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Grand Canyon Rim to Rim to
Rim Grand Canyon Rim to Rim to Rim  by Diesel

In 2011, I hiked a Rim to River to Rim (down South Kaibab up Bright Angel) in a very casual manner, in a total time of 9 hour and 15 minutes, with an actual hiking time of 7:30 minutes. That is a distance of 16.5 miles. When we popped up at Bright Angel around 5:15 PM I said toward my two beautiful hiking partners (wife & cousin) that I'd never hike Grand Canyon again, that it was stupid, ridiculous and pointless.

In 2013, I hiked Rim to Rim (down North Kaibab up Bright Angel), against everything I said the previous year. That goes to show what a "consistent" to my philosophy individual I am ... not. However, for this hike I trained well and I completed the 23.5 mile in 7:45 minutes non stop hiking. Solo hike this time. Again, when I finished I said that Rim to Rim to Rim is the stupidest idea especially that 28 miles of the hike are being done back and forth on North Kaibab trail. I said there is no variety, no diversity no fun. Whoever does it, doesn't have a life, or anything else better to hike. Little did I know what I was going to do a year from then!

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Matterhorn North Face via
Schmid Route Matterhorn North Face via Schmid Route  by ilanam

For over a year now, our days have been filled with dreams of accomplishing The North Face Project. As our time in Europe is quickly approaching the end, these dreams are cultivating into obsessions. Having four of the six north faces remaining, it became an obsession we realized would likely have to be shelved for another trip to Europe in the distant future. We prioritized the remaining peaks, and knowing that one of them could only be feasibly climbed during the warm summer months, the eight hour away Piz Badile, we were on alert for a forgiving weather window for the other three - Matterhorn, Grandes Jorasses and Petit Dru, in order of descending obsession.

Friday night, after 24 hours of webcam creeping and weather watching, we set off for Zermatt, Switzerland, a seven hour drive. Saturday morning, we slammed back a coffee and some bars before setting off from the posh town of Zermatt (1605m) for the Hörnlihütte (3260m), the base camp for the Matterhorn's North face routes and famous Hornli ridge. Whoof... our packs were heavy and we quickly regretted not forking out the money for the lift to cut out 950m of hiking. We made it to the Hörnlihütte some hours later, immediately followed by a group of five French guides attempting our route and then another two Swiss. I brewed some beer on the patio (how?!) of the "under construction" hut and we quickly made friends, everyone notably nervous about the coming adventure. From a descending party that had to bail from just beyond the bergschrund, due to spindrift and excessive snowfall the previous night, we learned conditions were good and everyone was excited.

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Alps
International Expedition 2014 Alps International Expedition 2014  by markhallam

“Hang on Rob!” I shouted at the Dutch member of our team of three “I don’t like the look of that cloud... “

Somehow, from out of a clear sapphire blue sky the Mönch had gained an ominous looking cap. Crampons creaking on the hard rough surface of the glacier I scrambled out of yet another minor crevasse and stopped to look properly.

“Well – you’re the weather expert...“ For some reason Rob, a.k.a. rgg, a.k.a. The Peak Monster deferred to me on matters of weather predicting.

We were at around 2700m, struggling through a wilderness of chaotic and fractured ice – somewhere in the vicinity of Konkordia, a great glacial confluence miles and miles up the Grand Aletsch Glacier, in Switzerland. It had taken all the previous day to get to this point and we had just spent the night out on the ice, our little camp boxed in on all four sides by crevasses. We were now barely 300 metres away from the camp and just climbing out of about the twentieth crevasse of the morning thus far, when I called for the stop.

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Walker's
Haute Route: Chamonix to Zermatt (with my parents, 2013) Walker's Haute Route: Chamonix to Zermatt (with my parents, 2013)  by StephAbegg

In its entirety, the Walker's Haute route is an 188 km (give or take a few km) hike from Chamonix (France) to Zermatt (Switzerland). It is typically broken into 14 days, although it is possible to combine or skip days by foot or with the assistance of public transportation. But there is no reason to rush it, since the route is a marvelous adventure of snow-capped Alps rising out of spectacular valleys, delightful Swiss villages and remote alp hamlets, flower meadows and fragrant forests, icy streams and majestic glaciers, and much much more.

I first hiked the Walker's Haute Route in 2005, with my sister who was at the time doing a foreign exchange program in Grenoble, France. My parents, too, had become intrigued by our rich experiences on the route, and had decided that someday they too wanted to do this hike. That someday came in the summer of 2013, when my dad was scheduled to be in Europe for a conference at the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich. My parents invited me along as their unofficial guide, and I jumped at the opportunity for a second adventure on the Walker's Haute Route. This was probably the most memorable and enjoyable trip I've ever done with my parents.

