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The best things in life
are...the unknown? The best things in life are...the unknown?  by Bob Sihler

On a chilly March afternoon in March 2006, with my 6-month-old son in a backpack (because his name is Jack, we came to call that backpack the "Jackpack" even in later years when we used it to tote our other children about), I set out with my wife on a popular trail in Capitol Reef National Park. Near our turnaround point, I noticed a gully not too far from the trail, and the gully seemed to promise some Class 3 or 4 scrambling access to some unnamed peaks above. Without having sufficient time left that day to check out the gully, and knowing that my wife wouldn't have appreciated my going off alone and wouldn't want to join me (meaning dragging Jack into something she'd consider dangerous), anyway, I made a mental note to return someday and explore that route and whatever lay above it.

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The 3 Peaks
of the Adirondack Upper Great Range The 3 Peaks of the Adirondack Upper Great Range  by Sjboatwright

In my humble opinion, this is the best hike in the ADKs. It's a brutal 20 mile loop that takes the entire day and brings you over three gigantic peaks. It's a true mountaineers dream, at least for those of those of us out East. Brian and I started our trek at The Garden parking lot in Keene Valley and headed towards Johns Brook Lodge on the Phelps Trail. The morning was chill, but warming quickly and the air was crisp. We stumbled into the Lodge just as those staying at the relatively primitive dwelling were lining up for breakfast. We decided to sit down outside the lodge and have some breakfast of our own, primarily consisting of Cliff and Nutrigrain bars and a bit of Gatorade.

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The Crux Goat The Crux Goat  by LukeJennings

Where did it go? It was 8 pm on Saturday evening and the four of us were clutching our ice axes and handfuls of rocks for defense. An otherwise perfect approach hike day to the base of Black Peak ended with us driven from our camp wondering what to do next. There was a big animal prowling around out there and we did not know when or where it would appear next.

For the eighth BOEALPS Intermediate Climbing Class Outing and third climb in the Alpine series climbs I was assigned Black Peak. This was my second Alpine climb in the North Cascades for the class—two weeks prior I was just up the road at Washington Pass climbing the Liberty Bell group and Le Petit Cheval. I was not complaining, the North Cascades area fantastic area—Washington’s Alps with nearly limitless possibilities for climbing. The trailhead for Black Peak is at Rainy Pass about four miles west of Washington Pass. Fellow student Andrew and 1st year instructors Emily and Sara joined me for the climb. Our instructors were students in the previous year’s ICC. BOEALPS is an all-volunteer organization. It is common for students to return the next year to instruct the class. Emily climbed Black Peak the previous year as an ICC student so this was a chance for her to share her knowledge of the climb…and to confront an old nemesis.

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Finding
Wyoming in Colorado: A Long Weekend in the San Juans Finding Wyoming in Colorado: A Long Weekend in the San Juans  by magicdufflepud

Everyone in Denver wishes he’d spent some time in the San Juans. Just talk to anyone in the hiking community around here and the story’s the same: “Oh yeah, I’ve been meaning to get down there for ages. Just never had the chance.” At six hours in drive time alone from the Front Range, even the nearest peaks aren’t very doable in a weekend. And the 14ers that draw the most folks require at least a day-long hike beyond the trailhead. The rest of the range is similarly remote.

Still, this being Colorado, when I made the trip on a Labor Day weekend, I expected to run into a bunch of other hikers who’d finally received the opportunity to spend some extra time in southwestern Colorado. Except they never materialized. The town of Creede, last stop before the Rio Grande Reservoir and points deeper into the range, bustled with Texans getting into and out of their trucks, but evidently they never made it to the mountains. I also ran into a costumed bachelorette party which, curiously, included the bachelor too. Stranger things have happened.

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Adventures
in Peru-The Sequel Adventures in Peru-The Sequel  by Scott

This is the story of our adventure in Peru and in the Arequipa and Chivay regions. The root of the trip trace back to last fall when a friend asked me where a good place in South America is to go to in early April for some climbing. April can be a tough month to find good climbing conditions in much of South America, but I suggested that the Arequipa region should be reasonable, even if it might not be quite be ideal then.

I was just suggesting a place rather than planning to go myself, but then I checked airfare during our discussion and noticed that it was just over $600 round trip to Arequipa from Denver. This was too good of a deal to pass up, so after checking with my employer, I hoped to book the tickets!

Kessler (my now 11 year old son) and I had already been to that region of Peru, but I was supposed to take Shaylee (my nine year old daughter) on a Daddy daughter trip when she turned 10 and she was getting fairly close to that age (I promised both kids that I would when they turned 10). I asked her if Peru is where she wanted to go and she said yes.

