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Orla Perc Orla Perc  by PaulKuras

Three years ago I stood on the mountain pass Zawrat after descending Swinica. Before me was the great Orla Perc, a tourist trail fixed with chains and ladders to assist with the high exposition and exposure. Yet, a delayed start, the condition of my fellow travelers, and oncoming weather prevented me from continuing onto the Orla Perc and I had to descend. Now three years later I had the opportunity to return and complete the Orla Perc.

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Cirques and
Sands Cirques and Sands  by Bob Sihler

Being such a large country, America is blessed with a great variety of spectacular natural wonders, and the American West has mountain ranges that easily find places on lists of the world's most beautiful mountains.

Wyoming has two such ranges-- the Teton Range and the Wind River Range. More user-friendly, the Tetons are more popular and iconic. Since the approaches to the alpine country are relatively short and since the peaks rise directly from Jackson Hole for thousands of feet with no intervening foothills, the Tetons draw hikers and climbers and photographers from all around the world.

Yet so do the Winds, though to a lesser extent. The longest mountain range in the fabulous Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, the Winds are not so easily seen from roads (even when they are, the peaks are so distant that there is not an intimate feel), and climbers and backpackers typically face long approaches, sometimes taking two or more days, to get to the truly alpine parts of the ra

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A First
Ascent of Mt McKelvie from the East A First Ascent of Mt McKelvie from the East  by vancouver islander

I first saw Mt McKelvie from the top of Thumb Peak in the Alava Bate Sanctuary in July 2010. I had always thought that there wasn’t much between the Sanctuary and The Haite Range to the north but there very patently was. A distinctive snow capped ridge of summits presented both a surprise and an invitation and it wasn’t long after getting home from the Sanctuary before I turned to all my usual sources in order to solve what, to me at least, was a mystery.

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Chief's
Head Peak Chief's Head Peak  by Kearnsm

This trip report should start with a description of our group. 4 adults 3 teenagers. We are all from NE Ohio with limited experience hiking the distances, altitude and terrain we found in this hike. We are all in fairly decent hiking shape and we have spent lots of time hiking in the Appalachian Mountain ranges back East. We always read trip reports before embarking on hikes like this and we have noticed that most reports seem to underestimate things in our opinion. Probably due to our lack of experience. So this is a report from our perspective. Maybe it will be helpful to others with limited experience. Maybe entertaining for those with lots of mountain miles under their boots. After arriving in CO we acclimated for a few days hiking other trails in RMNP including Flattop and Hallett Peaks.

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Cotopaxi Summit - 5,897
meters of Daring Cotopaxi Summit - 5,897 meters of Daring  by Grecy

At 4,500 meters I'm again staggered by the immense size of Cotopaxi, this time clearly more imposing that ever. Each of us is lost in our own thoughts as we make the slow trudge up to The José Rivas Refuge at 4,800 meters carrying our huge packs full of food, climbing and sleeping gear. After a short break we make our way across to the glacier at 5,000 meters to practice moving about on the ice. None of us has ever used crampons or an ice axe before, so we start from square one, walking up, down and sideways, all the time a little unsure about walking on steep, slippery ice. We practice and practice until we're all satisfied with our abilities. Well, until the guide tells us to stop so we don't tire ourselves out, that is.

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Around the Gulf – A Winter
Solo Adventure Around the Gulf – A Winter Solo Adventure  by AlexeyD

On March 31, 2009, I finally pulled off something I had wanted to do for a long time: a traverse of all the northern Presidential Range plus Mt. Washington, done as a big loop around the Great Gulf. The route goes as follows. Park at the Great Gulf Wilderness lot. Take Great Gulf Trail to the Osgood Trail to the Gulfside Trail via the summit of Madison. Follow Gulfside all the way to Mt. Washington, making loops over the summits as desired. From Washington, descend the Auto Road to Route 16, then walk a final 2 miles back to the Wilderness parking lot. The total distance is roughly 22 miles, with an elevation gain of about 7000 feet – slightly more if doing all of the summits. The idea of walking down the Mt. Washington Auto Road particularly appealed to me because I had never done this before, and it was only possible in the winter, when the road is closed to traffic. I had also never done even a solo winter hike before, or even a partial winter Presidential traverse in a single day. So, lots of firsts. I do, have, on the other hand, hiked in the Presidential Range extensively in all seasons, am very familiar with the geography, and generally felt up to the task. It was my last week off before starting a new job, and I wanted to do something big – something to remember for a long time. A deliberate epic? Maybe not quite...but something like that. At least something worth writing a trip report about.

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Climbing
Citlaltépetl Climbing Citlaltépetl  by antivoyage

Like many other small steps in the progression to the peak, looking up the hill, pack shouldered, this registered as just one more Rubicon. My strategy so far was to keep going until I found a compelling reason to stop. I gulped, reaffirmed that yes, I was doing this and shuffled my feet up the old cement aqueduct that stands in for a trail above Piedra Grande. With 10 L of water and a brimming pack, climbing uphill was burdensome. After all the effort to get here in the company of passengers, the 4×4 driver and other climbers in the hut, I was finally setting off into the hills alone.

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Humphreys
Peak December Climb Humphreys Peak December Climb  by calemarthens

My climb was on December 5th, 2015, and it started with picking up a backcountry permit from the Forest Service rangers in the bar of the Agassiz Lodge. They gave about a 10 minute spiel on winter safety and the equipment you should have (beacon, shovel, probe, emergency shelter, etc) and about avalanche danger. I was a little worried since I hadn't brought any of that, but found out on the trail that it was unneeded. I was also hoping to pick up a trail map there in the gift shop, but all they had were ski area maps, which didn't include the trail to the peak.

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Dickerman at Dawn Dickerman at Dawn  by awilsondc

Do you remember that feeling on Christmas Eve as a child? Specifically, the not being able to sleep and imagining what tomorrow is going to be like? That’s pretty much the feeling I had the night before a planned hike to Mount Dickerman in the Mountain Loop Highway of the Washington Cascades. I laid in my bed and couldn’t sleep for several hours for a couple of reasons, one being that it would be winter conditions and I haven’t done many winter summits, and the other was my thoughts about how to get the best views. As a solo hiker 90% of the time, winter hikes have been a little intimidating since the stakes are a lot higher if you make a mistake. My mind was racing trying to make sure I was bringing enough stuff for a safe trip. I was also reflecting on a recently featured article here on SP “Chasing the Light” as well as an article that one referenced called “Waiting for the Light”. Bottom line is I wanted to experience optimal light for this trip.

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Views, Sunsets and Flat
Tires Views, Sunsets and Flat Tires  by BearQueen

On this day, I learned a lot about dealing with stress under pressure, teamwork, the gifts of angels on the trail in the form of people/other hikers,the stress of feeling responsible for someone else on the trail, and I also learned how amazingly beautiful and majestic Kelly Butte is.

The beginning part of Kelly Butte was definitely easy for me, and I felt a sense of peace and willpower and fortitude as I started the trail with a wonderful hiking partner we brought along and my husband invited through a friend of his named Sherrie. The beginning of Kelly Butte starts out like a regular trail, but quickly starts graduating up into challenging footing (for me, grant it, I am 100 pounds overweight) and some really steep sections. The biggest thing that I struggle with, as my wonderful and experience, beautiful hiking husband Greg knows, is my sense of “exposure” and Kelly Butte definitely has that for me. For EastKing, this mountain is very easy to him, as most that he does with me are.

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