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A two-days
traverse of the Polish Karkonosze A two-days traverse of the Polish Karkonosze  by visentin

From the top of Slęża, climbed the week before, and despite the sceptical opinion of Dorota, we could distinguish the blur shape of Karkonosze, South West, in the distance. This was the destination of our next excursion. We had planned it for long. We had already planned it in November, but weather didn't allow us. Dorota had been in Samotnia the spring before, but snow prevented her to climb any further. Finally, a stop in May on the road to Prague allowed us a short hike to the Kamieńczyka waterfall and a pleasant foretaste.

Karkonosze is in Poland the most mountainous part after the Tatras, much more West, and shared with Czech Republic. However, the range is completely different. No sharp mountains there, only wide desertic granitic plateaux bordered with glaciar corries. The landscape reminds somehow of Scotland or the french Auvergne.

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Climbing in
Cape Town! Table Mountain via Platteklip Gorge Climbing in Cape Town! Table Mountain via Platteklip Gorge  by Jaskic

The alternative to the cable car was to hike/climb to the top. There are many different trails and routes up both the front and back side of the mountain. Some are easier than others, some more gradual than others. The most popular, though, is Platteklip Gorge. Platteklip is quite literally a gorge that runs up roughly the middle of the mountain- it's the most direct route up...but not the easiest. It's the fastest route up (due to it's overall short distance), but still not the easiest. The gorge is roughly 2.5 to 3 kilometers, and climbs about 3,400 of the 3,558 feet. Run that math real quick- 2.5 kilometers to cover an elevation gain of 3,200 feet. Yeah, it was steep. About 80% of it was like climbing wide and large "stairs" (not literally) up the side of the mountain. Use of the hands was pretty ideal only about 15% of the time, but you essentially feel like a lilliputian climbing huge stone stairs up this mountain. Because of this, the exposure element is relatively high. Loss of balance climbing stairs (especially as you get tired) is pretty easy to experience, and in this case a fall backwards would send you literally tumbling down the face.

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I Have
Fallen: A Near Death Climbing Accident in the Canadian Rockies I Have Fallen: A Near Death Climbing Accident in the Canadian Rockies  by Josh Lewis

“If you ride like lightning, you’re gonna crash like thunder” - The Place Beyond the Pines

After waking up from a nightmare I slowly came into a reality that was far worse than what I had just experienced. “Did I get hit by a rock?” I asked several times and kept forgetting each time I asked. For the life of me I had no idea what country I was in or what I was doing. Incredible dizziness and much disorientation made it difficult to stand up. I was covered in blood and knew I was in a serious survival situation. I tried not to panic and did everything I could to make it out. “I don't know if I'm going to make it” I screamed in my mind as I felt like fainting while feeling very fatigued. Never have I had a descent as scary as this one.

Due to extensive injuries this trip report has been delayed a few months. My injuries consisted of a bad concussion, broken collar bone, shattered pinky, spinal compression, neck and back fractures, side puncture wound, lacerations, and cuts/bruises all over my legs. Now that my arms are out of a sling and cast, I have most of my fingers to type with. Before heading out on the trip I said “Back in the day I used to chase adventures, now adventures chase me“. Be careful for what you wish for because you just might get it all. This was my worst mountaineering experience to date. I wish the following story was an exaggeration of bad events but instead became a nightmare that to this day haunts me. I'm very lucky to have survived this accident.

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Clear Creek Route, Aug 19,
2014 Clear Creek Route, Aug 19, 2014  by ROSENCLIMBER

This is a narrative of my solo climb of Mount Shasta in August, 2014. The “Detailed Route Map” in the “Clear Creek” route “Approach” section shows the route quite well. (Click on it to enlarge it.) At the time of this climb the most difficult section of the route was class 2. You could get to the summit without crossing any snow or ice at all if you chose to skirt the small summit plateau snow/ice field; however, I chose to cross it as it was more direct and the footing was good.

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A Week in Japan A Week in Japan  by RobSC

When I was in high school, we took part in a program called the American Field Service (AFS), and twice, we had the privilege of hosting a foreign exchange student for a year within our house. [img:734934:alignleft:small:Ryoji, Mom and Dad in 1982 on Camel's Hump, Vermont.]One of the students, Eduardo, is from Costa Rica; the other, Ryoji, from Japan. In both cases the experience and students were wonderful. Over the course of a year living with the students, they become an integral part of the family and became brothers to me rather than people from another country.

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Taking a Crack at Erie Taking a Crack at Erie  by Mike Lewis

Gimpilator took me to Mt. Erie for some rock climbing practice on this ridiculously warm October day. The last time I did a technical climb was the Tooth in June so I thought I could use it and boy what an outing! Of course we usually expect more than what we can muster however I was very satisfied with what we accomplished. I'm grateful to get out and get this mentor experience from such a competent partner and in such a scenic place. Thanks for putting this together! The day started with a beautiful sunrise while I was walking the dog.

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