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A Week in Japan A Week in Japan  by RobSC

When I was in high school, we took part in a program called the American Field Service (AFS), and twice, we had the privilege of hosting a foreign exchange student for a year within our house. [img:734934:alignleft:small:Ryoji, Mom and Dad in 1982 on Camel's Hump, Vermont.]One of the students, Eduardo, is from Costa Rica; the other, Ryoji, from Japan. In both cases the experience and students were wonderful. Over the course of a year living with the students, they become an integral part of the family and became brothers to me rather than people from another country.

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Taking a Crack at Erie Taking a Crack at Erie  by Mike Lewis

Gimpilator took me to Mt. Erie for some rock climbing practice on this ridiculously warm October day. The last time I did a technical climb was the Tooth in June so I thought I could use it and boy what an outing! Of course we usually expect more than what we can muster however I was very satisfied with what we accomplished. I'm grateful to get out and get this mentor experience from such a competent partner and in such a scenic place. Thanks for putting this together! The day started with a beautiful sunrise while I was walking the dog.

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Patagonia
Northern Ice Cap Traverse Solar Valley to Leones Vally Patagonia Northern Ice Cap Traverse Solar Valley to Leones Vally  by GabeKelley

We started by descending 1799 on the NW side using fixed lines through pretty easy but high consequence terrain one pitch. Traversed a slope using a pendulum belay and then were lowered 2 pitches down a snow slope. After that we continued descending using a combination of rappelling and being lowered another 2 pitches, negotiating past a bergschrund and finally stopping on level dead glacier.

We roped up in teams and crossed the glacier, finishing with a push up to our camp at 1312 where we passed our intended camp because it was exposed and moved into the shelter of boulders. From 1312 we moved out of the alpine down to Phillips camps. We scouted out the normal descent down a gully but snow conditions forced us to backtrack and follow a ridge down, post holing and slogging through down towards tree line where we skinned down and started to bushcrash. After a while we found our trail and made it below snowline.

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CrazyDog’s Halo in Panther Gorge:2 New Rock Climbing Routes CrazyDog’s Halo in Panther Gorge:2 New Rock Climbing Routes  by MudRat

Adam Crofoot and I couldn’t resist one more visit to Panther Gorge with colder weather on the way. As with last time, Allison Rooney, Adam’s girlfriend, dropped us off to avoid a full parking lot. We started hiking at 5:15 a.m., but I only awoke when the sun broke over the ridge. The shorter days meant a longer hike under the illumination of a headlamp on the approach as well as exit.

The dry bushwhacking conditions from the Marcy/Haystack col were a stark contrast to August’s soaking wet shwack. They were also an incredible contrast to the prior weekend when I climbed Colden's West Ramp Slide in the fog/wind/40 degree weather!

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Oregon
Volcano Mania 2014 Oregon Volcano Mania 2014  by EastKing

I was really hoping not to repeat the same problem that I had last year in the lack of summits I did but in some ways the Summer of 2014 was even worse than the summer of 2013. Like last year I only got 7 unique summits before the trip, although this year I was able to repeat for two more summits. I wanted to dedicate this summer to Bulgers but due to lack of partners, financial difficulties (reoccuring theme), and an ever changing schedule that became a major problem for me. Luckily I had a week off from work for the last weekend in summer and the first week in fall. I had big goals on what I wanted to do in Oregon. Unfortunately like most of my summer I could not find another good partner. Because of that I decided to head off down to Oregon solo. This was going to limit what I wanted to and automatically take Theilson, Broken Top and North Sister off the climbing menu. A storm was also moving in mid week on my trip which was also going to put a damper on my plans. But I was determined to make this work and so I head off to Oregon between September 20th, 2014 and September 27th, 2014.

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Chilean
Chronicles Volume 1 - Introduction to the Puerto Veras, Cochamo, and San Jose de
Maipo areas Chilean Chronicles Volume 1 - Introduction to the Puerto Veras, Cochamo, and San Jose de Maipo areas  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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