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Eagles Dare Where Eagles Dare  by Bob Sihler

Call me crazy, but seeing a golden eagle soar along about 10 yards overhead paralleling your route as you are traversing an exposed ridge after a nice snow climb to an unnamed peak in a lightly used range in one of the world's greatest wilderness complexes pretty much makes the day, no matter what else happens-- including a skin-soaking thunderstorm-- a great one.

And that was just one of the highlights. It was a great day of mountaineering, easily among one of my best ever.

Ditching Black thoughts from
my Head Ditching Black thoughts from my Head  by Mike Lewis

I left with Joanna on July 27th at 6:00 am from Lynnwood to the North Fork Sauk trail-head with the intention of camping at White Pass where we part ways, climbing Indian Head the next morning, moving to Red pass in the afternoon and then attempt the Painted Traverse counter-clockwise to Black Mountain the following day. The last bit didn't work out since I felt unsafe without snow in the gulley on Black but overall it was a great time out.

I hadn't had any sleep the previous night since I was talking with my brother Josh and Matt Lemke who had just returned from a long trip in Peru and also some personal stuff I wanted to take care of. The trail miles seemed a little slower since I hadn't been used to packing for multiple days in a while. We arrived at Mackinaw around 10am and took a brief water break before marching up the hot switchbacks to White Pass. I was very surprised to see how many wild strawberries there were all the way up the trail in sunny clearings. They are ripening and very much sweeter than store-bought.

Father and
Daughter Adventures in Central America Father and Daughter Adventures in Central America  by Scott

This is the story of a father-daughter adventure in Central America. I had told the kids that when they turned 10, they could do a trip with just dad if they would like.

Shaylee and I had planned a trip to Central America so we could do a humanitarian aid trek. Unfortunately, the organizers of the treks decided that she was too young, so we had to make alternate plans. We came up with lots of alternate plans including bungee jumping, climbing volcanoes, ziplining, and viewing wildlife. Despite a few bumps and setbacks, we accomplished a lot in our allotted 19 days away from home.

This was my third time to Guatemala (having been there in 1992-1993 and 2008) and Shaylee’s second time. I knew Guatemala had changed when the first store I saw was a Wal-Mart! Although I had been to Guatemala on two previous trips, other than climbing Volcán Tajumulco, we would visit things and areas that we hadn’t seen before. The first trip to Guatemala, I climbed Volcán Tacana and Volcán Tajumulco and the second time we visited Esquipulas and the Copan area.

We had also both visited El Salvador previously (2008), but last time we visited La Palma and El Pital (the highest peak in the country), so this time we’d see all new areas.

Harvard/Columbia winter
traverse 2015 Harvard/Columbia winter traverse 2015  by pchernik

On Friday, January 16th we drove down from Denver area to Buena Vista. The guide book talked about parking around 9200 ft in the winter, as the road would not be plowed past that point. We drove up to about 9000 ft of elevation, but had to go back and park around 8700 on the side of the road, as we didn't have chains and the 4WD had trouble going up the snowy uphill.

We left the car around 10pm and hiked in up to roughly 9100 ft, just past the boundary of the San Isabel National Forest, where we pitched our tent on the snow. Given that next day's 8 mile hike didn't promise to be too difficult, we set the alarm for 7:30am, and went to sleep around midnight.

On Saturday, January 17th we got up around 7:30 am, and started moving by about 9am after having breakfast and packing up.

2014 on Orizaba and Iztaccihuatl Christmas 2014 on Orizaba and Iztaccihuatl  by shknbke

Orizaba has been on my list of international adventures for quite some time. It is a logical stepping stone to grander plans. With my only above 14K’ experience being on Kili some 7 years ago, it was prudent to test the waters at high altitude again. My experience on Kili was good, but I didn’t feel as strong on summit day as I would have liked. My friends Dave and Jane Schmid had a trip booked for late December, but I wasn’t sure I could pull off the vacation days. Since the trip was wrapped around Christmas weekend, it would only require 4 days off. The bonus for this trip would be 17er Iztaccihuatl on a day’s rest if the weather cooperated. I signed up with a little over a month to plan, and it was a decision I wouldn’t regret!

There were 7 of us, but we had 3 different travel itineraries. Dave, Jane, and I elected to use the shuttle services of Antonio Juarez Guzman for travel to the Canchola’s hostel in Tlachichuca. We also used him for transport to Izta and back to Mexico City. Although the bus system would have been about 1/3rd of the cost, the convenience was worth it. We didn’t have to worry about our gear getting stolen and were able to pickup groceries very conveniently. Antonio and his employee Joel were very reliable for the duration of the trip and are highly recommended.

