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Tannheimer climbing Tannheimer climbing  by mvs

Josef and I were tired of the cold, rainy weather hanging over the northern alps for so many weeks. We had a clearing forecast for Saturday, so we drove out to the Tannheimer Mountains where we hoped for snow-free rock climbing in the sun. Everything "interesting" above 1800 meters or so seemed to be snowcovered, and it was unseasonably cold for September.

We wanted to combine the Schusterführe Route with the upper part of the Südpfeiler. That would be provide 8 pitches, several of which would be pretty hard for us (grade VI+, or about 5.10b YDS). We climbed the first two pitches without trouble, but even as the weak sun was warming us up, clouds came streaming in from the west. Josef tried to puzzle out grade VI traversing moves on the third pitch even as I was shivering at the belay. He gave up, so I went to try, but got stuck at the same place. Now my fingers were frozen and going numb. Curses!

my California 14ers Finishing my California 14ers  by jimegan

At 1 am on 9/26/08, Mike Brooks and I left Las Vegas heading to Big Pine, CA to attempt my final two California 14ers. A month previously we had done a highly successful trip to Dusy Basin and climbed three of the most difficult peaks in the Palisades and it looked like this could be the final chance to reach my goal before winter hits the mountains.

We reached the trailhead at Glacier Lodge about 6:30 am after stopping and securing a campsite nearby and headed up the N Fork of Big Pine creek. Since we were attempting to complete the climb as a day hike, this approach seemed the most likely to result in success. It has been estimated that this route which goes by Sam Mack meadows and up the Glacier Notch is about 20 miles roundtrip and over 6,600’ elevation gain.

Minaret Traverse in Two
Days Minaret Traverse in Two Days  by lavaka

My friend Booth had just finished his Dental school entrance exams, and was coming down from Seattle to LA for a few days. I was taking Thur and Fri off from work for climbing, and then we'd meet college friends in San Francisco on the weekend. We didn't have two full days because our plan was to pick up my girlfriend from SFO on Friday night (in retrospect, not our best idea).

So my question: what to climb with Booth? It was easy to narrow it down to ridges. We are both technical climbers, but are far from being Astroman-capable hardmen, so we never gave second thought to routes like "Positive Vibrations" and its ilk. And since Booth grew up in the Cascades, he doesn't think much of our quaint Sierra snow and ice routes. Ridges are the only type of route that fit our style well. Booth has uncanny scrambling abilities and is comfortable with loose rock, while I... I take a lot of pictures, so that I have an excuse whenever Booth tells me to hurry up.

The Truro
Group: Not Your Typical Sawatch Slog The Truro Group: Not Your Typical Sawatch Slog  by shknbke

With summer scrambling season drawing to a close, we were looking to squeeze in one more long day before significant snow comes. We tossed around a few ideas late in the week and came up with a group of 13ers in the Sawatch west of Indy Pass near centennial Grizzly. These peaks are relatively unheard of, but they are not your typical Sawatch talus heaps. These peaks offer some fine scrambling, although there is some loose rock to deal with. These gems reminded me more of scrambling in the Elks, although not quite so loose.

We met late Friday evening and car camped along the Lincoln Creek road where Galena Creek meets Lincoln Creek at 10960' north of Grizzly Reservoir. I arrived just 20 minutes before Pete and Dominic while Sarah already hit the sack after hitting Silver King and 13462 earlier in the day. This is the same drainage that is used to access Grizzly. The road is suitable for 2WD to Grizzly Resorvoir, but beyond that you will need 4WD. It is a pretty mellow 4WD road and my Santa Fe did fine.

Henrys Fork + Cliff Point :
One busy day Henrys Fork + Cliff Point : One busy day  by Moogie737

Leaving Cottonwood Heights in Salt Lake City at 4 a.m. sounds crazy, and maybe it is. But with a solid 2.5+ hours of driving just to reach the Henrys Fork TH ahead of us, we had to plan so as to reach the beginning point of the hike shortly before sunrise. We made it. Total actual driving time was two hours and thirty-five minutes, and we were not slacking when it came to holding the speed limit. The oil-covered dirt/gravel roads south of Mountain View were startlingly drivable.

