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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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A Day in
the Brush with Coco: San Sevaine Lookout and Buck Point A Day in the Brush with Coco: San Sevaine Lookout and Buck Point  by Augie Medina

There was a modest build-up to this exploratory outing in an SP thread and San Gabriel Mountains Forum. Travis had done some homework including apparently putting a magnifying glass to the Google image of our proposed route (now known as Etiwanda Ridge) to determine whether it was even feasible. Local SPers weighed in with opinions, speculation and encouragement.

The question mark was San Gabriel mountain variety VEGETATION. Now Travis has great sentimentality towards vegetation and was inclined to give the benefit of the doubt to our ridge being passable (by humans). So Tom and I signed on. After all, Travis had the route on his GPS and he could lead. How bad could it be? Answer: not too bad unless you lost the animal trail/firebreak. At these times, we became painfully aware that this ridge has a particular affinity for shoulder-height white buckthorn cover.

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A Pleasant
Solitude A Pleasant Solitude  by mvs

Over the last few weeks it hasn't snowed in the Tyrolean Alps, but continuing cold has kept the avalanche danger up at higher elevations. Lower, the snow is not very good. So we'd go to commercial ski areas. Finally I had enough...those places are just devoid of soul! So I went down to the storeroom and dusted off my snowshoes, lying unused since moving to Munich from Seattle. My friends only had one day available, and I was hoping to minimize driving and maximize mountain time, so I headed off alone Saturday morning to the Allgaeu mountains.

I left the car at the tiny village of Hinterstein and floundered around for 30 minutes trying to get off the valley floor. I made some wrong turns and was also thwarted by the iciest farming roads I ever saw. A constant cycle of freeze and thaw made beautiful translucent surfaces with nary a pebble or other helpful friction element in sight. Villagers in town were wondering what I was doing, always on the periphery of the village, meandering along. Finally I found the right road and started up the mountainside.

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Tenmile Traverse--September
Solo Tenmile Traverse--September Solo  by DharmaBum1984

The northern Tenmile Range in central Colorado divides the Blue River and Tenmile Creek drainages. The range crest (of the northern end of the range) consists of a single spine which runs south from consecutively numbered Peaks 1 through 10. Beginning next to I-70 at the bottom of Tenmile Canyon on the southern end of the Gore Range, Peak 1's north ridge climbs nearly 4,000 vertical feet from the town of Frisco to the summit. This narrow ridgeline stays well above timberline all the way to Peak 10, high above Breckenridge at 13,633. All summer I had been wanting to attempt a traverse of this long ridge, but I always seemed to find myself climbing or hiking somewhere else when the weather was solid enough to attempt such a long, exposed route. Finally, a day off from work coincided with what looked like a stable weather window, and I decided to attempt the Tenmile Traverse.

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Litter Bugs
& Avalanches Litter Bugs & Avalanches  by AJones

The weekend was here, Lisa and the kids were in Edmonton, and I had two days of ice climbing lined up – Saturday with my friend Terry Larson and Sunday with my regular climbing partner Greg. Terry and I left at the reasonable hour of 8 a.m. on Saturday morning. We were going to climb Knuckle Gnasher, a fun climb located just north of Grand Cache, Alberta. I’ve climbed this route three times previously and have always enjoyed it. I also wanted to climb a route that wasn’t going to tire me out too much, as Greg and I had a big day planned for Sunday – we were going to do a climb called “Kitty Hawk” off of the Dave Thompson Highway, near the town of Nordegg, Alberta.

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The
Changeling The Changeling  by RobSC

For me, Seneca will always be a melancholy place. However, the memories begin with a slideshow and the image of a dramatic spire piercing the sky. “The Gendarme” answered those wise elders who volunteered their images to enthrall the newcomers. Many months passed, though, more than a year actually, before we finally traveled the thousand miles to the fabled cliffs, leaving early yet not arriving to the banks of the Potomic till long after dark.

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7 days at
Red Rock, NV 7 days at Red Rock, NV  by theclimbergirl

The cast of characters this year was similar to last year's J-tree trip, including Alex "The Chimney Dancer" or, "Lightweight Number One" Martin, Kelly "Moleman" or "Killer" Cloud, Victoria "Little Girl" C., Shawn "Beautiful Girls" Campbell, Chris, aka "Lightweight Number Two" and me, aka "Lilith Fair." Jason ("Babe" )and Rhi ("Beautiful") made guest appearances later in the week, but had their own plans so weren't fixtures like last year. As usual, I didn't keep track of every route and send, so if you do your own blog entry or 8a.nu scorecard and I'll link to it. Here's a link to the trip photo album. Shawn, the real photog, is still working on his film, so this is just my and Chris's digital shots.

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