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Lost in the Darkness Lost in the Darkness  by Scott

The story of our adventure starts out in Late September. The Division of Wildlife Resources contacted me for help to retrieve a radio collar located high on Outlaw Peak in Dinosaur National Monument. The DWR and National Park Service were unable to find a route up there (or to get a helicopter to retrieve it) so they contacted me for help since I have explored the area extensively and had climbed Outlaw Peak (which has had only two known ascents). They had flown over the collar and knew the approximate location. It seemed like a challenging but simple enough task and I offered to help, but my real job kept getting in the way and I could never seem to get out.

Traverse of Longs Peak Full Traverse of Longs Peak  by benners

A little sick of long drives to remote corners of Colorado, Ryan and I decided to continue our training on a mountain closer to Denver. Longs seemed perfect for the task. We decided on the North Face to mix up the climbing a bit and take another baby step towards Kieners (we‘re getting there). After a bit of research we discovered a gulley that starts at Chasm Lake and spits you out right at the base of the North Face; we thought it would make a great outing to link these routes together and descend the Keyhole, making for a full traverse of the mountain with Chasm Lake as the starting point. It turned out to be a great day, although very physically difficult. Ryan and I departed from the TH at 6:00am on the dot, fully prepared for the -20 temps the weather service was calling for. We ascended above treeline as the sun was coming up, arriving at Chasm Junction roughly 2 hours after our departure. After another 45 minute jaunt, we found ourselves underneath the imposing East Face of Longs. I had never seen the Diamond this up-close and personal before.

Forget About a Spoonful,
Take the Whole Loaf Forget About a Spoonful, Take the Whole Loaf  by weeds19

I have only lived in the small New Mexican city of Las Cruces for about 2.5 years, but every time I reach the crest of Highway 70 at San Augustin Pass and continue heading east I am stupefied by the giant hunk of white rock that juts into the sky on the east side of the Organ Mountains. The peak is named Sugarloaf Peak and it is so completely different from the rest of the Organ Mountains that it catches even the most casual observer’s eye. As R. L Ingraham wrote in his Climbing Guide to the Organs, “This strange peak, utterly unlike the main Organ peaks, stands in splendid isolation a mile or two to the northeast of the Needle. A cone, or sugarloaf, in form, distinctly white in hue, it is the veritable Glass Mountain of the Andersen fairy tale. The rock is hard and remarkably smooth, with occasional door knob protrusions which proliferate toward the top. It was one of the first technical climbs to be done in the Organs, conquered by the German "paper clip" scientists at White Sands Proving Ground in the far off years of the late forties.”

Thirty Days
in Denali's Sheldon Amphitheater Thirty Days in Denali's Sheldon Amphitheater  by Sierra Ledge Rat

In June 1983, Bill Crouse and I spent 30 days climbing in the area of the Don Sheldon Amphitheater. We attempted Reality Ridge on Denali, attempted a big wall on the Gargoyle and skied down into the Great Gorge.

Unfortunately the weather did not cooperate and we were soaked in daily torrential rainstorms. June was not the best time to climb around Denali, but we had to finish our semester at San Jose State University before we could leave for some climbing. The wet weather greatly impacted the climbing conditions are no doubt contributed to our failure to ascend Denali.

Alpine Classic: North Ridge, Pfeifferhorn (Photo Trip Report November 2008). Wasatch Alpine Classic: North Ridge, Pfeifferhorn (Photo Trip Report November 2008).  by marauders

In early November, the Wasatch Mountains of Utah received a series of storms covering the central range in four feet of luscious, powder snow. For two weeks, the skiing was good; but a continuation of warm, dry weather reduced the snowpack to a stout sun crust over sugar. From a skiing perspective this was depressing, but for early season winter climbing it was phenomenal! Lesson learned: If the snow gods give you a lemon...climb it!