Kessler was one upset kid when he heard that there was a good chance that his little sister could have a chance to beat his high altitude record, so he was begging and pleading to go as well. My wife wanted and needed a break from the kids, so it was decided that I would take both kids to Peru.

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Thunder and
Lightning, playing Russian Roulette with mother nature! Thunder and Lightning, playing Russian Roulette with mother nature!  by Marcsoltan

Feeling that I had done all that I could do to get ready for the trip, my wife and I headed for the Sierras, a six hour drive from our town. After picking up a permit from the visitor center in Lone Pine, we headed for Independence completely forgetting to check the forecast for the mountains. Since we looked like we knew what we were doing, the ranger at the station didn't offer any hints about what to expect either. Late in the afternoon we were in the Onion Valley parking lot looking at the completely overcast sky. Soon after getting out of the car, the pitter patter of rain drops began. "Oh darn, we've come this far and now we have to hike in the rain?" my wife asked. "What do you think Marc, should we go for it?" "Well, I'm afraid if we don't go for it and the clouds lift up, we're going to regret not having gone for it," was my answer. Trusting my judgement, my wife uttered "ok, I'm game."

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Highlights from a
Frustrating Summer Highlights from a Frustrating Summer  by EastKing

This was a hard summer for me both in the hiking field and in my personal life. I have had to go through a number of health issues resulting in weight gain, health issues, extreme poverty, marriage separation and a loss of reliable transportation. I am thankful for my job but the alternating days off have damaged my chances for trip. I won’t lie, though I appreciate my job, I am presently looking for better. The weather this summer was near perfect except when I wanted to go hiking. When I was able to schedule trips I ended up having 21 cancelled trips. This would not be such a big deal if I had a vehicle but unfortunately without one I was doomed. I also had lost a number of hiking partners this summer, from climbing injuries, family movements, and others losing interest. My summer ended fittingly with me getting food poisoning just before being able to go on two awesome trips and a FALSE weather forecast that prevented me from getting two Bulgers I had been eyeing for 6 years.

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Quick trip to Nevada in
April Quick trip to Nevada in April  by Dean

Brett and I only had 2 days to play with so we figured we'd pack those two days as full as we could with Nevada prominence peaks, hopefully 4 overall. I bailed from work after the morning clinic session at the dental hygiene school where I work with the students and headed north to where Brett works and picked him up from there. From there, we drove for 6 hours to get to a car camping spot 25 miles north of I-80 near the small berg called Golconda. Our goals for the next day was Hot Springs Peak and hopefully, Blue Mountain NW of Winnemucca.

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Hiking for the Holidays Hiking for the Holidays  by nartreb

My wife and I were fighting. Again. Even worse, the December holidays were coming up. Mercifully, Hanukah had come and gone at the same time as Thanksgiving, but soon we'd face St Nick's Day, Orthodox Christmas, and Roman Christmas, each bringing obligations and expectations. (I'm an atheist, but my family is made of immigrants from various places, each with very firm holiday traditions.) "Sorry, we'll be in FarAwayFromYouia that week" was a tempting strategy, but there was a problem with that idea too. For some reason, my wife and I can't seem to travel anywhere together without having a huge fight by the end. This year, my wife wanted to go on a Caribbean cruise, which, frankly, sounded very boring to me. With a stop in Disney World -- my idea of a perfect hell. So I was relieved when she told me she'd decided to leave me behind. I figured I'd hang out, catch up on sleep, do some hiking, maybe some ice climbing (if I could find a partner -- marriage and children have thinned my Rolodex). Not ideal, but I was looking forward to being by myself for a while.

The thing about my wife is, though she's impossible to live with much of the time, and she's guaranteed to cause a major relationship crisis at least once a month, every once in a while she'll give me a nice surprise - like a round-trip ticket to Seattle so I could do some holiday hiking with my old friend Greg (better known as EastKing here on SummitPost).

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Maple Mountain in Early
Spring Maple Mountain in Early Spring  by jtrain

I pulled up to the parking lot for the Y trail head just before 6 am Saturday morning. There was a large group of college students congregating there to hike the Y. It took only a minute to pull out my pack, throw on a jacket and start off up the trail. One thing I left in the car was the 7.5 minute USGS quad map that was in the passenger seat but I wouldn't think about for another hour and a half. Having the entire Y trail to myself, I kept up a good pace to the top of Y and knew I wouldn't see the group from the parking lot again, or anyone else for that matter, until coming back down the mountain. The week before I had been up to the summit of Y Mountain for the first time and coming down the trail from Slate Canyon to the Y I had flushed a few chukars out of the brush on the steep slope below. Now I could hear their calls in the rocky cliffs above as I hiked on the same trail.

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