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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.

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!

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.

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.

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).

4 full days
in Mexico 4 full days in Mexico  by xDoogiex

I was wanting to go down to Pico de Orizaba and Iztaccíhuatl for awhile. Especially after my failed attempt on Cayambe the year before. I didn't have much time or any time to acclimatize on that trip and just wanted the experience. I wasn't even sure if I would make this trip till 2 days before. I went through All Climbing Colorado up here and they went through Cumbre 7 expeditions. Since I fly standby the first issue was making it on a Sunday. One of the worst days to fly. Houston was all booked so I flew to San Francisco at sea level. I hungout with two co workers as they traveled to Japan for a bit. Due to flow control into SFO my 4hr layover ended up turning into 7hrs. After a huge delay I was on my way and I texted Alex to know I was going to make it. I arrived to Mexico City about 10:30pm. That was my first time flying international with my own equipment. I met my guide Luis for the week and we drove down to Amecameca. There I met Ruben and we talked for a bit and I slept in a hotel.

Death Looms A Foot Away Death Looms A Foot Away  by EastKing

This trip was a mere foot or less from ending so differently from the terrific success that it did. It often is a reminder of how much one should cherish all of ther experiences and not take thing for granted. It is also a reminder that hiking and climbing has its inherit dangers even on the easiest of trails. Thankfully though, this was a great success and the near tragedy did not happen.

This trip formed largely because I was getting very depressed over having a very poor summer. As some of you may know, my health is really beginning to fail me in many ways. I have been dramatically slowed from having constantly swollen feet to sleeping issues and serious weight gain linked to a serious case of hypothyroidism. On top of this, this was another very stressful summer working and the result was yet another summer let down. I look to be going into the winter having to accomplish the least amount of hikes and climbs since 2007, the year I moved to Washington State. Also, we had a very rainy October when I was finally going to get out and enjoy danger and you can see how frustrated I became. Add on that I took off three in November only to find out that they were going to be rainy as well, and I flew out to California.

So, on the last minute I decided to book myself a flight to Los Angeles with the goal of doing Mount San Antonio and whatever other peak I could find in the region. My friend, Josh Lewis, was having a number of issues going on so I decided to bring him along as well. I figured I needed him due to the fact my health is not what it once was and I may need some help and encouragement along the way.

A Short Walk in the Grand
Canyon-Rim to Rim A Short Walk in the Grand Canyon-Rim to Rim  by Bill Reed

Rim to Rim has a cool sound to it, no doubt. Though it’s somewhat commonplace today, not all that long ago the idea of hiking across the Grand Canyon was anything but and it’s not something I even considered until an opportunity to go back to the Canyon came up recently. My brother-in-law from England was retiring in May of 2014 and he fancied a trip into the Canyon to knock off one of the first things on his “Bucket List”. After some initial discussions on the idea in September of 2013, we decided to apply for a permit for September of 2014. As we hammered out our plans via e-mail over the next couple months, the trip morphed from a simple down and back from the South Rim to a north to south Rim to Rim. Since I’d done the down and back thing a couple times and had never been to the North Rim, I suggested it and Steve, being Steve readily agreed to it. When I spoke of the trip to my buddy, Nelson, he expressed an interest in accompanying us. The more the merrier Steve said, “He can help you carry me out of the Canyon if I can’t make it!”. So be it. All that was left was to get our permit, make the necessary reservations, and to get in shape! As it turned out, getting in shape would arguably be the easiest part.

Peak Larches McClellan Peak Larches  by Mike Lewis

So my friend Marty and his friend Ben invited me to join them for an overnight photo feast at Perfection lake. The offer would receive a resounding Hell Yeah!! from most hikers. Alas, the peakbagger inside me hasn't quite died yet. I told them it sounded nice but that I was really gunning for Three Fingers. They were very insistent and when my plan became unreasonable (no extra bike for my potential partner - and if you're reading this, sorry man I just didn't feel like going all that ways on foot) I decided that McClellan would make a fine consolation prize and given the beta on larches around lake Vivian, we were in for a show.

Marty came by to pick me up at 6am and leaving Ben's house in Mukilteo at 6:30 am, we drove along US 2 in the fog and through the always majestic Tumwater canyon and hit the Snow Lakes trail at around 9:30am. It was surprisingly cool which was great for sweating up-hill. We passed a few parties and really just took our time. For my friends it would be one of the more difficult things they've done so we monitored our pace. Lake Nada was a great first sight and although we agreed not to stop any place too long, I had to have a prolonged lunch there.

McAdie and Mount Irvine 2016 Mount McAdie and Mount Irvine 2016  by Diesel

I have no idea what made me add Mount McAdie to my list of summits for 2016. Probably it was a suggestion from Summit Post. I am glad I took that suggestion and looked into it. My research revealed that most of the hikers that go up to McAdie also bag Mt. Irvine in the same trip. I actually planed to be even more achieving and also bag Mt. Mallory in the same trip. But that did not materialize. Maybe next year.

A few things I had to consider before the hike. One was the hiking permit. Since the trail to Mt. McAdie goes through the blessed Whitney Zone, I needed a permit to hike that portion of the trail (6 miles from Whitney Portal to Consultation Lake.) (I could go on and on about the Whitney Zone permit hassle, but it would be too much drama and take away from describing the hike.) I was thinking I could just go without a permit since, at that very early starting time, nobody is there to check permits. I could just go up to Consultation Lake, veer left (South) to Arc Pass, go up to McAdie, than come down to Arc Pass, go up to Mt Irvine and from there hike over to Mallory and than straight down to Meysan Lake, on the other side of the mountain (area which is not in the Whitney Zone) and continue down the Meysan Trail to Whitney Portal. I have to apologize here to everyone that doesn't understand what the hell I'm saying here. For the folks that know that area, this loop I just described is easy to understand. Anyway, I ended up getting a permit and avoid any future possible interaction with the law.

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