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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.

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.

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.

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.

An epic day
on Thunder! An epic day on Thunder!  by Kiefer

Myself (Kiefer), Asphazell (Mark Milburn), Shanahan96 (Jamie) and Jamie Nellis set out early Saturday morning (6.23.07) to attempt Thunder Pyramid and the traverse over to Point 13,722 “Lightning Pyramid”. Upon leaving the Maroon Lakes Trailhead that morning at 3:00am, we had absolutely no idea that we were in store for a beautifully weathered epic. Enlarge Maroon Bells. Thunder Pyramid has been on my ‘list of interest’ for many years, initially, because of the foreboding name than later because of the challenge. However, when I was first introduced to this enigmatic mountain, my climbing experience was nowhere near what it needed it to be. So, for a few years, it remained just that, an enigma. Then about a month and a half ago, my climbing friend, Jamie Princo, suggested a climb of Thunder and its accompanying ridge over to Point 13,722. I had put this mountain and Lightning Pyramid ironically, on my “to-do” list for 2007 a few months earlier, fact, at spots #1 and #2. So when the invite was offered, I bit Jamie’s hand off.

Jebel al Lawz - Yemen's
almond mountain Jebel al Lawz - Yemen's almond mountain  by michaelowa

Not many countries in the world offer real “terra incognita” just 30 km from their capital. Yemen, the pearl of Arabia, is one of them. Approaching the 2300 m high valley of capital San'aa by air from the east, you see a group of mountains with impressive crags and table mountains with vertical walls soaring several hundred meters. The difficult-to-find maps of the country give their altitudes at around 3500m, the second highest in the whole Arabian Peninsula.

Two Left
Feet on the Hotlum Bolam Two Left Feet on the Hotlum Bolam  by mattyj

On Friday 6/15, JD and I were supposed to climb Hood on the tail end of a cascades mountaineering trip. Waking up for an alpine start, I'd just finished getting my long underwear on when we heard the initial tap-tap-tap of raindrops on the roof of my camper shell, followed by the distinctive smell of fresh rain on the asphalt of the Timberline parking lot. We scrambled and got the rainfly on the camper just as it started pouring. Two hours later there was heavy mist with low visibility, and at daybreak conditions were unchanged. Hood was a loss.

Crestone Needle South Face /
East Gully Crestone Needle South Face / East Gully  by maverick

After a worthy warm-up on Lindseys 4th class NW Ridge the previous day Brian (LordHelmut on 14ers.com) and I drove up to the South Colony Lakes TH with intentions to climb the Crestone Peak-Needle traverse. With ice on the ridge and heavy showers having fallen the previous day we did not deem it fit to underestimate the route. The rain made the 4WD road very slushy and we couldnt get all the way up to the Upper TH but pitched camp at 10,400 on the road. There are several neat spots along the road. Our boots, socks and clothes were totally soaked from Lindsey and we went to bed hoping theyd dry a little bit. The plan was to wake up at 3AM and start hiking by 3:30. We found this to be impossible since we couldnt get enough sleep and made a last minute decision to climb just the Needle.

Basin '07 Glacier Basin '07  by TQW

One of the biggest issues for this hike is the 4 mile gated private road you have to walk on just to get to the actual basin trailhead, which is located in the old Monte Cristo townsite. Having been there before, I knew this, so I told my friends to bring mountain bikes, and that I would bring a lock (there is a bike rack in the town). So that was great, except for one small problem, the road washed out in 3 different spots, completely.

North Trapper - Revisited North Trapper - Revisited  by thephotohiker

Having climbed North Trapper fairly recently, (October 14, 2006), it was surprising that the possibility of revisiting that summit would present itself so soon. Normally I’m more interested in attempting peaks which I’ve never visited. But this was a chance I couldn’t pass up.

When I received the Rocky Mountaineers’ Newsletter a week earlier, I noticed Forest Dean (Mtn Ear) was scheduled to lead an attempt on North Trapper. I knew at this time of year there would be snow on the route, especially in two couloirs which would have to be navigated. I had never climbed on snow and figured this might be a good chance for me to gain some experience. I knew the route, so figured the only “new” thing with which I would be contending, was snow. But I also understood the concept that “snow is no small thing.”

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