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National NM, Guadalupe NP and Carlsbad NP Photo Trip Report Bandelier National NM, Guadalupe NP and Carlsbad NP Photo Trip Report  by Scott

Today Shaylee, Kessler, Kimberly and I stopped at Bandelier National Monument on our way to Carlsbad Caverns. First we hiked the loop to the Ceremonial Cave/Alcove House in Frijoles Canyon. The cliffs of Frijoles Canyon are pock marked with many caves that were used by the ancestral pueblo Indians hundreds (to thousands) of years ago. The kids liked climbing into the caves, but their favorite part was climbing up the long wooden ladders to reach the caves.

In the afternoon we still had time, so we hiked to the waterfalls in lower Frijoles Canyon. It was a great hike and necessary since we had a long car drive ahead of us.

Autumn Unfolds On Never
Laughs Mountain Autumn Unfolds On Never Laughs Mountain  by FlatheadNative

It is the time of year when the eternal battle wages between the pregnant expectations of winter’s solstice of quiet clothed in fresh snow and life’s urges to hang on and scream for that last breath of summer’s solitude.

Geese are flying south in their familiar v-shaped flight patterns to warmer weather and grizzly bears are gorging on high protein snacks in an attempt to put on those necessary pounds for a long winter’s hibernation.

5 guys
named bierstadt 5 guys named bierstadt  by grabbs146

So, Coming from Chicago to Colorado to climb Mount Bierstadt and Quandary Peak in one weekend with out time the acclimate to the altitude was a tall order. The odds were against us. I flew in ahead of everyone(George,Andy,Jim,and Jason) because I like to fly in the morning. Everyone else flew in later that afternoon/night and because I was the early one I had to pick up the rental car. These people that work there are worse than used car salesmen! This guy tried his hardest to get me to upgrade and get this and that for more money. I get out of the rental lot without spending extra and pickup some group gear like water and white gas because it was easier to buy it there, than to fly in with it. Next I pickup the rest of the group at the airport and we're off!

Happy Birthday to Me (and a
Fool in the Mud) Happy Birthday to Me (and a Fool in the Mud)  by Bob Sihler

My birthday falls on or very close to Columbus Day Weekend, and as a little treat to myself, I like to go away for a night, or two, or three. Most of the time I go alone; I like to be alone and need to be alone, especially in the mountains, and my wife puts up with this better than most other spouses seem to, for which I'm thankful. Although she always knew what she was getting into, I have heard too many stories of spouses losing or outright dropping that acceptance. Life without going to the wilderness by myself to refresh and inspire my spirit would be a cage for me, and I'm grateful that I have found someone who realizes it even if she doesn't totally understand it. Only others who are this way can really understand it, after all.

Usually, my birthday escape is just a jaunt out to Shenandoah National Park, only a 90-minute drive from me, or down the Blue Ridge Parkway, easily covered over a long weekend, but it occasionally is a bigger affair, such as when I took a Friday flight to Portland, ME, to spend a couple nights in Baxter State Park in order to climb Katahdin.

Eiger – A
trip on the knife edge - TR & Movie Eiger – A trip on the knife edge - TR & Movie  by hansw

I stopped at a gas station and bought batteries for my headlamp. It was a beautiful morning this last day of July in 1996 as I drove eastward along the Rhone valley. The wife and the two teenage daughters were swimming in the thermal baths up in the spa village Leukerbad where the family was on holiday. The extent of my two days expedition was by no means clear to the ladies. I was on my way to climb the Eiger.

The higher I drove the darker the sky became. When I passed the Grimsel Pass at 2165 meters large raindrops hit the windshield. My goal was the little mountain village Grindelwald, located in the Swiss canton Bernese Oberland. The plan was on and I had passed the point of no return.

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.

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