Trapdike, December 2014 Trapdike, December 2014  by nickbk

The Adirondacks received a lot of snow this past December, so on December 20 the Trapdike was much more of a snow climb than an ice climb. In fact, at several points I was swinging my ice tools through a few inches of snow and into rock. And on the slab we found ourselves similarly having nothing under the snow to stick our crampons into.

Because of all snow, the gully part of the climb was easy at first. The 3 of us roped up together with a 60-meter rope, and Josh put in a few anchors and ice screws at the most tricky and exposed points. All 3 of us used 2 ice tools, although for much of the climb I gripped onto the top and used the handle like a mountaineering ice ax.

Pilgrimage to the Eagles'
path Pilgrimage to the Eagles' path  by peterbud

Nice sunny morning in the capital of Hungary. It's time to start, we have arranged to fetch the other half of our team in the outskirts at 8 am. We are ready to go, but the door of the garage doesn't react to the remote controller. Looks like we've got a problem... Maybe it's the RC malfunctioning. Amm, it's Saturday, and all my neighbors are still sleeping in the building. It wouldn't be polite to wake up someone just to let us out from the garage. But we have to be at the hut under Rysy by the evening!

15 minutes later... free! Half an hour after the successful escapade we meet the others, so the team (consisting of my friend Tamás, his friends Máté and Balázs plus yours truly) is finally together. This will be the first Tatra trip of Tamás's friends. Time to hit the road north. We stop for a short lunch on Čertovica pass in the Low Tatras. Despite the sunny weather, it's much colder than at home. Well, we're above 1200 m, so the difference is not surprising. As the car descends, the excitement grows. Partly because of anticipating the first glimpse on the High Tatras, partly because of the clouds that can already be seen towards our destination.

Rock Climbing around El
Chorro Rock Climbing around El Chorro  by rgg

It's been a few months since the last bit of climbing I've done. By now it's late in the year, the days are getting shorter and darker and temperatures are dropping. We are looking around for a place to go rock climbing. The obvious solution is to fly south, to a warm, sunny place. But where?

Last year Jan and I went to Gran Canaria, and although we were unlucky to get much more rain than usual, and a few days with stormy winds on which we couldn't climb, we still got good weather most of the days, and often got balmy temperatures. All in all, we still got a decent amount of climbing done. However, there still are lots of opportunities we didn't have time to explore, so that's where we decide to look first. But we have left it too late, and there are few cheap flights left.

The paddle points to Finca la Campana, one of the many accommodation options. We stayed at their bunkhouse. Somewhere in Southern Europe, along the Mediterrean coast then? Or perhaps further south, in Africa? As usual, our search starts on the internet, and it doesn't take long at all to find a good alternative: we shall go to Andalucía, Southern Spain, to the area around El Chorro to be precise. On the Rockfax site we read that there are more than a thousand bolted routes down there, so we will have plenty to chose from.

Zimmer-- Zip Is Not Always
Zilch Zimmer-- Zip Is Not Always Zilch  by Bob Sihler

What constitutes a good day in the mountains?

Some will say any day in the mountains is good, or at least that a bad day in the mountains beats a good day in the office. Although I appreciate that sentiment, I’m not so sure I agree; while I’ve never had a day at work I wish I could live over and over again, I have had days in the mountains that I wish had never happened. A day of non-stop rain when I was backpacking in the Sierra Nevada once comes to mind. Low clouds devoured the views almost all day long, and the crappy cover I had for my tent proved to be both too small and a wonderfully porous conduit for water. That day sucked.

But back to the question. For a mountaineer, especially as his experience and ability grow, it is all too easy to judge the day by whether or not he made the summit. A shutout, no matter the reason, becomes a failure and a throwaway, a waste.

Solo Climb
of Boundary Peak Solo Climb of Boundary Peak  by Bombchaser

Since I was going to be working in Fallon, Nevada for several weeks, I decided to find some mountains to climb. In 2007 I had attempted to summit Boundary Peak, Nevada with a partner. We were forced to turn back 700 feet from the summit. So this mountain was at the top of the list. I put a plan together and decided I would spend three days and try to summit both Boundary Peak 13,140 feet, and also Montgomery Peak 13,441 feet just over the state line in California. I put together my 40 pound overnight ascent pack. The weather was calling for partly sunny, temperatures; high 20 and lows 1, with 40 mph winds, and minus 20-30 wind chills. I would leave early on Friday and return Sunday. I ended up getting a late start on Friday since I had to wait for a piece of gear to arrive in the mail. I got on the road for the long drive south around 7:00am.

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