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Ski tour to Hinterer
Brochkogel Ski tour to Hinterer Brochkogel  by Sebastian Hamm

Since some weeks I have had email-contact with SP-member Nikman (Niklas) a well experienced mountaineer from Gerlingen near Stuttgart in Germany. We arranged to do some ski tours in April and May. We planned two ski-trips to Berner Oberland (Fiescherhörner) and Saas Fee (Rimpfischhorn and Alphubel) including sleeping in a tent on the glacier. Getting to know each other I thought about a small ski tour to Tyrol. The only problem we had was that we had only one day with nice weather and this was Saturday. So it had to be a one-day ascent on a nice mountain! A high mountain! Because, the whole week before was very hot and the snow melted away. The search for a good aim was short. PITZTAL GLACIER! WILDSPITZE or HINTERER BROCHKOGEL. Both summits are one of the highest in Austria and are reachable within 2,5 hours by using the cable-car to Pitztaler Glacier Ski Resort. PERFECT! I had done Wildspitze last year, so I suggested Niklas to do Hinterer Brochkogel via the North-Ridge. As a passionate Swiss-Mountaineer he never did a alpine ascent in the Eastern Alps before. So this trip would be the best thing to show him the beauty of the Eastern Alps. Climbing a very nice ridge on the fifth highest mountain of Austria with a fantastic view to Wildspitze and Weisskugel the second and third highest summits of Austria. After that a 2 hours ski descent through the Taschach-valley with its wild icefalls. This sounded fine. We had a deal!

Perspectives From A Newbie -
“Top O Texas” Perspectives From A Newbie - “Top O Texas”  by Alaska Mt Man

3:30 am – We just had a time change to spring backwards or forwards or something – it sure is early to be getting up. I think it might be a good idea to hit snooze and sleep a while longer. Oh well, up and at em. I pile into the car and head west on I20 toward Van Horn. After fueling up and getting some water and food, I head North on highway 54 to get to Guadalupe Mountains National Park. The route is well marked, even 60 miles away. I stop to relieve myself and notice how clear the morning sky is here – I can see so many stars. 7:30 am – I arrive at Guadalupe National Park. After checking the visitor’s center and seeing it is closed until 8 am, I decide to head to the trailhead. After signing in the hiker’s log, I strap up and head up the trail at 8 am.

Breaking Trail on Whiteface Breaking Trail on Whiteface  by rasgoat

Going to the mountains in the winter is a new experience for me. When I'm there, I find that same feeling come over me as when I was a child playing in the snow in the backyard. I guess these days I realize that I just need a bigger backyard. On this trip, the backyard was the Adirondacks. After a succesful ascent of Skylight and Marcy with nartreb in January and another summit of North Kearsarge in February with treehuggr, I was eager to get back out there. Maybe a little more challenge this time, I thought to myself... A challenge is just what I got! My buddy Paul and I had been trying to get out on some mountain trips for a while. After getting clearance from my better half to go away for the weekend, I gave Paul a call on a Wednesday night. Lets go! I told him. This was short notice and he needed clearance also. By Friday we had a plan. It was going to be the Dack's, either Dix or Whiteface. We'll figure it out on the trip up we decided.

Chimney, First Winter Ascent Winter Chimney, First Winter Ascent  by travelin_light

The idea sprouted two years ago during an ascent of Galen Rowell’s classic Winter Route in April 2005. While battling through snow, ice and rock for 3000 feet, we were intrigued by a steep corner system to the right. From our vantage point, it looked like it might be dripping with ice. Not possible in the Sierras…..right? Charles and I didn’t make it back to the South Face that winter, and that summer the line was climbed by the prolific Tuttle Creek first ascent duo of Joe Lemay and Miguel Carmona. The two stormed the route, making the first ascent in a 15.5 hour car to car dash, and christening it the Winter Chimney (IV 5.8). Upon hearing the news of the first ascent, we were both disappointed. But the feeling soon lifted. Yes, the Winter Chimney had been climbed – but not yet in winter.

