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Red Rock Mix Red Rock Mix  by rpc

It’s early November. We arrived in Red Rocks late Friday night & have gotten in a few warm-up pitches on Saturday. We’re hiking back to the trailhead. There’s an old man hiking into Pine Creek Canyon. “Hello Mr. Beckey” I say while scooping my jaw off the ground. He ignores me. Shirley’s hiking 20 feet behind me. She gets a big smile and – as I later find out – a wink from Fred Beckey. Lucky him that he’s 50+ years my senior…. who am I kidding, lucky me that the man is old. A wink and a smile from Fred go a long way apparently. The next day we do Black Orpheus swapping leads, with Shirley leading the money pitches. In fact, this trend has continued – Shirley has been sending all her projects at Smith (including shit that I’ve been hanging on and falling off of over and over…did I mention that Beckey ignored me?), taking half the leads on multi-pitch outings, and tackling crux pitches that I just “was not in the mood for.”

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Shoshone
Peak Derby, 2008 Shoshone Peak Derby, 2008  by MoabPeakBagger

The Sierra Club Desert & Wilderness Committees have an annual tradition of doing a joint meeting in February in Shoshone, California. Two days of meetings give a forum to discuss desert conservation issues, Wilderness issues, and quite specifically, desert Wilderness issues. Shoshone is positioned quite advantageously for this, surrounded on all sides by Wilderness, it is a friendly place (owned by folks who support the work of the Sierra Club), and is quite conducive to further exploration in the days surrounding the meeting.

An annual tradition of sorts has formed with myself and some friends- go to the Shoshone meeting (as we are all active in desert conservation/Wilderness issues), and bag a few peaks. This year it turned into more of a peak-bagging derby, with great result.

We met Friday night at the usual spot- The Mad Greek in Baker. Falafel, zatziki, baklava, all for gouged prices, but the food is worth it. We headed north, through Shoshone, and camped along the Amargosa River about 15 miles north of town.

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Iron
Mountain's Grueling Southwest Ridge - Proceed with Caution Iron Mountain's Grueling Southwest Ridge - Proceed with Caution  by Travis_

Some months ago I read a trip report in the HPS Newsletter on hiking Iron Mountain (Big Iron) via Allison Gulch and the Southwest ridge. Below are some excerpts of this trip report. “…I found a nicer, faster and low maintenance route, and have since lost interest in the standard route.” “So I tried the route, and it worked beautifully.” “This route appears to be slightly shorter and with less total elevation gain than the standard route, so I was back earlier than usual.” The Trip Report did warn about the river crossings, 2 sections of bush and some class 3 and 4 climbing involved, but that is nothing new to me so I recruited a willing participant (Bechtt) and planned to try this route out on 2/10/08.

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Mount
Massive: Winter Ascent from the Leadville Fish Hatchery TH Mount Massive: Winter Ascent from the Leadville Fish Hatchery TH  by maverick

I’d been eyeing the weekends’ forecast. Clear days had been hard to come by this season. The weekend was flanked by two decent-sized storms on either side. It seemed like a reasonable plan to get some turns at A-basin on Saturday in preparation for 14er Sunday. In the days leading up to the weekend I’d wrestled with several choices including Quandary and Sherman. Steve’s plan to hit up Massive was pretty tempting firstly because there’s a ton to learn from this guy and secondly I liked what I saw on Layne Bracy’s report on 14ers.com two weeks ago. We met at the Timberline motel at Leadville on Saturday night and got some rest before the climb. We reached the fish hatchery TH at 6AM, geared up and hit the trail a few minutes after. We followed a ploughed track for a while to a pond where we had to bushwhack a short section to catch the highline trail. Like Steve mentioned in his report, the first mile of the trail was broken flat. We soon got to a 1.5-2 mile section of unbroken 6” to 12” (at spots) deep snow.

