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Denali's West Buttress 2014 Denali's West Buttress 2014  by vanman798

It was back in 2010 when I first got the itch to climb North America’s highest mountain, Mount McKinley (aka Denali) at 20,320 feet, but it wasn’t until 2014 when I finally got the chance to do so. Over those four years I practiced sled hauling, did a lot of winter camping, and climbed a lot of mountains (including 18,490 foot Pico de Orizaba in Mexico, and 14,411 foot Mount Rainier in Washington). I also improved my rock and ice climbing skills as well as my glacier travel skills, so as to be ready for Denali when the opportunity arrived and in March 2014 the opportunity arrived.

March 16, 2014 I contacted thirteen people on Summitpost.org in regards to climbing Denali, and I ended up getting a positive reply from Art D of Texas. Art informed me that a team of three he was on for the end of May was in need of a fourth. I responded immediately that I was interested and Art passed the word along to his team lead, Calvin H of Colorado. By March 19 Calvin invited me to join his “Kicking Buttress” team and I accepted. In addition to Art and Calvin the other team member was Donald T also of Colorado. None of the four of us knew each other, so that was a slight concern, but we all had good climbing resumes and so it was worth the gamble.

Why Not
Me!! Hikes and Summits of Winter/Spring 2014!! Why Not Me!! Hikes and Summits of Winter/Spring 2014!!  by BearQueen

This now going to be my new motivational trip report. As I hike throughout the winter and spring I will be constantly adding to this trip report. This trip report will be similar to my "Peakbagging for Weight Loss" Albums. They will mostly include summits, but I also love waterfall hikes and lake hikes as well. I hope that there will be great progress here and I am hoping to do larger summits in the summer. I have been grateful for everyone's support throughout the years and I hope to make this trip report interesting as I fight off my 100 pound backpack to enjoy what my husband has enjoyed for so long.

I realized that back in 2013 I did not have one of these threads. Hopefully by starting this thread I will be able to stay motivated throughout the year and turn this year into a good hiking and climbing year. I hope everyone truly enjoys this trip report. I hope to make much more interesting than in years past.

shadows in Nevada Chasing shadows in Nevada  by Dean

Sometimes finding a way to a mountain in Nevada is like chasing a shadow. It just seems futile when the mountain you are after is so far out in the "boonies" and is seldom visited by anyone that hardly any information exists. Stewart Benchmark Peak is one of those "shadows" since there just isn't really any information on it anywhere. It is the 73rd most prominent peak in the state with almost 2900 feet of prominence. That alone makes it a worthy goal for those who are chasing the prominence peaks. The most information was on peakbagger and Dennis Poulin had visited it but he encouraged the reader to do the necessary mapping research as he just couldn't take responsibility for helping you get lost in the absolute middle of nowhere. To quote Dennis: " Rather than detail the directions, I prefer that anyone following my route should do the proper research to get to the trailhead. This is a very remote area of Nevada and unless you have a dependable vehicle with high clearance, 4WD, good tires, and lots of gas you may become stranded for a very long time. I was the 12th person to sign the register since it was placed in 1999. The first since 2009." He had visited this one in July of 2012 so it was 3 years of loneliness for the summit of this one.

Mt McLoughlin Soltice Mt McLoughlin Soltice  by theoglick

I drove to the trailhead Friday after work for my first ever Mount McLoughlin climb as part of my I’m-Not-That-Damn-Old-Yet Summer Tour and Solstice Celebration™. As I went through Central Point and White City and headed east on highway 140, I got my first look at the mountain and was surprised to see very little snow on its western slope. I had never seen McLoughlin when it was not covered with snow. I guess it has been a dry year...

I continued past Fish Lake and turned up Fourmile Lake Road to the trailhead, and not finding an out-of-the-way flat spot to park there (and wanting to avoid bothering, or being bothered by others), I backtracked a bit and found a quiet little spot in the woods about a quarter-mile away where I could park well off the road and bed down in my car.

