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Car-to-Car but Very, Very
Far Car-to-Car but Very, Very Far  by MTW

By the light of a bright crescent moon and a few alkaline-powered LEDs, my buddy Nicholas and I departed from the Lupine Meadows trailhead in Grand Teton National Park in the wee-hours of July 27. We were stocked with a full rack of cams and nuts, a few liters of water, enough Clif Bars to feed a small tribe, and unwavering ambition. Our plan was an ascent of the Complete (or Direct) Exum Ridge ( III, 5.7/8, 10 pitches). This uber-classic, known around the world as one of the finest moderate climbs in North America, has stalked me since my arrival in Jackson. Note: This climb, first completed in 1936 by Jack Durrance and Ken Henderson, connects the Lower Exum with the Upper Exum. The upper Exum is named after the famous Tetons mountaineer, Glen Exum. He soloed the Upper ( 5.4) wearing football cleats in July of 1931. He made a famous leap over what is now called "Wall Street," a ledge that traverses from the original route called the Owen-Spalding.

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San Juan Showdown '07 San Juan Showdown '07  by Scott Rogers

Think about it... 10 days, no work and all play, 14 San Juan 14ers, and a brand new Jeep. I was ready to rock and roll on this trip. I had been planning the San Juan Showdown for about 2 months now, when I started talking to some friends about it near the end of the previous semester of school up at CU. Well it turned out that none of my friends could commit to the whole trip, so I was heading out solo. The plan was to climb solo for the first three days, then meet up with Ryk whom I met on 14ers.com. It turned out that my buddy James would join in for the last leg of the trip as well, which was a real bonus.

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Royce Lakes Ramblings Royce Lakes Ramblings  by MoabPeakBagger

A quick trip into the high country was what my soul needed before a long week of meetings. So I headed up to the Royce Lakes Basin. The Basin, with 5 lakes over 11500', is surrounded by fantastic peaks, and makes a great place to base camp and stage from. It is pristine, remote, rugged, off-trail, and very wild. If I'd had more time, further explorations to the north and southeast would have been rewarding.

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"Day Hike" to Gilbert Peak  by seanpeckham

Our original plans were for some sort of backpacking trip somewhere in the Uintas, and as it turned out (you will see), backpacking on this particular route would probably have been a better idea, but Tim, who is on the one hand a marathon runner capable of covering vast distances in a single day, and on the other hand known for packing discouragingly heavy loads on backpacking trips (full of camera and ham radio gear) made what we decided was a convincing case that we could do a Gilbert Peak loop hike in one day as long as we left the trailhead early enough.

With the help of some over-optimistic assumptions that neglected vertical distance and made liberal use of cross-country shortcuts, we estimated a total distance of 17 miles. No problem!

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On top of Tyrol! On top of Tyrol!  by mvs

I love driving through the Alps, and take pains to go different ways each time. It's amazing how many little towns there are in the side valleys. I drove over the Reschenpass, which has a beautiful lake on the Italian side of the border. Though the Ortler was still almost an hour drive from here, I read that it dominates the mountain skyline. The deserted road was my only company as I ticked off the contents of my backpack: crampons, helmet, harness, slings, axe, food. kexp.org podcasts kept me musical company. At the trailhead I whipped out my sleeping bag and set the alarm for one hour hence: 4:15 am. Though the sound of the alarm filled me with mournful disappointment, I obeyed and started my walk at 4:30. A gentle trail took me slowly above the town in long low-angle switchbacks (unusual for the Alps), and I used my "climbers sense" to find and keep a much steeper trail on a hogback ridge. In a scree basin with a ski lift I got my first view of the Ortler, very high above.

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Testing a
new ACL on Snowfield Peak 07-07-2007 Testing a new ACL on Snowfield Peak 07-07-2007  by bacrossman

There was a long list of climbs Jordan and I had on the agenda for this spring and summer, unfortunately I tore my ACL during the winter and I was not able to get out for a climb until last weekend. Snowfield peak was the mountain of Jordan’s choosing and we went with a group of five including Jordan Myself, Ian (Jordan’s Brother), Doug (Jordan’s Father), and Zach (My cousin).

