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Wright Mountain -
Reflections Wright Mountain - Reflections  by awilsondc

2015 has been an amazing year in the mountains for me. I’ve been on some memorable trips with spectacular views and each time I think I’ve gone on the “hike of the year”, next week impresses even more! I think part of it has been going early. For the last few years I’ve been a get to the trailhead before sunrise kind of guy. The morning is a magical place in the mountains. I’ve got to witness some spectacular scenery that a few hours later in the day looks… ordinary. This trip is a perfect example.

After a few taxing hikes I wanted to do something easy. I had my eye on Wright Mountain, going up past Snow and Gem lakes in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness for a while and decided to give it a go. Now 11 miles and around 3000 ft elevation gain might not sound easy, in fact my wife still referred to it as a “torture hike”, but it sounded like a perfect relaxing day in the mountains. I got up early and hit the road, reaching the trailhead by sunrise (about 7). The Alpental parking lot was filling up quick. I grabbed my pack and headed to the trailhead. There was a lone female hiker at the permit station waiting for someone. I filled out my permit and hit the trail. The forecast had been a little sketchy.

The Valley
Fire The Valley Fire  by Noondueler

I went up behind the house and saw a huge cloud of black grey smoke billowing several thousand feet above the west side of Boggs Mountain. The front of the blaze a mere 3 miles away on the other side of the mountain raging up out of Cobb Valley. A DC 9 along with the other planes was also circling overhead every few minutes. I got a frantic call from Christopher whose house was up the side of Boggs directly in the path. He wanted me to come help him get his cats out. I headed over immediately but the roads were already blocked. I got hold of him an hour or so later and his house was already gone.By 6 pm the police car with loud speaker came down the road "mandatory evacuation".

One of the Most Eventful
Journeys. Ever. One of the Most Eventful Journeys. Ever.  by lingana

A few years ago, Om had come up this route, to go to Amarnath, the sacred Lord Shiva shrine, nestled in the higher Himalayan heights, at around 16,500 ft. This route is also the one on which maximum people die of HAPE or HACE, due to the sudden height gain and back within a span of two days. It is mandatory for the pilgrims to do this in two days, and nobody is allowed to camp / stay at any other place other than the designated campsite, due to the sensitivity of the area. It can be accessed via two routes – through Sonamarg to Baltal as well as through Pahalgam. Quite a few people prefer Baltal, where a massive campsite is erected by the Indian Army, with cooperation from the central as well as the J&K government. Our bus passed the bifurcation, which takes one to Baltal, and the other route goes to Zozila.

A trip to Mt. Damavand A trip to Mt. Damavand  by kamran

In my recent trip to Iran I decided to summit Mt. Damavand. July and August are the most popular months to climb Damavand through different routes. During this period of time the mountain is very crowded specially in the weekends. On Monday (August, 17) afternoon I traveled to the village of Polour, a beautiful village on the foot of Mt. Damavand about 60Km to the NE of Tehran. When I got there, I went to the office of MSFI (Mountaineering & Sport climbing Federation of Iran) which is the base camp for the south route. Many years ago they constructed a road from base camp (camp1) to camp2. Therefore, you don’t have to do any hiking to get to camp2. You can just ask for a ride to get there!!! It is very unfortunate that they ruin the nature to make some money. There are a couple of SUVs and some old pickup trucks that you can hire to get to camp2. Each car charges 80,000 toman (about $25) to take people to camp2. If you are by yourself and nobody else is there you have to pay the whole money yourself. If there are more people you can share the charge.

East Ridge Eldorado East Ridge  by keeganray

I got off of work around 10pm and frantically packed before leaving Seattle. We ended up getting to the trailhead around 2:30am and took our time getting up. We finally started the climb at 10am. The trailhead is pretty hidden. Luckily I had loaded a gps track. To get to the start of the trail, you have to walk back on Cascade River Road about 100 ft. until you reach the sign on your left and the logs to cross the river is on the right. They're pretty slippery, so be careful crossing. The trail started pretty overgrown, but opened up after a short while. It was a lot steeper than I had expected. Eventually the trail lead to a large boulder field. It was pretty slow going.

Daniel in Two Days Mount Daniel in Two Days  by awilsondc

I don’t get the opportunity for overnight trips much anymore, but I wanted to make sure I got one good trip in this year. I had planned on doing Mount Constance on the Olympic Peninsula around Labor Day, but poor weather forced me to cancel those plans. I decided to go the following weekend but for some reason Constance was seeming less appealing for no reason in particular, just a feeling. I was being drawn to another destination on my list… Mt. Daniel in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness! I’ve found that when it comes to the mountains it’s best to listen to your gut instinct, whether it’s turning around due to weather or poor conditions or deciding which line to take when route finding, I’ve never been let down by listening to my gut. This time as no exception!

Mount Cleveland from Glenns
Lake Mount Cleveland from Glenns Lake  by cmajerus

I recently had an opportunity to attempt a summit of Mount Cleveland, and since it was a successful trip I thought I'd share what I learned. I found suprisingly little information about the route when preparing for this trip, so hopefully my report will help fill in some of the gaps. Instead of the typical backpacker-friendly Waterton Lake/Goat Haunt approach, we rode horses up the Belly River from the Chief Mountain trailhead. We also spent a few days fishing and riding near Elizabeth Lake before heading over to Glenns Lake, but I estimate a round trip summit of Mount Cleveland from the Chief Mountain trailhead to take three days, even with horses.

The Struggling Bear on
Blowout Mountain The Struggling Bear on Blowout Mountain  by BearQueen

It had been a long since I have been on a hike with my husband EastKing. This is largely due to the fact I have fibromyalgia and do not do well in the recent surge of extreme heat that has hit the Pacific Northwest this summer. I have deteriorated dramatically in terms of any progress with my weight with it now over a very negative milestone and that has been hard to swallow emotionally. I know I have to take more action to do something about it but I know it is going to be hard to find any hiking partners who are patient enough to go and who would be willing to endure my slowness and current physical limitations. I may struggle now I but I soon hope not to struggle as bad in the future.

Little Bear to Blanca Peak
Traverse Little Bear to Blanca Peak Traverse  by laureljarndt

I had been trying for two years to get my prior 14eener traverse partners to regroup to do this traverse, but to no avail. So this time I asked some rock climbing partners to come along and once they saw the trip reports and the amount of rock to climb/traverse, they were in.

I had been put off by the tails from other experienced climbers that they had partners who did not enjoy this and would not finish the traverse OR that weather came in and shut them out. So I knew having some dependable and adventurous friends would be important (as well as someone who had a bad ass 4x4 to get us up the road). Mission accomplished with Eve and Nestor.

Peak--One Day to Ski, 14 months to Agonize Over Kings Peak--One Day to Ski, 14 months to Agonize Over  by ZeeJay

Every year the Wasatch Mountain Club has a one day ski trip to Kings Peak at the end of March hosted by Larry and Steve Swanson. People drive up the night before, camp out, get up around 4am and are on the trail by 5am.

It had always piqued my interest, but it just seemed too daunting for many reasons. Although I was a good recreational cross country skier, I knew my light weight track gear wouldn't measure up. The length of the trip seemed overwhelming, the drive alone in the dark on an unfamiliar snowy dirt road frightening, and just showing up not knowing anyone seemed too intimidating. I wasn't a seasoned winter camper and the few times I had gone hadn't been too pleasant. It was just one of those trips that you dream about doing, but deep down you know you never will.

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