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The Pyramid Traverse The Pyramid Traverse  by Kiefer

The Elk Mountain Range is by far my favourite mountain range in Colorado. The rock is resplendent with colour, flowers equally impress with delicate splashes paint, mountains are nothing more than broken cathedrals of strata and for some reason, even the lakes in this area seem wilder, warmer and more intriguing. Indeed, the Elks wouldn’t be what they are if everything wasn’t working harmoniously together. But that’s just it. Is it harmonious? Anyone who has camped or waited through a thunderstorm in this rugged range knows how intense they can be. Wintertime for all extrinsic purposes basically shuts the whole range down save for the few stalwarts who endure the extra miles of approach. The upper echelons of the craggy peaks are a constant struggle between weather, placidity and gravity creating a Parthenon of chaos. Mountains, trying to rip and tear themselves apart: breaking, cracking, splitting and endlessly fracturing themselves into herculean piles of talus and scree. Loose rock and instability is the norm. Indeed, the Elks are, “Evolution in action”.

A hard day on the
Zinalrothorn A hard day on the Zinalrothorn  by hansw

This climb started half a year earlier in 1999 when during long winter evenings I carefully studied books on the Alpine four thousand meter peaks. Books like “The high Mountains of the Alps” by Dumler and Burkharh, and “The Alpine 4000m Peaks by the Classic Routes” by Godeke had been good reading. At first I leaned towards the Monte Rosa with its many peaks but I kept coming back to the Zinalrothorn. Why? Because it is beautiful mountain with an interesting normal route on snow ridges and steep rock. The mountain is not so well known and thus less crowded than the more famous and nearby peaks. In Goedeke’s list "How much sweat?" the Zinalrothorn is ranked in fourth place with the summit 2750 meter above the highest transport point. More sweat is needed only for the Dom (3160 m), the neighbour Weisshorn (3100 m) and the Aiguille Blanche (2800 m).

Evolution Pilgrimage Evolution Pilgrimage  by ajberry

It’s not often that you have a Google Image Search to thank for identifying the location of your next mountain trip. I teach evolutionary biology and history of science and am more dependent than I should be on Google for the images I use in the classroom. Early in 2009, I was developing a set of lectures on the response to the publication of Charles Darwin’s ideas in Europe and the US. A major figure in this story is Ernst Haeckel (1834-1919), a German biologist (he coined the term “ecology”) who was one of Darwin’s earliest and most enthusiastic followers. Haeckel traveled in 1866 to England to meet Darwin at his home in Kent, Down House. There are a few photographs of Darwin (his son Leonard was an early amateur photographer) and my hope was that the historic encounter would have merited a photograph. I was disappointed – there are no photos of Darwin and Haeckel together – but my eye was immediately drawn to several photos in the image search results that lacked even a hint of history of science: mountains, spiky ones, set against clear blue skies. Even if Charles and Ernst never posed together in front of the camera, at least their mountain namesakes, Mounts Darwin and Haeckel, were apparently not camera shy.

Clandestine Chocolate Consumer and a Dubious Virgin A Clandestine Chocolate Consumer and a Dubious Virgin  by kamil

Just behind the border crossing the asphalt ends and the dirt road begins. Indeed after about 2 km in the dispersed light we notice a side road turning sharply left. We turn there, crossing a bridge over a stream. The road gets bumpy but the car can make it so far. We drive in complete darkness, seeing only the section of the road immediately ahead of us in the headlights. Like that the bumps and stones seem much larger than they really are. Sometimes we can see a cliff rising sharply to our right and hear the river directly below to our left. I turn the radio on and pick up some Montenegrin station. It plays the song by The Rasmus - No Fear, Destination Darkness... How true.

Snowmass: A
Long Year Waiting Snowmass: A Long Year Waiting  by MarkDidier

Plain and simple, Snowmass Lake was the sole reason I decided to go to the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness back in August 2009. After visiting RMNP for four straight years I needed a change of scenery so I started searching on SummitPost trying to decide what part of Colorado I would head to for my 2009 trip. When I came across the image of Snowmass Lake with its stunning backdrop of Hagerman Peak and the Snowmass-Capitol Massif my search was over.