A Winter
Wonderland A Winter Wonderland  by Gangolf Haub

I am not a skier, in fact I actually kinda hate the sport and so I generally avoid the mountains in the wintertime. “Hüttenzauber” (binge drinking) or loud Volksmusik echoing across ski runs and mountain slopes, overcrowded parking lots and traffic jams during the approach to the ski resorts – I can live very well without them. Thus, I rarely see mountains covered with snow and ice unless it is a glacier which survived the whole year well into early autumn. Yes - I do have my prejudices. But then – late last year – the management of our company decided to stage an incentive team building event in Oberstdorf – in the middle of the Allgäu Alps on March 8th and 9th. Obviously I didn’t complain and hoping for a decent weather forecast I booked an additional day for whatever activity might be called for. There had not been much snow in the German Alps so far and I thought I might get a chance for a good hike – I was dreaming of the Rubihorn – Gaisalphorn ridge traverse and an ascent along the Nebelhorn west ridge. But things turned out quite different – though the weather couldn’t have been better. The following TR mainly deals with Sunday morning, March 11th 2007 but in the context of the whole teambuilding weekend.

'Matterhorn in Winter Tastes
Bittersweet' 'Matterhorn in Winter Tastes Bittersweet'  by brade

Climbing Matterhorn in winter… a dream or a nightmare, or both at the same time - the most beautiful combination of fear and ecstasy. To the list of our most idiotic ideas (climbing Mont Blanc wearing jeans, Grossglockner with broken arm, staying 3 weeks in Alps without tent while making eight 4000m peaks solo, hitchhiking 3 days to spend few hours on the glacier and then go back…) we can finally add “Hornligrat in winter”. Stories like this one needs to crystallize until they are ready to tell. We needed to go through it many times before we were sure how it really was. That took us one year: we did not make it to the top of the mountain… we did get to the top of ourselves. This is the TR of what you can meet climbing Matterhorn in winter.

Kilimanjaro:Rongai Route:To the Roof of Africa Kilimanjaro:Rongai Route:To the Roof of Africa  by shknbke

Ever since I was a kid, I have been fascinated by someday climbing Kilimanjaro. My wife has pushed me the last few years to fulfill that dream, and the financial resources were finally there to live it. I didn’t decide to pull the trigger until October, so the hunt was on to find somebody to go with me. After a few weeks of fruitless invites, my friends John and Kathy Mitchler were seriously interested as long as Kathy’s brother Tim from Cambridge, MA could make it. After a yes from Tim, we booked a trek with Zara Travel (www.zaratravel.com). We would not regret this decision as our guides were great for a very competitive price.

number 1 & Kaoon Peaks (Dokhaharan Expedition Part II of VI) Sesang number 1 & Kaoon Peaks (Dokhaharan Expedition Part II of VI)  by nader

My guide Salim and I had been very tired last night and had slept at 8:00 p.m. (in our tent at the 3650 m, 12000 ft Lehra Saddle). I woke up around 1:00 a.m. and was then just tossing and turning in my sleeping bag. I could see the moon light through the tent. It began to lighten up at around 4:30 a.m. Salim got up after 5 a.m. to do his prayers. I had earlier obtained his permission to film him while he prayed. At that moment, however, filming him felt very awkward. In the end, I did film him for a few seconds. For his morning prayers, he puts a white shawl which has a few blue stripes on it around his neck. He also uses three cubes that have Hebrew writings on them and have long leather straps. He attaches two of the cubes to his forearms and puts the third one over his forehead (just like a headlamp) and then reads his pocket size Torah whispering it to himself.

Grossglockner - Me: 2:0 Grossglockner - Me: 2:0  by julesblaidd

I think I don't have to introduce this mountain to anybody who a little bit interested in Alps. This is the highest mountain in Austria with its 3798m. I think it is one of the most beautiful places in the European mountain-world. Unfortunatelly it is known by a lot of people so this mountain is very-very popular. You can find many refuges all around the region and you can find some routes to the summit of Grossglockner. The easiest normal route is harder than common normal routes. Okay it's not a mission impossible but not an easy one. This challenge calls a lot of mountaineers mostly in the summer and early autumn season. This mountain is more overcrowded than Mont Blanc's Gôuter route in season. That's why I chose another time to climb this mountain. As the title said Glockner leads the match with two goals. Let me tell you my story of my failures. :-)

in West Texas Wandering in West Texas  by mrwsierra

Burdened with a Southwest frequent flier ticket, I couldn’t bear the thought of not using it right away. My solution was to take a trip to the desert country of West Texas, coined by one author as “the most Texan part of Texas.” Just about every outdoor hiker/backpacker – even the Texans I’ve talked to – knows about Big Bend but invariably has not been there because it’s too far from everywhere in Western civilization. Undaunted by such claims of legendary remoteness, I decided that I was just the man for the job.

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