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Hiking in the Dhauladhar
Himalaya Hiking in the Dhauladhar Himalaya  by lingana

It was the year 1993, when – on the suggestion of one of my friends (who has left hiking long ago), I had undertaken a trek to Pindari glacier, and I can surely say – I was hooked, and I fell in love with the outdoors! That, and the following couple of years, I was a regular on the Himalayan treks, with the same group, which had organized the first one. Essentially, it was a commercial venture, where – for a month – a group of 30 – 40 people used to go for a trek which was moderate, and which gave a good idea about what it takes to hike in the Himalaya.

It was after a gap of 24 years that I was going on a commercial trek. Last time, my dad had sent me; this time - I was taking my son along, so that he gets the feel for it. Although, he has done two treks already (GHNP and Dzongri), he had told me that he has gotten hooked. I will be taking him for such treks for a couple of years, after which he would be free to go all by himself.

Draw Short Grand Tour BuckWater Draw Short Grand Tour  by kjchristensen

We decided to attempt a hybrid of the previously listed Grand Tour which includes both the main and south fork. We parked at Plug Hat and descended the rim to the entrance of the South Fork. From that point we did not descend the South Fork, but continued east toward the top of the Main Fork. We intentionally stayed above or south of the ridge (has red dirt at its base) to avoid entering the wrong canyon south of the Main Fork. This path made it really easy to enter the Main Fork of the canyon in the same spot if you were approaching from the old jeep route. From car to canyon entrance was under 1 hour.

The Spectacular Huayhuash The Spectacular Huayhuash  by Scott

Late June and early July 2017 presented a rate opportunity for me. Usually that time of year it is very hard to get time off work, but this year I would just happen to be between projects.

The original plan for this year's big trip was for my wife and I to go to Kilimanjaro and do a Safari, but since I had time off in late June and early July we decided to do a family trip (Kilimanjaro being out of our budget range for all four of us to go).

We decided to go to Peru since Kim hadn't been there (it was the third Peru trip for Kessler and me and the second for Shaylee). At first we thought of Kessler and I doing some of the big peaks in the Cordillera Blanca, while the girls did something else, but then we decided that we should do something we could all do. Kim just had a major heart surgery in January, so really serious mountaineering was out of the question for her.

I had always wanted to go to the Huayhuash, but I never could get time off at the right time of year. We decided to do the challenging, but non-technical and very spectacular Huayhuash Circuit. Kessler and I hoped that we could find several mountains along the way that we could climb on a whim.

Cotopaxi Cotopaxi  by mcpazos

At 5,897 m (19, 347 ft), Cotopaxi is one of the highest active volcanoes in the world and Ecuador’s second highest peak. Due to volcanic activity, access to it’s summit was closed for over 2 years. Last month, conditions of the volcano went back to normal and its summit was re-opened for climbers.

Since I started climbing mountains a year and a half ago, Cotopaxi was always present in my mind. Being the most iconic peak in Ecuador, I was happy to be able to finally climb it.

Cotopaxi National Park is one the country’s main attractions, surrounded by beautiful Andes scenery of paramo, lakes and volcanoes. It’s located about an hour away from Quito and also the location of “Jose F. Ribas” refuge where most climbers spend the night before attempting the climb.

Watching Paint Dry Watching Paint Dry  by Kiefer

I stood there in the comfort of my warm Asolo hiking boots and watched my hiking partner plod up the trail at a glacial pace. I was truly in awe. I mean, I've seen some real winners over the years in the torpid and comatose category, but this was quite possibly the first ever instance where my partner was either a sleep, moving backwards or dead. She forced me to take a step every few hours to keep pace. This let my mind wander to all sorts of queries, worries and questions: Am I going to die out here? Will I make the summit? Did I remember to feed the cat? Will the beer I brought actually make to the summit 'fore being drank? Will I makeit back down before Christmas...of 2019? Then I remembered, I don't have a cat; I sighed with relief. As things go, I reasoned that there were worse places to spend Purgatory; Florida comes to mind, as does Mt. Bross and Mt. Princeton. And I'm sure being forced to watch Nicholas Cage movies would qualify. But hey! I'm in the San Juans!

