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Mount Saint Helena East
Peak Mount Saint Helena East Peak  by Noondueler

It's certainly a relief living up in the mountains of Lake County. Super quiet, forested terrain, no traffic, no shopping malls for miles, endless ridges and bright sunshine. The hitch is I have to come down to the Bay area occasionally to work. This time it involved selling topical plants. I had some friends who let me stay at their place but they had to move. Had to book a room at Motel 6 Tuesday night. Determined to get rid of the foliage asap to avoid spending 80 bucks a night. Worked a really hard day on Wednesday in the East Bay. The icing on the cake was a ticket for no seat belt. I was only going one block and tried to whip it on when I got lit up but knew it was too late.

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Eldorado - Standard Route Eldorado - Standard Route  by SARdawg

Saturday morning: after a bit of a mix-up by a couple of people on where to meet, we were all geared up and on the trail by 8:30am. The log crossing over North Fork Cascade Creek was as interesting as advertised. Note that you can also cross a marshy overgrown area on a couple more big logs. You’ll then see a TH info sign…a little surprising. The first mile of trail (unmaintained, but relatively easy to follow) gains 2,000’ in a no-nonsense manner—no switchbacks, just straight up the hill. If you get sore knees at all, trekking poles are highly recommended for going back down hill on this part. You come out of the trees into some slide alder (with a climber’s path through them) and then a large boulder field.

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“Summer” Start in the Sawatch “Summer” Start in the Sawatch  by MissH

Our goal was to use the holiday weekend to get two peaks with one night at camp. Harvard and Columbia fit that bill perfectly since they were still on my To Do list. In getting ready for the trip, we tried to collect as much beta as possible for the recent “winter” conditions the mountains were still facing during this crazy snow-filled spring… now summer. Besides dozens of weather reports indicating the usual thunderstorms, rain, and snow in our research we found plenty of snowless trips but only a few trip reports of “winter” ascents, nearly all with ski descents as recent as 2011.

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Mount Hood Mount Hood  by Diesel

The day of the Mount Hood hike could not have been any better: clear sky and cold. I started my hike (solo) at 5:50 AM. (I really wanted to start at daybreak, but I only hit the sack at 1 AM, so I wanted my sleep). Temp was in the low 30s which kept the snow all good and frozen. I hiked on a Tuesday when not many people were on the mountain. I made the mistake of having breakfast before I left; for the first hour of the hike, my body’s entire energy was directed towards digesting food. Therefore, my breathing was heavy and I felt a lot of discomfort. After that, things got better. I had micro spikes -3/8” (not real crampons) on my boots. That really helped with my hike on the frozen snow.

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Angel's Crest, Chief Angel's Crest, Chief  by StephAbegg

This was my third time climbing to the top of the Chief, and definitely a fun and athletic adventure with a great position. This route has a lot of enjoyable moderate climbing on the crest interspersed with a few steep and cruxy sections, lush forests (how do the trees get so big on such a steep rock formation?), and comfortable belays. Despite being a group of three, we climbed relatively quickly (usually the second could tie in just shy of the middle mark, so rarely were both of the followers climbing for more than a few moves). After a late lunch of the south summit, we hiked back down towards the parking lot, taking a three hour detour to climb The Snake* (6p, 5.9) sans crowds and making the day's total 19 or so pitches. Chief and a Half! (*it's interesting to note the biblical connotations of the routes we chose, although we did not realize this until a couple of days later)

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Lessons learned on Mt.
Rainier Lessons learned on Mt. Rainier  by keeganray

Growing up in the Northwest, Rainier has always been looming in the background. After getting into hiking and snowshoeing, I had my sights set on Rainier. While moving into my new apartment, I met my landlord Bruce who had summitted Rainier eleven times. He offered to guide me up to the top. It took me three tries to reach the top, due to weather and lack of preparation. I learned some valuable lessons along the way.

