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Argentine
Chronicles Volume 1 - Nahuel Huapi National Park Argentine Chronicles Volume 1 - Nahuel Huapi National Park  by Matt Lemke

To start off, this trip was not supposed to happen...yet again I ran down to South America at the last minute. Since I was gearing up for a potential hiatus from work due to the very low gas prices that started plummeting at the end of 2014, I threw around the idea of heading back to Patagonia. The idea seemed much more appealing this time since it would be the middle of February when I left rather than late March, when I went to Chile last year. As it turns out, the day after the dreadful Superbowl 49 (which will haunt my dreams forever :P) I was done with work and I returned to Bozeman for a couple weeks before my planned departure date of February 15th. A lot happened in that two weeks that is better saved for a different story, but I managed to go ice climbing at Hyalite a few times and made some new friends.

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Bull's-eye:
Of Crowds and Cairns Bull's-eye: Of Crowds and Cairns  by MarkDidier

It seemed like a half hour had passed! Rob and I stood looking at Hourglass Ridge debating with each other, as well as with our fears, refusing to take those first steps. For a couple of noobs the ridge was intimidating, as the exposure on both sides of the little narrow path was extreme! Then there was the climb to the summit! If I survived the walk across the ridge I still would have to face the harrowing scramble to the summit. I couldn’t stop thinking that if I started sliding, the end result wouldn’t be pretty as the southeast shear face of Alice ensured a long fall. We wandered around the Alice/Chiefs Head saddle for quite a while trying to find an alternate route. We were intimidated to say the least, but finally we realized that the ridge was the route, and we rather easily agreed that it was time to turn around. It was the last day of August, 2007, and at that time we apparently lacked the skills to tackle Hourglass Ridge. To date, it would have been the most difficult route we had attempted. Or was it?

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Havasu Falls Havasu Falls  by tarol

My sister Kristine and I backpacked to Havasu Falls near the village of Supai in the Grand Canyon last week. This has been a trip on my bucket list for quite some time. I had a horse-packer friend who did the trip to chronicle the delivery of mail - this is the last place in the US where mail is delivered by horseback. His photos and stories were amazing and I've always wanted to hike it myself.

This trip requires advanced planning. It's not a day-hike - you must stay down in the canyon either at the lodge or the campground. We opted for the lodge, since it was only 8 miles to and from it, and I knew the last day hiking out of the canyon would be a doozy. Plus, my sister isn't much for sleeping in tents. But we still carried all our food and means to cook it, our clothing, and our personal items. I carried a tarp and 2 person space blanket just in case. The weight difference between this and other trips I've done wasn't much. This is a remote and unforgiving area so best to be prepared.

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Panther
Gorge: 2 New Rock Climbing Routes on Marcy and Haystack Panther Gorge: 2 New Rock Climbing Routes on Marcy and Haystack  by MudRat

Adam Crofoot and I walked down to Keene Valley and arrived at his house at 9:30 p.m. after logging 20 miles over 16.5 hours. Ah, if it had just been a hike, I might not have felt as weary, but we’d logged a full day of backcountry climbing and I knew I’d feel the effects over the following couple days. That, however, is the end of the story.

Big explorations and sleep are not good partners; I woke up at 1:30 a.m. on August 16th and gave up on any solid rest at 3:45 a.m. Resigned to a hard day with little sleep, I drove down the road to Adam’s house. His girlfriend, Allison, dropped us off at the Garden. We were walking to Panther Gorge by 4:45 a.m. The primary concern in my hazy mind was, “Will the stone be wet or had the wind dried it out enough?” Nine miles is a long walk to find out that conditions aren’t safe. The dew point was equal to the temperature—not a good sign. In our minds it was worth taking the chance, however.

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New England
Summitfest #3 New England Summitfest #3  by Brian Jenkins

This year’s entry of my annual trek with pal, Flanders, takes us back to the great states of New Hampshire and Maine. As you may recall from a couple previous reports (Summitfest 1 and Summitfest 2) this is one of my favorite spots and I still say it is THE place to be in autumn. On this trip, we wanted to hit all of the things we didn’t get to do during our first New England trip. Our objectives were to do the Presidential Traverse and then the Knife Edge on Katahdin (which an approaching storm in 2002 made us turn back on).

