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Bowl of Fire Bowl of Fire  by nader

Bowl of Fire refers to an area of red colored desert to the east of Las Vegas, Nevada. The bowl can be accessed via North Shore Road, a 50 mile long scenic desert drive that parallels the northern shores of Lake Mead on Colorado River behind Hoover Dam. I had read about Bowl of Fire on this internet site. Originally, I wanted to first climb the nearby Hamblin Mountain and then go on to hike the Bowl of Fire but I had a bad cold and my ears were ringing so I decided to do an easy hike in the Bowl of Fire only.

Lesser-Traveled Appalachian
Holiday Lesser-Traveled Appalachian Holiday  by mountainhare

On most occasions, crowds complement the most impressive places in the Smokies/Blue Ridge region, and especially so on Labor Day weekend. Traveling to the southern Appalachians on that holiday weekend, the objective in my mind was simple. I wanted to experience some terrific sights without sharing them alongside oppressive crowds. With that aim, I did some research and forged a plan to do things a bit unconventionally with respect to the masses.

My first destination was the popular Newfound Gap inside Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and already it seems like a major contradiction to the thesis of this trip. But the gap was still and quiet as I arrived in total darkness, soon to embark on the trail. There was a purpose for starting out so early, and that was to see the sunrise from Charlie’s Bunion four miles to the north. I figured a start just before 5:00 AM would get me there in sufficient time, and that perhaps I could catch a quick nap before my beginning step on the northbound Appalachian Trail. But as circumstance would have it, I got to the trailhead right around 4:40 AM after a night of solid driving. Once I added a few minutes to pack some gear, a hike on the heels of an all-nighter was in the cards.

Frustration and Redemption
in the North Frustration and Redemption in the North  by Castlereagh

Bradley Mountain was my goal for Sunday, and apart from Greg’s beta I didn’t have a lot of information on this Wyoming P2K. Access is from the Greys River Road as it leaves Alpine; Greg had approached the peak along its direct south face and had described a nightmarish ascent featuring endless and tortuous bushwhacking, but mentioned that on his way down he had managed to follow a decent trail all the way back down to the road. The trick was finding the trail from below; Greg said his best advice was to aim for a high meadow at 7,700 feet below a southeast flank of the peak, and that the trail would be easy to find from there. I tried my best to scout Google Earth to reach that point, trying to decide upon the best, seemingly brush free way to ascent the south east ridges from the main road and, lacking a GPS, trying to figure out the best way to locate my intended starting point in real life.

East Face of Mt Borah East Face of Mt Borah  by reboyles

Idaho has nine summits that reach over 12,000 feet and all but two lie within the Lost River Range in central Idaho. Idaho’s tallest and most visited peak, Mt Borah (12,662’), is located in the central section of the range. As the state highpoint, it is also very popular. During the summer months, it is not unusual to see a full parking lot and 50 or more people attempting to climb the mountain by its most popular route, the Southwest Ridge, or “Chicken-Out-Ridge” as it is more commonly known. For some classic snow or ice climbing, Borah also offers several hidden gems on its North Face that have been documented here. In spite of all of the traffic the mountain has seen, the remote East Face remained relatively unexplored and unclimbed until the summer of 2011.

On the
trail ... Abbé Joseph-Marie Henry & Guide Grégoire (1902) to the present day -
Third Part On the trail ... Abbé Joseph-Marie Henry & Guide Grégoire (1902) to the present day - Third Part  by OsvaldoCardellina

A time dummy that does not exist because you look at a Horizon that never changes, review old pictures that make you realize that you are only changed. The rest is unchanged, eternally unchanging. In addition you can no longer see, just imagine. But if this is existed and large balcony close your eyes and then opened them again immediately you appear in flashes of light, scenes, figures, characters and events of the past who lived here were held. A matrix ethereal that you can not delete, that is printed in the mind. Well, you see there, is passing the Abbot Joseph-Marie accompanied by his Mountain Guide Gregorio and go to climb the Peak Garin in a beautiful sunny day. Now go down there in the Walloon of th'Arbolle and are heading towards the Lower Garin, there in the background. Like, do not you see them? It looks better and extends your view in a larger OVERVIEW and ranging over those little borders to surround yourself with whom you love. Here there is no noise and hear only the fresh and light evening wind, the waters come crashing down at the old Comboé. But you have to be very careful, opening not only the eyes and the ears, but more importantly, your Spirit.

