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Walkin' on Water Walkin' on Water  by ZeeJay

As a kid, growing up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, I learned about the Great Salt Lake in school. I never dreamed that one day I'd call Salt Lake City home, but that is where my husband, Joe, landed a job, and so we moved here in 1987. Shortly after arriving we headed to the south shore of the lake prepared to swim, expecting to find a nice white sand beach, showers, and concession stands. The beach was icky brown and dirty, the showers were nozzles attached to the outside of a tanker truck, and neither of us remembers there being any food. It stunk horribly, 100 times worse than the ocean. We never even made it to the water. We were devoured by sand fleas which were everywhere. We only stayed long enough for me to yell "I can't stand it, I can't stand it", and so we left, dashed. It was 14 years before we ventured back the second time for a visit, this time to Antelope Island and then another 12 years (this fall) for a second visit to the island. Those visits went much better as there weren't any bugs in the spring or fall and we weren't expecting resort conditions.

In the meantime, I had become fixated on Fremont Island, which lies about 6.5 miles north of the causeway that runs between the town of Syracuse and Antelope Island. There were three named summits on the island, the highpoint called Castle Rock, and two lesser summits, David E Miller Hill and Beacon Hill. Oh how I would love to stand on the tops of them, but it didn't seem possible as I didn't have any way to get there. Being salty, the lake doesn't freeze, so I couldn't just ski or walk across in winter. However, some googling revealed this very nice blog in which the author tells of an intermittent land bridge/sand bar that appears in times of low water, running between the causeway and the island. According to the blog, the sand bar has been water free only 14 times in the last 167 years. In normal years it is under 6 feet of water and in record wet years under as much as a whopping 17 feet. The author of the blog walked the sandbar in 2008, telling of his experience as well as some interesting history.

Izta and Orizaba in 6 Izta and Orizaba in 6  by Kevintheclimber

I have always wanted to climb Orizaba ever since I learned about it. I first learned about the peak and its sheer elevation (18,400 feet) on my second trip to Mexico, backpacking during my Junior college break. I tried to convince my backpacker friends to give this summit a shot (they all are non climbers) but they balked, saying, "This is spring break!! we should be drinking!!!"

On my third excursion into Mexico, the chances have gotten considerably better. My climbing pal Scott and I had came from Colombia, touching every country in Central America and their tallest peak (the exception being Belize). But alas, it never came to fruition. Due primarily to our other commitments, insufficient funds, and the sheer size of Mexico.

Having graduated last year, I was able to land a teaching job. During my prep hours, I would relentlessly surf the internet, looking at routes, imagining, and envisioning myself bagging those majestic peaks. Then one day, Scott texted me, "Pico de Orizaba; Thanksgiving?" I immediately looked the page on Summit Post and replied, "Hell yeah!! It is on"

Are you nuts? Prusik Peak in
a day. Are you nuts? Prusik Peak in a day.  by LukeJennings

"Are you nuts? Still in the ICC mode i see. Well, i do have interest in prusik but not the death march." That was a friend's text message reply when I asked him if he wanted to join me for a mid-September Prusik Peak climb. Nestled in the heart of the Central Cascades Prusik Peak is an iconic granite spire popular with climbers. I was planning on climbing Prusik via the West Ridge, a classic climb described as "…a route of purity on marvelous granite" by Fred Becky (who made the first ascent of the West Ridge in 1957). Of the multiple routes to the summit of Prusik the West Ridge is the easiest. The catch is that Prusik Peak is located in the heart of the Enchantment Lakes region, lying at almost the exact mid-point of the two approach routes to the base of the peak—approximately ten miles one-way in either direction. There's the rub.

Most people who climb Prusik have secured one of the scarce camping permits and spend the night. One of the top hiking destinations in Washington, the Enchantments are located in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness outside the town of Leavenworth, only a couple hours drive from Seattle. To prevent the Enchantments from being loved to death the Forest Service carefully rations camping permits. Registration opened in February, so by our September climb the permits were all long-since spoken for. Since camping was not an option that meant in addition to the climb we would have to thru-hike the Enchantments, over twenty miles of hiking, all in a single day.

