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Chilean
Chronicles Volume 2 - Exploring Pucon and Success on Lanin Volcano Chilean Chronicles Volume 2 - Exploring Pucon and Success on Lanin Volcano  by Matt Lemke

After thoroughly exploring Nahuel Huapi National Park (described in previous trip report), I narrowed in on the area surrounding Pucon, Chile. I made plans to take the international bus from San Martin de los Andes towards Temuco passing over the international border just north of Lanin, however the eruption of Villarrica, which sits directly above the town of Pucon decided to erupt and the crossing was closed. Since it would likely be closed for a few days I had no choice but to take buses back south and return to Osorno. This would unfortunately take a couple days so I figured I could relax awhile and bus from one town to the next. So I ended up getting a ticket to Villa la Angstura and stayed there for a night at a very nice hostel. Walking through town that afternoon I was bit by a dog (although I look back now and it was more of a nibble), nonetheless, it gave me a rabies scare so I went to the local doctor but since no one there spoke English it was hard to communicate. Finally I understood using Google Translate that there has never been a case of rabies anywhere near the area. I then walked back to the hostel and enjoyed a nice dinner (pizza again!) at a local shop that seemed to have issues with their power since the power would go out every 20 minutes or so.

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Higher
Squire snowshoe Higher Squire snowshoe  by StephAbegg

The weekend forecast was for sun, so the mountains were calling. I decided to join my friends Gabriel, Lindsay, Carla, and Yana on a snowshoe adventure to Higher Squire off the Mountain Loop Highway (just east of Darrington). This destination proved to be a great choice. The route started on the Eight Mile Creek trail, and once we hit enough snow to put on snowshoes, we cut away from the trail and headed directly up towards the summit of Higher Squire via its NE side. We arrived at the satisfyingly narrow summit three hours after leaving the car. From there we had unobscured views of views of Three Fingers and Whitehorse to the west and northwest. After a long lunch break, we enjoyed a pleasant romp over to Squire Creek Pass, which placed us even closer to the sheer eastern walls of Three Fingers. We had vague intentions to climb Ulalach Peak to the north, so we headed in that direction. By the time we arrived at the final slopes, we knew we had to make a decision between summiting Ulalach and making an entirely-dark descent or turning around, tagging Point 4274 instead, and making most of the descent in the daylight. We chose the latter, arriving back at the car 9.5 hours after we left that morning. What a great way to spend a winter day in the Cascades!

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Tsartse Bound Tsartse Bound  by radson

Climbing equipment, tent and 3 days worth of backcountry food was laid out and divided amongst Pete and my backpacks. At 2pm we headed down the valley to find a cache site for our gear. Between snow showers and cloud we spotted some tents in the distance and made a beeline. After 2 hours walking with full packs we came across a disenchanted Lithuanian team. They had come up the fast but dangerous way and had hit the bad weather that we were waiting out. Their aim was Tashi Kang but they were departing the next day after a 4 day wait. They gave us some hot soup and we chatted about our mutual friend Ernestas Marksaitis who was murdered this year on Nanga Parbat.

Pete and I cached our gear in a handy Sea to Summit duffle bag and ..oh my god. We so hope our gear is there when we return. We headed back to camp in deteriorating weather and snow and sleet was sticking to our pants and jackets. We had been super cautious on the way down to take compass bearings and identify landmarks that we were able to navigate back with ease in 1.5 hours.

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First Ascent to Igls Peak First Ascent to Igls Peak  by raumplaner

It was the morning of 23rd August 2014 when we started early for the ascent to the summit. Fortunately, the weather seemed to remain one more day pleasant and we soon reached the beginning of the steep, glaciated slopes leading to the summit. Due to heavy snowfall a few days before nearly all crevasses were covered with snow so it was spiteful to find a way through the steep labyrinth of snow and ice. Close to the top it was necessary to use several ice screws to cross a huge ice ridge. But it should have been the most difficult part of the whole ascent because once the barrier was conquered we - Christian Müller (Austria), Stephan Tischler (Austria), Naseer Uddin (Pakistan) and Rahim Hayat (Pakistan) – finally reached the plain summit and were the first humans on this mountain with its incredible panorama.

