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Basic-ly Northwest: Tahoe
Days Basic-ly Northwest: Tahoe Days  by Castlereagh

A month of weekends in Idaho. An accident in Savannah. Crutches, last day at work, Montana, Idaho, Montana, Orlando, Kings Peak and lightning, Glacier National Park…boomerang from practically the Canada border right back down to Vegas, bachelor party, Hard Rock, Club Rehab, Death Valley, Telescope Peak…it had been an interesting three months, and now I was on the first leg of my last extended western jaunt before moving back east.

The goal was to get from Las Vegas to the Oregon Coast. I’d be a basic tourist on my first real journey through the northwest to see the popular sights…Lassen National Park, Crater Lake, the Redwoods. I wanted to climb my first Cascade volcano…I wanted breweries, bars, and to finally relax amidst the soothing waves of the ocean. And I had only a few weeks to do it before my buddy flew in to move me out of Utah.

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The Fishers
Odyssey; when peakbagging and aid climbing collide The Fishers Odyssey; when peakbagging and aid climbing collide  by McCannster

Spring of 2013 found me in an interesting spot in life. I had been out of college for almost a year, spending most of that time aimlessly wandering Europe and living the dirtbag lifestyle in my beloved Sierra. It was care-free living. But soon the gravity of life dawned on me, and I figured I should probably try and become a functioning, productive member of society. I moved back to Colorado, moved in with my girlfriend, and started looking for a job. Another wall of reality smashed into me; they don't exactly hand out jobs, especially in the field I was searching, to inexperienced youngsters who had spent the past year dicking around the world. I was in a funk; not quite sure if this whole lifestyle of living in the suburbs and trying to find a corporate teat to suckle on was for me. My climbing slowed down to a trickle. Upon learning of my return to Colorado, my pal Noah contacted me in hopes of roping me in for ascent of something called the Oracle, in the Fisher Towers. Noah and his partner Brian were already balls deep in their own Fisher Odyssey. In hindsight, the smarter and safer thing to do would have been to decline. This was a big aid climb. At that time, I had only barely dipped my pinky toe into the netherworld of aid climbing, having done two measly, short, C1 pitches in Boulder Canyon, several years beforehand. But, against my better judgement, I accepted, After all, I was unemployed, in a funk, and looking to get out of my comfort zone in climbing. I got all that, and oh so much more. Little did I know I was about to embark on a journey that would take me all sorts of places.

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Panther
Gorge-Two New Ice Climbs on Mt. Haystack-2016 March 5 Panther Gorge-Two New Ice Climbs on Mt. Haystack-2016 March 5  by MudRat

Heeding the call of the mountains after nearly a month of fighting and recovering from the flu, I rallied for a last winter trip into Panther Gorge. The ice on Mt. Haystack captured my curiosity during 2015 and again this past January when we studied the lines while climbing on Mt. Marcy. Additional photos by Matt Dobbs during the first ascent of Sorry, Kevin (WI4) at the end of February fueled my urge to climb a couple of them before they came down with the impending warm weather. No ice climbs had been documented on that side of the gorge so it seemed like an opportune time during a winter made for ice climbing at elevation.

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Mt. Hood:
Enjoying the Present while Honoring the Past Mt. Hood: Enjoying the Present while Honoring the Past  by EastKing

Before I begin writing yet another Mount Hood trip report stating and showing the success and struggles I had on Mount Hood, I want to pay a respect for Luke Gullberg, Katie Nolan and Anthony Vietti. For those who didn’t know the story about these three climbers, they were the climbers who passed away on Mount Hood in December of 2009. Though I didn’t know Katie Nolan or Anthony Vietti, I talked to Luke briefly at REI about Mount Hood, and Rainier. He was one of the nicest people I have ever ran into and he had a true passion for climbing. It was literally a week or two before he passed away on Mount Hood when I talked to him. I decided to make a sign for each of them in order to pay my respects to those three climbers. I want all who climb Mount Hood to keep these three climbers in mind.

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Tornadoes
and Flooding in Winter, Cheaha Mountain, Woodall and Britton, HP 22-25 Tornadoes and Flooding in Winter, Cheaha Mountain, Woodall and Britton, HP 22-25  by Adam Doc Fox

South of Cincy the road forked, and I opted to head towards Louisville. Hit a traffic jam. Just as the congestion was building, there was an exit. That is the hardest choice while traveling. You think, “Get off the exit and self-navigate around the delay? But how long would that take? Will I get lost? Or should I stay and hope it clears up quickly?” My rule has always been as long as traffic is moving, albeit at a snail’s pace, you stay. So I did. After taking an hour to go four miles, it cleared. Construction crew was putting up a sign, and everyone just HAD to slow down and stare, causing an accident. Which resulted in even more staring.

