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Manaslu circuit 2016 Manaslu circuit 2016  by yxygan

The Himalaya's beside a toothpaste made from some scented herbs meant for me a country existing just is the fairy tales, lost in the haze of the immense distance and I thought it would remain that maybe forever…Recently this mythical province turned into a tangible reality with all of its miracles and wonders. Clicking with fervour our cameras we tried to record as much as possible of these miracles, of course unsuccessful. But never mind! We still can remember the innumerable waterfalls, the endless humming of the river attending us, the booming of the wind at a middle of a suspension bridge, the billions of stars above us, the chilly breath of the mornings or the whistling of the mule drovers.

It was tough, but it was worth to do it, surely every of us got shorter with thousands of calories, but we returned home with hundreds of experiences we had not lived before.

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Birch
Mountain - Ridiculous training that probably saved my life Birch Mountain - Ridiculous training that probably saved my life  by Diesel

The difficulty of any hike is a subjective point of view. The very first time I heard of Birch Mt - 13,609 ft / 4,148 m elevation) from some hikers descending Split Mt. in 2013, then researching the hike in 2016, I got the feeling that this mountain is difficult and best to be left alone. The only nonbiased matter of fact trip report that I found belongs to Bob Burd. That put me at ease that Birch Mt. can be easily day-hiked. Therefore I decided to follow his route. I found that to be the truth. Birch Mt is a class 2 hike where strength is more needed than skill.

Not only did I want to day-hike Birch, but I had to be at the Inyo Ranger Station in Lone Pine before 4:30 PM to get my blessed Whitney Zone permit for the following day. In that case I had to be back at the car by 3:30PM, at the latest, to I have time to drive to Lone Pine in time to find the ranger station open.

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Battling
the elements on Vertainspitze & Hoher Angelus Battling the elements on Vertainspitze & Hoher Angelus  by Lodewijk

After a day of hiking around the Stelvio Pass with climbs of both Monte Scorluzzo and Roetlspitz we were ready for the next step in our climbing week: The traverse of Hoher Angelus and Vertainspitze. Maarten and me were really looking forward to this route, with a special thanks to sp-members rgg and alpinbeta, who both noticed me about this route. We wanted to do the climb in two days: The first day we would ascent to the Dusseldorfer Hut from Sulden and on the second day we would make the traverse and return to Sulden. The first day would be easy, since we only had to hike up from Sulden to the Hut, which takes about 2,5 hours. Unfortunately, the weather changed and it was pouring down all day. We drove to Sulden and decided to wait for the weather to clear, well.. at least wait for the thunder to stop, but it didn’t.. so we sat down in a small cafe in the center of Sulden and drank I think at least 5 cups of coffee.

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Dombaj-Ul'gen: The jewel of the Western Caucasus Dombaj-Ul'gen: The jewel of the Western Caucasus  by andre hangaard

”-Dombaj-what?” I said to my Swiss friend Andi over the phone when he gave me a call one afternoon in November more than a year ago. I’d never heard about a mountain called Dombaj-Ul’gen. Nor was I rather impressed by its elevation of 4.046 meters.

Skhara, the wild looking twin peaks of Ushba and the beautiful Kazbek were the mountains in the Caucasus familiar to me. And of course Elbrus, which I climbed by myself 8 years ago. Dombaj-Ul’gen remained unknown to me. However, after Andi enthusiastically told me about its wild and rugged ridges and its very demanding UIAA grading being D-, I understood this summit must be a rather special one. In addition to this, this mountain also turned out to be a country high point, as it is the highest summit of the Republic of Abkhazia, a country which I also wasn’t very familiar with.

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Second
Attempt with the Walley Second Attempt with the Walley "Weather" Window  by project360

Saturday May 28th – Flying to Anchorage to meet with team. Gear includes 5 large duffels each weighing 50 to 80 lbs each. Will finalize supplies tomorrow then travel in the afternoon to Talkeentna to stay in the Talkeetna Air bunks, the outfit flying us on the glacier on Monday weather permitting.

Sunday May 29th – Group gear arrived with no issues. Team made our way to Talkeetna in the afternoon including preparing the gear at the airport hanger.