Mount Whitney 8-29-2013 Mount Whitney 8-29-2013  by Jeb

Mount Whitney wasn't even on my radar until Joel suggested we apply for the lottery back in February. I hadn't researched the climb until I found out we won a spot, and I was surprised to learn that although it is the highest piece of earth in the lower 48 States, nothing technical would be required to reach the top. The length and elevation of the climb was nothing new to us, and there is a well-constructed trail all the way up which made altitude adjustment our biggest concern.

Titcomb Basin: Alpine Dream Titcomb Basin: Alpine Dream  by Bob Sihler

Titcomb Basin: It’s probably one of the top 10 must-see alpine destinations in the United States. The fact that climbers from around the world seek it out suggests it is among the must-see alpine destinations on the entire planet.

When climbers or backpackers decide it’s time to experience the Wind River Range, they invariably consider Titcomb Basin or the Cirque of the Towers as a first destination. If you see a picture of the Wind River Range in a calendar or on a postcard or in some travel guide, there’s a good chance it’s of one of those two settings.

Back in
Itatiaia NP : 8000m at 2552m. Is that even possible? Back in Itatiaia NP : 8000m at 2552m. Is that even possible?  by PAROFES

A slight play on numbers that at first glance may seem innocent, but there are grounds , believe, and it is not funny att all . My return to Itatiaia National Park had long been delayed , due to chemotherapy, because of a winter cold front opportunistic , because of my agenda that could not match with my friend and fellow in the mountains, and in particular there, finally , several reasons that invariably , made the plans go wrong . This time everything went right , and not just for us , for more friends . Why should I let a cancer disrupt our way ?

Once Upon a
Time in the Winter Once Upon a Time in the Winter  by boyblue

Born under a bad sign. I been down since I begin to crawl. If it wasn't for bad luck, I wouldn't have no luck at all. -William Bell and Booker T. Jones

So one of my coworkers showed up to work in his motor-home and he's very drunk. He parked on a slight incline and decided to get another beer out of his fridge before entering the building. (He was actually on vacation that evening and so not on duty. He just wanted to wish us a happy New Year.) Anyway, he must have forgotten to put it in 'park' and to set the brake, because while he was fetching his beer, the huge vehicle rolled backward down the incline and across the parking lot. It missed several other cars and zeroed in on my VW van which was parked several dozen feet away in front of a low ivy-covered berm that separated our parking lot from the street.

October's First October's First  by peninsula

After driving north from San Diego on the I-15 and exiting onto HW 395, Lone Pine’s Dow Villa Motel was my next stop. Over the past 34 years, the landscape has changed along the 395. The Inyo Visitor Center is relatively new, Owens Lake bed shows more water (wish I could have seen it before it went dry), and newer lodging has cropped up here and there. Yet the familiarity of this roadway to another Sierra backcountry adventure resonates with a timeless quality, one that greets me like an old friend.

Ridge Traverse, East to West Cottonwood Ridge Traverse, East to West  by jmaberry

I had been eyeing the Cottonwood Ridge Traverse since I first moved to SLC a little more than a year ago. It includes 5 named peaks over 11,000 feet and beautiful exposure for much of the route, in my favorite mountain playground. When the weather started to cool down towards the end of the summer, I convinced my buddy Trace to join me and we made plans to head up on the first Wednesday of October. This route is typically done from West to East, starting at Broads Fork and finishing up by Alta. Somewhat arbitrarily, we decided to do it in the opposite direction. A 4:30 wake up got us to the trailhead around 6 after dropping off a second car at the Broads Fork trailhead.

Washington (Olympic National Forest) 12-7-2013 Mount Washington (Olympic National Forest) 12-7-2013  by Jeb

On Saturday I had some afternoon plans in Shelton, so Colin and I decided to hit up the Olympics for some early morning peak-bagging. Thanks to some recent beta from a few NW Hikers Colin and I were able to make a confident attempt at Mount Washington. We drove through Hoodsport around 6:30 as the morning light crept in. After turning left on road 2419 a small coyote(or possibly a fox?) leaped onto the road and began running up it as if we were in hot pursuit. We followed behind in amusement as it sprinted up the road with no apparent intention to head for the woods on either side. After a minute or so we backed off to give the road-running coyote a chance to leave the road, but when we continued on a few minutes later we quickly caught up as it caught it's breath and then finally decided to retreat into the brush. I misread the trail's location just north of the junction for road 014 to the Mount Ellinor Trailhead. Instead we took the turn, realizing the mistake as we stopped to admire the pre-dawn light just before arriving at the trailhead.

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