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Roof of Idaho - Chicken Out
Ridge Roof of Idaho - Chicken Out Ridge  by Rocky Alps

Borah Peak had been on my radar for quite some time. My wanting to hike it wasn’t really due to it being a state highpoint, but rather because its standard “Chicken-Out” ridge looked quite fun. If I was into high-pointing then it would probably be my favorite though, since it’s probably the most difficult and scrambly state highpoint that you can do that doesn’t require any special gear (Denali, Rainier, Gannett, Granite, and Hood are more technical). That combined with the fact that it would give us some nice views of the rugged Lost River Range made it one of the scrambles at the top of my wish list. This summer my cousin David and I would finally get the chance to give it a try.

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Cross country in the
Sawtooths Cross country in the Sawtooths  by Hazenhart

After a few family trips in the familiar terrain of the Wind River range and the North Cascades, I wanted to try someplace new, and the Sawtooths of Idaho met that requirement. Having spent a little time skiing out of the Bench Hut (operated by Sun Valley Trekking), I knew the range was steep, wild, and rocky; and the potential for an epic family trek in the mountains was real. Some time on the web, reading guidebooks, and hours on Google Earth left us with a planned route consisting of approximately 37 miles including side trips, and something in the neighborhood of + and - 12,000 feet of vertical, with about half of the route being off trail and cross country, with a few summits to bag as well. We navigated it all successfully--with the exception of one aborted summit attempt--and had an outstanding time with the granite and gneiss summits, clear mountain lakes, and forested trails. Viva Sawtooths!

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Accidental Triumphs and
Lessons Learned Accidental Triumphs and Lessons Learned  by CEIGE

Though I have very little true climbing and alpine experience, I have taken on the seemingly daunting task of becoming the youngest finisher of the Bulger list, a list of the 100 highest peaks in the state of Washington. I have about 3 years to do this. If I am somehow able to achieve this, I would also destroy the current record for time taken to finish this list by over a year. I began at the end of June 2015, climbing Hoodoo Peak to start. Since then, I have done quite well, summitting 6 more over the month of July. It has been at times a struggle, but I am quite amazed at the amount I have accomplished and everything I've learned.

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Clyde
Minaret SE Face w/ Direct Start Clyde Minaret SE Face w/ Direct Start  by StephAbegg

The Minarets are the series of jagged spires that can be seen to the west from the town of Mammoth Lakes. Unlike most of the Sierras, the Minarets are not composed of granite, but rather of a more ancient metamorphic rock, which gives the Minarets their characteristic needle-like shapes. Clyde Minaret is not only the biggest of the Minarets, but also has the prettiest face—its dark triangular SE face is home to a great rock climb, one of Steck and Roper's fifty classic climbs of North America. Clyde Minaret is named after Norman Clyde, the High Sierras most prolific first ascensionist.

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Split Mountain 2015 Split Mountain 2015  by Diesel

As they say it: the third time is a charm! I wish it did not take me three attempts to get to the summit of Split Mountain, but it did. The first time, I was at the top of the last chimney getting on the back side of the mountain but had to turn around because of a thunderstorm. The second time, I got started on the wrong trail and ended up on Stecker Flat, having no idea what I did wrong or how to get on the right trail to Red Lake. The third time, had a 30 minute bushwhacking adventure but I made it.

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Underrated
Walkup - Deer Creek Trail Underrated Walkup - Deer Creek Trail  by Rocky Alps

The first time I attempted Box Elder Peak I didn’t do enough research, and as a result we ended up on the Box Elder Trail (No. 44) instead of the Deer Creek Trail (No. 43). This would have been fine, but since it was early June, there were still some steep snowbanks over the trail which hindered our progress. With no ice axes there were a couple spots that proved difficult to navigate, and after slipping down one steep snow slope and grabbing onto a nearby branch to stop my fall, a sliced open finger dampened my mood and made me decide that I’d come back some other time to try it. We did catch some nice views of the south summit of Box Elder Peak from its eastern slopes, but nine years would pass before I’d finally come back around and give it another go (there were just too many other good Wasatch hikes to try first)