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Zenyatta Entrada Zenyatta Entrada  by Brian C

Having a baby is hard on the climbing lifestyle. It's not a bad thing by any means, but simply a fact. Our son was born this past August and between the sleepless nights and returning to school, I was amazed how quickly what little physical strength and lead climbing abilities I had developed evaporated. I packed on a little extra padding to my physique and was disappointed in my conditioning the very few times I was able to get out. Now I've never been a strong climber nor really driven to be, but I had always managed to get out on moderate stuff on a regular basis and it was frustrating how foreign climbing had become. As could be expected, time passed and baby life became more normal and got easier to manage. Although climbing excursions weren't happening, I began biking to work and made some Boulder-area hikes to regain some semblance of shape. As spring break approached and we made Easter plans with my folks in Grand Junction, I got the hair-brained idea to see if I remembered how to aid climb by making a solo attempt on something in the area.

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Midi-Plan, a photo essay Midi-Plan, a photo essay  by nattfodd

On September 2nd and 3rd 2010, Nic Mullin and myself attempted a full traverse of the Aiguilles de Chamonix, from Midi to Grépon. We left early in the morning of the 3rd, but lack of acclimatisation, route finding mistakes and general slowness made us reach the summit of Aiguille du Plan in 8 hours instead of the guidebook 4. Since the traverse is a committing route and since we were starting to really feel the altitude, we decided to bail and returned to the cablecar station in 5 grueling hours.

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Mount Saint
Helens snowboard Mount Saint Helens snowboard  by Mike Lewis

Mount Saint Helens normally requires a reservation after April 1st. I preferred the idea of a free climbing permit so I posted on Cascade Climbers to get up there quick. I knew that I would be going broke to make it happen and there was just no room for fees. I mentioned that my intention was to snowboard down the mountain. When I found a picture of the snowline it looked like it might be feasible. This was looking like a great idea with weather cooperating. Michael Williamson showed interest and we set it up for the last weekend in March. I had to meet him at Green Lake the day before the climb for the ride down. My friend Marty just so happened to be going to visit relatives in Magnolia getting me there a little early. Michael W is big on running lately so instead of just shooting the breeze, we killed time by going for laps around Green Lake. I am not in the best shape so I bowed out after just one, worried how I'd fare the next day. He kept going for another half hour so I just went back to his place where I chatted with my brother Josh on the cell. Heading down the long drive I was pretty excited. This is my last big volcano in Washington and has been on my list for years. I was hoping that maybe the park staff were graceful and opened the upper gate to save us the extra elevation gain. Unfortunately I was wrong and we had to start all the way down at 2,600'. As a result it was going to feel like the Washington Top 100 that it really was. The number of people at the sno-park trailhead was surprising to me for the time of year. Yeah, I know we have record low snow this year but somehow I didn't think many would take advantage. Really surprising were the number of skiers and snowboarders. Guess they were tired of the poor snow at the lifts.

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Elbrus Winter Expedition
2015 Elbrus Winter Expedition 2015  by Rusnborg

All are alive and well, no frostbite, though we met wind 70 km/h and frost below 40Cº. Ivan Braun became the first Dane, Nadav Ben Yehuda became the first Israeli to climb the Elbrus in winter (winter ascent considered committed from December 21 to March 21).

But this article is not about mountaineering, although it is present in it.

It follows the adventures in the mountains three guys from different parts of the world, which in the course of the expedition not only met, but were able to find a common language, to make a joint ascent, and to become a good team and good friends. We has not deterred nor political differences between their countries, nor language barriers, nor the difference in mentality.

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Loiterings in the Desert Loiterings in the Desert  by Castlereagh

Several years, several hundred peaks, and even more miles after the fact was about when I finally joined the GPS club, having done some online shopping plugging away hungover at a Starbucks in Cheyenne, Wyoming on Black Friday enroute driving to Boston. Having hiked mostly with Greg since coming back to Utah I had bothered with neither activating and learning how to use the device nor downloading all the topo maps I would need in conjunction with it. Having finally procrastinated long enough, I was ready to test out the equipment on a warm spring day on Conger Mountain, a good opportunity to see how it would work on an easy cross country desert peak with pretty basic route finding.

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Maroon
Bells-Snowmass Wilderness - Willow Lake, Lost Remuda Basin, Buckskin Pass Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness - Willow Lake, Lost Remuda Basin, Buckskin Pass  by notracks

I have wanted to visit Lost Remuda Basin in the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness Area for some time now but different circumstances have kept me away from it. Finally, this last Labor Day Weekend, I was able to experience this rarely visited area.

The trip started at Maroon Lake, where I was the millionth person to take a picture of the most photographed mountain in North America. Then, we headed up Minehaha Gulch, which is part of the 4-pass loop. As expected, there was a lot of traffic here. We didn't stay on this trail for long before we branched off towards Willow Pass. The amount of people immediately dropped to close to 0.

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