Wet and
Misty on Wallface Mountain with Don Mellor Wet and Misty on Wallface Mountain with Don Mellor  by MudRat

I say this every now and again, but some days defy description. Words seem far too shallow and photographs capture only a fleeting moment in two dimensions. The setting of Wallface combined with the personality and expertise of my partner created a day that I won’t soon forget. In fact, I’ll likely be processing everything that I learned for a long time to come. There's no substitute for experience and Don has been up Wallface an estimated 60 or more times. I reflected on the forecast for a bluebird day as Don Mellor and I walked through the damp morning air toward Indian Pass.

Thinking back to the forecast, I thought, “Sunny day, my a#$.” Rain doesn’t deter me most of the time, but it certainly doesn’t thrill me on trips with vertical cruxes. That said, I had no inclination to do anything but continue onward with the adventure.

Mount Saint Helena East
Peak Mount Saint Helena East Peak  by Noondueler

It's certainly a relief living up in the mountains of Lake County. Super quiet, forested terrain, no traffic, no shopping malls for miles, endless ridges and bright sunshine. The hitch is I have to come down to the Bay area occasionally to work. This time it involved selling topical plants. I had some friends who let me stay at their place but they had to move. Had to book a room at Motel 6 Tuesday night. Determined to get rid of the foliage asap to avoid spending 80 bucks a night. Worked a really hard day on Wednesday in the East Bay. The icing on the cake was a ticket for no seat belt. I was only going one block and tried to whip it on when I got lit up but knew it was too late.

Eldorado - Standard Route Eldorado - Standard Route  by SARdawg

Saturday morning: after a bit of a mix-up by a couple of people on where to meet, we were all geared up and on the trail by 8:30am. The log crossing over North Fork Cascade Creek was as interesting as advertised. Note that you can also cross a marshy overgrown area on a couple more big logs. You’ll then see a TH info sign…a little surprising. The first mile of trail (unmaintained, but relatively easy to follow) gains 2,000’ in a no-nonsense manner—no switchbacks, just straight up the hill. If you get sore knees at all, trekking poles are highly recommended for going back down hill on this part. You come out of the trees into some slide alder (with a climber’s path through them) and then a large boulder field.

“Summer” Start in the Sawatch “Summer” Start in the Sawatch  by MissH

Our goal was to use the holiday weekend to get two peaks with one night at camp. Harvard and Columbia fit that bill perfectly since they were still on my To Do list. In getting ready for the trip, we tried to collect as much beta as possible for the recent “winter” conditions the mountains were still facing during this crazy snow-filled spring… now summer. Besides dozens of weather reports indicating the usual thunderstorms, rain, and snow in our research we found plenty of snowless trips but only a few trip reports of “winter” ascents, nearly all with ski descents as recent as 2011.

Mount Hood Mount Hood  by Diesel

The day of the Mount Hood hike could not have been any better: clear sky and cold. I started my hike (solo) at 5:50 AM. (I really wanted to start at daybreak, but I only hit the sack at 1 AM, so I wanted my sleep). Temp was in the low 30s which kept the snow all good and frozen. I hiked on a Tuesday when not many people were on the mountain. I made the mistake of having breakfast before I left; for the first hour of the hike, my body’s entire energy was directed towards digesting food. Therefore, my breathing was heavy and I felt a lot of discomfort. After that, things got better. I had micro spikes -3/8” (not real crampons) on my boots. That really helped with my hike on the frozen snow.

Angel's Crest, Chief Angel's Crest, Chief  by StephAbegg

This was my third time climbing to the top of the Chief, and definitely a fun and athletic adventure with a great position. This route has a lot of enjoyable moderate climbing on the crest interspersed with a few steep and cruxy sections, lush forests (how do the trees get so big on such a steep rock formation?), and comfortable belays. Despite being a group of three, we climbed relatively quickly (usually the second could tie in just shy of the middle mark, so rarely were both of the followers climbing for more than a few moves). After a late lunch of the south summit, we hiked back down towards the parking lot, taking a three hour detour to climb The Snake* (6p, 5.9) sans crowds and making the day's total 19 or so pitches. Chief and a Half! (*it's interesting to note the biblical connotations of the routes we chose, although we did not realize this until a couple of days later)

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