Mt. Whitney Mountaineer's
Route Mt. Whitney Mountaineer's Route  by edubbs

Despite months of trying to nail down a group for our planned stroll up the Mt. Whitney Mountaineer’s route, the final roster wasn’t decided until the Monday before our Saturday permit date. Todd, Niall, and I would be leaving Thursday afternoon (Niall’s flight was to arrive that morning) to head up to the Eastern Sierra for a couple days of acclimatization. Trevor would come over on Friday afternoon from the Bay area. A four-person team was good, although we were certainly sad to be missing Jonathan, who had been the chief organizer for most of my trips to the Sierras, including the Mt. Whitney main trail hike in 2007.

I was really looking forward to the drive over. It is usually full of spectacular scenery as you make the climb over the Tehachapi Mountains to the Mojave Desert, and then head north along the eastern scarp of the Sierra Nevada. As you enter the Owens Valley and come to the town of Lone Pine, the higher peaks really start to rise up and close in on you, along with the White Mountains to the east. The drive this time, however, was a hazy blur, with wildfire smoke cutting visibility to about nothing. I was not happy about this, as I had told Niall that the drive to Whitney Portal alone would be worth the trip.

The Tooth &
the Mountain Lion The Tooth & the Mountain Lion  by Cascadian

I made a weekend trip to Seattle from Eugene where I was currently spending the summer studying for the MCATs. The purpose of the trip was primarily for a friend’s wedding, but I knew I couldn’t visit Seattle without a little climbing trip. My friend Owen had to work Friday and I had to take a five hour practice test, so we wanted something close and easy and the Tooth was the perfect climb. Only about an hour drive from Seattle on I-90, the Tooth has a short approach and great climbing.

Owen picked me up as soon as he got off work and we sped up to the mountains. We arrived at the Alpental parking lot a little after 5:30pm. We organized our gear deciding what we would and wouldn’t need. We each carried our climbing gear, camera, one nalgene, one snickers bar, a Cliff bar, and few other essentials. I decided on leaving my ice axe behind (it was July), but it was a decision I would later regret.

Foreigners on Beerenberg - Or: Just Try Something New First Foreigners on Beerenberg - Or: Just Try Something New  by Wolfgang Schaub

Beerenberg? will most of you ask themselves jeeringly. Another little hill in Germany? And why such a silly fuss: „first foreigners“?

Well, Beerenberg is the northernmost volcano on earth. Still most will rub their eyes in astonishment: where the heck shall this be?

On the north Atlantic island of Jan Mayen. Again puzzling. Jan Mayen? Never heard of. Or yet by chance? Jan Mayen is floating straight between Iceland and Svalbard, an island full 30 miles long in the form of a tadpole: long tail in the south west, head in the north east. Beerenberg's cone occupies the entire head.

The Owens
Gorge with the Chief The Owens Gorge with the Chief  by mvs

Hmm, what to work on today? Maybe I should refactor that test code from last week. Chai tea in hand, I wandered in to work. "Michael! Jochen's office, now!"

One hour later, fully briefed, I was rushing home to get a change of clothes. My plane leaves for LA in two hours. I wasted 30 precious minutes in the bookstore first. No way I'm getting on a 12 hour flight without a good book!

It was my first time to visit a customer, in this case a tv studio in Hollywood. I had an amazing time over the next few days, learning much more about our product and how it gets used than I could in weeks back in the office. And, thanks to great co-workers, our server patch deployment Friday afternoon was successful. I was free for the weekend!

I had one idea in mind: call the Chief and see if he can go climbing!

Lundin Traverse Snoqualmie Lundin Traverse  by Tsuyoshi

I had planned on doing something this weekend no matter what the weather report was saying. My friend chico and I were originally planning on climbing the Fisher Chimneys route on Shuksan until his truck broke down and I received a call from him saying he couldn't go. Now that I was going to be alone, I didn't want to climb something quite as big so I thought I would settle for a small peak close to home. Soon I was planning on the west ridge of Lundin Peak. Then my plans kept growing and finally I settled on climbing Snoqualmie Mountain first, then traversing over to Lundin Peak, climbing the west ridge and descending the east ridge. Altogether it would be a nice 9.5 miles (including the one mile walk between trailheads where I parked and exited the climb). The night before, I find out that both Ellen and Bob are wanting to join me! Two good friends, alpine rambling, decent weather forecast, what could be better?

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