Colorado has so many gems and treasures in between its' borders that it would take a lifetime to list them all without ever detailing why. The Sangre de Cristo's have remarkable, solid rock and some wicked-cool old growth forests. The Sawatch are 'Hills like White Elephants.' The Front Range is like a Yahtzee cup of pretty much everything. Throw a dart at the wall and you'll find something ya like. The Elks are like a scrappy, well-seasoned Hockey player who is both to be respected and not trusted (paging Claude Lemieux!). The San Juan's are overflowing with ghosts, tales, riches & ore, cold water and some seriously-ass craggy peaks (Pilot Knob, anyone?).

Climbing in Yangshuo, AKA Have You Eaten Yet? Rock Climbing in Yangshuo, AKA Have You Eaten Yet?  by Liba Kopeckova

I have so many goals in my life and it would require several live cycles to complete all those. The planning of a vacation can be a little overwhelming: where to go? what to do? how to deal with the short holiday offered in US? Most of my trips are only limited to one week, but this time it was different - I had 2 precious weeks off, which meant a far away destination for me.

I chose China for several reasons: I found cheap tickets to Beijing and who would not want to see the Great Wall of China? The autumn season in SW China is excellent for rock climbing - dry and not too hot, and there was also the harvest time with tons of exotic fruits to taste. Chinese greet each other “Have you eaten yet?” and what could be better than an adventure holiday with a great cuisine.

The Chinese history and culture deserves to be explored too, and its political system (we visited during Chinese elections and the military control was evident everywhere, especially around Tiananmen Square.

October Snow October Snow  by The_Cat_Guy

If you are lucky enough to live in more alpine regions, lets say the Alps or BC then snow in October is a usual sight for you. But not here in Greece. Even though this is the marker of the beginning of the winter season, it is also another important (List of 10) summit. It is a story of the successful ascent of Greece’s 7th highest summit, Korakas.

With that out of the way, let us proceed. Once again we were able to get some time of school and work given the national holiday of 28th of October that we get here in Greece. So with that in mind we decided to head to Agios Athanasios and the Vardousia mountains to summit the Korakas peak at 2495m. Lucky for us, the forecast gave snow and relatively cold temperatures, talking 0C to -2C at the highest altitudes, even better no wind was on for the day of the attempt.

So Friday passed and Saturday is here so its time to attempt the climb. We left our hotel at 8:30 and drove the 45 minutes to the POA refuge exactly on the trail head. Note that this is the closest you can go to the summit at 2000m of elevation. We started hiking at around 9:30 and luckily due to the clouds overhead and the direction of travel (West to East) we hiked without direct sunlight and relatively great temperatures (approx -1C).

Gannett Peak - Climb and
Rescue Gannett Peak - Climb and Rescue  by tom martin

January 1993 – I placed a request for climbers to join our team for a climb of Gannett Peak in the “Klimbin’ Kollaborator” column of the Highpointers Newsletter. After much correspondence, the following individuals met at the Glacier trailhead 13 miles south of Dubois Wyoming on August 8, 1993: Ken Akerman, Dave Bowling, Tom DeRoo, Dan Guthridge, Stacy Martin and Tom Martin. My eldest daughter Stacy and I decided to expand our trip to include Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks.

8/2 – Stacy and I left Springfield OH, drove to Chicago and then drove straight to Wyoming where we stopped at the Lincoln Monument rest area between Cheyenne and Laramie to sleep in the van. At over 8,500 feet, this is the highest point on I80. We continued to Yellowstone National Park (NP) and then visited Grand Teton NP where we checked conditions on Gannett by talking to a guide at Exum Mountain Guides at Jenny Lake. We then drove to Dubois where we again checked on Gannett conditions with the Forest Service office.

8/7 – When we arrived at the trailhead, we found Ken and Dave already camped there. Dan arrived shortly after and then Stacy, Ken, and I drove into town to drop off our climbing gear at the packer's. We had dinner at the Cowboy Café and then returned to the trailhead for the night.

