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Facile Facile  by AlexS

Climbing grades can be meaningless at times. It does not take a long apprenticeship to experience that questioning doubt over the grade of the climb that is giving far more than you expected upon initial departure. “Sandbag!” It’s an accusation that has been levelled at many climbs that have masqueraded as something amenable to ones climbing ability. Neither do climbing grades convey how enjoyable a climb will be, as this is so subjective to the individuals and situations involved. If you yearn for technical climbing or commitment, then a “Facile” is unlikely to fulfil that need and in return less likely to be enjoyable. The French word for “easy” and the associated alpine climbing grade does not conjure up images of excitement or uncertainty, which are often the cornerstones of the alpine climbing experience. It was however a low profile “Facile” in the Cordillera Blanca that gave up an experience of the highest quality way beyond that which the grade would ever have indicated.

Humbling Adventure of a Young Trad Climber The Humbling Adventure of a Young Trad Climber  by RyderS

This story is a bit late in coming. However, since I'm currently an undergrad, time seems to be a luxury I cannot afford... at least until the semester ends. Anyways, this story is one that has certainly humbled me as an amateur climbing enthusiast. When I discovered trad climbing a few years back, I was incredibly eager to learn as much as I could and hit up the local New England crags as soon as possible. I got the literature, the equipment, and some instruction; I even spent part of january climbing in the Tahoe area. But I would soon learn that without incredibly intensive training, empiricism would end up teaching you in a way that will leave your adrenaline rushing whenever you think about your... well, let's just call it an incident. I always took stock and was aware of the adage that warns that people of my age are prone to doing very reckless things because they think that they are invincible. I was aware that trad climbing is an inherently risky sport. However, before my run-in on Mount Washington, I did not fully appreciate the necessity of preparing with incessant hands-on practice. Theoretical knowledge is certainly great, but I learned that you need to get the all-important muscle memory--knowing how to build anchors, manage ropes, and manage your climbing party inside out, with your hands behind your back, in your sleep, etc. Anyways, enough with the preachiness and on with the actual story...

Heaven on Earth Italy’s Heaven on Earth  by alpinpete

There we were again…Thursday evening in Geneva discussing the weekend's sortie in the Alps. We had a good group that included my colleagues Roland and Jean-Marc. This time, we would make a pilgrimage to Gran Paradiso, Italy’s Heaven on Earth. The word ‘paradiso’ translates literally into paradise, but perhaps heaven is more appropriate in this context because of the various experiences one may have from its ascension. The approach from Italy’s Valsavarenche is absolutely stunning, especially in the fall when larch trees turn a golden hue. On Gran Pardiso’s summit sits From Gran Pardiso’s summit on a clear day you are blessed with a view of countless peaks: Mont Blanc, Monte Rosa, Matterhorn, Monte Viso and more. While most parties opt for the normal route that ascends the west flank via the Rifugio Vittorio Emanuele II, our route would include a night at the Rifugio Federico Chabod followed by an ascent of the Ghiacciao del Laveciau and then a descent of the west flank.

Dead Indian
Peak-- Tim Was Right and I Was Wrong Dead Indian Peak-- Tim Was Right and I Was Wrong  by Bob Sihler

Tim was right and I was wrong. Well, actually, I was right and Tim was wrong before Tim was right and I was wrong.

Sorry to get all John Kerry on you there. We’ll address all that in time. But first, we'll have some route details since as of yet there is no SP page for Dead Indian Peak, then the story, and, finally, the right and the wrong.

One of the highest mountains in the beautiful Sunlight Basin area of the Northern Absarokas, Dead Indian Peak is impressive from many angles. Its tiny, pointed summit catches the eye and makes it easy to spot, and no other peak in the vicinity has such a distinctive profile. In fact, few other peaks in Greater Yellowstone are as spectacular in form as Dead Indian Peak is. Most people probably see the peak from Dead Indian Summit along the Chief Joseph Memorial Highway or from the Beartooth Highway, but mountaineers recognize its shape from many different directions.

A Foray
onto Lundy Island Climbing A Foray onto Lundy Island Climbing  by Nanuls

On the 24th of December 1869, after spending a night of merriment in the Marisco Tavern, Lundy Island’s finest, or more accurately, only, hostelry, Samuel Jarman, unwittingly ruined his family’s Christmas, by losing his way home and walking straight over one of the islands many cliffs. The effects of this error were to be terminal. In spite of his somewhat inglorious end, his family saw fit to commemorate his death, and so, his nephew Captain John Lang of Appledore, installed a large, black headstone under the island’s Old Lighthouse in his memory. The memorial however, perhaps says more about the Captain than anything else, and those who view it might get the impression that Jarman was merely a bit player in this whole affair, for it is Lang’s name that is carved boldly in capitalised gothic text on the top of the tablet, not his.

These people, for better or for worse, are my ancestors, and it is with a strange mixture of uneasiness and comfort that I still see the vices of drunkenness, clumsiness, self-promotion and arrogance prevailing, to a greater or lesser degree, in the current generations of my family; the sentiments of Larkin’s This be the Verse have clearly been played out over the centuries.

