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Five Best Dayhikes of a
Lifetime Five Best Dayhikes of a Lifetime  by vancouver islander

Let me emphasise at the outset that this is not written by my obituarist. And while not exactly even in the evening of my life, it’s getting to be late afternoon, and some retrospectives are best handled sooner rather than later. Or, perhaps, I just felt like writing a story to provide diversion on a wet winter afternoon.

I grew up, or at least came to consciousness, in the slums of industrial, smoke-blackened Manchester in the late 1940’s and early 50’s. Post-war rationing was still in effect, war damage was evident everywhere, people were limited in both prospects and personal outlook; there was little optimism to be found anywhere. I don't suppose I thought too much about the grime and poverty that was all around me. I had, after all, nothing else with which to provide a comparison.

Altitude: What Happens to the Human Body In the High Altitude: What Happens to the Human Body In the "Death Zone"  by txmountaineer

The information that follows is not meant as an official account of all the dangers of high altitude climbing, nor has it been prepared by a licensed medical professional. Mountaineering is an extremely high-risk activity and should only be attempted by seasoned professionals. Please consult your physician before attempting any activity at high altitude.

I originally wrote this as a research paper in Fall 2002 for a Physiological Psychology course in college, and thought that some might find it useful here on SP. The original online issue of this Article can be found here.

Finding Science in the
Mountains Finding Science in the Mountains  by BobSmith

When I was sixteen years old, I was sitting on the cliff face of Charlies Bunion in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park with one of my best friends, T---. We were in the midst of a two-week backpacking trip with a pair of other friends from school. Part of this excursion was a series of very leisurely strolls of only a few miles from shelter to shelter along the AT before we would reach Newfound Gap and a ride from his parents to another point farther south along the Appalachian Trail.

As T--- and I surveyed the amazing topography before us, under ideal conditions of clear, blue skies and cool breezes, my friend sat up from where he was reclining on the ancient rock and exclaimed, “How can anyone look at this and not believe in God?”

And I said, as I generally do, the first thing that popped into my head. That thing was, “How can anyone look at this and not believe in Plate Tectonics and erosion?”

“You asshole,” T--- exclaimed, rising and stalking off to where our other two friends were standing, joining his Christian company. Leaving me, as usual, sane man out.

Mountaineering Expedition visited Pakistan during 2007 Mountaineering Expedition visited Pakistan during 2007  by Karrar Haidri

91 applications were received for granted Permission in Ministry of Tourism Pakistan. 83 applicants granted permission to climb respective Peaks of their choice including 14 applicants who were granted permission to climb 02 peaks each, one 3-peaks and an other one was permitted to climb 4-peaks whereas 02 expeditions could not be granted permission to climb peaks situated close to war zone Siachen Glacier, 06 expeditions withdrew their applications. As such overall 102 attempts were made by 799 members of 83 expeditions, to climb 22 peaks, out of which 201 climbers including 13 from Pakistan, were successful in hoisting their national Flags, on the summit of 07 peaks.

Got a Problem? Got a Problem?  by Bob Sihler

There she lay, sultry as the sweltering August night, beckoning with more than just that curling index finger, her siren song mute but as maddening as the voices that called Greek sailors to their doom. The false moonlight of the streetlamps, pushing through the half-closed blinds, painted her cascading hair the same silver it did the wisps of smoke from the burning cigarette, smoldering in its bedside ashtray, that would be finished between neither her lips nor mine; and the intruding slants of light threw shadows on her in all the right places and accented each of her curves, which were in all the right places, too. Yes, I had a job to do, and that duty called, but so did being a man.

Waiting for
the Light Waiting for the Light  by Michael Hoyt

The quality of light influences how we react to what we see, whether we’re looking at a landscape, a building, a person, a picture, whatever. Because the effect takes place on an almost subliminal level, most people go through life totally unaware of it happening. For example, when we look at snow we think it’s white; however if you take a picture of the snow (correctly exposed, of course), and look at that, you’ll find that in many cases the color is anything but white.

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.

Basics: An Introduction to Orientation and Navigation Compass Basics: An Introduction to Orientation and Navigation  by vanman798

The basics of compass usage are surprisingly simple and can be mastered quickly; and once learned they will certainly become an invaluable skill for any hiker, mountaineer, back country skier or suchlike outdoor enthusiast. However, if you are anything like most of us, chances are you have been packing a compass around for years, on your outdoor adventures, without fully utilizing it. It’s probably time to change that, isn’t it?

Essentially a compass is nothing more than a magnetized needle, floating in a liquid, and responding to the Earth’s magnetic field consequently revealing directions. Over time compass markers have added features which make compasses work more harmoniously with maps and also more beneficially as stand alone tools. Today, compasses can be classified as one of four types, namely: fixed-dial (the type that you find on a key chain, or that come out of a gum ball machine), floating dial (the needle is an integrated part of the degree dial), cruiser (professional grade instrument used by foresters), and orienteering. For hiking, mountaineering, back country skiing, canoeing, hunting or the like, the orienteering type is the most sensible being accurate to with 2 degrees, not requiring a separate protractor nor map orientation, and being highly affordable.

Climbing -
A Useless Sport? Climbing - A Useless Sport?  by AJones

First of all, I have to say that I eat, live, and breathe climbing. I love to climb – whether it is sport climbing, ice climbing, trad climbing or alpine walls – I love it all. I think we can all agree that climbing brings joy, happiness, and for some, even meaning, into our lives, but I can’t help but think that sometimes we tend to take climbing (and ourselves) far too seriously. I mean, really, what we’re doing is climbing up some rock or ice, to get to the top; and far more often than not, you don’t even get to the actual top of anything; just some arbitrary definition of the top.

Climbing, you could argue, unlike some other sports, isn’t even that entertaining. You’re never going to have millions of people tuned in on Sunday to watch climbing. At its route (no, pun intended), climbing is a very personal and somewhat selfish sport. And of course, that’s what the attraction is for many of us. Climbing allows us to feel a bond with nature; it allows us to be introspective; it allows us to remain fit and agile; it defines our friendships; and sometimes, it even defines who we are. But at the core, it's still only about climbing up something.

Using the
Graduated Density (GD) Filter to Control Lighting in Outdoor Photography Using the Graduated Density (GD) Filter to Control Lighting in Outdoor Photography  by Mark Doiron

One of the most common situations that the outdoor photographer runs into is variance in lighting that exceeds the dynamic range of the film or sensor (think of dynamic range as the ability of the film or sensor to capture both the lighter and darker elements of the picture). Often you’re in the situation where you feel that you have to give up one part of the photograph or another. This is especially true in situations where the sky is much brighter than the land, or where strong shadows exist within parts of the photo. And, with the popularization of digital cameras, this is even more critical, since digital cameras are generally considered to have about one f-stop less of dynamic range than film (making this a strong plus for the continued use of film in certain situations). A very noticeable symptom of this loss of dynamic range for the outdoor digital photographer is the loss of delicate texturing in clouds, giving them a “cartoonish” look. But, regardless of whether you shoot film or digital, the GD filter offers you the opportunity to better control certain lighting challenges.

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