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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.

Marsh Peak Marsh Peak  by nader

My wife and I could not find a good place to stay in Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area where I wanted to do several days of hiking. Instead, we rented a house in the community of Dry Fork 10 miles to the northwest of Vernal, Utah. While this created long daily drives to and from Flaming Gorge, it put me very close to some of the high peaks of the Uinta Mountains. I had to climb at least one peak. The two most accessible peaks were the 12028 ft Leidy Peak and the 12240 ft Marsh Peak. Leidy Peak required more of a drive and less of a hike so I decided to climb Marsh Peak.

Marsh Peak is the highest peak in the eastern part of the Uinta Mountains. Its eastern and southern slopes are gentle. To the north, steep slopes go down to reach a nameless lake at 10820 ft. A network of abandoned logging roads can be followed to reach the upper slopes of Marsh Peak.

Panther Gorge: Panther's
Pinnacle Panther Gorge: Panther's Pinnacle  by MudRat

Some features in Panther Gorge stand out. Some of the gems can’t even be seen unless one is looking from nearby at the correct angle. When Adam Crofoot and I walked down the gully in front of the Chimney Wall a couple of winters ago, it was impossible to miss a free-standing aesthetic needle of stone separated from the main cliff. It looked fragile, but it’s difficult to assess the stability of an object that’s located so far above the ground. I wanted to see it up close which was merely a dream at the time.

Steven St. Pierre and I set out on September 16, 2017, to see if we could climb the southeastern arête of the Chimney Wall and incorporate the pinnacle into the route. I knew we were setting ourselves up for a long day, but the daylight hours were shorter and autumn was knocking on our door. I didn’t want to wait another winter to explore the feature. I thought it would be an easy to moderate climb (hoping for around 5.7 or 5.8) and admit to dreading the extra bushwhacking required to get to the wall. The 20-hour trip from two weeks earlier was still fresh in mind.

Hiking the
Laugavegur and Fimmvörðuháls trail Hiking the Laugavegur and Fimmvörðuháls trail  by luciezr

South Iceland’s Laugavegur trail, alternatively connected with Fimmvörðuháls trail is rated as one of the most beautiful hikes you can do. The nature shows its beauty and strength in so many types of landscape that you can hardly believe that it’s not a dream.

Our short trip to Iceland was a quick and a bit unexpected decision. Our week vacation was planned for the end of june with no flexibility in dates. Originally we planned to do some mountaineering in the Alps, but the weather forecast was getting worse and worse. On thursday the decision came: no way to climb in the Alps next week. But what can we do? Let’s check flight tickets offer. Luckily there was a direct flight to Reykjavík. Iceland has always been on the list of dream destinations and now the chance was here. When I saw pictures from Laugavegur trail, I had a destination. The logistics is pretty easy. There are buses from Reykjavík to both starting and final destinations Landmannalaugar and Skogar. We decided to go north to south as most of hikers do, but it’s not a problem to do opposite direction.

King's Peak
(Utah) Labor Day Weekend Ascent 2017 King's Peak (Utah) Labor Day Weekend Ascent 2017  by Nicholas S

As a novice hiker and a wannabe mountaineer, Labor Day weekend of 2017 offered me two options: A Gannett Peak attempt or a King's Peak attempt. As many who are familiar with Gannett Peak may know, however, the route and the climb is not exactly for rookies since it involves glacier travel, plus a 20- to 25-mile hike to get there. Plus I hadn't obtained an ice axe at this point of being faced with such a decision. My research of King's Peak, on the other hand, revealed that many a children have been seen crawling around at the summit with their families. Since I had two days, the 12- to 15-mile hike to the peak from the Henry's Fork trailhead became my objective for that Saturday and Sunday, 9/2 and 9/3, respectively.

Saturday late morning I followed SummitPost's directions on how to get to Henry's Fork trailhead via I-80. The directions were great. This was step one of the mission. Upon entering the parking area, though, I almost concluded I wouldn't be able to park there--tons of cars were everywhere! Fortunately a space came at the back of what seemed to be an overflow parking area.

Yampa Plateau/South Split
Mountain Yampa Plateau/South Split Mountain  by nader

Green River carves a 2500 ft deep canyon in Utah’s Dinosaur National Monument near the border with Colorado. The northern wall of the plateau is known as Split Mountain (North). I had read about and seen photos of the spectacular views from the top of Split Mountain (North).Looking at Google Earth, it had occurred to me that equally spectacular views could also be had from the top of the southern wall of the canyon at the northwestern corner of Yampa Plateau where the plateau tapers to a white rock peninsula which create jagged peaks. By looking at satellite photos, I had come up with a path to take me from Josie Morris Cabin in Dinosaur National Monument, 2 miles on the desert floor and then 2000 vertical ft up the slopes of Yampa Plateau to my desired view point. A month before my trip, I traced the path on the map and entered it into my GPS.

A couple of weeks later I noted that Summitpost member Scott had already made a page for this area under the name “Split Mountain South” (referring to the white rock jagged peaks). While his suggested starting point was different than mine, it was interesting that his path to the top of the Yampa Plateau was the same as what I had come up with on my own.

A traverse
of King Ortler: Hintergrat & Normal route A traverse of King Ortler: Hintergrat & Normal route  by Lodewijk

“King Ortler”… The highest mountain in (both Austrian and Italian) Tyrol is often referred to as the King. And as we would experience later, it truly is a king. The Ortler is a massive mountain and dwarfs all other mountains surrounding it. As Maarten and me were making plans for the summer it didn’t take long before our eye fell on the Ortler region. I wanted to go there already for quite some years, but until now it never came to it. The Hintergrat route was already on my mind for some years as well, so I showed Maarten some photos from SP and from my guidebook. Just looking at the dazzling photos we soon decided: This is it! Graded AD and with climbing up to grade IV (UIAA-scale) this route is quite challenging but awesome at the same time..We couldn’t wait to go the alps!

After driving all night from the Netherlands we arrived at the Rechensee lake early in the morning and made a quick stop at the "drowned church" in the lake. Here we had our first view of our ultimate goal for the week: the mighty Ortler. (see photo above). After arriving in Trafoi am Ortler an hour later we first climbed Monte Scorluzzo (3089m) and Roetlspitz (3024m) to acclimatize a bit on our first day. There we had our second view on Ortler (photo above, right). After that we went to the Düsseldorfer Hut and climbed both Hoher Angelus (3527m) and Vertainspitze (3545m) (also see this Trip Report about that climb). We were now fully acclimatized and ready for the Hintergrat on Ortler (3905m). The plan was to climb the Hintergrat up to the summit and descend down along the normal route, creating a full traverse of the Ortler, the true king (and highest mountain) of Tirol/Tyrol. Since we didn’t climb any routes in the AD gradation yet, we decided to take a guide with us: Veit Bertagnolli, a local guide from South Tirol.

The Guadarrama Diary, June
2017 - Part 2 The Guadarrama Diary, June 2017 - Part 2  by Gangolf Haub

After a week of exploring Sierra de Guadarrama, which is covered in the first part we had understood the geography of the range by hiking in almost all of its part. The centre, Siete Picos was still missing but we had no intention of missing it. We'd seen a lot of the range's flora and fauna but more was yet to come. We didn't know we were to meet some of Europe's rarest animals up close.

What we knew, however, was that we had to brace for an incredibly hot week. Temperatures had been hovering about the 30° C range but the forcasts called for cloudless skies with temperatures up to 38° C. We knew we had to escape to areas above 2000m otherwise we would dry up from inside. Stocking up on table water we prepared to be slowly cooked.

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