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Pole, Pole
up to the top of Africa Pole, Pole up to the top of Africa  by Liba Kopeckova

Mount Kilimanjaro - the highest point in Africa - is definitively an interesting destination even for a non climber. I met a few people who were adventurers and decided to check off this destination from their bucket list for various reasons, e.g. Helen from London who did Kili as her first mountain, or Elsie from Nairobi who had an African checklist and climbing to the roof of Africa and trekking with gorillas just go side by side in her mind.

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North
Cascades National Park: A Short Visit With a New Friend North Cascades National Park: A Short Visit With a New Friend  by MarkDidier

The North Cascades! A new friend? With it only being my second visit to the range I suppose it would be too early to call them a good friend. Not like the Southern Appalachians, my first love, or the mountains of Colorado, my second, but yes I do feel my Cheatin Heart falling for the North Cascades. Just like the mountains of Tennessee, North Carolina and Colorado, I suspect it won’t be long before I’ll be calling Washington’s North Cascades my good friends!

Ever since my trip there in 2013 I’ve been Jonesin for a visit back to the North Cascades. Fortunately for me, my son Andrew had some travel plans in Washington over the Labor Day weekend. Yes, for the third time in four years, my son and his “Davehead” friends ultimately decided the destination for my annual hiking trip out west, and this year it meant another trip to the North Cascades. It was pretty early this year but again it was one of those phone calls from my son informing me that the Dave Matthews Band would be playing for three nights over Labor Day weekend at the Gorge Amphitheater in George, Washington (yes, that really is the name of the city!). He tried to lay some story on me about the fact that he was getting married in October, and spending Labor Day weekend at the Gorge with his Dave friends would be like a second bachelor party, and he’d get to spend a week in the mountains with his Dad before the big wedding day…but all of that talk was unnecessary. For me, it was a no brainer. A week hiking in the North Cascades? Sign me up!

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Oh my
guides! Huayna Potosi by the normal route Oh my guides! Huayna Potosi by the normal route  by nixoriugis

I don’t like guides. Actually, the guides themselves may or may not be the problem. For a mountain like Huayna Potosi, having a guide or not is the difference between “I have been on the top of the mountain” and “I have made my way up the top of the mountain”. The difference is the adventure part of the trip.

So disappointed I was when, as I landed in Panama on my way to Bolivia, my friend, climbing partner and the Spanish-speaking of us two told me he has lost his passport in Peru and could not join me for the mountain. Since I was not confident of climbing solo and had very short time in La Paz to find another partner, hiring a guide seemed to be the only solution. But still, climbing with a guide is better than not climbing at all, or so I thought.

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Middle
Teton Attempt Middle Teton Attempt  by Hazenhart

n July I pulled together a quick family trip to the Tetons, with the goal of ascending the Southwest Couloir of the Middle Teton. This was intended as a brief respite from daily grind, an opportunity to get the kids some more experience in alpine terrain, and bag a spectacular peak in the process. With two nights in the Meadows of Garnet Canyon, we would have ample time for the summit attempt, and get to enjoy some downtime in the mountains.

After a night drive from Salt Lake City and a quick sleep at the AAC cabins, we obtained our permits, chatted with the park rangers, and headed to the Lupine Meadows Trailhead. Although the park rangers had communicated instability in the forecast, the weather was hot and sunny. The rangers had also noted that the typical summer afternoon thunderstorm pattern had been less reliable of late, and that weather up high had been particularly unpredictable. Conditions in the Southwest Couloir were expected to include some steep snow, but in general the beta from the rangers indicated that conditions were generally amenable to success.

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Cordillera Blanca 2016 Cordillera Blanca 2016  by NatureGirl

It was 2009 when I first climbed high mountains and it happened to be in Peru as well - Misti (5.822 m) - and already by then my target was the Cordillera Blanca / White Range. Due to various events I've never made it till this summer ... finally heading to Cordillera Blanca and with a great plan. We were a team of 3: a friend of us, my boy friend (mountain guide) and me, 5 summits scheduled in 3 weeks, all well prepared so we could get started immediately. Our first week: Urus (5.420), Ishinca (5.530 m) & Tocllaraju (6.032 m).

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