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Seven Fingered Jack and
Maude Seven Fingered Jack and Maude  by taniagrotter

On July 4th weekend I climbed Seven Fingered Jack and Mt Maude in the Entiat Mountains with my friends Micah and Andrew. The weather in Seattle was supposed to be very hot, so a weekend in the Glacier Peak Wilderness seemed like an excellent way to avoid the heatwave (even though it was pretty hot up there as well…but more of that later) and to mark my upcoming move to London. We spent two days on the mountains, camping overnight in the LeRoy meadows at 6100ft and ascending 7FJ on day 1, and Maude on day 2. We were initially hoping to climb Fernow as well, but after looking at the route from the 7FJ summit, it seemed that it would take another whole day just for that peak (plus there seemed to be some pretty steep icy snow on the way there, and the week before there was a slip-on-snow accident on that exact snowfield, which made us pretty skeptical about how much we wanted to suffer over this beautiful weekend)

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Miscellaneous Rambles from the Great Basin and Sierra (Photo Trip Report) Miscellaneous Rambles from the Great Basin and Sierra (Photo Trip Report)  by Scott

My dad and I hiked up to Willow Lake. Since we had to pick up our permit for Mount Whitney that afternoon, we didn’t continue on to Brainerd Lake. It was a really scenic hike and the difficulty of the hike was exaggerated. The stream crossing was a bit challenging, but the trail wasn’t as steep as its reputation warrants. The scenery along the hike was really spectacular.

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Liberty Ridge, The Word of
the Trip Is Rock! Liberty Ridge, The Word of the Trip Is Rock!  by thatnissanguy

Conditions on the mountain were reported to be not so great. The previous winter had been a dry one, and the temperature was above average, melting out most of the route and making route finding through the crevasses difficult. In fact we actually found ourselves forced off of the normal route several times just to make it go. I think it is reasonably safe to say that the route was in late season condition. There was quite a bit of objective hazard, manifesting itself in the form of frequent and heavy rock fall. We had to move fast between protected areas, and be light enough on our feet to be able to jump out of the way if something big was coming down. The real challenge became strategizing and finding a way to manage the objective hazard, rather than technical difficulty. It turned out to be a perfect match to our chosen style of climbing. We opted for less equipment, making a couple of sacrifices in pursuit of a light kit. Most notably we carried only 8 oz of fuel, food for 2 days (which we could have stretched over 3), one sleeping bag, 3 ice screws, 2 pickets, and a 30m rope. We used everything that we brought, except for the tent and pickets, and needed nothing more. Mine and Kirill's packs weighed in at around 20 and 25 pounds, respectively, although I think the difference was mostly due to the fact that Kirill was carrying the whisky and several pounds of gourmet food.

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Stratton,
the birthplace of the AT & Long Trail Stratton, the birthplace of the AT & Long Trail  by rasgoat

How many of us know Stratton Mountain was the spot where a man named James Taylor concieved the idea of a "long trail" spanning from Massachusets to Canada? Yes, the Long Trail came first. During the construction of the Long Trail, a man named Benton Mckaye Considered it might be a good idea to have a trail spanning the entire Appalachian Range while on the summit of Stratton, and thanks to him, the Appalachian Trail was born. I had no idea of this until recently researching a weekend backpacking trip. I wanted to get into the mountains and I had an itch for Vermont.

Coming across these interesting facts Gave this mountain an instant allure for me, but it takes a little more than some history to make me want to climb a mountain. So in researching I found that most of the trails to Stratton were too short with little elevation gain, this did not appeal to me, but one trail stood out, The Lye Brook Trail. This Trail had one of Vermont's tallest waterfalls along the way and according to the guide I was reading, some Beaver activity also. Great I said, 13 miles to the summit with waterfalls, beavers, ponds, campsites and over 3000 feet of elevation gain! The guide also said "bring a compass and topo map, this is a primitavely maintained trail and trail markers will be few" My expectations were high.

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