Burning up in the Junuary
Sunshine Burning up in the Junuary Sunshine  by EastKing

Well it was a great January in Washington State weather-wise. Junuary typical is a term for cold, rainy weather in June but it can also be used as sunny weather in January. We might end up paying for it later in terms of a drought, water restrictions and potentially losing valuable snow on the glaciers but at least for now it was time to take advantage of it. I wish I could have gotten out a little more but I was able to take advantage of some of the weather breaks that were offered to me. It was great getting two minor sunburns as well as a ton of Vitamin D on what is typically one of the hardest months to do anything in the northwest.

On more than one occasion weather on the summits were in the 50's and 60's where typically there is over a hundred inches of snow falling in a month. Sweat, sun and shades seemed to be more of the weather then wind, clouds blizzards and avalanches. It was a great time to get out and a great way to start this wonderful year. I do hope we do see more snow but I was very glad for time that we to get out in the mountains while the weather was so good.

Surviving the Utah June
Gloom Surviving the Utah June Gloom  by Castlereagh

I raced down the Pony Express road down towards Vernon, another blip in the wall Utah desert town circa the stone age. Finding the right roads to Black Crook didn’t prove all that hard, though the last few miles were a little steep and rocky. Though I was on the right road I couldn't verify the fact lacking a GPS, but nevertheless I set off up the drainage I thought had a chance at being the correct route. All things considered this first part was the worst. I followed game trails only to find myself completely wallowed in some of the thickest brush, making no progress as I waded horizontally back and forth trying to find my way out, as going straight up the slope would have been impossible. Eventually I backtracked and moved further towards the center of the drainage, where the terrain got marginally better.

Headwall and Aftermath Coleman Headwall and Aftermath  by jacobsmith

I had a five page paper to write on Kierkegaard, Ryan has just gotten a nasty cold, and Chandler finally felt he was strong enough to try for his first glacier climb after breaking both his ankles at the Index Town Walls a couple years ago, so naturally we headed out late Friday night to climb the Coleman Headwall on Mount Baker. We had also hoped to snatch up one of the ice routes on the north face of Colfax Peak, but found them to be woefully out of condition. The climb went well and we summited at noon on Saturday, and by midafternoon we had decided to hike back to the trailhead that day. That was when I made a mistake that landed me in Harborview, but more on that later.

The Only
Way to Start a New Year (Tenerife, Winter 2013 / 2014) The Only Way to Start a New Year (Tenerife, Winter 2013 / 2014)  by Gangolf Haub

It has become custom (habit?) for us to spend the winter holidays in the sun, hiking and exploring the Canary Islands off the Moroccan Coast. We’ve been to all the islands except El Hierro at least once, several of them twice. So when this winter’s vacation came up again we explored the ways to get to the smallest island. However, we had to realize again, that El Hierro is too hard to reach (we would lose two days travelling). Thus we browsed the archipelago for another destination. The selection soon closed down on either La Gomera or Tenerife and good memories finally decided us on the latter. We’d been to the island twice already, a foggy May visit in 2001 and a dry but hazy winter stay in 2006 / 2007. We’d been all over the island but some places you need to visit more than once. Moreover, we realized that the new edition of our favourite guidebook now comes with 70 instead of fifty tours so that we guessed some new hikes would be possible as well as repetitions of the ones we did in 2001.

Gothics North Face-New
Finger Slide Gothics North Face-New Finger Slide  by MudRat

What to do the weekend of the 26th…hmm. NP suggested Gothics North Face via the New Finger Slide. It sounded good to me since he’d spotted snow along the edge earlier in the week. This suggested that the conditions might be good enough to at least scratch our way up. Neither of us could have guessed how fantastic the conditions actually were, however. Deep snow at the base, consolidated snow/ice (neve), yellow ice, verglas, occasional frozen turf and a strong wind blowing snow down the face made it a true mountaineering adventure.

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