8/8 – The weather was good as we packed and assembled at the trailhead (7,475 feet) at 8am for the start of our trip. I set my camera on Dave's walking stick for a group photo and we all laughed as the pole slowly bent before the shutter clicked, hence the crooked photo.

Peak SW Ramp Labor Day Weekend 2017 Granite Peak SW Ramp Labor Day Weekend 2017  by mzamp

I scheduled Granite Peak for Labor Day weekend in the hopes of avoiding any significant snow or ice on the route and the need to pack or travel with ice axe/crampons/ropes/etc. The week before the trip I was able to get a condition report that the route was clear. No snow gear needed. Still just to be safe we brought microspikes and my light weight axe...neither were needed. This trip report is for the SW Ramp. It wasn't until the week before that the route choice was decided. I went back and fourth several times between this and the standard route. The biggest concern for the SW Ramp was all the comments I read and heard about the rockfall hazard. Plus I was told that the climbing is really fun on the standard route.

My reasons for finally choosing the SW Ramp:

  • Scenery: It seemed the trek up the skytop drainage was more appealing then the FTD plateau
  • Less Gear: The conditions in the ramp made it so we didn't have to pack technical gear. Which also makes it easier/cheaper to fly on Allegiant airlines.
  • Water: Water is available all the way to the upper most sky top lake right below the Granite massive
  • Experience: The combination of my limited trad "lead" experience and my fiancees limited trad rock climbing experience
  • Less Strenuous: Reading route descriptions and examining maps it seemed the SW ramp route was slightly shorter and and had less elevation gain and loss.

Midnight Madness for Lone
Peak- attempt #2 Midnight Madness for Lone Peak- attempt #2  by Nicholas S

Two weeks after my initial attempt of the Lone Peak summit, a strange thing occurred within me on the evening of Friday, October 6, 2017: I became absolutely fixated on getting back to the Jacob's Ladder trailhead. I could do tomorrow, Saturday, I thought to myself on that Friday, but the thought of an early drive didn't seem appealing. Sunday was booked. I seemed to have a rather small window of time that I would be able to do this this weekend. The weather looked to be clear at the peak, according to my favorite forecast site for popular peaks, Mountain-Forecast.com, and the next weekend I was planning on an outdoor adventure in Wyoming. To postpone a trip to the Lone Peak could mean I wouldn't be able to go again for several weeks, or longer. It certainly wasn't the end of the world if I put it off. Reasoning that there didn't need to be any hurry, that Lone Peak wasn't going anywhere, I told myself I'd wait for another time. But shortly after accepting such a reasoning, I thought of the potential adventure slipping through my fingers. I felt crazy, perhaps mad. I began packing my things and double-checking them. I was going. I was definitely going! What had overcome me? A spirit of the mountains, it seemed. Who knew? It didn't matter, I reasoned.

Given the snow I'd encountered priorly in the Lone Peak area, the crampons and ice axe were sure to come along this time. Then two quart-bottles of Gatorade and two liters of water. I'd leave a third Gatorade in my car for rehydration upon returning from the mountain. Iodine pills for purifying stream water, since my unreplaced Sawyer filter froze in the Medicine Bows a few weeks earlier. Two energy fruit snacks of one brand, and two of another. A chili and macaroni MRE. A few Clif Bars, of course. My vest. A fleece jacket. A balaclava, a beanie. The wool mittens. The non-wool gloves. Another pair of very thin gloves for if it got cold enough. A top and bottom of thick thermals--I'd wear the thin thermals to begin with. Two pairs of socks. Compass, altimeter, knife, bear spray, multi-tool. 550 cord. Stove. A full propane and another I'd used quite a bit. Lighter. Eating utensils. The first-aid kit with backup batteries for headlamp. Headlamp. A nasty freeze-dried breakfast I hopefully wouldn't eat. And some green tea. The sleeping bag and pad wouldn't leave the car since I'd only sleep in there prior to beginning the hike up. The tent would stay at home.

I let a buddy know of the journey to come. If he didn't hear from me by Monday, etc.--he had a relative's phone number to contact.

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