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Getting and Staying High Getting and Staying High  by Castlereagh

After maiming my ankle on Provo Peak the last week of June I had spent every weekend driving up to the northern Rockies (with the exception of a weekend back in Mass for a wedding). It was no coincidence that this time period fit seamlessly between the end of the Bruin’s Stanley Cup Run and the beginning of football season. Opening Day for the Patriots fell on the first weekend after Labor Day, and Sunday’s 11 AM MST kickoff against the Bills limited my options for the weekend. I considered Lone Peak for Saturday, but inclement weather and a surprisingly attractive week 1 slate of college football games led me to go after American Fork Twin Peaks instead. Despite their stature as the P3K’s and the highest summits of the Central Wasatch, the AF Twin Peaks have a less exciting reputation compared to their 11er neighbors.

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Belknap and Baldy et al Belknap and Baldy et al  by ZeeJay

Most of Utah's hundred highest peaks are located in the Uintas, but 19 of them are scattered around the rest of the state. I had 12 peaks left and was looking for a change from the blood sucking little parasites of the Uintas. Belknap (12137') and Baldy (12122') seemed like a good choice as these were located in the southern part of the state and surely it would be drier down there. I had viewed these stark looking peaks from nearby Delano Peak in 2009. They looked more like huge tailings piles than mountains.

I checked daily for the opening of the access road and finally my husband (Joe) and I decided to go anyway and have a longer walk, but as luck would have it, it opened the day we left. According to the Forest Service, you need a high clearance vehicle to get past the Skyline Trailhead. We don't have one. We'd drive as far as we could and then start walking. At most it would be an extra 2.3 miles one way to Mud Lake where we planned to start our loop hike which would include Belknap and Baldy, and a short side trip to point 11420. If we were up for it we'd also make our way to Shelly Baldy Peak (11321') at the end of the day.

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Lost Creek
Wilderness Lost Creek Wilderness  by Bill Reed

After discussing our options for the trip, Jeff suggested doing the big loop and traveling counterclockwise. It laid out like this: Goose Creek TH>Wigwam Trail>Lost Park>Bison Pass>McCurdy Park>Lake Park>Hankins Pass>Goose Creek TH. About thirty-five miles all tolled, with a substantial amount of elevation gain and loss. Starting and ending TH at 8,200 feet, max elevation enroute at about 11,900 feet. A pretty fair hike for sure! We decided to spend 4 nights, mapped out our route and worked out most of the details in May.

In checking on trail conditions with the Forest Service on June 7th, two days before we were to leave, Nelson found out that there’d been a big blowdown in the Lake Park area and that the trail in that area was impassable. So, we changed our route accordingly. Instead we’d take the McCurdy Park Tr back to the Goose Creek Tr then retracing our route back to our starting point at the Goose Creek TH. Seemed like a good alternative, maybe even better than the original plan, though it was not a complete loop and it looked to be a wee bit longer-closer to fourty miles with + & - 8,400 to 9,000 ft.

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Finding the
Cure for the Shutdown Blues Finding the Cure for the Shutdown Blues  by Bob Sihler

December 1996: My girlfriend at the time (now my wife) and I were all set to head off on a trip to some national parks. And then the federal government shut down, closing the parks with it. Or rather, some ideologues shut it down, showing a willingness to mess with people's plans and livelihoods in order to score political points. While I merely had to deal with what in the big picture was for me just an inconvenience, other people missed something from their bottom lines as a result of the plans I and surely thousands of others changed or canceled. Way to go, ideologues!

In order to avoid seeing the comments section of this trip report devolve into political shit-slinging, I'll refrain from naming specific people and stating which party I blamed and still blame. But imagine my utter disgust last fall when ideologues orchestrated another shutdown shortly before a trip to Rocky Mountain National Park that my wife and I had planned out several months in advance. Hoping for a restoration of reason, especially since a holiday weekend was coming up (around which I had planned the trip), I waited as long as I could before canceling reservations in Estes Park and making alternate plans for places not affected by the shutdown, but in the end my money went elsewhere instead of to that town already reeling from the September floods that caused so much property damage and lost tourism dollars.

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