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Beer & Highpointing - A
Western Adventure Beer & Highpointing - A Western Adventure  by Jow

Most of the time my two favorite hobbies, craft beer and highpointing, are at odds with one another, however, in September 2010 the stars were aligned and they came together in one beautiful trip. I was hanging out on a beer geek website I frequent and one of the bloggers mentioned beer related film contests. My cousin (a professional film editor and fellow highpointer) and I entered New Belgium Brewing Company’s Clips of Faith Film contest with this short film.

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Arctic
Finland 2015: of dogs, snowmobiles & Irishmen Arctic Finland 2015: of dogs, snowmobiles & Irishmen  by markhallam

I am some 150 miles up inside the Arctic Circle , mired in a snow-drift – in the freezing blackness of a February night in northern Finland. My transport – a snowmobile – is tipped on its side yet again. With extraordinary difficulty I am trying to struggle to my feet, a near impossible task in waste deep snow – and with blazing pain from the osteoarthritis in my lower spine, which is now also setting fire to my left leg.

This is all made OK (but only just) by the fact that there is the most incredible display of the aurora borealis 50km above my head. There is barely time to stop and admire it, because I have to turn my attention to getting my mired snow-mobile unstuck – which is beyond me to manage unassisted. But nonetheless I steal a bit of time as Darren, one of our two 25 year old Irish guides hurtles up in a flurry of white powder, partially illuminated by his headlight. The aurora (or northern lights) has for the last couple of hours just been a subdued greenish glow on the horizon, below an inky black sky pin-pricked by myriad stars – many more than I accustomed to seeing in the light polluted skies of the UK – 1500 miles to the south. But now it has metamorphosed into a great swirling Chinese dragon right above – and it spans half of the black dome overhead.

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Highlights from a Disastrous
2013 Season Highlights from a Disastrous 2013 Season  by BearQueen

Well, as they say, “IT was the best of times, it was the worst of times” pretty much sums up what was happening in my life at the time I was hiking Mt. Cavanaugh: It was New Year’s and I was with my husband, but the bad part, the part that has been the “worst of times” is basically chronic unemployment, falling out of hiking completely for about one year since we have been without a car that works and that shut down our ability to go outside of Seattle City Limits.

The triumph of Mt. Cavanaugh was pretty great for me. It represented a New Year, and although 2013 did not go in any way how I felt when I was on the top of Mt. Cavanaugh, I write this today hoping I can recapture it and I hope to snowshoe up this again soon.

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Winter Winds of Change Winter Winds of Change  by Castlereagh

I sit here little over a year removed from the most recent events of this trip report having just started up a job in New Jersey. I’m still not entirely sure how this came to be and what exactly this means for the future if anything, but if the events that led to this moment were, to quote Shelby Foote, “stars in their courses”, then what transpired in and between what’s covered in the following tidbits certainly gave birth to those stars and set them on their course.

But first there was that initial taste of winter the week before my Nevada/Notch Peak trip. I teamed up with Matt (mtybumpo on SP) to go for Black Peak, a prominent P4K in Idaho and one of those peaks that always catches your eye as you drive on by on the way to bigger and grander things (in my case, on trips between Salt Lake and the Ketchum area). We approached the peak via Sixmile Canyon, where the air was reasonably warmish and the slopes were bare of snow.

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Four Rings
of Saturn: A New Ice Climbing Route on Gothics East Face Four Rings of Saturn: A New Ice Climbing Route on Gothics East Face  by MudRat

Though everything in the backcountry is alluring, a few places and features intrigue me more than others. Most of the upper Great Range holds a special place in my heart. While climbing Gothics via Pyramid in the early 2000’s I was taken by a stone sculpture, a cliff, on the far side of the cirque. The four tiers of the cliff were striped with moss, lichen, water and algae. I snapped several photos and looked at them every now and again. I thought it unfathomable to observe it more closely, however—go off-trail—heck no!

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