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An 18 Hour Day On Eldorado
Peak An 18 Hour Day On Eldorado Peak  by gimpilator

Inspired by Steph Abegg's recent trip report, EastKing and I started discussing the possibility of heading up to Eldorado ourselves to give the mountain our best shot. Eldorado has been on my to do list for a few years now but I've felt a little trepidation about that famous knife edge finish to the summit. Seeing Steph's photograph of the unusually wide east ridge settled things in my mind. I wanted to climb this peak while the upper reaches were covered in fresh snow. We decided If we got another break in the weather. Eldorado would be our goal. We hoped to do this trip the last weekend in February but with increasing avalanche danger we went to North Chiwaukum and Middle Chiwaukum instead. Fortunately, the following weekend provided the weather we had hoped for and also very low avalanche danger. Leaving my house at 1130pm Friday night, we drove to the trailhead. I knew that most people did Eldorado as a two day climb to break up the 6700+ feet of vertical gain. But I felt confident that with an early enough start, we could do it in a day. There would be six of us making two rope teams of 3 for crossing the Eldorado Glacier and the Inspiration Glacier.

If at First You Don't
Succeed . . . If at First You Don't Succeed . . .  by PellucidWombat

The route seemed simple enough. As Tom Bennett and I were both plenty fit and broken in for the season, chomping at the bit as we were, we decided to have a quick little jaunt up Sargents Ridge on Mount Shasta to ring in the New Year. The plan was to drive up Friday, climb the ridge and make camp on a narrow section of the ridge at 10,000 ft (for the practice and fun of camping on steeper terrain) and then summit and descend on Saturday for a short weekend climb.

I had summitted Shasta for my second time the previous year via Casaval Ridge, and apart from the Catwalk being fairly airy I found the route finding straightforward and the climbing not too hard. Scenic, yes, but it was mostly a lot of traversing and slogging on 40 degree slopes with a few 50 degree cruxes. Most route references I saw rated Sargents/Green Butte Ridge easier or no harder than Casaval Ridge, so we expected the route to be a straightforward 1.5 day climb for us, even in the middle of winter.

We were in for a surprise.

destination that must not be named - Sas dla Porta The destination that must not be named - Sas dla Porta  by Gangolf Haub

A few days into our September 2009 vacation we decided to head for the Prags / Braies Dolomites. The idea was to start at Pragser Wildsee / Lago di Braies and hike a long loop across the Foses Plateau to Großer Roßkofel / Campo Cavallo and Herrenstein / Sasso del Signore the loop was to end at the Apostles before returning to the lake. We set out in perfect weather very early in the morning. From our base at Sexten / Sesto we had to drive for half an hour before reaching the tollbooth at the lake. Though it was not yet 8 a.m. we already had to pay the 3€ parking fee and decided that we would be getting much more from it than the regular camera toting tourist as we would leave the car there for the whole day. It was bitter cold and we left in a hurry to warm-up during the hike.

The Battle
to Summit North and Middle Chiwaukum The Battle to Summit North and Middle Chiwaukum  by EastKing

Well it was 10 pm on Saturday and everyone was wondering what mountain to do. We originally were looking at doing Eldorado due to a number of absolutely incredible trip reports coming from the summit, but with a recent storm that came through the area and dumped a foot of snow on the mountain and the avalanche danger raised to considerable, Eldorado was knocked off the list. So which peak should be do next. Well after a lot of debate we agreed upon Middle Chiwaukum. Josh, Mike and I were familiar with this summit three weeks before when we fell short of the summit Middle Chiwaukum and settled for Point 7132 (North Chiwaukum as I discovered later). From North Chiwaukum we just stared at the summit of Middle Chiwaukum and stared in the defeat of the mighty mountain. For us this was a rematch of the mountain.

Eldorado Peak (winter
climb) Eldorado Peak (winter climb)  by StephAbegg

We woke up early to melt snow, spend 20 minutes shoving our feet into frozen boots, and take photos of a brilliant winter sunrise. Then, we climbed to the summit of Eldorado, which took less than 1 hour from high camp. The summit ridgeline was much more rounded than the nearly-knife-edge snow arete it is in the summer. I'm not sure if this is typical of winter vs summer conditions, or if on some years winter conditions can be corniced and sharper. We enjoyed the great views and marveled at the continuing spring-like weather, and then began the long slog to the car. There were some cool formations in the snow to keep us entertained on the slog out.

