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Kungsleden and Kebnekaise Kungsleden and Kebnekaise  by rockymountaindiva

The prior year we trekked on the Troms Border Trail in Norway and enjoyed it so much we thought we'd try something similar in Sweden, adding a peak-bagging adventure. We did 2 treks on different parts of the Kungsleden, broken up by a return to Kiruna to stock up on supplies. The Kungsleden was a lot more crowded than the Troms Border Trail, and for that reason we were slightly disappointed. However, we lucked out on the weather on peak-bagging day and summited the highest point in Sweden!

A Grand and Challenging Trip
in the Canyon A Grand and Challenging Trip in the Canyon  by Scott

Kessler, my four year old son and I decided that the New Hance-Grandview Loop would make a nice Thanksgiving outing. Since Kessler is an experienced hiker and very confident in rock scrambling and since the trail is easy to get a permit for since it isn’t crowded, it seemed like a good choice. Kessler was ready and experienced enough for something more challenging than the standard routes on most of the Colorado 14ers and was very excited for the trip. He has been hiking up to 13 or more miles a day on occasion, but we knew we couldn’t make those distances on these routes. Although we carried ropes and a child harness, we found that these were not needed.

Butt Wooping by an Evil
Gumdrop Butt Wooping by an Evil Gumdrop  by imzadi

Since we have only been hiking since May of 08, we hadn't yet experienced winter hiking. We were all outfitted (microspikes, warm cloths, snowshoes, etc...Eastern Mountain Sports LOVES us). Now, it was time to actually put these new items to use. After much discussion, we decided to tackle Mt. Blue. At approximately 3000 feet and only 1.6 miles of trail, we figured it couldn't be that difficult. We had hiked much longer and taller. This would be a good place to start.

As we have had problems in the past with wasting time finding the trailhead and we knew that we would have to snowshoe 2.0 mi up the Mt. Blue Rd (not maintained in the winter) to get there, we decided to take a Saturday "quick" trip to cross-country ski the Mt. Blue Rd and find the trailhead. This way, we would know exactly where we were going in the dark for our hike. What a great trip this was. We skied for about 4 hours...up this road, down that side trail, up this trail. Several times, we had a peek of our quest through the trees. Yes, it does look like a gumdrop as stated in our guidebook...how pretty. However...we never did find that trailhead...we just didn't go far enough...it's difficult to judge 2 miles...especially without a map. Once back to the car (and our map), we figured we had just hadn't gone far enough but that it would be easy to find next Friday.

Thirty-Six Hours on the
Rockpile Thirty-Six Hours on the Rockpile  by dwhike

The plan was a simple one. We would begin our trek at the base of Mt. Eisenhower and follow the Edmands Path up to the ridge. From there we would have the option of making the quick jaunt up to the summit of Eisenhower before continuing north along the ridge. The plan was to leisurely follow the ridge, enjoying the serene wintertime beauty, passing over Franklin and Monroe before setting up camp for the night near Lake of the Clouds Hut. After a cozy night we would continue north along the ridge visiting Washington, Clay, Jefferson, Adams, and Madison. We would enjoy another comfortable night, this time near Madison Spring Hut, talking about all the beauty we’d seen and how easily we had accomplished our Winter Presidential Traverse. The following morning we would head down on well-rested legs to our awaiting car at Appalachia. Seemed simple enough…

"Mr. Sandman, bring me a dream"  by PAROFES

It doesn't look like a Trip Report, but actually it is. This TR is about the time I went to Condoriri absolutely alone for a full day adventure, alone, cold, hungry, with loads of thoughts, facing seven snow falls, -20°C of wind chill, to hike Austria Peak (17.438ft).

As I left La Paz with my ride to Tuni, just me and the taxi driver, I had loads of thoughts on my mind, and I tried to push them away since all of them were related to fear. For some funny reason, all I could think about was this song, and I think this is the appropriate words to use as my trip report of a full day hike, 14 hours of loneliness and a single song in my head.

It was a great experience for me. Unique I must say. That day I could find out more about me and my actions facing a new kind of situation, totally alone and 200 kms away from any support, after all, Tuni is nothing more then a small village with I don't know, 10 houses? That's it. If you get hurt in Condoriri even with a group is a scary situation, but if you get hurt alone up there? You can kiss your ass good bye. Anyway...loved the hike, loved the adventure, and finished my project with this summit.