Mount Adams_Climb for Hope
Expedition 2009 Mount Adams_Climb for Hope Expedition 2009  by Crabman

Prior to actually climbing Mount Adams, I had a chance to kick it out in Portland for a few days, with my friend Kristin and some newfound fellow misfits. To say Portland is a weird place is an understatement; in fact, it's cliché. Portland's unofficial, official motto is "Keep Portland Weird" or “Weirder”, I’m still not sure exactly which, but even if you've never been, feel free to surmise my word for it. Never in my life have I been tangled up in such a concentrated mess of outwardly disparate people -- hippies, outcasts, goth heads, emo boys and girls, and your everyday, run of the mill sketch-balls are more or less living together in harmonious accord, heedless of thy neighbors mohawk, passionate for thine head-to-toe tattoo. The entire scene was quite refreshing actually; I felt weird looking normal. For Portland, in all its oddities, was super fun, providing us a place with lots to do, and do we did, before making our way out to the great state of Washington to climb Mount Adams.

Third time
is the time when you're sick of turning around Third time is the time when you're sick of turning around  by CSUMarmot

Climbing Desolation Peaks truly is an experience. From just about every vantage point imaginable, these craggy peaks seem close enough to grasp, close enough for a side trip, a straightforward climb to some high 12ers. But the Desolation Peaks are deceiving. I climbed Longs Peak in one shot and thought it was easy. I climbed Mummy Mountain in early June while there was still snow on it. I hiked 100 miles and 10000 feet in vertical gain with 60 pounds of crap on my back this summer for fun. It took me three times to climb Desolation Peaks.

Desolation Peaks have two named summits, East and West, and unofficial North peak sitting on the ridge leading down to Flatiron Mountain. North of Ypsilon Mountain, East Desolation Peak at 12949’ is the second tallest 12er (Clark Peak is first at 12951’) in the Rocky Mountain Range, and 5th tallest overall. It is taller than Mt. Richthofen, Mount Julian, and Stones Peak, 12900’s that are well known and climbed. I doubt more than 20 people summit East Desolation per year. Why no one ever climbs these peaks is a mystery to me, they are the some of RMNP’s tallest points, sit on a fun ridge that overlook remote and wild valleys, require a long stretch of class 3 scrambling and class 4 crux to attract some of the more experienced climbers in the area, all while viewing the amazing views of the backside of the Mummy Range.

Night and Day on Pacific and
Atlantic Night and Day on Pacific and Atlantic  by thatnissanguy

Having planned this trip for the past couple weeks, many of the attendees have now dropped out. What is left is 6 climbers. The weather forecast is less than optimistic: A 40 percent chance of snow. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 25. Wind chill values as low as -5. Breezy, with a west wind between 21 and 24 mph, with gusts as high as 39 mph. New snow accumulation of around an inch possible. Having been out of the mountains for the past few weeks, I have the worst kind of summit fever. Since being back in the city, I also have a lingering upper respiratory infection, that I am hoping some fresh mountain air will cure. We are go for an attempt on the North Ridge of Pacific Peak, traverse to Atlantic, and decent of the West Ridge of Atlantic Peak.

6:00 AM party members assemble at the Wooly Mammoth PnR and prepare for the drive to the Mayflower Gulch Trailhead. Among the participants are myself, Leonard, Mark, Scott, Kendra, and Ted. Most of us have hiked and climbed together in the past and have become good friends. Comments are made about the weather. Observations at 8,000 and 10,000 feet in the front range do not look promising. Enroute to the trailhead, road conditions are not much better. One of our party nearly loses it on an icy section of CO 91.

– Summit between Landmines and Cartridge Cases Đeravica – Summit between Landmines and Cartridge Cases  by Wolfgang Schaub

Everybody has a spleen. If you haven't got one, something is missing. I live in Central Europe and I am 66 years old. My spleen goes commensurate with my age and inclinations. I am not a missionary; you are not supposed to follow me. I will not convert you. But if there are thousands of mountains surrounding you, all worth to be climbed, and if your life is limited and you cannot climb them all, you must filter. I have invented filtering criteria for myself: Each highpoint in every European country and "independent" areas.

It is not only about climbing “my” mountains, I have to reach them first. And I must survive them, for where I climb there is nobody else around. I prefer to be alone with my mountains. I'm gonna show you one: ?eravica, the highest in Kosovo.

Trek Along
Ancient Frontier Trek Along Ancient Frontier  by LukZem

My most adventurous trip through the Marmarosh Mountains happened to take place last October when finally, after a few visits to the area, I made a traverse across the heart of this remote mountain range which rises on the eastern outskirts of Central Europe. The actual start of the adventure took the form of midnight negotiations with the Romanian border police at Valea Vi?eului, and the route I would follow was the border line separating Romania from Ukraine.

I was given a permit to get as close as 20 meters to the border corridor, also known as the Forbidden Zone. The same procedure was repeated at Vi?eu de Sus at about 4 a.m. Thanks to a pretty friendly attitude of the Romanian officers, I felt like I really was able to carry out my plan, like my old dream was coming true in the end. The dream plan was to complete a 60 km trek along the border: From the legendary summit of Hnitessa/Ign?teasa in the southeast to Pop (Pip) Ivan Maramaroskyi near the other end of the Marmarosh Mountains, their second highest peak as well as the most spectacular mountain massif.

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