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A Fairytale
Epic on Zowie A Fairytale Epic on Zowie  by Dan Dalton

After a short rest and a slow start, Larissa and I woke at 4:00 a.m., (well, Larissa woke up a little later after some encouragement), grabbed a quick bite to eat, and grabbed our bags that we had packed the evening before. I had not slept very well and was replaying each pitch in my mind. We were both a little sore from bouldering the day before at the Suzuki Boulders with Larissa’s co-workers. This climb had been on my list for a long time and I was super nervous and super anxious. This was to be my first true alpine climb; I had never done any route over three pitches, set up multiple anchors, or been that far away from the car before. I did not tell this to Larissa though, and somehow convinced her to go with me. I’m not saying I was completely unprepared. I had been practicing anchor building at North Table after work and had read, and re-read a book about bomber anchors. The acronym SREN (Safe Redundant Equalized and No Extension) was drilled into my mind. I was comfortable with rope management and had done many multi-pitch climbs before. I had the route sauced and got some beta from a friend and knew that the grade of climbing was much lower than what I normally climb at. Everything would be fine, I had it all planned out. I had just not done anything this long.

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Why they
call 'em the Goat Rocks, and a tale of separation. Why they call 'em the Goat Rocks, and a tale of separation.  by awilsondc

I've had my eye on the Goat Rocks in southern Washington for some time now. My first idea was a solo trip to Cold Lake and a summit of Tieton Peak, but I had to cancel those plans due to bad weather. Two weeks later, a promising forecast, a three day weekend, and partner to share the trip with were enough to finally explore this wonderful area. My main scrambling partner of the last two years and I took a Friday off from work and drove the 3 hours from Portland to the Snowgrass Trailhead. Our plan was to hike trail 96 and cutoff trail 97 to the PCT and make our way to Cispus Basin. From here we would set up camp and scrabmle as many peaks as we could over the weekend. I ended up having my best experience in Washington's mountains so far, and learned some lessons about hydration, route finding, and staying with your partner.

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Seduced by
Chimney Rock Seduced by Chimney Rock  by Alan Ellis

This journey began over Labor Day weekend 2004. At that time, myself, the wife Jackie (Cruzit), and Barry drove out to the Ouray area to climb in the Sneffels range. After getting weathered out, we opted to drive out west of Ridgway, where the prominent Cimarron Ridge and Courthouse Mountain beckoned. As we drove up to Owl Creek pass, a single magnificent tower greeted us. A brief check of the map indicated that we had stumbled on Chimney Rock, a spire which closely resembled Lizard Head Peak. The closer we got to Chimney Rock the more I was attracted to it. The road kept getting closer and closer until we were so close, I could see even the most minor features very clearly. I was mesmerized by the shear beauty of this peak and vowed to find out more about it. All we talked about on the way home was Chimney Rock and if it could be climbed. Surely there was lots of info on climbing this magnificent mountain.

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Rainier -- Remove the
asterisk! (DC) Rainier -- Remove the asterisk! (DC)  by TheBootfitter

I met Ian through our common interest in bootfitting via participation in an online backpacking discussion forum. We had a few differences of opinion, but I knew immediately that Ian was an individual worthy of respect. After exchanging several ideas electronically, Ian and I had an opportunity to meet face-to-face when my wife Laura and I visited my brother in Ian’s home territory of Virginia.

We met for a day of top-roping at a local D.C. area crag. Since it was one of my first outdoor rock climbing experiences, I paid close attention to how Ian set anchors and was impressed by his rope handling skills. I felt comfortable with Ian. I trusted his experience and his judgment. And from that day forward he became a sort of virtual mentor in my pursuit of climbing experience.

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