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Chilean Chronicles Volume 1 Chilean Chronicles Volume 1  by Matt Lemke

That was just one of my quotes for the trip that brought me to Chile for the first time for a three week period in March and April. I had such a great time just being exposed to a different culture and witnessing some stunning mountains. The level of quality the mountains in Chile have is indescribable and I could easily spend 100 lifetimes in Chile alone climbing and exploring. Places I thought were obscure and having little beta in the US are the norm in Chile. Everywhere I went felt like I was breaching into a new area waiting to be explored. In many parts of Chile, few people actually embark in technical ascents and even relatively simple climbs are a great accomplishment in the eyes of a typical Chilean.

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Mount Gibbs Mount Gibbs  by Diesel

The idea of hiking Mount Gibbs came to me in 2013 when, being on the top of Mount Dana, I looked to the right and I notice Mt Gibbs appearing as such a mellow, friendly mountain. At that point I had the impulse to actually traverse from Dana to Gibbs but I rapidly came back to my senses; it was about 3:00 PM and even if I would’ve had time to traverse from Dana up to Gibbs, from there I had no idea which way I would get down and where was the actual trail to get back to the main road (Tioga Pass.) I did not want to hike in the dark in an area totally unknown. It was also a Monday and on Mondays, during summer months, there is a guided stargazing session at Mono Lake I wanted to attend. Tioga Pass is visible both from Dana and Gibbs, but from down in the valley I smartly assumed there is not the same panoramic view. Therefore I decided to come back next year (2014) and hike Gibbs and from there to traverse over to Dana and hike down on Dana’s trail to the parking lot. The plan was set.

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Mt Mansfield, and make it
interesting Mt Mansfield, and make it interesting  by nartreb

Mt Mansfield provides one of the most scenic hikes in the eastern US. The tallest point in Vermont, it dominates the Green Mountains, and has views westward over Lake Champlain to the Adirondacks, eastward over the Connecticut River valley to the White Mountains, and northward into Canada. A long ridge, perched on cliffs above treeline, lets you take in the views at leisure as you make your way southward from the summit, known as the Chin, to another 4000-foot peak called the Nose. (Seen from east or west, the shape of the mountain somewhat resembles the face of a man lying on his back, with the top of his head to the south.)

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Eclipse,
Berries and color on Copper Mountain Day Hike Eclipse, Berries and color on Copper Mountain Day Hike  by Mike Lewis

Gimpilator picked me up in the afternoon on the way to a trailhead bivy at Hannegan Pass. Naturally, we stopped for Salvadorian burritos in Bellingham. Our epic 15.5 hour, 25 mile, 10,000' gain hike started with a total syzygy of the Sun, Earth and Moon. Times like these I wish I was my brother Josh with a fancy camera but this astronomical event would have to be for our eyes only. We got up at 3:00 am just in time to eat breakfast and watch the eclipse phase the moon into red under Earth's penumbra. I thought it would be over quickly or get lost behind the shadow of Mt. Sefrit but to my surprise, over an hour later it was still going when we got to Hannegan Camp half a mile from the pass. Of course it was too dim for my dinky Olympus camera but it made for quite possibly a once in a lifetime vista. I desperately attempted a few photos and we hurried along the trail making the pass about 45 minutes before sunrise.

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Good Things Come in Threes -
Triple Traverse Good Things Come in Threes - Triple Traverse  by Rocky Alps

Ever since becoming converted to the idea of doing multi-peak ridge traverses, the Triple Traverse is the one I had been looking forward to the most. You could also say it was the one I was the most nervous about, though. The first time I scrambled up Broads Fork Twin Peaks seven years before, I figured it wouldn’t be too difficult and that we could just continue with the rest of the Triple Traverse afterward, but the mountain had other ideas. Due in large part to the heat and me not bringing enough water, I completely bonked that day, and I was so dehydrated upon returning to the trailhead that I was on the verge of hallucinating. I also recall that at the time I did that hike, the crux on the east ridge of Twin Peaks was a bit above my comfort level, which didn’t make things any easier.