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Aconcagua
2008- Day by Day with Gear Analysis Aconcagua 2008- Day by Day with Gear Analysis  by SawtoothSean

This would be my first climb on a major peak since I did Denali in 2000. Our climbing team would be 2 people with my friend Alan as my partner. I've done hundreds of smaller peaks since Denali, many of greater technical difficulty, so I was fairly confident that we would have a successful and easy time on the mountain. Like stated in almost everything you can read on Aconcagua, having patience, proper acclimating, and handling the effects of altitude are the keys to reaching the summit. This trip would be a complete success, but it was clear after just 2 days, that we would need to throttle it back for optimal health on the upper mountain.

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Father and
Son Adventures in Peru Father and Son Adventures in Peru  by Scott

y son had been climbing several 14,000 feet/4200 meter mountains in the USA and with much preparation and excitement and drive, he was ready for something bigger, Peru was chosen because it is one of the few countries that I hadn’t been to and plus things just worked out that way. We had also thought about climbing Maipo or El Plomo on the Chile/Argentina border, but when it came down to it, Peru was chosen in the end.

Since this was a long trip to high altitudes and with just my son and me, for safety reasons we needed a bit of help and another adult along so we contacted Carlos Zarate in Arequipa. One of my friends climbed Ampato with Carlos back in 1972 when he was only 14 years old. Now 35 years later Carlos helps travellers with their climbs via his company in Peru. It was a light guided trip so Zarate would help with the mules, cook for dinners, etc, but we would get to choose the itinerary and ride public transport and provide all our own gear, lunches, etc.

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Mount Baldy
Super Bowl Sunday Mountaineering Mount Baldy Super Bowl Sunday Mountaineering  by bechtt

When we stepped out of the warm ski hut at 8,280 feet and confronted the conditions outside, I gave our chances of summiting Mt. Baldy (10,064’) about equal to the odds of the NY Giants beating the Patriots in the Super Bowl later on that day. We faced perhaps a more formidable adversary than a pro football team with a perfect record: Mother Nature in the dead of winter dumping snow and howling with winds strong enough to knock you over. But like the Giants, we put on our game faces and set out to score an upset. This is our Super Bowl story told by the four SP member participants, Bechtt, Taco Del Rio, Travis and Mountain Impulse.

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WMC and SP Lone Peak Winter
Ascent 2008 WMC and SP Lone Peak Winter Ascent 2008  by Matthew Van Horn

Lone Peak is a serious mountain by Wasatch Range standards, even though it is far from being the highest in the neighborhood. The trailheads are all at low elevation, and in winter in particular, one needs to gain approximately 7,000 ft in elevation to summit. The final couple hundred ft are especially challenging due to spectacular exposure, steep firn, cornices, and verglass ice patches.

Although the chutes of the East face may be quite alluring for extreme skiers, it's a very long slog to the top. So ascents of Lone Peak by skiers are rare. In fact the classic Wasatch Touring tomes advise against ascending beyond the North Shoulder of the peak.

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Mixing It Up Mixing It Up  by Dan Dalton

The morning is crisp and it is cold, about 10°F (-12°C). The approach is short and we arrive early to the crag. I get ready to climb a gorgeous insipient crack that pinches out and moves to an ice dagger that has not fully formed yet. I’m not wearing much because I need the maximum amount of mobility to accomplish the route. While others wear big padded gloves with Thinsulate, I wear bikini gloves with a thin layer of rubber. Others are climbing in fleece, puff jackets, and many layers; I have on a t-shirt and shell jacket only. Others have thick and warm boots to which their crampons are attached; I lace up the equivalent of rock shoes with spikes. Others are leashed to their tools, I go leashless. While others spend their energy on ice, I spend mine on rock. I am becoming a modern mixed climber.

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Iztaccihuatl UTM Iztaccihuatl UTM  by MountainHikerCO

After returning to TAPO bus station in Mexico City we then rode a bus to Amecameca. The bus line is called Volcanoes and a bus leaves every 15 minutes at a cost of 22 pesos. The trip to Amecameca takes about an hour and 20 minutes. About a block past the bus station is Amecameca’s main square.

At the first corner of the main square is a gas station and a Bodega Aurrera, which is a modern grocery chain store owned by Wal-Mart. While this might be the place to buy package goods, the fresh food market is also on the main square. You will be able to buy fresh fruit and bread and there is even a bulk meat area inside. There are also several cooked food vendors.

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