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Vagabond
Peak and Cloudripper via Green Lake Vagabond Peak and Cloudripper via Green Lake  by Ambret

A minor comedy of errors delayed our departure from the trailhead at South Lake. After fixing and then having to refix a backpack, we did a quick food check – “I thought YOU had packed tomorrow night’s dinner – which necessitated a quick return to Four Jeffrey Campground. Ruvicha, Steve2, Jim* and I departed the South Lake trailhead at about 1:30 pm. The trail heads roughly northeast from the north side of the upper parking lot at South Lake. It’s a good, very visible sand and rock trail but, over the first mile, it has more downs than ups. We met two college students who intended to hike up an old water pipe that goes steadily up and later intersects the trail to Green Lake, saving some distance over following the trail. But they advised that the pipeline might prove a bit sketchy with backpacks. (On the return trip, it appeared that the sketchier parts of the pipe lie beyond where it intersects the Green Lake trail.)

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T2W-Tahoe
to Whitney T2W-Tahoe to Whitney  by Marlin

“The mountains are calling and I must go.” - John Muir

Answering the call of the wild, I boarded Southwest Airlines on July 1 for the Sierra Nevada Mountains in California. 400 miles long and approximately 70 miles wide, the majestic Sierras span 3 national parks, 20 wilderness areas and 2 national monuments. A backpacker’s paradise. Determining where to hike is problematic; beauty abounds everywhere. I’ve always dreamed of hiking the John Muir Trail (JMT), a 211-mile route that follows the rugged backbone of the Sierra Nevada Mountains from the Happy Isles Trailhead in Yosemite Valley to Mount Whitney’s summit, the highest mountain in the contiguous United States. John Amorosano’s and Landmark Adventure’s YouTube videos provide valuable beta for planning a JMT hike. People come from around the world to hike the JMT. The National Park Service (NPS) sets a maximum daily quota ensuring a pristine wilderness experience for the lucky individuals snaring a permit. The NPS begins issuing permits 26 weeks in advance and the permits go like hot cakes! Hikers on the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) are allowed to pass through Yosemite, Kings Canyon, and Sequoia with their PCT permits and aren’t required to purchase JMT permits. Unable to secure a JMT permit, I got a PCT permit instead and began my backpacking trek at Lake Tahoe, 160 miles north of Yosemite. What’s an extra 160 miles?

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Struggling through December
Challenges Struggling through December Challenges  by BearQueen

Hiking is highly emotional for me, as hiking always brings out my emotions and it is highly emotional b/c it brings out a lot of pain for me to hike. It brings out the emotional, spiritual and psychological pain of being fat, of all of my disappointments, of where i want to be but I am not yet, of the physical pain of fibromyalgia. Part of my ongoing frustration of my life is not being able to do what I love. I really hope to be able to make EastKing proud from working out and building up my strength and work out more. That means nutrition and changing my life in every way. This December I decided to fight this fight and head back into the mountains to fight of all of my pain and frustration away. I dedicated myself to making something of the worst month of the year.

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Winter Presidential
Traverse Winter Presidential Traverse  by climber46

I have had a goal for several years now to do a one-day winter Presidential Range traverse. Having hiked all 111 4000-foot peaks by 2009, I had been on all of the peaks before and was familiar with the trails in summer, having previously done two summer Presidential traverses. I had also hiked the Lions Head trail to the Mt. Washington summit in February 2009 for my first winter peak of the Presidential Range. That day had done smoothly but I also knew I did not want to spend a night camping while doing a winter Presidential traverse. I have always found that I can cover much more ground going light and fast than I can going slow and heavy and backpacking. That being said, the risks of winter hiking are considerably increased as compared to other seasons. A night stuck in the wilderness in winter could easily mean hypothermia or frostbite whereas in the other seasons a night stuck in the wilderness might only mean being uncomfortable, wet, and hungry. In the previous year, I did some winter mountaineering on smaller peaks to gain more winter hiking experience. I did West and East Baldpate in December 2014, Mount Liberty and Mount Flume in March 2015, and South and North Baldface in March 2015. These experiences convinced me that I needed some warm and comfortable winter boots and some Kahtoola microspikes. I purchased these items in the autumn of 2015. I tested them on some smaller hikes near my home in Denmark, Maine. Now I felt ready for some winter hiking!

