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Solo 14er Finish on Capitol,
no. 58 Solo 14er Finish on Capitol, no. 58  by maverick

Thanks are due to Craig, Steve Knapp and CO Native for the conditions info. I waited 9 months for the conditions I saw in their most recent trip reports. Several times in the interim I had packed and all but jumped into my Jeep to drive to the TH only to be yanked back to reality by doumall or someone else who understood my plight. I hardly thought I would last that long: Patience in Mountaineering 101. There was a 30% rain/snow forecast for my planned first-choice summit day (Saturday) but theres always a 30% forecast everywhere so I decided to go. I reached the trailhead late on Friday evening and began hiking up the ditch trail enjoying the bluebird day and the fantastic views this mountain offers during the hike up.

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"Barrett Peak"  by Brian Kalet

I camped at the South Lake Trailhead Sunday night. Monday morning, I hiked up to Bishop Pass, then continued cross country towards Thunderbolt Pass. The terrain was primarily small boulders and grassy slopes at first, but soon turned to talus, large boulders and snow. From Thunderbolt Pass, I traveled towards Potluck Pass by contouring high, but when past North Palisades southwest chute, the sand, loose talus and scree became unbearable, so I descended nearly to Barrett Lakes before continuing towards Potluck Pass. At this point, I could see 13962 and was concerned that it would be too technical for me to free solo.

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Geiselstein Alte Nordwand Geiselstein Alte Nordwand  by mvs

There is something special about the Geiselstein. It's a "front range" mountain, rising up quickly from the gentle green hills and torqoise lakes of Bavaria. The vertical towers of limestone are a promise of whats to come if you venture further south into the ranges. I like the idea of starting at "the edge" of the mountains, and gaining the heights via the most severe path. By that criteria, the Geiselstein is a good one. A northern outlier with the nickname "Matterhorn of the Ammergau," even the normal way on this peak requires low 5th class climbing. But from the north the silvery-gray rock of the 1300 foot high north face looms over a sleepy cow-grazed meadow, their bells tingling softly. It seems to say: this is what I have to offer you, further in. That is, if you can get by me first.

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Photo Album
of Cholatse South West Ridge, 1993 Photo Album of Cholatse South West Ridge, 1993  by RobSC

The following pictures were taken during a climb of the South West Ridge of Cholatse in 1993. Although it has been a long time since that expedition, Cholatse is not a peak that sees many ascents, and there are not an abundance of pictures out there showing the route. Our trip began wben John Climaco was looking through an old American Alpine Club Journal and saw a picture of the peak and was overcome by a desire to visit the magnificent Khumbu region and attempt to climb the peak. The pictures below show the ascent made by John, myself, Andrew Brash and Chris Breemer on October 21st of that year, when we repeated the route climbed on the first ascent of the peak.

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Mt Emmons,
Uintas, Utah Mt Emmons, Uintas, Utah  by ZeeJay

I had been thinking about climbing Mount Emmons (13440), the fourth highest peak in Utah for some time. It appealed to me because it had a southern approach making it more accesible this time of year. Two other hikes I had recently done in the area, one to the Paul Benchmark ridge, and one to North and South Timothy Peaks, had both had great views of Mount Emmons and its surrounding ridge.

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Winter Ascent of Aragüells Winter Ascent of Aragüells  by igneouscarl

In April 2006 my friend Tom and I set our sights on the Maladeta Massif, the damned mountains. In winter no less. We chose Aneto as the logical pinnacle for our endeavours, its summit standing at 3404m above sea level. In fact, we were pretty certain we could be up and down in three days, giving us time to climb Pico Posets (3375m) in the our remaining time. The fact it stood on the other side of the valley didn’t really seem to matter.

We arrived in Benasque, the gateway into Parque Natural Posets-Maladeta, with sore legs and numb bums having spent the past five hours on buses from Barcelona. Twenty four hours later we finally dropped our bags on the shore of Ibonet de Corones, a small mountain lake surrounded by a half moon of jagged cliffs.

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Mt Evans:
Follow the dashed line Mt Evans: Follow the dashed line  by HokieJim

Six years ago I had my first shot to summit Mt Evans with some friends from work. I can't remember exactly why I couldn't make that trip but I missed out. They ended up making a successful trip up Mt Bierstadt, across the Sawtooth, and over to the summit of Mt Evans when weather started to move in. Fortunately for them, grace came in the form of a kind-hearted couple from Parker, CO in a Dodge Durango, who offered to drive them all the way back down Mt Evans road and back to their car at Guanella Pass. The story was so touching that I instantly went out and married that couple's niece! Well, okay, so that happened 4 years later, but imagine the surprise as my future wife Karen is telling her aunt and uncle about this guy (me) she met who works for a lock company in Colorado Springs and started hiking 14ers with friends from work back in 2002, who hitched a ride down Mt Evans. Talk about a small world!

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Mount Sneffels - Snake
Couloir Mount Sneffels - Snake Couloir  by Andy

At 9:00 AM on Friday, I arrived at the T-rex parking lot near Morrison to meet up with six of the other Brutes (Andy, Fabio, Brian, Adam, Jeff and Mike). We piled our gear in to the back of two vehicles and began our six-hour drive to the Blaine Basin trailhead at the base of Mt. Sneffels. Upon arriving, we sorted through our packs to determine what gear we wanted to bring. Brian and I had originally planned on a ski descent down one of the many couloirs, but we were concerned about adding skis to our already heavy packs and climbing the final and most “technical” section in AT/Tele boots. As it turned out, the final push to the summit was not as difficult as we had imagined, and could have easily been climbed in ski boots with crampons.

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Mt. Everest
South Col, Spring 2008 Mt. Everest South Col, Spring 2008  by Kurt Wedberg

Well I’m back in Kathmandu after a wild and wacky year on Everest. The events surrounding this climb are like nothing we’ve seen before. The Chinese were trying to get the Olympic torch to the summit. In the process they closed off the north side of Everest to all other expeditions. They also asked Nepal to close their side of the mountain as well. Although Nepal didn’t close it they restricted access beyond Camp 2 at 21,300 feet until after May 10. Meanwhile many people who were planning on climbing Everest from the north applied for and were granted permits to climb Everest from the Nepalese side. With permits oversold Mt. Everest was more crowded than it has ever been before.

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Introduction to Alaska Introduction to Alaska  by Brad Snider

I was first introduced to hiking in Pennsylvania. Then in Colorado I took up scrambling, rock-climbing, and the poorly-named “peak-bagging.” Wanting to expand my mountaineering horizons to some of North America’s bigger mountains, I decided to learn glacier travel and crevasse rescue. With little time or resources, however, I decided that signing up for a guided trip was the best way to begin. That is how I ended up in Alaska with American Alpine Institute, at Denali base camp on the Southeast Fork of the Kahiltna Glacier. Our group of ten (2 guides, 8 clients) set up camp in solitude on the hill above Denali base camp, completely surrounded by world-class scenery amidst some of North America’s most magnificent mountains. Denali rose behind us, the summit just visible above a col between Mount Frances and “Lisa’s Peak,” and the ever-impressive masses of Mount Foraker and Mount Hunter kept us Alaska newbies in awe for the duration of the trip. The 7-day Denali-prep course covered the basics of glacier travel, rope-work, sled-rigging and pulling, crevasse rescue, and wrapped up with ice climbing.

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