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Mount Meeker - Iron Gates
(Attempt) Mount Meeker - Iron Gates (Attempt)  by Andy

Ever since reading Brad Snider's trip report from his solo, winter climb of the Iron Gates route on Mount Meeker I'd also wanted to give it a try. Michael (aka smudge) seemed like a likely partner since he'd had a failed attempt the previous summer (due to electrical storms). We agreed to meet at the Longs Peak Trailhead at 5:30 and give it a go. After getting our kit squared away we were on the trail and hiking by 6:00. Not much more than 30 minutes after leaving the trailhead we ran into a guy coming down. He said that he and his partner had hoped to climb Alexander's Chimney on the Lower East Face of Longs but all the post holing during the approach made him tired and cold so he turned around. He said his partner wanted to "go up to the saddle to check it out" so they had split up. We thanked him for breaking trail for us and he wished us good luck as we continued on. About ten minutes after we parted ways I continued to ponder what the guy had meant by "the saddle"? Did he mean The Loft, or the Longs - Lady Washington Saddle, or what? Michael and I wondered where this other guy was heading and what route he was taking. None of the routes out of the Chasm Lake area were going to be non-trivial.

Orizaba and Iztaccihuatl
Solo Orizaba and Iztaccihuatl Solo  by Woodie Hopper

Ever since I climbed my first fourteener back in '84 (I think?), Longs Peak, I had been dreaming of climbing bigger mountains. I didn't get the chance until I finished my education at the tender age of 33! Last August I climbed Mount Rainier with RMI, and afterwards felt I would be up to the challenge of bigger mountains (to my family's dismay!). I had been planning a trip to Mexico since August for a chance to climb something higher than 14k feet that wouldn't require much (or any technical diffuculty) other than cramponing/self arrest skills and good shape. I flew into Puebla on a Friday evening to avoid Mexico City and its traffic after working nights the past week. Puebla also seemed to make sense as it is nearly in between Orizaba and Iztaccihuatl. I rented a small sedan and took out as much supplemental insurance as possible which is important, as American insurance is not necessarily recognized there. I also wanted more freedom of mobility in case my plans changed, and I only had a week to spare. I spent my first evening at the Hotel Colonial near the central zocalo in Puebla which is reasonable ~$54 US and a nice place to stay- they have their own website www.colonial.com.mx and the front desk staff speaks good English. After a much needed rest and tasty breakfast of eggs with mole at the hotel resataurant I hit the road to Amecameca near Izta.

Aconcagua 2006 Aconcagua 2006  by Brad Marshall

Wow, what an adventure. That's all I have to say about our expedition to Aconcagua. My wife Sue and I started out spending two days in the fantastic city of Mendoza, Argentina. The weather was hot and sunny, a nice change from the cold Canadian winter, and the people were very friendly. We shopped, ate steak, drank beer and wine and I think we were drunk when we got back to the hotel but I don't remember. All I can say is it was a great way to start out a climb of this magnitude.

Mt. Tyndall and Whitney - My
sons 1st 14'rs Mt. Tyndall and Whitney - My sons 1st 14'rs  by derekp62

For many years now I've been a Boy Scout Leader in Scotts Valley, California and have enjoyed hiking with this group of young men and generous volunteers. Unfortunately, keeping outings simple so we can accomodate the youngest scouts has precluded taking extended trips. This year I decided to take my 13 year old son Daniel on and his first extended hike to climb his first 14'r. Mt. Whitney was an obvious choice as it is simple and is the tall one. However, I'd been up Mt. Whitney more than a few times in my college days and I remembered what a zoo the Whitney Portal can be. I also remember loosing a good percentage of my group to the altitude effects. With this in mind and the difficulties of the lottery in place on the Whitney Portal entrance, I opted for a longer and more gradual climb up Symmes Creek to Shepards Pass. This also offered up the chance for a real class 3 14'r with Mt. Tyndall sitting right at the top of the pass.

Atacama 2006 Atacama 2006  by Uwe Kraus

I had slept outstanding, and that despite the height of nearly 6000 meters. This was a good indication and expression of an optimal acclimatisation. About reports to have spent here the night only in faint-similar conditions I could only smile. Howsoever the past day went out, with clouds, snowfall or even tempest, the following morning brought usually wonderful sunshine, so also today.

Sassy Mount Lady Washington Sassy Mount Lady Washington  by Brad Snider

Mount Lady Washington is easily overshadowed by its two loftier neighbors, Longs Peak and Mount Meeker, on the eastern edge of Rocky Mountain National Park. From afar, she appears to be a mound of rocks in front of these other giants, and nothing more. But, for those who are willing to explore this uninteresting-looking 13,281-foot hill, they will find she is full of character. Mountaineering partner Joe Parvis and I headed to Rocky Mountain National Park early on this seasonal February morning, looking forward to seeing what Mount Lady Washington had to offer.

A dream in
white, coming true - The Three Towers A dream in white, coming true - The Three Towers  by herbie

In march 2002 we went for a week to Vorarlberg, to ascend some summits in Raetikon. Weather was bad when we arrived at Lindauer hut, where we wanted to spend 3 days. It snowed heavily in the evening, we knew that the austrian weather forecast for this special area is just worthless and we had no access to the swiss forecast. So we didn't expect much for the next day and went to bed after a long cardgame evening. For some reason I woke up around 6h30 and looked out of the window: clear sky, with a touch of first blue in the black resulting from early dawn! Drumming on the room table and singing loudly "breakfast, breakfast ..." brought my 3 mates very fast out of the bed. An hour later we were on our way to Sporaalpe to ascend the highest of the Drei Türme (Three Towers, 2830 meters, 9285 feet).

over Dachlgrat Hochtor over Dachlgrat  by Vid Pogachnik

Just below the mighty north wall of Hochtor a high larche is guarding our bivouac place. This is the only small flat place for two persons far around as these mountains are steep and their slopes are rugged. This time we are in a perfect peace. No music from some neighbouring hotel, now cows with bells, no people at all. Still - every now and then high above in the walls, a stone losens and flies aimlessly down towards the valley. It's such a small chance that our heads would be a target. In case of a storm there's a small rocky roof nearby. But below it it's uncomfortable and there's hardly place for two. We didn't need it. The night was calm and dry.

Crestone Needle to Crestone Peak, February 2006 Traversing Crestone Needle to Crestone Peak, February 2006  by Jason Halladay

Sitting at my desk at work on Thursday morning I was distraught looking at the fantastic weather forecast for the weekend and realizing I had no plan. I sent an e-mail to Jeff Valliere asking him what his plans for the weekend and got a reply saying he was going to do something in the Front Range but that John Prater had a couple of ideas but was looking for some company. I sent John an e-mail and received a reply that he was thinking about climbing Crestone Needle. That sounded interesting and was close to home for me so I replied that I was interested. His next message mentioned he'd like to consider the traverse to Crestone Peak and that sounded very interesting. The plan was set! I mentioned the plan to Bill and he was in as well.

Alpine Goodness at the East
Face of Chair Alpine Goodness at the East Face of Chair  by Martin Cash

With the weekend approaching and the forecast showing clear and cold weather, I was drooling over the alpine possibilities available. It has been a long, iceless, and rainy winter in the Cascades. It would have been nice to try a bigger line like something on Stuart, Dragontail, Big Four, or Colonial, but neither Bruce or I had done a snow / alpine ice climb since last June. We decided to try the East Face of Chair Peak at Snoqualmie Pass. There is very little info out there on this route in winter conditions. I had heard from a friend that it was quite a bit harder than the Northeast Buttress or North Face. This sounded great, something challenging but easily doable in a day.

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