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Christmas Mountaineering in
Colorado Christmas Mountaineering in Colorado  by Scott

This is the story of our 2015 Christmas trip spent in the Colorado mountains, more specifically in the southern ramparts of the spectacular Gore Range. We stayed in one of the 10th Mountain Huts and climbed some peaks in super challenging conditions. A cold front bringing a blast of arctic air was forecasted to come through, but we decided to go anyway. Participants were Shaylee, my 11 year old daughter; Kessler, my 13 year old son; and Kimberly, my young and beautiful wife.

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Mt. Islip
Hike via Crystal Lake Trail Mt. Islip Hike via Crystal Lake Trail  by StartingOver

On January 2, 2016, I kicked off the new year by hiking to the summit of Mt. Islip in the San Gabriel Mountains. This area is normally covered with snow this time of year, but despite all of the snow falling in the Sierra this late fall and early winter, Southern California has only see a few light storms, and the view from my office downtown indicated that the trip was likely to be snow free. And so it proved -- mostly. There was a little snow on the North-facing slopes, but no more than a couple of inches, and not enough to prevent safe normal hiking without snow gear such as an ice ax or crampons. I hiked to the top via the Crystal Lake trailhead, and descended (following the advice of a kind man I encountered on the way up) via the Islip Ridge trail and Big Cienaga trails. The entire route is about 7.5 miles with about 2,200 feet of elevation gain. It took me about 4.5 hours, though I expect most of you SP'ers could do it in 2-3.

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Crippled Peakbagging III:
Montana Hubris Crippled Peakbagging III: Montana Hubris  by Castlereagh

My plans were getting ambitious. Feeling spry after a good 8 peak Idaho trip, plans began to form for my next trip around Homers Young Peak, whose sublime silhouette had fascinated me since the beginnings of summitpost. I rested for a few days in Salt Lake taking care of errands: getting the care tuned up, getting a start on a contract project that would tide me over between jobs, and spent a few days relaxing, gchatting, eating pizza for lunch and snacking over afternoon coffees at Barnes & Noble, before setting off north again.

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Orla Perc Orla Perc  by PaulKuras

Three years ago I stood on the mountain pass Zawrat after descending Swinica. Before me was the great Orla Perc, a tourist trail fixed with chains and ladders to assist with the high exposition and exposure. Yet, a delayed start, the condition of my fellow travelers, and oncoming weather prevented me from continuing onto the Orla Perc and I had to descend. Now three years later I had the opportunity to return and complete the Orla Perc.

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Cirques and
Sands Cirques and Sands  by Bob Sihler

Being such a large country, America is blessed with a great variety of spectacular natural wonders, and the American West has mountain ranges that easily find places on lists of the world's most beautiful mountains.

Wyoming has two such ranges-- the Teton Range and the Wind River Range. More user-friendly, the Tetons are more popular and iconic. Since the approaches to the alpine country are relatively short and since the peaks rise directly from Jackson Hole for thousands of feet with no intervening foothills, the Tetons draw hikers and climbers and photographers from all around the world.

Yet so do the Winds, though to a lesser extent. The longest mountain range in the fabulous Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, the Winds are not so easily seen from roads (even when they are, the peaks are so distant that there is not an intimate feel), and climbers and backpackers typically face long approaches, sometimes taking two or more days, to get to the truly alpine parts of the ra

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A First
Ascent of Mt McKelvie from the East A First Ascent of Mt McKelvie from the East  by vancouver islander

I first saw Mt McKelvie from the top of Thumb Peak in the Alava Bate Sanctuary in July 2010. I had always thought that there wasn’t much between the Sanctuary and The Haite Range to the north but there very patently was. A distinctive snow capped ridge of summits presented both a surprise and an invitation and it wasn’t long after getting home from the Sanctuary before I turned to all my usual sources in order to solve what, to me at least, was a mystery.

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