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and Křižák = bohemian sandstone climbing Adršpach and Křižák = bohemian sandstone climbing  by Liba Kopeckova

The Prussian King Frederick the Great said this: " Who has not seen the rocks of Adršpach, the Royal Chapel in Grussau, and the Ossuary in Sedlec, has never yet laid eyes on the nature, splendour, or art". I have to admit that I have not seen the mentioned chapel, but the ossuary is Sedlec is truly amazing. In 1800 John Quincy Adams, later President of the United States, was travelling in the area. He described Adršpach in his book "Letters of Silesia" as follows: "Adršpach is remarkable for its great number of free standing rock formations, oddly group or isolated, rocks such as I have never seen before....

The Ruth
Glacier and meeting a climbing legend! The Ruth Glacier and meeting a climbing legend!  by dfrancom

My recent trip to the Ruth Gorge, Alaska was an incredible experience filled with adventure, challenge and acquaintance with legend. It began with an invitation from my friend Ben in January this year. I remember the phone conversation going something like this, Ben said, “I bought a plane ticket to the Ruth Gorge in May, you should come?” I knew my decision would be to go. And thus began the start of a visionary trip. It would be Ben, his friend Jeremy, and myself to go.

The planning and preparation for Alaska was an adventure by itself. Maps, guide books, equipment, and avoiding additional luggage costs were just some of the things that demanded my attention. It was during my search for a good map that I became acquainted with the name of Bradford Washburn. Anyone that knows anything about the Alaska range knows that Washburn mapped the range and also took hundreds of photo's showing each angle of the peaks. Washburn's photos would inspire climbers like myself for generations to come. We decided the southwest ridge of peak 11,300 would be a good start to satisfy our mountaineering desires. As our trip dates of May 13th to the 23rd came closer I realized just how much money this trip was going to cost, but that is another story that my wife will tell me for a long time.

Glissades of St. Helens The Glissades of St. Helens  by EastKing

Originally this weekend Nartreb, Jimbopo and his brother Josh as well as another were going to climb Rainier but with all the accidents and avalanche danger recently that did not look like a good idea. Add on a shaky weather forecast and Rainier was dead. So the bailouts were Hood and Saint Helens. We all went down to Hood just a day after Nartreb's flight to Seattle and went for Hood.

Unfortunately jetlag took it toll and Nartreb was very sick at the start of the climb up Hood. He tried to make it through he had a hard time eating and drinking and at 9200 feet it was time for him to turn around. I felt bad for him but it was the correct call because Hood takes great concentration and if you are 100% you can get seriously injury. He will get Hood easily next time. I went down with him while Josh and Jimbopo went to the summit of Mount Hood. They later made the summit while we stayed back at the car with or two-way radios handy to monitor there progress. Jimbopo will right the TR probably in the next couple of nights.

down the U-Notch on the Palisade Traverse Bailing down the U-Notch on the Palisade Traverse  by StephAbegg

The Palisades is the most alpine subrange in the Sierra and contains some of the Sierra's highest peaks, its largest glacier, and most stunning scenery. This is a trip report for the Thunderbolt-Starlight-North Palisade-Polemonium-Sill traverse, a classic route that traverses five of the major Palisade peaks, all above 14,000 ft. This five-summit route is often referred to as the Palisade Traverse, although there also exists a "full" Palisade Traverse which much longer and has only seen two successful ascents (the FA in 1979 which was done with pre-placed caches and took 7 days to climb, and 1984, which was done over two summers).

It is possible to do the traverse from Thunderbolt to Sill (or Sill to Thunderbolt) in a single 22-mile car-to-car push, but Mark Thomas and I wanted to enjoy the beauty of the area (and do some night photography!), so we established a wonderful camp on the lower Palisade Glacier. We planned to do the Palisade Traverse in a day from basecamp. However, we ended up only climbing Thunderbolt, Starlight, and North Palisade before darkness forced us to forgo Polemonium and Sill and descend down the couloir from the U-Notch. Fortunately, though, we successfully climbed what are thought to be the three most aesthetic summits of the traverse.

Andes Expedition 2010 Bolivian Andes Expedition 2010  by astrobassman

There is one flight that goes from the United State to Bolivia, and it goes through Miami. Unfortunately on the day we were travelling there were severe thunderstorms in Florida and all Miami flights were cancelled, so I ended up staying the night in Orlando while Craig spent the night at the bars in Chicago. The next day we both got to Miami and were put on a flight to Lima Peru, where we made a connecting flight to La Paz late that night, arriving in Bolivia 18 hours after our intended time. The good news was I was put up in first class on the long flight to Peru; the bad news was our bags weren’t in La Paz when we arrived. We had lost a day of acclimating, but since we live in Colorado we decided to maintain our original schedule and just skip a day of acclimating.

