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Black Ice and Blind Luck Black Ice and Blind Luck  by RobSC

I’ve always been drawn to the eclectic, growing up with dreams of the fabled snows of the Rwenzori when others turned to football and baseball, collecting stamps from the largely ignored country of Burundi rather than baseball cards or bottle caps like most of my peers.

For a decade of my life, I harbored an obsession for a narrow strip of ice and stone hidden in the chilly shadows on the northwestern side of the Teton’s most famous peak. The Black Ice Couloir; its name alone swept me into a realm of passion and cold sweats. Yet it was never supposed to be anything so monumental. When my parents gave me Fifty Classic Climbs of North America as a gift long ago in the Seventies, it was the North Face that drew my gaze; the magnificent sweep of rock leading to the range’s highest pedestal. That was the route that I always aspired to before I’d even so much as touched a climbing rope. So it’s ironic that its significance became eclipsed in my mind by a runnel renowned for falling rock and poorly protected thin climbing.

SW face of the Tooth SW face of the Tooth  by Tsuyoshi

After Chico (cascadian) moved back up here to Washington from California, we decided it was time for a climb. We had lofty ideas of what a good climb would be, but a small weather window allowed us only part of a day. So, we decided on the SW face of the tooth... close to home, quick approach and a route we hadn't done yet. Throw in the fact that it's winter and we figured the route would provide an interesting outing!

Ubinas - A Peaceful Summit Volcán Ubinas - A Peaceful Summit  by Vic Hanson

In December of 2007, after we had done our Seven Summits, Nathan stayed for about a week after Smiley went back to the States. He managed a solo climb of Ubinas between storms and eruptions. I was too tired to do another mountain then but it was on Smiley's list when he came back this year so I got another opportunity to climb it. After getting a window busted out on the van during an attempt on Cerro Horgueta the day before, I decided we better have someone with us to watch the van this time. My friend Lucho always likes to get in on our climbing adventures, so he agreed to go with us.

Baranie Rohy, our Tatras
epics Baranie Rohy, our Tatras epics  by visentin

Since I live in Poland, I haven't changed my habits, and I spend my time planning and dreaming future trips in the mountains of my country of adoption. Let's say not exactly, Polish and Slovak mountains, since they form together the northern Carpathians. And the most famous mountains of the area, everyone knows, are the Tatras.

A lot of people in Poland love the Tatras, and I don't fail to the rule. This is indeed the first place I ever visited in Central Europe (2004), before anything else, even Cracow. This was a one-week traverse, which left me the slightly frustrating feeling not to be able to visit all corners of this magnificent range as it deserved.

HAPE on Orizaba Getting HAPE on Orizaba  by Athos791

The first day of the trip was spent on various aircraft for about six hours, and after meeting up with Roberto Flores (Oso) at the Mexico City Airport, wow Mexico City is huge! Another four hours in the car and we reached the town of Tlachichuca. Driving through the gorgeous Mexican country side on the way towards Puebla, Izta and Popo can be seen. These were, at the time, the two largest mountains I had ever seen in my life, and they made a big impression on me. The sunset over these two peaks reminded me why I was there in the first place, the beauty of it all.

Mountain in Winter: One of the Sangres Finest Summit Views Marble Mountain in Winter: One of the Sangres Finest Summit Views  by shknbke

My boss gave me a comp day for working on a Saturday this month, so I decided to use it on a mid-week hike when the forecast was nice. "Nice" is a relative term in the high country though. I enjoyed a nice snowshoe outing in the Sangres with my wife, cousin, and friends over the weekend, so I decided to head back and take advantage of the decent snow conditions. Pete was the only taker for this mid-week hike, and it turned out to be a classic with views I will never forget.

Pete and I left C. Springs and we noticed some spindrift coming off some of the buildings. Not a good sign! We made the familiar drive down to Westcliffe and made our way up our old friend South Colony Rd (CR-120). The road is plowed to CR-121 at 8600'. I put the 4Runner in four low and decided to see if I could get to the pullout just beyond the 2WD trailhead. I followed a snowmobile track for a bit until the wheels started sinking. We called it good at 8900'. It was entertaining going down this as there wasn't enough room to turn around without getting stuck!

