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West Desert Madness West Desert Madness  by Castlereagh

I was on full tilt peakbagging. Two outings to Zion were very rewarding in their own right, but my peak totals for the year were quite low going into April. That, and the purchase of a gas guzzling bitch of a 4Runner meant that I was trading money, with the purchase of the car and additional gas moolah, in exchange for better access to more peaks and trailheads. Yet my first weekend with the 4Runner I visited only Dutch Mountain, a peak that the old Camry could have reached easily.

With March Madness dying down in terms of overall quantity of games played I had a little more leeway in terms of peak options. During Final Four weekend I didn’t have to worry about any games to watch Sunday and even Saturday saw the games not tipping off until the late afternoon. I vowed to work around that and try to get as many peaks as I could in the Utah West Desert.

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Quick Trip
to Guadalupe Peak + Bonus Adventures Quick Trip to Guadalupe Peak + Bonus Adventures  by Jow

This summer I watched the first season of FX’s new crime drama The Bridge. The show takes place on the border of El Paso and Juarez, so this area of the world had been on my mind quite a bit. So when a short weekend opened up for some high pointing Guadalupe Peak via El Paso was my first thought.

Joined by my high pointing partner and cousin, Jeff, we woke up early on Friday Sept 20th and grabbed the first flight out of NYC and arrived in El Paso around noon local time. Determined to make the most of this short vacay we set straight out in rental towards White Sands, NM. We first stopped at High Desert Brewing for lunch in Las Cruces since I always check out local beer scenes wherever I travel. It’s a divey place in a depressed town but they had a cool patio where people brought their dogs, I had green chili chicken sandwich and the beers were decent. We hit our first border checkpoint on the remainder of drive to White Sands, which was a new experience.

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2013 in Nevada 2013 in Nevada  by Dean

Nevada, the Silver state has intrigued me for years. It is sparsely populated and has just a few main roads that are paved. It still has the old west feel to it and the history of the state is rich and full of what made the frontier of America wild. One of my Nevada goals was first to reach the highest point in all 17 counties, a goal I accomplished on Mt. Grant in June of 2008.

After finished up the county highpoints, I needed another goal in Nevada to keep me involved and the list of Nevada prominence peaks with over 2000 feet of prominence came to my rescue. My true love affair with the state really began when I started chasing this list that contained over 169 summits and that doesn't even include another 8 peaks that are known to the prominence peakbagging community as error range peaks. So overall, there are 177 peaks in Nevada that I wanted to visit and in doing so, I have been practically to every part of the state and on every kind of road imaginable.

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Middle & North Forks of
Taylor Creek in Rain Middle & North Forks of Taylor Creek in Rain  by nader

Taylor Creek sits in the Kolob Canyons district of Zion National Park. The Middle Fork of Taylor Creek has a well-established 2.5 mile long trail that goes up a red walled canyon to reach a formation known as Double Arch Alcove. You will not see an actual arch here but will find yourself at the base of a large alcove where you can look up a wall to find another large alcove far above the lower one.

North Fork of Taylor Creek branches off of the Middle Fork and goes into a parallel canyon. North Fork does not have an established trail but you can follow the creek. Some degree of bushwhacking is required.

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Going for
the Gusto: A Two Day Climb on the Torment Forbidden Traverse Going for the Gusto: A Two Day Climb on the Torment Forbidden Traverse  by Josh Lewis

"I have learned, that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours." - Henry David Thoreau

The Torment Forbidden Traverse is the most extensive rock climbing route I've done to date. While not very technically inclined, it consists of a large quantity of class 4 and low 5th climbing and of course some mid 5th moves. It is said that every mountaineering skill you've learned will be used on this route. Both Mark and I agreed with this statement. From traversing talus, steep trails, glacier travel, rock climbing, loose rock scrambles, steep ledge traversing, down climbing, snow climbing, rappels, wet slabs, snow climbing, getting lost, and big a creek crossing. This route pushed us pretty hard, but we had an awesome time. Plus it was sweet to redo the West Ridge of Forbidden Peak which is listed on the 50 classics of North America. By the end of the trip we arrived exhausted at the car by 2:30 a.m.