Old Chute
2010 Winter Ascent Old Chute 2010 Winter Ascent  by Holk

Delirium had set itself amongst my brother Isaac and I while climbing around Devils Kitchen. It was the beginning of last autumn with no beta for our climb, and worse no experience. We were far from being suitable mountaineers, but while sliding downward on car sized rock slabs near Crater Rock we weren’t pretending to be either. Our only prior exposure on such terrain was limited to childhood climbs in Oakridge and a select few summits. We had to bail. That day presented two great realizations. First, to not climb without having at least some solid beta is idiocy and that preparing one’s own safety, as much another’s, cannot be over achieved. Second, as miserable and drudging a day it had become it also stemmed a great desire in Isaac to begin climbing mountains. Thus the dream began and over the next Four months preparations were made to attempt another summit during a better season.

Pirineos: Success and Situational Changes Los Pirineos: Success and Situational Changes  by alexbuck

27 Dec 09 – 2300 EST
Location: Somewhere over the Atlantic

Last night, I took the overnight bus from Norfolk to New York City. My time in Norfolk was great. I got to spend quality time with my family, see some friends and played in the annual Boxing Day golf tournament. All in all, it was a great week. Eventually, though, it was time for me to catch that bus at 11PM on the 26th and start my next adventure.

A Tale of
Seven Summits A Tale of Seven Summits  by Bombchaser

Having failed on my South Sister climb, and not having very many peaks for the year I decided to do a multi-peak climb. I decided to climb Iron Mountain, Cone Peak, South Peak, Echo Mountain, and North Peak. The weather has been mild and most of the snow is above 5,000 feet. I had actually assumed there would not be a lot of snow on any of these peaks, except north slopes. I planned to summit all of these within one day and move fast. My pack loaded up weighed in at twenty-three pounds. I decided to pack snowshoes just in case snow was deeper than expected. The plan was to park at the Iron Mountain trailhead, summit Iron Mountian, then come back down to the trial and on around to Cone Peak. Beyond that would be the other three peaks, and then I would have to re-summit Echo Mountain and South Peak. With my route mapped out, gear loaded, I would set out early in the morning.

Mount McKinley (Denali)
2009 Mount McKinley (Denali) 2009  by hora

Once again, my wife Viera gave me wonderful anniversary gift, a permission to climb “normal” mountain somewhere in the world… Originally we were planning to visit Saint Elias mountain range in Alaska which borders with Wrangell Mountains. Our goal was to climb Mt. Bona 5005 m (16,421 ft) and Mt.Churchill 4767m (15638 ft). These are quite remote peaks, so we were hoping that we could join some other expedition and be safer that way. Our decision got also complicated by eruption of Mount Redoubt volcano in March 2009 which brought some uncertainty regarding flying to Anchorage. After having discussion with mountain guide from the American Alpine Institute in Bellingham, WA state, we decided to try Mount McKinley. His main point was that this mountain is not as dangerous as many people think and in addition, there are many climbers who may help in case of emergency, also climbing route is well marked, 50 degree steep section of the Headwall is secured with two fixed ropes (one to go up and one to go down), access to Denali Pass is well secured as well with snow anchors used for running belay and lastly, rangers are permanently stationed at two locations, at the Base Camp and at the Basin Camp (Camp#4). Lot of useful information can be found on the Summit Post web site (http://www.summitpost.org/mountain/rock/150199/mount-mckinley-denali.html ).

Scottish Towers Scottish Towers  by nattfodd

5:30. Both our alarms go off at the same moment. I had just found something resembling sleep in the decidedly not so comfortable bivy bag, but, excited by the climb to come, get up in an instant. It's too early to eat anything, but Dave manages to force a Scottish egg down while I lace my boots. We prepared the packs a few hours ago, when we reached the north face car park: a small rack, two 8mm ropes, our personal kit, a quart of water and some cereal bars, we're going light today. In less than half an hour, we are gone.

The path starts in a forest and goes steadily uphill. It takes me a little while to find a comfortable pace, especially with my huge Spantiks on the feet, but the walk in the dark soon becomes quite pleasant. After a little while, we reach the upper car park and a wide plateau void of any trees. In the distance, some lights close to the CIC hut let us know that we are not the only ones heading up the Ben.

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