Big Days in Tirol Big Days in Tirol  by mvs

I like big days. When you start walking at dawn, the first on the trail breaking all the spiderwebs. When you startle the animals, unused to seeing awkward two-leggers cantilevering along. And when you make the decision to take the long way home...through another valley or over another peak. The feeling of pleasant exhaustion and accomplishment at the high point in late afternoon or evening, and the long trip down on autopilot, again disturbing the spider webs in the silent forest.

Lately I've been without climbing partners for one reason or another, and a look at the calendars that govern our affairs means that will probably continue for a while. That's okay, I like going solo. As a beginner, I didn't know any climbers, so I got used to doing things alone, so in a way, going solo is going back to my roots. I just have to be careful to keep the technical difficulties reasonable because nothing will ruin your day like sketching around on 5th class terrain alone.

Potosi Peak
North Couloir: Dodging Some Bullets Potosi Peak North Couloir: Dodging Some Bullets  by shknbke

Potosi Peak is an imposing 13er that doesn't get a lot of attention as it is neighbored by higher Mt Sneffels and Teakettle Mountain in the dramatic cirque known as Yankee Boy Basin neary Ouray. It looks like a castle in the sky as it is well guarded on all sides with steep cliffs and impressive towers. Thousands of people drive up the popular 4WD road underneath the steep west slopes of Potosi to soak up the views in this dramatic place or to climb Sneffels, the monarch of the Sneffels Range. I climbed Potosi with Layne Bracy back in 2006 after a successful climb of Teakettle and we were not able to enjoy a rest on the summit as we were being chased by storm clouds.

We have been itching to climb Potosi via its aesthetic north couloir since Dave Cooper featured it in his fine "Colorado Snow Climbs" book. Last year, Dwight, Sarah, and Pete made an attempt of the climb but turned back at the saddle because of poor snow conditions. We camped at the Thistledown campground lower down on the Yankee Boy road and got a few hours of sleep after the long drive across the state.

A window
for Messix A window for Messix  by Dean

Messix Mountain in the Promontory mountains of Utah has long been on my wish list agenda. Being one of Utah's prominence peaks, it sits at #54 on the top 100 list having 2462' of prominence and despite the fact that it is only 7372 feet above sea level, it is a nice prize for prominence peakbaggers like myself. As far as I knew, no one that I knew had ever been on top of this one and there is a good reason why, it is totally on private property and heavily signed for "no trespassing".

Mount Olympus: Highpoint of
Greece Mount Olympus: Highpoint of Greece  by gimpilator

A few years back I read the amazing novel by John Fowles called The Magus. In the story, two of the main characters visit one of the refuges on Mount Olympus in Greece. They did not attempt to climb the mountain but merely came to see the terrain and appreciate the history. This part of the story raised my interest in the mountain. The ancient Greeks worshiped the 12 god's called The Olympians who were named for their dwelling place, Mount Olympus. Now the idea began to form in my mind that maybe I could climb this "mountain of the gods".

Some research revealed that Olympus has several high points along a long ridge and the highest, Mytikas, is 2917 meters or 9570 feet. The standard route ends with a long exposed rock scramble. I decided that it was probably within my abilities but wouldn't know for sure until trying. When the trip went beyond a possibility to a definite plan, I made contact with several of the local people. I contacted a guiding service, a climbing club, and a worker in one of the refuges. My correspondence with these people convinced me that my original idea of climbing in the end of April was likely too early in the season and it would be better to wait until June. I therefore set my window of opportunity for the end of May / beginning of June.

Gettin' dirty in The Grunge
Couloir Gettin' dirty in The Grunge Couloir  by Scott Wesemann

A year ago I stood on the summit ridge of North Timpanogos Peak looking down the Grunge Couloir with my climbing partners, Matt and Sean after coming up from the much tamer Cold Fusion Couloir. As we looked down and watched a few good sized rocks shoot down the steep slopes like missiles we commented that you would have to be crazy to climb that thing. Fast forward a year. Matt and I had been planning a return climb of North Timp via Cold Fusion for a few weeks, but our fickle spring weather had continually thwarted our attempts. We finally had a near perfect forecast and we both had a window where we could squeeze in a climb, so we had a plan… or so we thought.

Matt received a message from another SP member, Dustin about attempting The Grunge Couloir on the same day. I had been hearing stories about the Grunge for a few years now, and while I was definitely intrigued, I was also a little uneasy. I knew it was a steep (60 degree +) slope that was known for its rotten rock and frequent rock fall, and that very few people ever attempt it. The crux of the route is where the rock walls on both sides become very narrow, and all of the falling rock is funneled through. There isn’t any way to get around this because the rock walls are steep and rotten. Adding to my uneasiness was the fact that I had recently read about the route in the book The Chuting Gallery, and I remembered them giving this route an S6 rating. The authors definition of an S6 route in the book says “Slopes continuously steeper than 55 degrees, Painful death from falling highly likely”. I was very apprehensive about it, but Matt talked me into it, and I am glad he did.

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