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Frozen
Algonquin Frozen Algonquin  by Gratton89

My regular two partners being out of commission for the weekend, I had to find someone who was willing to come freeze his a** off with me in the Adirondacks. Working on my 46ers, Iroquois was the only one left on the Macintyre range I hadn't done and it's not a long hike so even if the candidate is a little slower, we can still make it out in reasonable time. So I finally found my wife's cousin to come along, I know he's in good shape and I won't have to wait for him too much. We booked a 45$ motel in Lake Placid and headed down on Friday night. We decided on the way to try to get a glimpse of the sunrise on top of Algonquin so we got our back packs sorted out and hit the pillow at 9. 3 AM came along pretty quickly but we didn't have a hard time getting up. We had breakfast and drove down to the Loj where the parking lot was deserted (first time I got the closest packing spot to the trail head).

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Dix
Mountain Lobster Claw Slide: New in 2013 Dix Mountain Lobster Claw Slide: New in 2013  by MudRat

I topped Santanoni’s East (Twin) Slide on Monday, August 5th. While scanning to the east something seemed amiss in the panorama. Two white scars, partially hidden behind one of Dix’ western ridges, painted what looked like the side of the southern ridge (between the Beckhorn and Hough). I pushed it to the back of my mind at first. The next day, I grew curious and scanned a few photos from trip reports on the forum. Comparing June and July photos from Hough confirmed that Dix had a new slide added to its already extensive collection. Time to explore!

Few things in life are more completely satisfying than exploring a wilderness unknown, especially if it’s newly created. Irene created vast amounts of new territory to play upon. This new creation on Dix reinvigorated the excitement I felt nearly two years ago when I was in the backcountry. This time, I didn’t have as much information ahead of time…no aerial photos or easily accessed line-of-sight vantage points. It stoked my curiosity to a feverish level.

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Failing Upward - Mid-Summer
Climbing 2013 Failing Upward - Mid-Summer Climbing 2013  by jacobsmith

We had a plan. This was going to be it; we had done the cragging road trips, we had done the local alpine climbs, now we were going to break out of the Cascades and climb the world-class mountains of Canada. A week in the Battle Range, focusing on the Melville group – north face of Moby Dick would have been our biggest climb to date. Another week in the Bugaboos blasting out the classics – Sunshine Crack, the Beckey-Chouinard. Then Ryan was going back to work I was heading north to tackle one of my long-term goals, Mount Robson, preferably by the north face. Never mind the dimly sketched out approach details, the poorly understood descent techniques, the notable lack of big successful alpine climbs this season. And never mind that knot my gut went into whenever I so much as looked at a real mountain, the days of faint nausea before another failed attempt. Never mind all of that, we had a plan, and I was going to keep my commitment.

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Salmon La
Sac: Two Stellar Days - One Sweet World Salmon La Sac: Two Stellar Days - One Sweet World  by MarkDidier

I had considered calling this TR How to Ensure You Won’t Summit Chikamin Peak. I’m sure such a title would have been more intriguing. And yes, it is true that I did not summit Chikamin. Nothing epic, just one really stupid decision and too conservative of a turnaround time cost me several hours, which probably would have been enough time to finish the job. But I choose to go with the more positive title, because the stellar scenery along with the overall positive experience I had while in the Salmon La Sac area for those two days far outweighed the disappointment in not summiting.

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Mount
Carleton Traverse Mount Carleton Traverse  by MountainHikerCO

Mount Carleton Provincial Park Closed! It’s ironic the park being closed would be a factor when most National Parks in the US were closed because of the government shutdown. I had done most of my research months earlier without it occurring to me this could be an issue.

We flew into Moncton Airport arriving around midnight on Saturday Oct 12. By the time we got our rental car and checked into the hotel it was past 1:00 am getting to bed. We set the alarm for 5:00 to be rolling at 6:00 am. We hoped this would put us at the trailhead at around 10:00 am. Instead it was past 11:00 am getting there to discover the closed gate.

There had been contradictory information on the internet. The summitpost page indicated the park would be open through October 15, but even when closed, the gate would be still open for access. The Provincial Park website indicated a closing date of Sept 29, but made no mention of the gate. The Friends of Mount Carleton website also had the closing date of Sept 29 and indicated the gates would be locked. But there was not specific mention of whether access was still allowed. Meanwhile the Park website said in winter the gates were open for skiing and snowshoeing. Not knowing what to expect I made sure our maps covered from the gate to the mountain.

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