All my momentum was lost. Was making good time and feeling solid, then it became a grind. And the road from Louisville to Nashville was even worse. All construction, 55 MPH, clueless women captains aged 40-60 with both hands on the top of the wheel, as if it were holding them up, refusing to merge into the slow lane. The only thing that kept me sane was realizing that most drivers aren’t daydreaming about anything cool—they are just in a field, petting a pony, whispering, “Good pony.”

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One Last
Stop on Longs One Last Stop on Longs  by MarkDidier

Yeah, I remember it like it was yesterday, the first time I learned of this mountain referred to as Longs Peak. And I still remember the pain I felt knowing it was going to be a long time before I would ever get to see her…

I must confess that I had gotten over Longs Peak a long long time ago. Play on words intended! I don’t mean this in the peakbagging sense…well, I guess, yes in the peakbagging sense, as I had gotten over, or past Longs summit cairn twice before. But in the emotional sense, yes I had gotten over Longs a long long time ago. Considering the passion I had for this peak at one time, I consider having gotten over her to be a big deal.

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Wandering
through the cliff bands on Ruby Peak Wandering through the cliff bands on Ruby Peak  by calebEOC

Top 100 peak #66 I've been working away at the Oregon Top 100 list for about 10 years now, each year usually picking off somewhere in the neighborhood of 4 to 8 peaks. I've really enjoyed the Top 100 list, I've made some great friends and seen most of the state. Oregon has long been my favorite place to hike and climb, and the Eagle Cap Wilderness has become my favorite region in the state. The great thing for me is that the Wallowa Mountains host over 30 Top 100 peaks, and are only a short 3 hour drive from my house just across the border in Washington state. Finding time away from work these last 5 years has been fairly difficult, so as is usually the case I had to shoehorn a climb into a single day trip away from the house. Leaving Kennewick early on a Saturday morning my buddy and I arrived in Enterprise around 7am to nearly clear skies with a few clouds wafting through. We made haste up the mountain in my little Suzuki 4x4 following the directions found here on summitpost, I managed to drive right past the trailhead, up through the quarry, and on up the mountain until I reached a point around 6400 feet in elevation where the road became completely overgrown. Completely lost we pulled the car off the road and packed up for our dayhike. Note to anyone else climbing Ruby Peak, if you've reached the quarry you've gone too far!

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Kungsleden
and Kebnekaise Kungsleden and Kebnekaise  by DiscoStu

I’ve been climbing, hiking and skydiving for a few years now, but despite the risks, I have never been around to see someone badly hurt or killed in an accident. The closest I’ve come was passing a hiker in Sweden a few hours before he fell off a cliff and died on the same route I had just taken.

In June 2010 I had made the long journey to the north of Sweden to do a section of the Kungsleden (‘King’s Trail’). It is Sweden’s great hiking track, running from up in the Arctic circle down south for over 400km. I had nine days and was going to get as far as I could before I had to find my way out a side trail to get to a road and public transport.

It remains to this day one of the greatest hikes I have ever done. I started at the northern end, getting off a train at Abisko station in the absolute middle of nowhere where the trail began. The route is well manned during the winter and summer season, but has a dead spell in Spring during the change of seasons. While I was there the huts were empty, and the trail still snow covered and completely free of other walkers. The sun dropped below the hills during the night, but it was still light as day and hard to sleep until exhaustion caught me around midnight each evening.

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Panther Gorge-3 New Routes
on Haystack Side Panther Gorge-3 New Routes on Haystack Side  by MudRat

Anticipation reached a crux inside; the snow was gone and the rock was exposed. It was time to venture into Panther Gorge once again. Adam Crofoot (MaxSuffering) and Allison Rooney were my willing partners, both expert climbers and eager explore after a winter of backcountry skiing. The only participant that wasn’t totally agreeable was the weather. We’d but a small weather window to work within on Saturday, May 30th.

Adam and Allison walked in to Slant Rock Lean-to during the afternoon of Friday, May 29. I walked in later, leaving the Garden trailhead around dark which placed me at the lean-to about 11:00 pm. It was full, but I had a bivouac sack and found a comfortable place in the woods to watch the moonlit clouds blow by.

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Organ Peak, almost Organ Peak, almost  by nader

Organ Mountains create a small range that rise to the east of the city of Las Cruces in southern New Mexico. The range runs north-south and is less than 15 miles long. When viewed from Las Cruces, the peaks of Organ Mountains appear as needles similar to the pipes of a giant organ rising 4 to 5000 feet above the desert floor.

At 8872 ft, Organ Peak is the third highest peak in the range (after Organ Needle 9012 ft and Little Squaretop 8919 ft) but is the highest summit that can be reached without technical difficulties.

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