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Time To Buck Up For Buckner
Mountain Time To Buck Up For Buckner Mountain  by Redwic

In my ongoing quest to summit county highpoints and peaks with a lot of prominence, Buckner Mountain has been high on my "to do" list. With some mountaineering friends knowing this, I was recently invited to join several other fellow peakbaggers for a summit attempt of Buckner Mountain, which at over 9112' is the highest point of Skagit County and one of the highest points in Washington.

The plan seemed simple enough. Ascend Buckner Mountain via its southwest slope, considered by many to be the least technical route. As such, this route potentially had the best chance for success if conditions allowed. With an expected trek of nearly 20 miles roundtrip in two days over a wide variety of terrain, we knew it might not be an easy trip. However, with a good team and positive attitudes, we were motivated to succeed.

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Mt Pugh Summit 7/10/2010 Mt Pugh Summit 7/10/2010  by beaudaddy85

So where do you hike when you have to be at your Brother In-Law's wedding by 3pm that day at the Tulalip Amphitheatre? Maybe try a quick visit to Mt Pugh’s summit?

After talking with my good bud Cham (SouthernYokel) we decided to leave my place at 2:30AM. The day was expected to be hot and we wanted to travel the snow in the shade. We didn't really know the conditions beyond Stujack, other than one TR a couple weeks ago that showed a picture of someone foot next to the benchmark in the fog.

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Tabeguache casts its own
shadow Tabeguache casts its own shadow  by metal4lyf

Back in mid-April I climbed Mount Shavano with Dan and John. The route we chose was exhausting, and by the time we reached the summit we did not have the energy to continue over to Tabeguache. In retrospect I'm glad for this because, had we crossed the uninspiring saddle connecting Tabeguache with its higher neighbor to the east, we'd have robbed ourselves of an experience on this formidable mountain.

For two weeks following our success on Shavano I focused on other climbs, but Tabeguache was always there--truth be told I was apprehensive about returning and not particularly interested in any of the remaining standard routes over Mount Shavano. I'd seen others express the sentiment that Tabeguache Peak is little more than an afterthought when climbed via Mount Shavano, which is currently the only recommended route to its summit. I wanted to meet Tabeguache on its own terms.

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Tirol 2, Bavaria 1 Tirol 2, Bavaria 1  by mvs

My wife was getting right tired of me moping around the house complaining about the weather. Family camping trips and he-man adventure climbing trips had been canceled left and right for more than 2 months. The weather was truly worse than Seattle (I looked!). Normally I count on trips in May and June to work off the disposition to soft living that I accumulate every winter like a fresh coat of down.

Finally the summer came, and some friends and I embarked on a crash course to use some good weather well. By the end, I felt avenged. All was right with the world again...no more moping!

For all you guys and gals out there just tryin' to "get 'er done" with limited time and weather. Hell yes!

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Adršpach
and Křižák = bohemian sandstone climbing Adršpach and Křižák = bohemian sandstone climbing  by Liba Kopeckova

The Prussian King Frederick the Great said this: " Who has not seen the rocks of Adršpach, the Royal Chapel in Grussau, and the Ossuary in Sedlec, has never yet laid eyes on the nature, splendour, or art". I have to admit that I have not seen the mentioned chapel, but the ossuary is Sedlec is truly amazing. In 1800 John Quincy Adams, later President of the United States, was travelling in the area. He described Adršpach in his book "Letters of Silesia" as follows: "Adršpach is remarkable for its great number of free standing rock formations, oddly group or isolated, rocks such as I have never seen before....

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The Ruth
Glacier and meeting a climbing legend! The Ruth Glacier and meeting a climbing legend!  by dfrancom

My recent trip to the Ruth Gorge, Alaska was an incredible experience filled with adventure, challenge and acquaintance with legend. It began with an invitation from my friend Ben in January this year. I remember the phone conversation going something like this, Ben said, “I bought a plane ticket to the Ruth Gorge in May, you should come?” I knew my decision would be to go. And thus began the start of a visionary trip. It would be Ben, his friend Jeremy, and myself to go.

