Tramonto Sunset - Il Tramonto  by Gabriele Roth

Only 3 days ago I heard about the recent death of an old ski-mountaneering partner of mine : I was 35 and, due to some differences in our opinions with the new director of the ski-mountaneering school where I was a instructor, I decided to look for amusement: two 55 y.o. boys shared with me the idea and instead of 6 boring teorethical lessons on the snow we enjoyed 6 first class routes. The partnership went on for some seasons, even with some not difficult rock climbs, amusing like children in front of a new toy: then we lost due to different family and work engagements (I heard that the other one was found dead, leaning to a tree, in a wood where he was hiking alone)

Two days ago I met an old rope partner of mine, a member of the elite of Italian Alpin Club: we spent together unforgettable days, looking for pure amusement in rock climbing ... wow ... Now he is 80 but is still oriented to go to make something on the mountains, I hope that the old rope team will be formed again, for easy rock climbs.

Last week I felt like doing a trip in little known sites so I met a 58 and a 76 y.o. boys, age doesn't matter if you feel a boy

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Trail Building and
Maintenance Trail Building and Maintenance  by DamOTclese

Have you ever wondered how the hiking and nature trails get built, or how theyre maintained (if theyre maintained at all?) Well, its hard work, as you might expect, probably the hardest unpaid volunteer work one can do out in the outdoors and still have a whole lot of fun while doing it.

Almost a year ago a band of extremely hearty and physically fit individuals undertook to clear every downed tree from the Mount Waterman Trail located in the Angeles National Forest of Southern California, a very popular hiking trail that has a good view of the Mount Wilson Observatory facility way off in the distance.

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Meeting the Great Bear Meeting the Great Bear  by Bob Sihler

There is probably no other animal quite as iconic in the American West, and perhaps in the American psyche, as the grizzly bear. 800 or so pounds of sinew and flesh (they can get up to 1500 pounds, but the largest in the Rockies are "only" around half that), claws and fangs the size of a man's finger and as sharp as any cat's, the short-burst speed of a thoroughbred horse, and a skull so thick that anything but a perfectly placed shot from a high-caliber gun will only enrage it and virtually guarantee certain doom for the unlucky or unwise antagonist-- that is the monster that haunts the forests and the slopes of the Northern Rockies.

But it is less than a monster, and more. Far fewer humans have died under the claws and the teeth of grizzlies than grizzlies have died through the gunsights of rifles wielded by the ultimate predator-- Man. Well more than 95% of the time, when a grizzly and a human meet, it is the grizzly who either runs in terror or ignores the other. No, it is no monster. Yet it more than just a beast. The grizzly has a spiritual connection to the ancient, wild world; it is both honored and feared in native tradition, and it is a bellwether for the health of the larger ecosystem. It vies only with the wolf as the enduring symbol of the American wilderness, and as the creature most demonized.

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