Ski Gems in Williams Lake
Basin Ski Gems in Williams Lake Basin  by scotthsu

Amy, PJ, Sarah, and I decided on a late spring backcountry ski trip to the southern reaches of Williams Lake Basin in the Wheeler Peak Wilderness of the NM Sangre de Cristo Mountains. We ran into Kerry of Albuquerque in the parking lot, and he joined us for the day. We skinned up the Williams Lake trail and headed SW through the trees at the rise just north of the lake. Our first objective of the day was to ski a prominent NE facing couloir below an unnamed point on the ridgeline between Lake Fork Peak (tied for 5th highest ranked peak in NM) and UN 12819 (9th highest ranked peak in NM). UN 12819 is also known as Sin Nombre (No Name). Then we headed for the NW slope of UN 12819 and skied it twice, before heading back out for cold beer waiting in the car. Our total roundtrip distance was ~7 miles with a total elevation climbed of ~4000'. Our total car-to-car time was ~6.5 hours.

Mountain Tumbledown Mountain  by imzadi

It was pretty "technical" (no, not like rock climbing technical...). Once we got to the top, and saw "Fat Man's Misery", it was "oh BOY!! Can we do this?"! There was a group of four a head of us and we watched how they had done this. It is a squeeze...and you need to twist yourself, but, the rungs are a great help. This pictures is good in that is shows how you kind of twist yourself.

Gannett Peak - A Climb by
Older Geezers Gannett Peak - A Climb by Older Geezers  by Moogie737

Knowing that we had a full day ahead of us we arose early, fixed our breakfast, ate, broke up camp and drove the car down to the trailhead parking lot. It was nearly full, cars displaying licenses from many neighboring states. By all indications the Wind River Range was a very popular destination, and it would turn out that we would meet at least a hundred campers, adventurers and backpackers before our 4-day stay in the wilderness was over.

Brent figured that it would take us “about nine hours” to reach our pre-determined camping spot at the north end of Upper Titcomb Lake. The distance to this point, depending upon the map one used, was a minimum of sixteen miles. I did not stop to think about just what it might feel like to carry a 55-pound pack up and down and over and around for a distance of sixteen miles; had I done so, I might have put a halt to the attempt right then and there. But Brent was the mentor, I the student. So let’s get the show on the road!

Solitude on Baker Holiday Solitude on Baker  by oso1212

Jess Rowe and I decided to team up again a week after our successful Mt. Rainier trip. This time the target was Mt. Baker and possibly Mt. Shuksan the day after. Once again Jess, being from the area, took care of the logistics and all I had to do was show up. I rented a car in Hood River, OR on Friday around noon and left to pick Jess up in Toppenish, WA. After a brief stop in Yakima at Pacific River and Alpine Sports for a couple of items we were off. The driving was a little unnerving because of the heavy rain and cold temperatures on the way in Seattle. I wasn’t too concerned about getting snowed on a little, because that was in the forecast, but a full out blizzard was not something either of us were looking forward to. Night arrived as we left Seattle, and we rolled into Bellingham around 9 pm on Friday. We fueled up and after a short argument with the burnout behind the register about the status of the bathrooms we headed out for the Ranger Station at the base of Mt. Baker. We signed in and moved up to the approach trail leading to the Coleman – Upper Deming Glacier route. We rearranged our packs, drank water, ate food, and set up our bivy’s a few steps into the forest from the car. By this time it was already 11pm and our planned wakeup time of 1 am seemed a little too painful. So, giving our selves a huge break I set my alarm for 1:30 am.

Into Deep Water in the Mono Recesses Getting Into Deep Water in the Mono Recesses  by Sierra Ledge Rat

The Mono Recesses are four hanging valleys above Mono Creek. At the head of each Recess is a glacial cirque. In addition to being a very scenic region of the High Sierra, they are easily reached via the high trailhead in Little Lakes Valley and Mono Pass.

There was a heavy snow pack that year and we were often up to our necks in water – literally. The creeks were raging. The meadows were flooded. There was snow melt everywhere. Perhaps because of the heavy snow pack that year we did not see another soul during our entire trip. So close to the road yet so isolated, this is a very beautiful region of the High Sierra.

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