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Back to the Bitterroots Back to the Bitterroots  by Bob Sihler

In the year 2000 and again in 2002, my wife and I spent some time hiking and backpacking in Montana's Bitterroot Mountains, and I recounted some of those experiences in a 2006 trip report called "Appreciating the Bitterroots". That trip report got me into a little trouble with some of SP's Bitterroot fans and natives, who politely but firmly objected to my remarks about the dammed backcountry lakes, the poor trail conditions, and what to me was not a suitably alpine nature to the range itself (in short, too many trees even at the higher reaches of the peaks). But sometimes a little controversy can actually bring people together, and we all seemed to recognize in each other a love of mountains both rugged and remote. Invitations to show me the "real" Bitterroots ensued, friendships began, and, in July 2008, I finally made it out there, where I had the good fortune to spend a week with thephotohiker (Mike), with whom I'd done some hiking and climbing in Wyoming's Absaroka Range the year before.

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The North Face of Glyder
Fach The North Face of Glyder Fach  by igneouscarl

Getting climbers to the same place and at the same time is harder than herding cats. When those climbers are either students or recent graduates dispersed across the country the difficulties are further compounded. So it was with a genuine sense of excitement and mild disbelief when the faces of the university mountaineering club pocked into my tent late on Friday night.

I had craftily negotiated a lift from Anna who was driving up from the south coast, and having driven up earlier in the day had managed to arrive first. On the journey up I had phoned my mum to get the latest forecast for Snowdonia. ‘A little cloudy’, was her answer, ‘with no adverse weather conditions such as rain or excessively high winds’. Armed with this forecast we were both confident of a long mountain day for Saturday, and I began to run through my mental list of earmarked routes.

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Scrambling with an 11 Year
Old 2 - The Sequel Scrambling with an 11 Year Old 2 - The Sequel  by Stu Brandel

Earlier this year my 11 year old son Evan and I had discovered that scrambling gave us the best chance of mutual enjoyment of the outdoors and each other. Avoiding the long hikes I liked and spending more time rock clambering held Evan’s interest. Our first scrambling vacation in Zion had been mostly a success though it had its moments of trial and terror (see Scrambling with an 11 year old for how we fared). Now I would attempt to build on that experience in the High Sierra. But the never-ending struggle of Dad vs. Self would rear its head, and my desire for summit acquisitions would nearly derail my hopes.

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Climbing into History: Crown
Mountain Climbing into History: Crown Mountain  by vancouver islander

For any student of the history of climbing on Vancouver Island, a trip to Crown Mountain is pretty well obligatory at some point in his or her alpine career. The Ellison Expedition of 1910 chose Crown as their principle objective and it was from the summit of this lovely peak that the glory of the high peaks of Strathcona Park to the south became apparent to all and sundry for the first time. The fact that Price Ellison, the expedition’s leader, was also Minister for Lands in the provincial government of the day meant that official incorporation of the Park followed not long after the group’s return to civilization. The first ascent of Crown, therefore, was pivotal in the creation of an incomparable resource that generations of visitors continue to enjoy almost a century later.

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Alta Via Resiana, 23-26 Oct
2008 Alta Via Resiana, 23-26 Oct 2008  by saman

During the past few(?) years I'd made several trips to the Julian Alps, but somehow I've always felt that I must return later. I've seen the Canin massif from the Montasio, later from the Mangart. This autumn finally I managed to organize a trip to this mountain itself. I was accompanied by four of my friends: Anikó, Peti, Félix and Mop

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Euro Sampler Euro Sampler  by rpc

So there we were – sitting around the kitchen table shaking our heads in a merry disbelief. Ahead of us lay a stretch of free time we’ve never faced before: 8 weeks! It was finally here. We had spent the last few months prior trying to decide how exactly to burn it – use it for going back to some familiar places around the western United States and trying to dispatch some of our bigger goals or try something different? Though initially leaning toward the former, in the end (and with the suggestion of our friends) we went for the latter. Yes Sir! A two-month circuit of stamp-collecting conventions it was going to be!!