Mount Stephen Scramble TR -
Route Discussion Mount Stephen Scramble TR - Route Discussion  by Bill Kerr

My buddy, Gary, had unsuccessfully tried to climb Mount Stephen 2 or 3 times before so he was really keen to finally get this one. On one trip Gary was stopped near the top by snow and ice and on his most recent attempt he had accidentally knocked off a sharp rock which had cut his knee for 20 + stitches. The scramble is rated as a difficult in Kane’s Scrambles in the Canadian Rockies and the elevation gain is about 1950 m which is the most gain of any trip in the book.

The biggest impediment on this scramble is the requirement for a permit to pass by the world famous fossil beds which are a world heritage site. These permits must be obtained in person (with picture ID) the day of the climb after 9:00AM or the day before you climb which means you have to stay overnight and then you have to take what you get for weather. Campgrounds in the area are always full during August and especially if the weather is good. We decided to go out the evening before and just sleep in Gary’s van and go early since it was going to be a hot day.

Knocking on
Heaven’s Door: Accident on Martin's Route Knocking on Heaven’s Door: Accident on Martin's Route  by brade

I surprisingly found myself standing on a small ledge trying to diagnose all of my injuries at once. My right hand was badly bleeding and my trousers were torn below my left knee. I couldn’t find any more visible signs of the fall I’d just taken. My legs and right hand were in great pain but luckily none of them was broken. “Aaaaaaachhhhhhh!” my sore body made an uncontrolled hissing noise. I couldn’t see Jck but I was able to imagine his face at the moment. He stood at the other end of a ten meter long piece of rope, with no belay between us. We were halfway along one of the longest routes in these mountains, had less than half an hour of daylight left to find a proper bivy spot on an airy ridge and I was hurt… we were in trouble.

R2R2R: Jacob Lake to South Rim and back Winter R2R2R: Jacob Lake to South Rim and back  by Dmitry Pruss

Having visited the Grand Canyon for the first time the previous summer, I was awestruck by its majesty, and by people's accounts of speedy crossings. I knew that my body won't appreciate doing it in the warmer months, and so I was quite elated to discover a trip report by two Phoenix guys outlining how it can be done on skis (the trick is that the winter closure of the North Rim adds over 40 miles one way to the trip!). Another source of inspiration have been the old TRs of the founding fathers of Utah ultrarunning who were also experimenting, decades ago, with what they called "fastpacking" in my favorite Uinta Mountains. Adding two and two together, I got all fired up about a possibility of skiing + fastpacking across the Grand Canyon.

With the potential partners all peeling off, I figured that the weather and the Moon would be my most reliable friends for a solo recon trip. I wasn't quite sure what I will find out about the terrain and about myself, but I had 10 days to spare & ended up doing a full R2R2R in 5 days, for a grand total of approximately 150 miles. 100 miles of skiing and 50 on foot give or take.

Provo Peak
via Rock Canyon - The Third Time's the Charm Provo Peak via Rock Canyon - The Third Time's the Charm  by Moogie737

November 25, 2008. Asserting just a hint of my yen to be a maverick, I wished my usual hiking group well and drove to Provo, the idea being to top out on yet one more Wasatch 11,000er. I would drive to the Rock Canyon CG and hike up to the summit. Only 3,700' of elevation gain; about 6 miles r/t, 3.5 miles on graded road. Piece of cake.

As soon as I saw the sign I was glad I was in my little Toyota for the 9.5 miles of serpentining asphalt and gravel. But the Forest Service had Enlarge Nothing on the sign to indicate that the road was closed for the winter months! already made other plans for me. One half mile up the road I came to the closed steel gate which barred me from further passage. What the hey! You mean to say I had driven 35 miles for nothing? Let's see, if I cruise back to where my usual group was going I would be way too late to overhaul them. What to do...

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