Hiking out to Snowmass Lake became my primary goal for that trip, and while I should have been content with just that, I couldn’t get past the idea of trying to climb Snowmass Mountain as well. Not since Longs Peak was I so enamored with a mountain! A climb of Snowmass Mountain offered everything I look for when deciding on summits to go after: a beautiful route, a challenging route, and beautiful summit views. I think it was the challenge as much as the scenery that intrigued me. Trying to complete the route on a one day sufferfest had me stoked. With its 21.5 mile roundtrip and 5,800 feet of vertical gain, completing the route in a single day was a challenge I was up for. I was excited to say the least and for several months I became rather obsessed with Snowmass Mountain.

But I never made it up Snowmass Mountain in August 2009. In fact I didn’t even make it to Snowmass Lake.

Can I get some...Goat
Spray? Can I get some...Goat Spray?  by musicman82

Glacier National Park had never been on my radar for a visit for most of my life; I had seen some pictures, and they were pretty, but it wasn't until I started hiking a couple of years ago that I started realizing that it just might be worth a visit. After hearing and reading Bob Sihler's ravings about the place and watching the Ken Burns documentary on the National Parks, I made it a priority to find a way up there this summer to get a feel for the place and climb a few peaks. In spite of the fact that I only had one day to do anything due to other vacation-like activities with the family, it was a wonderful experience and I'll be back for sure!

Wham of a Finish! Wham of a Finish!  by shknbke

Hoot sent me an invite earlier in the summer for his anticipated finish of Colorado's top 100 peaks on Vestal over Labor Day weekend. I was apprehensive about the good weather odds that late in the summer, as the San Juans tend to get hit early with snow. Wham Ridge has been high on my list of technical climbs to do, and the forecast was looking good for the trip to proceed! The Trinity Traverse has also been high on my list, so this weekend was highly anticipated!

Baby Steps to a Giant
Mountain Baby Steps to a Giant Mountain  by Laverna

It all started a few years back as a beginner day hiker. I had seen amazing photos of people climbing or scrambling mountains but did not know if I would meet anyone to experience something like this. I was fortunate to meet Chris Goulet who is an experienced mountaineer. I was willing to learn more. He had me begin with baby steps in his home town of Grande Cache, Alberta. We went on a winter hike in May 2010 to Lightning Ridge, my first wilderness camp! It was a great success and my first silver summit of the Passport to the Peaks. The next adventure was with a group of friends to Berg Lake by Mount Robson for a week. This would be my first long distance hike with a 45 lb backpack. It was a tremendous view of Mount Robson where Chris had joyfully fulfilled his climb in 2006. Chris had gotten me interested in a possible ice walk up the Robson Glacier, so after a couple days of enjoying the surroundings, and having all the gear, it was time to go. We left the group and I said "no worries", I am in great hands. It was an amazing trek across the ice looking into deep crevasses while Chris probed and I followed in each exact step. It was a amazing feeling for me to walk in such a place. We stayed the night at the Rearguard alpine meadow, then down we went even finding our previous foot steps.

Narodnaya, Gora Narodnaya, "mountain of the people": To whom does the highest peak of the Urals belong?  by Wolfgang Schaub

In the extreme north-east of Europe I find the Komi Republic – ?????????? ???? –, populated by the Komi people. Has anyone ever heard of the Komi? No? Don't worry, you don't differ from me. I have been raised in the Cold War and only know the West; this has an after-effect. For still today Europe is partitioned by an invisible divide: East of Vienna Asia creeps imperceptibly into the minds of people, exemplified with mere formalities: visa, registration slips, uniforms, police controls. I don't know, up to now, how to categorize Russia; and even the Komi!!?

2010 Yanapaccha 2010  by albanberg

Last year we went did the Santa Cruz trek, Pisco, and Huascaran. I didn't get a summit on Huascaran and we both enjoyed the trip so we thought that we would go back. The plan was to do Yanapaccha, Chopicalqui, and Huascaran. I did a trip report on Huascaran last year.

We arrived in Lima short one bag of gear so we took a rest day for our first day in Huaraz. I would plan a rest day for any future trips as the trip from California, via Miami, to Lima, and then to Huaraz is long. The bus ride from Lima to Huaraz is 8 hours. So we had more than 24 hours of continuos travel and waiting around before we got to our hotel.

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