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Finding the Dead in the
Mountains Finding the Dead in the Mountains  by Vic Hanson

Living in a deep canyon in the Andes Mountains gives me lots of opportunities for hiking and exploring. One thing it doesn't provide are leisurely "walks in the park", which is fine with me. I don't particularly like flat trails, either hiking or mtn. biking. Ups, downs and curves are what make a trail interesting and enjoyable. Here you can follow the rivers up the canyon or down the canyon. You can hike down to the river or up to the mountain peak or ridge. And if you are making a round trip of it, you will be doing both up and down. There are very few level trails. Even those that traverse a mountain usually go up and down because of cliffs and gullies, as well as the fact that the villages are at different elevations. There is also no such thing here as a recreational trail, they are all either used by people and animals to get from village to field or village to village, or they were used for that in times past, during the Inca and Wari (pre-Inca) cultures. Most people here can't quite comprehend why I am out hiking just for fun, and not because I have to get from one point to another.

In memory of Wanda
Rutkiewicz (1943-1992) In memory of Wanda Rutkiewicz (1943-1992)  by Ivona

I would like to remind SP community of a wonderful woman,because of the 16th anniversary of her disappearance on Kangchenjunga, 12th or 13th May in 1992. This summit would have been her ninth 8000 meter peak and then she could probably have been the first woman who would reach all 14 8000-meter peaks. She wanted to do it. She died on Kangchenjunga somewhere above 8000 meterss, while attempting via the southwest face route.

Predator Predator  by Gangolf Haub

A hornet zommed by close to me, probably 1m (3 feet). Out of the corner of an eye I saw that there was something in its fangs. I turned, following the insect with my eyes. It settled on one of the olive trees under which we were taking our break. I quickly stepped closer, camera ready to shoot.

The time it took me to adjust the camera much had happened. The hornet was hanging from one of its limbs, the other five holding a bee. The hornet quickly turned the bee in its legs and with a sickening crunch its fangs tore off wings and legs. Before I could take aim - 10 seconds at most - the bee's head was gone!

Vita Oskar Bühler Vita Oskar Bühler  by reinhard2

Oskar Bühler was born on January 4th, 1911 in Nuremberg, Bavaria. He enjoyed a caring relationship with his family. Aged just about 13 years, he soloed his first climbing adventures in his rocky Franconian homeland. These were limit experiences which did not, however, prevent him from starting a livelong climbing and alpine career. Looking for climbing mates, he found contact with other climbers via the local YMCA, and joined at the age of 15 Section Nuremberg of the German Alpine Club (Deutscher Alpenverein). Already in this summer 1926 he had his first occasion to see the Alps, making a trip with his youth group to the Lechtal and Verwall area, where he summited his first 3000m peak. 3 years later he participated in an ice climbing training in the Zillertal Alps, led by the later famous ski filmmaker Oskar Kühlken, and immediately afterwards he graduated in a climbing course headed by the also famous Walter Flaig in the Verwall group. Flaig was destined to become his climbing guru, and with both Kühlken and Flaig he maintained a livelong friendship. In the consequence, Bühler undertook as early as 1929, at the age of 18, independent climbs in the Zillertal Alps and in Wilder Kaiser. One year later, he made his first „14er“, mounting to Monte Rosa with skis.

A Satire A Satire  by mrauthentic616rm2

Unknown to many people in this world, there exists a rare breed of awesomely handsome and beautiful humans. These people are savvy and fit.. They are one of a kind. They have great hair and are able to do pull ups with only two fingers! Spandex pant and bright neon colored shirts adorn their bodies. These more than human superstars are ROCK CLIMBERS!!! These supernaturally awesome rock climbers are semi related to meadow fairies, and consequently have opted out of education, and the nine to five job lifestyle. Living in the woods, climbing cliffs and mountains alike, they never shower or cut their hair, for that would be a major disgrace to their meadow fairy ancestry.

Bataan Memorial Death March Bataan Memorial Death March  by rayray

Each year in southern New Mexico, a unique event is held in honor of a very special group of Americans, the Battling Bastards of Bataan. People from virtually every state in the United States and even other countries around the world converge on the Chihuahuan Desert of New Mexico to take part in a grueling 26.2-mile trek through the desert known as the Bataan Memorial Death March. The Battling Bastards of Bataan symbolize a great generation, one whose values and sacrifices leave their descendants in a debt of gratitude. I like to think that those who participate in this event do so for the same reasons I do - simply to remember, honor, and thank that group and their generation. And while the ranks of Bataan Survivors diminish, the event that honors their sacrifices and those of their fallen comrades grows ever larger. They will not be forgotten.

Letter to an Old Friend Letter to an Old Friend  by Bob Sihler

There you were, bold against the snow in the Lamar Valley, ears erect, snout down, ready to pounce, listening for the self-betraying movement of your prey in its dug-out tunnels a few inches below.

You paid not a bit of attention to me. In one sense, I was glad; it's not worth getting the perfect picture of an animal if doing so means disrupting it, and such disruptions can be harmful or even fatal to the animal. But in another sense, I was a little saddened not to be acknowledged; some part of me, the part that thrives on feeling like a part of the pulse of the wilderness, craved your notice and subsequent acceptance-- not friendship but not fear, either-- just acceptance.

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 were 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...

A moments reflection brings the realization that Im not the first person who visited any particular wild area of the mountains. Indians, trappers, prospectors, hunters, and farmers walked the mountains, each bushwhacking through deadfall, following animal trails, scratching a living from the land.

In Defiance
of <i>the Edge<i> In Defiance of the Edge  by alpinistahombre

A mountain climber reaches an unattainable feat and either ponders or just bellows-out “Conquest at last!” A great moment of added satisfaction has been acquired, and achievement incurred. Returning back to camp, he or she descends from a great adrenal blitz, and moves to celebrate the day. The climber looks back at the mountain with new admiration, inspiration, and memory. One very small aspect of that mountain was made accessible that day, by Mother Nature—the gatekeeper, and the mystery of that specific route was removed.

Meditations on the Guglia Meditations on the Guglia  by mvs

Last August, despite a long spell of bad weather, I had the pleasure of climbing on the Campanile Basso with my friend Aidan. It was our first visit to the Brenta Range. Starting the hike in late afternoon, we had to laugh at the extended friendly hordes of Italians coming down the trail. It was a hot day and my pack felt heavy. I lazed along, somewhere behind Aidan, but I finally perked up when we saw the massive Crozzon di Brenta in front of us. Actually that's what we wanted to climb, but a big pile of fresh snow covered the top, and the hut warden thought we were crazy to even think about it. We chickened out, but were well rewarded with the Basso.

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