The planning and preparation for Alaska was an adventure by itself. Maps, guide books, equipment, and avoiding additional luggage costs were just some of the things that demanded my attention. It was during my search for a good map that I became acquainted with the name of Bradford Washburn. Anyone that knows anything about the Alaska range knows that Washburn mapped the range and also took hundreds of photo's showing each angle of the peaks. Washburn's photos would inspire climbers like myself for generations to come. We decided the southwest ridge of peak 11,300 would be a good start to satisfy our mountaineering desires. As our trip dates of May 13th to the 23rd came closer I realized just how much money this trip was going to cost, but that is another story that my wife will tell me for a long time.

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The
Glissades of St. Helens The Glissades of St. Helens  by EastKing

Originally this weekend Nartreb, Jimbopo and his brother Josh as well as another were going to climb Rainier but with all the accidents and avalanche danger recently that did not look like a good idea. Add on a shaky weather forecast and Rainier was dead. So the bailouts were Hood and Saint Helens. We all went down to Hood just a day after Nartreb's flight to Seattle and went for Hood.

Unfortunately jetlag took it toll and Nartreb was very sick at the start of the climb up Hood. He tried to make it through he had a hard time eating and drinking and at 9200 feet it was time for him to turn around. I felt bad for him but it was the correct call because Hood takes great concentration and if you are 100% you can get seriously injury. He will get Hood easily next time. I went down with him while Josh and Jimbopo went to the summit of Mount Hood. They later made the summit while we stayed back at the car with or two-way radios handy to monitor there progress. Jimbopo will right the TR probably in the next couple of nights.

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Bailing
down the U-Notch on the Palisade Traverse Bailing down the U-Notch on the Palisade Traverse  by StephAbegg

The Palisades is the most alpine subrange in the Sierra and contains some of the Sierra's highest peaks, its largest glacier, and most stunning scenery. This is a trip report for the Thunderbolt-Starlight-North Palisade-Polemonium-Sill traverse, a classic route that traverses five of the major Palisade peaks, all above 14,000 ft. This five-summit route is often referred to as the Palisade Traverse, although there also exists a "full" Palisade Traverse which much longer and has only seen two successful ascents (the FA in 1979 which was done with pre-placed caches and took 7 days to climb, and 1984, which was done over two summers).

It is possible to do the traverse from Thunderbolt to Sill (or Sill to Thunderbolt) in a single 22-mile car-to-car push, but Mark Thomas and I wanted to enjoy the beauty of the area (and do some night photography!), so we established a wonderful camp on the lower Palisade Glacier. We planned to do the Palisade Traverse in a day from basecamp. However, we ended up only climbing Thunderbolt, Starlight, and North Palisade before darkness forced us to forgo Polemonium and Sill and descend down the couloir from the U-Notch. Fortunately, though, we successfully climbed what are thought to be the three most aesthetic summits of the traverse.

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Bolivian
Andes Expedition 2010 Bolivian Andes Expedition 2010  by astrobassman

There is one flight that goes from the United State to Bolivia, and it goes through Miami. Unfortunately on the day we were travelling there were severe thunderstorms in Florida and all Miami flights were cancelled, so I ended up staying the night in Orlando while Craig spent the night at the bars in Chicago. The next day we both got to Miami and were put on a flight to Lima Peru, where we made a connecting flight to La Paz late that night, arriving in Bolivia 18 hours after our intended time. The good news was I was put up in first class on the long flight to Peru; the bad news was our bags weren’t in La Paz when we arrived. We had lost a day of acclimating, but since we live in Colorado we decided to maintain our original schedule and just skip a day of acclimating.

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Big Days in Tirol Big Days in Tirol  by mvs

I like big days. When you start walking at dawn, the first on the trail breaking all the spiderwebs. When you startle the animals, unused to seeing awkward two-leggers cantilevering along. And when you make the decision to take the long way home...through another valley or over another peak. The feeling of pleasant exhaustion and accomplishment at the high point in late afternoon or evening, and the long trip down on autopilot, again disturbing the spider webs in the silent forest.

Lately I've been without climbing partners for one reason or another, and a look at the calendars that govern our affairs means that will probably continue for a while. That's okay, I like going solo. As a beginner, I didn't know any climbers, so I got used to doing things alone, so in a way, going solo is going back to my roots. I just have to be careful to keep the technical difficulties reasonable because nothing will ruin your day like sketching around on 5th class terrain alone.

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