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Coffin Peak Utah, April Ski
Tour Coffin Peak Utah, April Ski Tour  by ZeeJay

Shortly after the marathon one day 30 mile round trip ski to Kings Peak 13528, Utah's high point, discussion turned to our next adventure. Various ideas were kicked around but no one seemed psyched to do anything major the immediate weekend after. A week went by and we finalized plans for another trip starting from the Henrys Fork winter parking area. We weren't sure exactly where we'd go, we just knew it would be some place high. To get to a peak over 12000', there wasn't much choice as to where to start since other approaches were still snowed in.

Three peaks from the
Bielerhöhe Three peaks from the Bielerhöhe  by mvs

Christian and I left Munich at 6:30 am, then got stuck in a terrible traffic jam by the Austrian border at Bregenz. No fun at all! Finally at 11:30 am we were ready to ski at the Biehlerhöhe, after a gondola and bus ride along the closed high alpine tollway of the Montafon region.

We skied across the big Silvrettasee, foolishly wearing skins on the skis. We didn't realize how long the lake was. It took a full 30 minutes to get across. Finally though, we were skiing uphill at noon and our day could begin.

Spring Climbing to Dawson
Peak, Chalupastan Spring Climbing to Dawson Peak, Chalupastan  by Schuetzenweber

Starting in the dry-riverbed of the eastern debris field, our route took us up the major Couloir immediately north of Dawson's Eastern Ridgeline. There are several other beautiful snowy chutes branching off a main trunk that leads up to the right, but they require a bit more mixed climbing over an increasing series of runoff waterfalls with some bushwacking necessary higher up. That main trunk leading up to Dawson/Pine Saddle is how we descended.

WRIAD - White Rim Rd in a
Day WRIAD - White Rim Rd in a Day  by thebeave7

The White Rim Rd is a 70mile+ jeep road the circumnavigates the "Island in the Sky" region of Canyonlands NP in Eastern Utah. Quite a few people mountain bike the route in a single day each year, but only a select few even attempt to run the entire road and 26miles of road that links the two end points. Talk began on the special idiots list about making a group run at the road, but as the month of March neared talk never amounted to much and plans were never made. By coincidence Charles Corfield was planning on making an attempt at bettering his previous time on the White Rim Rd the last weekend in March and invited me along to be a pacer/crew member. This situation worked out perfectly for me, I'd get some nice long miles in, but didn't have to commit to running the entire road. So plans were set in motion for the run to take place on Saturday March 30th, 2008.

Notch Peak and exploring the west desert of Utah Climbing Notch Peak and exploring the west desert of Utah  by Scott Wesemann

Notch Peak is one of the hidden gems in the western United States. With a vertical cliff face of over 4,500 feet, if this peak were in Yosemite it would be mentioned in the same breath as Half Dome and El Cap, but since it is hidden away in the western desert of Utah, nobody seems to notice. I have had my eye on this peak for a while now and after talking about it with Matthew Vanhorn, we both agreed that an early spring attempt would be prime, so we decided to skip work and head for the desert.

We wanted to add in some extra flavor to the trip, so we zeroed in on a few other desert peaks and planned on climbing at the Ibex crags as well. Matt met me at my place at 7:15 am and we quickly loaded up all of our gear, practically filling my Honda with all of the necessary supplies that we would need. We were off on I-15 south in no time and just the thought of heading into the wild, while the vast majority of the other folks in traffic were heading to work put a smile on my face.

of a College Bum - The ongoing saga of Granite Peak, MT Obsession of a College Bum - The ongoing saga of Granite Peak, MT  by iceworm

5:00am brought the absolutely horrible sound of my cell phone alarm, cutting through the calm, comfort, and relaxation my much needed sleep. "Are you leaving?", she asked as my movements cause her to awake. "Yes" I replied pausing to consider if the tone in which she asked carried a hint of resentment. Undoubtedly, the answer was yes, regardless of a yes or no it wasn't going to change the fact I was leaving. With a quick kiss and a few last words of assurance I left. The morning was calm, devoid of wind, clouds, or any sign anything but beautiful weather was firmly gripped on the greater Southwest Montana region. My partners were already awake and ready to go by the time I returned to my apartment from my second home. We were all groggy and confused as to why our passion wasn't for Cancun, Arizona, or anywhere but the frigid cold of the mountains. Unlike the majority of our peers who saught an alcohol driven illiad of sex, sun, and seduction, our spring break was driven by a far different motivation which landed us with the same set of consequences.

