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Mt. Islip Hike via Crystal
Lake Trail Mt. Islip Hike via Crystal Lake Trail  by StartingOver

On January 2, 2016, I kicked off the new year by hiking to the summit of Mt. Islip in the San Gabriel Mountains. This area is normally covered with snow this time of year, but despite all of the snow falling in the Sierra this late fall and early winter, Southern California has only see a few light storms, and the view from my office downtown indicated that the trip was likely to be snow free. And so it proved -- mostly. There was a little snow on the North-facing slopes, but no more than a couple of inches, and not enough to prevent safe normal hiking without snow gear such as an ice ax or crampons. I hiked to the top via the Crystal Lake trailhead, and descended (following the advice of a kind man I encountered on the way up) via the Islip Ridge trail and Big Cienaga trails. The entire route is about 7.5 miles with about 2,200 feet of elevation gain. It took me about 4.5 hours, though I expect most of you SP'ers could do it in 2-3.

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Crippled Peakbagging III:
Montana Hubris Crippled Peakbagging III: Montana Hubris  by Castlereagh

My plans were getting ambitious. Feeling spry after a good 8 peak Idaho trip, plans began to form for my next trip around Homers Young Peak, whose sublime silhouette had fascinated me since the beginnings of summitpost. I rested for a few days in Salt Lake taking care of errands: getting the care tuned up, getting a start on a contract project that would tide me over between jobs, and spent a few days relaxing, gchatting, eating pizza for lunch and snacking over afternoon coffees at Barnes & Noble, before setting off north again.

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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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