Our climbing trip started with a whole shitload of driving (two shitloads in fact!) and little climbing. Drove down to California only to fail. Drove back up to Portland. Picked up our dog Blondie and spent the next three days driving the 3000 miles to the east coast where Blondie would spend the summer with my parents. A week into our trip and the only thing we really succeeded on was climbing my parents’ roof (to fix a leaky tile) – a project that I initially felt would go at 5.7 R (slab) but the roof material proved too slippery and the challenge was eventually solved A0-style ala FA of Lost Arrow Spire. With this boost in our climbing confidence (not to mention a sealed leak) we set off for Europe via Newark, Amsterdam, and eventually Venice where we spent 3 days sightseeing while being squeezed to death by the crowds. Finally we picked up our tiny rental car and my brief Euro-driving career began and ended in the rental parking lot where I stole on take off and endured much verbal and sign language abuse from an irate Italian driver. From here on, Shirley did all the driving in Europe with her superior manual transmission skills. Later that day we were in Castelrotto planning our first day of Dolomite climbing.

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Cneifion Expedition Cneifion Expedition  by igneouscarl

After a summer of planning, my Dad and I finally managed to find a free weekend to spend climbing in North Wales. Both of us mountain enthusiasts, we were keen to tackle a long route which would put us high out of the valley and onto a summit. Having had quite a prolific year of climbing and walking in Snowdonia, I was keen to do a novel route that would be isolated from the majority of weekend warriors and outside of my familiar experiences of the national park.

A quick study of ‘Scrambles & Easy Climbs in Snowdonia’ cross referenced with the excellent ‘Rock Climbing in Snowdonia’ by the late Paul Williams quickly drew our attention to the alpine style climbs leading into and over Cym Cneifion (the Nameless Valley), with over 240m of easy climbing and scrambling that would put us onto the Gribin ridge, a grade one scramble that lead onto the summit plateau of Glyder Fawr (999m).

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Elbrus 2007 Elbrus 2007  by nab1ug

Having just landed in a town called Mineralnye Vody onboard a Tupolov 154 after a 2 hour flight from Moscow, the three of us are pretty happy. we are happy because the plane didn't leak too much AVGAS before taking off, the wings didn't fall off, and the already wasted russian co-passengers pretty much knocked themselves out on vodka and schnapps about halfway through the flight.

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The Grand Teton The Grand Teton  by dfrancom

I wanted to climb the Grand Teton this year not only because this Mountain is so incredibly attractive and majestic, but because my girlfriend Sunnie would be climbing it for her first time. We made the plan to climb the Grand in a single day, car to car. We left Logan around 9:00 P.M. on Friday August 8th.Unfortunataley the weather was terrible on our drive to Jackson. I watched the weather report and it said the storm would clear out by the next day. We hoped the weather report would be true, but things looked bad! Lighting was everywhere and increased as we drove toward Jackson. Just when we thought we would be rained out, things looked better as we arrived in Jackson. In fact, by the time we drove through town there was no rain at all. Arriving at the Lupine Meadows parking lot at about 1:00 A.M. on the morning of the 9th we could see stars everywhere above our heads. We could not believe our eyes after all the rain we had driven through. Talk about good timing, it was FANTASTIC!Sunnie writes,Daniel and I started hiking at 2:00 a.m. (right on schedule).

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Clinging to the Bullion
Divide Clinging to the Bullion Divide  by Brad Snider

Nearing the end of our three week trip out west, my wife and I had enjoyed near perfect weather from Montana to Wyoming. But now, as I decided to tackle my first climb in the Wasatch, a cold front was pushing in–promising steady 20-30 mile per hour winds and a chance of snow ahead of the main storm. It wasn’t the best of timing, but it would have to do. We were surrounded by some magnificent mountains, and I knew I would regret it if I did not at least make an attempt at some of them before our vacation drew to a close. The most obvious choice of route for me was the Bullion Divide, which includes seven mountains and some fun class 3 scrambling.

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