Bison &
McCurdy: A Lost Creek Wildnerness Death March With the Baker Boys Bison & McCurdy: A Lost Creek Wildnerness Death March With the Baker Boys  by shknbke

This trip came about at the last minute as a bad avy forecast squashed any hopes of doing a couloir climb this weekend. The Lost Creek Wilderness (LCW) is an amazing playground of rock s.w. of Denver that is overlooked by most list seekers as there is nothing higher than 12K'. I ashamed that had only been on one summit in this unique place (Buffalo Pk), and it was a brutal bushwack. If Bison and McCurdy were 14ers, they would be one of the most popular ones. This place is special. The LCW has been high on my list to explore, and it was high time to get down there!

I don't think I have hiked with Darin since Rainier a couple years ago, so it was great to hike with him again. He's not much of a list seeker, so he was happy to repeat Bison with me, which is the highpoint of the LCW and the Taryall Range. We met in C. Springs and made the short drive up CR-77 off Hwy 24.

Ojos del
Salado - My Attempt to Climb the Highest Volcano on Earth Ojos del Salado - My Attempt to Climb the Highest Volcano on Earth  by werner31

For my trip to Ojos del Salado in February 2008, I took a guided 12-day climb directly from the agency "Aventurismo" from nearby Copiapo. My guides Patricia and Christian, who were really great company for the next few days, picked me up on day Nr.1 from Copiapo-airport. After stocking up food, fuel, beer and chliean wine (... which I anyway never touched afterwards, since the altitude-related headache was already enough, I didn't feel the need for an additional alcohol-related one ...) for the next few days, we set out for the Puna de Atacama and my ultimate goal: Nevado Ojos del Salado, with 6,893m the highest volcano on earth.

On the first day we drove till "Laguna Santa Rosa" a salt-lagoon at about 3,800m, which is situated in the "Nevado Tres Cruces" national park. I was instantly amazed by the sheer beauty of the landscape. We slept in a very basic refugio maintained by the national park administration on the west-side of the lake. The next day we took a three-hour walk around the lagoon, which is inhabited by flamingos and many other different birds. Additionally, we could spot guanacos and vicunas quite frequently. Although the area is protected as a "national park" the water in the lagoon is constantly depleting, since nearby mining-companies pump-it-off.

Dolomiti skiing with Silas Dolomiti skiing with Silas  by mvs

Silas Wild and his daughter Jen were coming to Austria for weeks of skiing. I knew Silas from slide shows back in Seattle, and from reading John Roper's entertaining story about the first ascent of the "Wild Hair Crack" in the Picket Range. He is a spare, powerful ball of energy, and it was awesome to have the chance to go skiing with two generations of Wilds.

They had been warming up in the Stubai and Karwendel Mountains around Innsbruck, where they stayed with a friend. I drove down Saturday morning, and after an enlightening talk with their friend "Wolfi," who has climbed every single thing in the Alps (seemingly!) we drove down to the Dolomites for the weekend. The forecast wasn't great, but it promised more sun down south than north of the alpine crest.

Little Horn Peak-My Personal
Enigma Little Horn Peak-My Personal Enigma  by Westcliffe Willie

Another quarter mile or so up, I finally decided to stow my snowshoes. I thought maybe, getting rid of the extra weight might help me feel better. When I took them out of my pack, I placed a rock on top of them. The wind had picked up a little bit and I didn’t want them blowing off the mountain. When I set them down, I had neglected to give myself a waypoint on my gps. Thinking to myself as I walked away; they are sitting right out in plain sight and the ridgeline is fairly narrow, it will be simple to find them when I get back. Boy, was I wrong.

I kept walking further up with a much slower pace. The group, smelling the nearness of the summit, started leaving me further behind.

I finally couldn’t go any further. My gut was wrenching and I was just plain miserable. So, I sat down.

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