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Stealing One on San
Gorgonio Stealing One on San Gorgonio  by shknbke

I was out in CA for the third straight year for a short work trip and decided to take advantage of it again by hitting another county highpoint. San Gorgonio is high on many highpointer lists as it not only is the highest mountain in the L.A. area, but also in all of southern California. It checks in at #6 on the lower 48 prominence list, bested only by Rainier, Whitney, Shasta, Elbert, and San Jacinto. My dad's family lived in Redlands & San Bernadino at the base of this monarch, so this peak had some family ties for me. My friend Bruno Lucidarme from summitpost hiked mighty Baldy with me last Dec and had hoped to join me for San Gorgonio, but work demands kept him from joining me on a Monday. We decided to do a warmup hike in the San Gabriels on Sunday after I arrived, so ranked 8er Waterman was on the agenda as it is a short hike with good views.

A GPS can
be helpful (if batteries are powerful) A GPS can be helpful (if batteries are powerful)  by Nikman

It snowed a lot during week nr. 50 and when I checked the weather forecast on Wednesday a high pressure zone was proposed for northern Europe. The result was very low temperatures right after fresh snowfall. Fog, mist and clouds built up in lower areas, but blue skies could be found in the mountains.

Harwood via Holtgrefe Ridge Mount Harwood via Holtgrefe Ridge  by Schuetzenweber

Holtgrefe Ridge runs up the Northeastern approach to Mount Harwood via Stockton Flat and Lytle Creek. The total elevation gain was approximately 3,472 feet to the Summit elevation of 9,552 feet over a horizontal distance of just under 2 miles. In the thumbnail image above you can clearly see it rising up to the North of the Devil's Backbone Trail.

Damavand - South Face - July
2007 Damavand - South Face - July 2007  by werner31

I took a guide, named Hussein (I can really recommend him, he has climbed Damavand more that 500 times and seems to know everything about the mountain and everybody passing by en route) via "Araz", a Teheran-based operator. Hussein picked me up at 4 am. in the morning from Khomenei Intl. Airport in Tehran. After stocking-up food for the next 5 days in Tehran, we set out for Damavand. With Hussein's adventureous (but average Iranian) driving style, which was in fact more dangerous than the entire climb, it took us about 3 hours to reach Reyneh, the village on the south side of the mountain. From the village a gravel road turns left and it is another 30 min. drive up to the base camp at Goosfand Sara (2.900 mts.). Goosfand Sara consists of a mosque, a concrete shelter without any glass in the windows (gets quite chilly at night) and some tents from local shepards. A USD 50 charge is levied there by the Iranian Mountaineering Association for climbing Damavand (most people are not aware of this). As the weather on the first day was quite foggy and cold, we didn't do much more than hanging around in the tent of a sheperd.


The program was arranged by the Iranian Alpine club. Like most other trips Ive had we were not quite sure that this one would happen. Just two days before the program my friend called and said it was fixed. All three of us from Tonekabon were so busy at the time, doing the harvest season job beside all other daily works. But nothing can keep you home when there is a good program arranged,right? So we left Tonekabon and met the rest of the team in Tehran. We were on a trip now!

Marooned in
The Annapurna Wilderness Marooned in The Annapurna Wilderness  by vancouver islander

Sunday, October 21, at about 12.15pm. The group is climbing steep but routine terrain. Without warning, without a slip or a misstep, pain like a knife blade in my left knee and I collapse in agony on the ground.

I knew immediately what had happened. I’d torn my medial meniscus. I couldn’t walk; I could barely even stand. Based on previous experience I was going to need surgery.

Just another case of Murphy’s law? Rather more than that I’m afraid. This particular dose of merde had chosen to make itself manifest at 4,300 metres halfway up to one of the most remote passes in the Himalaya, almost five days travel from the nearest village over some 5,500 metres of total ascent. There was no running away from the fact that this was a serious situation.

Canyoneering in Great Falls
of the Fox Canyoneering in Great Falls of the Fox  by Augie Medina

Eight of us gathered on a clear Monday morning at a trailhead off Big Tujunga Road, ½ mile southwest of the junction with Angeles Forest Highway. We sorted and inventoried needed gear and were off by 7:30 a.m. We hiked down into Big Tujunga Canyon along the Fall Creek Fire Road hitting the canyon bottom in less than 2 miles. There was lots more fire road before we hit our jump-off point from the fire road, an intermittent use trail snaking down and up through the dry San Gabriel chaparral.

Tour de Southwest Tour de Southwest  by breagen

As a student at Iowa State University I don't many opportunities to get on anything that could be considered a mountain without a lot of effort. This tends to create difficulties due to the fact that being outside climbing a mountain is absolutely my favorite thing in the world to do. Even climbing in the midwest is hard for me to do. The closest thing I have is a small limestone crag 2 hours away. So almost every weekend I am on the road with my climbing partners, heading for Minnesota, Arkansas or South Dakota. Long drives through the night, lots of money for gas and the constant threat of not getting my school work done. All this I do just for a day or two on the rock. Its how I am living my life right now, and I'm content at least. But as the end of the school year in 2007 came around I wanted to get out and see mountains that I haven't yet seen. Thus the Tour de SW was conceived. It would be an epic tour starting in Phoenix, traveling south to north up the Sierra Nevada and ending in Salt Lake. I was joined by two close friends who are more hikers than climbers but our team was strong, our moral was high, and we were heading west to live free for three weeks in our new home of the mountains.

The Healing
Power of Mountains The Healing Power of Mountains  by johnloguk

5am, Sunday July 20th, 1986, was the absolute low point of my life. My first wife Gill died suddenly in her sleep. We knew she was ill, but the doctors suspected it was the onset of epilepsy, which is emmintently treatable. Sadly it turned out to be a weak blood vessel in her brain, which could have given out at any time in her life, and which would never have been spotted by any scans.

The next two weeks were, and still are, a total blur. But I remember finding out the real meaning of family, and true friends were everywhere when I needed them, and well out of the way when I wanted to be alone. I slowly managed to get back into the daily grind of work, and there is something to be said for boring routine when you are recovering from a huge trauma. But this sort of thing scars you for life, and even 21 years later there are things and places that are painful to re-visit.

Three days off sentence Three days off sentence  by kamil

The sound of my alarm-clock abruptly transfers me from dream to reality. From a bad dream, something about work. To bad reality. Another working day ahead. Hey, wait a moment... I’m lying in my sleeping bag on the reclining seat of the rented Opel Corsa. Yeah, I’m in Bulgaria.

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