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Kungsleden and Kebnekaise Kungsleden and Kebnekaise  by rockymountaindiva

The prior year we trekked on the Troms Border Trail in Norway and enjoyed it so much we thought we'd try something similar in Sweden, adding a peak-bagging adventure. We did 2 treks on different parts of the Kungsleden, broken up by a return to Kiruna to stock up on supplies. The Kungsleden was a lot more crowded than the Troms Border Trail, and for that reason we were slightly disappointed. However, we lucked out on the weather on peak-bagging day and summited the highest point in Sweden!

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A Grand and Challenging Trip
in the Canyon A Grand and Challenging Trip in the Canyon  by Scott

Kessler, my four year old son and I decided that the New Hance-Grandview Loop would make a nice Thanksgiving outing. Since Kessler is an experienced hiker and very confident in rock scrambling and since the trail is easy to get a permit for since it isn’t crowded, it seemed like a good choice. Kessler was ready and experienced enough for something more challenging than the standard routes on most of the Colorado 14ers and was very excited for the trip. He has been hiking up to 13 or more miles a day on occasion, but we knew we couldn’t make those distances on these routes. Although we carried ropes and a child harness, we found that these were not needed.

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Butt Wooping by an Evil
Gumdrop Butt Wooping by an Evil Gumdrop  by imzadi

Since we have only been hiking since May of 08, we hadn't yet experienced winter hiking. We were all outfitted (microspikes, warm cloths, snowshoes, etc...Eastern Mountain Sports LOVES us). Now, it was time to actually put these new items to use. After much discussion, we decided to tackle Mt. Blue. At approximately 3000 feet and only 1.6 miles of trail, we figured it couldn't be that difficult. We had hiked much longer and taller. This would be a good place to start.

As we have had problems in the past with wasting time finding the trailhead and we knew that we would have to snowshoe 2.0 mi up the Mt. Blue Rd (not maintained in the winter) to get there, we decided to take a Saturday "quick" trip to cross-country ski the Mt. Blue Rd and find the trailhead. This way, we would know exactly where we were going in the dark for our hike. What a great trip this was. We skied for about 4 hours...up this road, down that side trail, up this trail. Several times, we had a peek of our quest through the trees. Yes, it does look like a gumdrop as stated in our guidebook...how pretty. However...we never did find that trailhead...we just didn't go far enough...it's difficult to judge 2 miles...especially without a map. Once back to the car (and our map), we figured we had just hadn't gone far enough but that it would be easy to find next Friday.

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Thirty-Six Hours on the
Rockpile Thirty-Six Hours on the Rockpile  by dwhike

The plan was a simple one. We would begin our trek at the base of Mt. Eisenhower and follow the Edmands Path up to the ridge. From there we would have the option of making the quick jaunt up to the summit of Eisenhower before continuing north along the ridge. The plan was to leisurely follow the ridge, enjoying the serene wintertime beauty, passing over Franklin and Monroe before setting up camp for the night near Lake of the Clouds Hut. After a cozy night we would continue north along the ridge visiting Washington, Clay, Jefferson, Adams, and Madison. We would enjoy another comfortable night, this time near Madison Spring Hut, talking about all the beauty we’d seen and how easily we had accomplished our Winter Presidential Traverse. The following morning we would head down on well-rested legs to our awaiting car at Appalachia. Seemed simple enough…

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"Mr. Sandman, bring me a dream"  by PAROFES

It doesn't look like a Trip Report, but actually it is. This TR is about the time I went to Condoriri absolutely alone for a full day adventure, alone, cold, hungry, with loads of thoughts, facing seven snow falls, -20°C of wind chill, to hike Austria Peak (17.438ft).

As I left La Paz with my ride to Tuni, just me and the taxi driver, I had loads of thoughts on my mind, and I tried to push them away since all of them were related to fear. For some funny reason, all I could think about was this song, and I think this is the appropriate words to use as my trip report of a full day hike, 14 hours of loneliness and a single song in my head.

It was a great experience for me. Unique I must say. That day I could find out more about me and my actions facing a new kind of situation, totally alone and 200 kms away from any support, after all, Tuni is nothing more then a small village with I don't know, 10 houses? That's it. If you get hurt in Condoriri even with a group is a scary situation, but if you get hurt alone up there? You can kiss your ass good bye. Anyway...loved the hike, loved the adventure, and finished my project with this summit.

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