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Polar Circus - A Canadian
Rockies Classic Polar Circus - A Canadian Rockies Classic  by AJones

“Did you put the ropes in the truck?”
“No, didn’t you?”
So ended our first attempt at Polar Circus in March 2006.

The ice-climbing season in the winter of 2007 was progressing very nicely, with the overall goal of climbing Polar Circus sometime in early March shaping up good. Ice climbing took a decidedly back seat, however, when my wife gave birth on March 7th two and a half months prematurely. Three months in the Neo-natal Intensive Care Unit make you realize climbing is not that important.

So in March 2008, with a healthy one year old baby at home, my long-time climbing partner and good friend Greg and I were hoping to be able to finally get this climb done. For those who may not know, Polar Circus is probably one of the best known ice climbing routes in the world – people literally come from all over the globe to have a chance to climb this route. It’s a very long route consisting of 8-10 pitches (depending on where you start) of grade 4-5 ice and has a distinctly alpine ambiance. There is extreme avalanche danger from the huge snow bowls that drain from the climb, so picking the right day is paramount for a successful ascent.

Unspeakable Day in the Wasatch Mountains: Photo Trip Report. An Unspeakable Day in the Wasatch Mountains: Photo Trip Report.  by marauders

Considered a Wasatch classic climb, the south ridge of Mt. Superior lies directly north of the Snowbird Ski Resort. In the summer, the south ridge is a spectacular climb, which is mostly 4th class and a few sections of low 5th class rated at 5.3. Under snow cover, the route becomes more challenging as you climb 55-60 degree snow, negotiate cornices that swallow the ridge proper, and search diligently for good protection. Overall the ridge is a magnificent climb in superb surroundings. This one comes highly recommended!

Aconcagua 2008 picture trip
report Aconcagua 2008 picture trip report  by Mathias Zehring

Okay – this is not the first trip report about Aconcagua normal route. But I have taken some nice pictures that I hope you will like. So I will the story by pictures. I'd rather do this by a slide show, but sadly it's not possible to give an order to pictures besides points

The trip was an organized one from December 22nd to January 14th – by the German company Adventure Train, that I can recommend warmly – everything worked well, and it was cheaper than other companies. Therefore we did not get full meals all the time at basecamp but prepare some ourselves with the camping stove – no problem but a good exercise for the high camp.

Grizzly Peak Winter Hike Grizzly Peak Winter Hike  by Roam Around

Over the days leading up to the weekend, I found myself looking around the front range for something fun and challenging to do but I didn't really have time in my schedule for an overnight trip. I came across the Grizzly Peak page on summitpost and it sounded like a safe but fun winter outing. It was pretty easy to find a couple of friends to go along so we gathered up and left from Loveland Pass at about 8:15 am under cloudless blue skies and mild temps (the thermometer said 6, but it sure felt a lot warmer under the bright sun).

Sunshine and Redcloud Winter
Ascents Sunshine and Redcloud Winter Ascents  by maverick

There was a neat forecast for Saturday, 20% Snow during the day followed by 4” late on Saturday from the storm system that was blowing in on Sunday… pretty good in the grand scheme of things. Moderate avalanche danger was predicted by the CAIC for all Northern San Juan aspects and elevations. I met the Jamies (and Crestone, their semi-evil trash-talking bear) at the Fort at 6:15PM and we drove down to Lake City together. We stopped at the Gunnison Taco Bell for a small meal and reached the Alpine Moose motel at 11:30PM where Sarah was waiting for us after her 5000’, 15 mile ‘warm-up’ run up some 13ers in the area. We went to bed planning on a 6:30 start.

Snow Creek
Solo Climb - Mar 2, 2008 Snow Creek Solo Climb - Mar 2, 2008  by Rick Kent

I couldn't get Snow Creek out of my mind last weekend so I decided to head up for a solo dayclimb on Sunday. After having spent most of my time canyoneering over the past 6 months I was ready to get back to some mountaineering. I had done Snow Creek once before with Rick Graham two years ago. That occaision was also a dayhike and I recall it was an extremely strenuous day which took around 16 hours to summit and descend down to the tram. It's probably more often done as a 2 day climb.

Winter on
Kelso Winter on Kelso  by Kiefer

As far as winter summits go, I still needed Grays Peak snowy neighbor, Torreys Peak. Having battled a bad case of pneumonia and as the doctor said, A touch of the flu all last week, my plans were once again forcibly changed and pushed back to as yet another undetermined time. However, with all things being equal in light of frequent cancellations and attempts this winter season, Torreys Peak, as Jeff and myself would successfully summit on Thursday via Kelso Ridge, is definitely the highpoint of my winter climbing season though strangely enough, not the most fun. That honor belongs to Fletcher. This would turn out to be Jeffs second winter summit (second time on Torreys) and second time up Kelso Ridge and my third time up Kelso Ridge and third time on Torreys.

Snicker Power Snicker Power  by Dennis Poulin

After climbing Pinto Peak on Saturday, February 9, I headed down into Death Valley on my way to Pyramid Peak. It was a beautiful warm day and I stopped at the Furnace Creek Visitor Center to look at their hiking books. I found a couple that I couldnt live without and then continued on towards the trailhead. I wanted to climb the standard route from the southeast as described by the Sierra Club Desert Peaks Section. There isnt much of a parking area at the trailhead and the highway is kind of busy. I wanted to car camp nearby, so I drove east on Hwy 190 about mile east and parked in an old abandoned trailer park that is south of the highway. I ate dinner and prepared my stuff for the hike in the morning. No one hassled me in the old trailer park and I got a good nights sleep.

An Enchainment for a Weekend
Warrior An Enchainment for a Weekend Warrior  by AJones

After numerous weeks of 30 below weather, the flu, and various other lame excuses, Greg and I finally got another good day of ice climbing in last weekend (Feb 24/08).

As many climbers know, the cool thing to do these days is an “enchainment” – in other words, climb a number of big routes on the same day. These types of feats, usually performed by mutant strong, full time climbers, often end up featured in climbing magazines. For example, Peter Croft is well-known for an enchainment in the Bugaboos where he climbed a route (solo) on each of the Howser, Crescent, Snowpatch and Bugaboo spires – to give you an idea of what an athletic feat that is; his day represented over 40 pitches of sustained alpine climbing, not including the hiking between each spire. Two years ago, a European couple visiting Jasper Park climbed “Polar Circus”, “Slipstream” and “Curtain Call”, all in a day (about 20 pitches of ice). Each one of these ice climbs are plums in themselves, but to do all three in a day, is simply inconceivable to me.

Winter Ascent of South
Thunder Winter Ascent of South Thunder  by ZeeJay

Four of us set out at 7:15 AM from Alpine, Utah at the end of Aspen Drive, elevation 5400', Dave, Lana, Michael, and myself. Our goal was the summit of South Thunder, elevation 11,154', 5.5 miles and 5700 vertical feet away. This would be my 10th trip to the summit. With nice crystal clear skies we had perfect conditions. The previous few days had been sunny and warm resulting in a nice solid crust on our southern exposure ascent.

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