Mehrchal, a beautiful
mountain near Tehran Mehrchal, a beautiful mountain near Tehran  by kamran

I may be wrong but I think among all the capital cities in the world Tehran is the only one (with 12 million people) where you can do ice climbing in the middle of summer. It takes you only half an hour of driving (20 miles) and 15 minutes of hiking to get to the ice wall. I was in Tehran from June 19th till July 12th, and I went to a couple of mountains. One of them was Mehrchal (3921m). Mehrchal massif includes several peaks with 8 of them higher than 3500m. There are lots of scenic routes and spectacular areas in this region. One of them is Hassandar canyon. This spectacular canyon with impressive rock-walls is one of the most avalanche-prone areas in the whole region.

Persis-Index Traverse in 15 hours Persis-Index Traverse in 15 hours  by Mike Lewis

It all started for me back in December when the winter blues was driving me nuts. I wanted to get out and do something epic but reasonable. Okay, maybe something unreasonable. The Persis-Index traverse seemed to fit the bill but with limited bus service and no car I had to make quick work of it. It had to be in a day. I hastily drew a GPX file following beta from Matt and Yana's trip and what looked like (on Google Earth anyways) easy-ish snowy terrain. Biking service roads was still fresh in my legs so I felt ready. While not intuitive, my last epic ended up taking place mostly at night which was a good thing. Soloing Kololo peaks with any margin of safety required that the glacier snow be as frozen as possible and the ascent to White Pass stay cool so I could make good time. I decided that I could extrapolate this wisdom unto the traverse to Index since I wanted those cornices and wind loaded slopes to stay put with me on them. Having never actually been there in daylight, it did sound challenging to stay on route with all the cliffs and gendarmes so good weather and moonlight were necessary.

Vesper and Sperry solo Vesper and Sperry solo  by awilsondc

When I moved to Washington state in 2008 I knew there would be great opportunities to explore some pretty amazing mountains. I had done some trips to the Olympic range as well as the Goat Rocks so I knew there were some great peaks to be climbed here in Washington. What I didn’t know, was how awesome it was in the North Cascades! I really got North Cascades fever in 2012 after summiting Mount Thompson and Columbia Peak. Since then I’ve been heading up north as often as I can to explore more of the area. Living in Chehalis (half way between Seattle and Portland) it’s quite a long drive for most North Cascades peaks so I have to leave early. The goal for this weekend was a double summit of Vesper and Sperry Peaks. Two gems with a decent amount of class 3 climbing, my favorite!

SARed in the Dead of Night SARed in the Dead of Night  by Noondueler

I had just come from what I thought was the summit of Horse Mountain 4,686' after a brief trip to the top of Elk Mountain 4,191' from roads that access these peaks. It appeared to be about an acre clearing surrounded by trees. Zero views. But on the way back I found a stretch of hillside that had pretty good views south towards Clear Lake. I lingered enjoying taking photos at leisure. The way back should only take half hour most down the trail I came up that met the fire road. It's getting on dusk and I go over to where I thought the trail came up. Figured It would be obvious. Couldn't find it. Since I didn't take the road I wasn't sure which way to go. It's getting real dusky now with less than 30 of useable light. Try to get my bearings. Had no map, it was all google earth memory. Basically poor prep. But it was really so easy getting up. Decide to bushwack down a bit but get stonewalled by a thicket.

4 Days & 5
Climbs near Moab: Castleton, Moses, Top of the World Overlook, Three Penguins,
El Segundo 4 Days & 5 Climbs near Moab: Castleton, Moses, Top of the World Overlook, Three Penguins, El Segundo  by StephAbegg

It had been nearly three months since I packed my Subaru full of climbing and photography gear and drove south out of Bellingham. My first destination had been City of Rocks in Idaho, and I had no plans after that other than to find good rock, good partners, and good weather. And hopefully make a good summer out of it. It turned out to be a spectacular summer. Over the course of three months, I strung together a series of climbing adventures: from the City of Rocks I drove down to Salt Lake City to climb for a few days in Lone Peak Cirque, then it was back up to Idaho for a week at Elephant's Perch, then to wild Wyoming for a week in the Cirque of the Towers followed by a few days at Devil's Tower, then an impromptu trip to Colorado to climb in Rocky Mountain National Park and Eldorado Canyon, then back to Wyoming to climb some harder routes in the Cirque of the Towers, and finally in invitation by my Cirque climbing partner Dow to come down to his place in southwest Utah and climb "locally" with him, mostly in Zion and also a couple of days at Red Rocks. Time flew by, and soon it was a week into September, and I needed to be home soon to start preparing my lecture materials for the upcoming Fall Quarter of teaching. I put the bug in Dow's ear about climbing some desert towers near Moab on my way home....

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