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RMNP 2014:
Third Time Will Have to be the Charm RMNP 2014: Third Time Will Have to be the Charm  by MarkDidier

It took me a little while to get my head around this trip. When I got home and people asked how it went, no matter how I tried to spin it, they all noticed the lack of excitement in my voice. Maybe it was the weather; maybe it was the compressed time schedule; maybe it was Dave’s altitude sickness; or maybe it was the failure to reach a single objective? So no, unfortunately the trip did not go as planned. And when you spend a year waiting for said event, and said event is the only scheduled trip to the mountains for the year, it is easy to be disappointed when things don’t go your way.

A Majestic
Lone Eagle A Majestic Lone Eagle  by swm88er

My eyes popped open a few minutes before 6am and I stepped outside to look at the weather. The rain had stopped, but the clouds seemed socked in as they scudded across the high cliffs surrounding the Lone Eagle Cirque. Lone Eagle seems even more intimidating in person as the fog shrouded the mountain's high flanks in secrecy. I figured that as long as the rain wasn’t falling it was worth at least starting up Solo Flight. We (3 of us total) gathered our things that had hastily been stuffed under a tarp the night before during the downpour. We had a quick group prayer and were on the trail by 7am.

Ramblings of a Cordillera
Blanca Trip Ramblings of a Cordillera Blanca Trip  by Matt Lemke

What can I say about my trip to Peru? Life-changing? Awe-inspiring? Challenging? More like all of the above, and much more. Characterized with many highs and lows, we experienced, illnesses, success, hard work, culture, humility, and an overall life changing experience. Josh, Vincent and I really had ourselves a time while in Peru and I know I am for sure itching to go back.

Another Beautiful CO Weekend Just Another Beautiful CO Weekend  by MissH

After a fun time on Kelso Ridge last week, I was feeling confident about tackling some of these “Class 3” 14ers. I told an out-of-state climber on Torrey’s last Sunday that I’d post something about this hike here since he plans to do it next week (again, from out of state) with his girlfriend who is slightly more averse to exposed scrambling. Then I figured yet another TR about some well-climbed peaks might be a little useful, especially if I point out some tips I picked up on the way. So, hopefully he reads this (especially Tip 6) and/or somebody else benefits from my ramblings!

Full East Ridge of Lyell
from Donahue Pass Full East Ridge of Lyell from Donahue Pass  by kaos14

Despite the excitement of pulling ourselves up to the start of the traverse and getting ready to set off into some unknown climbing, the sky remained threatening. We began the climb up the initial steepening ridge, with barely a pause to collect our thoughts. Dan climbed like a madman and I could barely maintain contact with him, and at the same time keep my heart rate low enough to avoid passing out. Turns out that Dan was more than a little worried about the weather and he was gunning to complete as much of the traverse as he could before the rain moved in on us. And his concerns seemed fully justified as we topped out the immensely fun climbing on the initial section of the ridge. The joys of cruising up super solid low fifth class Sierra granite were quickly replaced in my heart by dismay, as it was clearly already raining hard to the south and west of our position. My dismay was due less to a potential forced retreat from the ridge, but more about the knowledge that it was only a matter of time before the rains reached us, and that meant Dan was going to kick it into an even higher gear.

Climbs in RMNP: Longs Peak, The Diamond, The Spearhead Three Climbs in RMNP: Longs Peak, The Diamond, The Spearhead  by StephAbegg

I didn't really plan on doing any climbing in the Colorado Rockies this summer, but thundershowers in Wyoming (where I was at the time) and just a whim for new and unplanned adventure drew me down there. Like everywhere in the West it seemed, the area was experiencing a period of rain storms but there looked like there would be some windows for climbing. Despite its impromptu nature, this ended up being a successful trip, involving climbs of three popular RMNP objective: Longs Peak, The Diamond, and The Spearhead. This page provides a trip report for these climbs.

Lakes 2014: Four and a bit
to Helvellyn Lakes 2014: Four and a bit to Helvellyn  by markhallam

“Oh – Look! You’ve been cheesed!” said my son Andy, peering interestedly at the pungent yellow smear just above my left knee. The originator of the oily splodge, Andy’s daughter Eevee – my granddaughter – had already moved on in search of another leg to pull up on. Mangled bit of Brie in hand, she was now crawling briskly across the cafe floor towards a group who had just entered. Seeing the expressions on their faces, I could tell that reception would be mixed, right round the spectrum from alarm, to curiosity and on to frank adulation...

Gannett Peak: The Ridiculous
Way Gannett Peak: The Ridiculous Way  by crussellbowden

Last year I climbed my first mountain. The moderate, reliable talus slopes of Mount Woodring in the Tetons terrified this sport climber, used to crimping on nickel-edge rails that don't budge with your weight. Devastated I didn't enjoy mountaineering, but trying to humorously shrug it off, I called Mount Woodring, Mount Wouldn'tring...the next week my buddies wanted to climb the classic east face of Teewinot, and I replied, "More like Teewi-not in your lifetime!" Well, I did it, I hated it, and I started to love it. I loved doing something that I was totally uncomfortable with, and having that in-the-moment realization that I was overcoming personal fears and self-doubt. I was committed to becoming a mountaineer, despite the mental challenges I'd clearly have to wrestle with.

Tower One Way Sunset (to the top) and other routes Devil's Tower One Way Sunset (to the top) and other routes  by StephAbegg

A recent week-long climbing trip to the Cirque of the Towers inspired me to want to climb in the nearby Deep Lake area, an area that is less crowded than the Cirque but apparently has just as good of climbing. So I made a post on mountainproject.com looking for a partner. Eric responded to my post, and we made plans to meet at the trailhead a few days later. But an unforeseen wave of never-ending thundershowers settled in over the Wind River Range and thwarted our plans (the dismal NOAA forecast). So where to go? I tossed out the idea of Devil's Tower, a climbing destination I had always wanted to check out. Devil's Tower was about 7 hours drive further east, and the weather looked great there. A little hot perhaps, but we figured we could chase the shade around the Tower and be fine. So to Devil's Tower we went.

We hung out at Devil's Tower for 4 days, climbing 3 of these days and photographing prairie dogs on the other day. I was impressed with the quality of the climbing on the Tower. The cracks are splitter, the rock is textured, and the pitches are long and steep and the grades are by no means soft. Many of the routes go to the top (or at least close to the top) of the Tower, but the rock quality is best on the lower half of the routes. So after climbing to the top on our first day (via One Way Sunset, a great 5-pitch 5.10c route), we spent the rest of our days cragging on the lower pitches of various classic routes.

Sierra de
Gredos, June 2014 Sierra de Gredos, June 2014  by Gangolf Haub

Years ago, a colleague of Judith, who had studied an married in Madrid, suggested Sierra de Gredos to her. We were (and are) always searching for good places to spend our spring vacation and he had liked the mountains west of Madrid so much that he recommended them to us. However, at the time you could only find few offers for apartments on the internet and all of them were in Spanish, a language we don’t speak. At the time we thought we wouldn’t be able to get along and went to Sicily instead.

When this winter we started to browse for a new location, Judith suggested the Abruzzi. We looked for a guidebook but had to realize that the one we would have chosen would only be released later this year which made us postpone the trip to next year. But while browsing the hiking guide page of Rother Verlag we stumbled across the guidebook about Sierra de Gredos and decided to take a second look. We found half a dozen apartments, wrote to all of the hosts, received three answers and decided on the first one. It would be in El Barco de Avila to the north-west of the range, which appeared to be a good if not really central location.

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