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Wasatch
Alpine Classic: North Ridge, Pfeifferhorn (Photo Trip Report November 2008). Wasatch Alpine Classic: North Ridge, Pfeifferhorn (Photo Trip Report November 2008).  by marauders

In early November, the Wasatch Mountains of Utah received a series of storms covering the central range in four feet of luscious, powder snow. For two weeks, the skiing was good; but a continuation of warm, dry weather reduced the snowpack to a stout sun crust over sugar. From a skiing perspective this was depressing, but for early season winter climbing it was phenomenal! Lesson learned: If the snow gods give you a lemon...climb it!

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Mt. Whitney Mountaineer's
Route Mt. Whitney Mountaineer's Route  by edubbs

Despite months of trying to nail down a group for our planned stroll up the Mt. Whitney Mountaineer’s route, the final roster wasn’t decided until the Monday before our Saturday permit date. Todd, Niall, and I would be leaving Thursday afternoon (Niall’s flight was to arrive that morning) to head up to the Eastern Sierra for a couple days of acclimatization. Trevor would come over on Friday afternoon from the Bay area. A four-person team was good, although we were certainly sad to be missing Jonathan, who had been the chief organizer for most of my trips to the Sierras, including the Mt. Whitney main trail hike in 2007.

I was really looking forward to the drive over. It is usually full of spectacular scenery as you make the climb over the Tehachapi Mountains to the Mojave Desert, and then head north along the eastern scarp of the Sierra Nevada. As you enter the Owens Valley and come to the town of Lone Pine, the higher peaks really start to rise up and close in on you, along with the White Mountains to the east. The drive this time, however, was a hazy blur, with wildfire smoke cutting visibility to about nothing. I was not happy about this, as I had told Niall that the drive to Whitney Portal alone would be worth the trip.

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The Tooth &
the Mountain Lion The Tooth & the Mountain Lion  by Cascadian

I made a weekend trip to Seattle from Eugene where I was currently spending the summer studying for the MCATs. The purpose of the trip was primarily for a friend’s wedding, but I knew I couldn’t visit Seattle without a little climbing trip. My friend Owen had to work Friday and I had to take a five hour practice test, so we wanted something close and easy and the Tooth was the perfect climb. Only about an hour drive from Seattle on I-90, the Tooth has a short approach and great climbing.

Owen picked me up as soon as he got off work and we sped up to the mountains. We arrived at the Alpental parking lot a little after 5:30pm. We organized our gear deciding what we would and wouldn’t need. We each carried our climbing gear, camera, one nalgene, one snickers bar, a Cliff bar, and few other essentials. I decided on leaving my ice axe behind (it was July), but it was a decision I would later regret.

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First
Foreigners on Beerenberg - Or: Just Try Something New First Foreigners on Beerenberg - Or: Just Try Something New  by Wolfgang Schaub

Beerenberg? will most of you ask themselves jeeringly. Another little hill in Germany? And why such a silly fuss: „first foreigners“?

Well, Beerenberg is the northernmost volcano on earth. Still most will rub their eyes in astonishment: where the heck shall this be?

On the north Atlantic island of Jan Mayen. Again puzzling. Jan Mayen? Never heard of. Or yet by chance? Jan Mayen is floating straight between Iceland and Svalbard, an island full 30 miles long in the form of a tadpole: long tail in the south west, head in the north east. Beerenberg's cone occupies the entire head.

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The Owens
Gorge with the Chief The Owens Gorge with the Chief  by mvs

Hmm, what to work on today? Maybe I should refactor that test code from last week. Chai tea in hand, I wandered in to work. "Michael! Jochen's office, now!"

One hour later, fully briefed, I was rushing home to get a change of clothes. My plane leaves for LA in two hours. I wasted 30 precious minutes in the bookstore first. No way I'm getting on a 12 hour flight without a good book!

It was my first time to visit a customer, in this case a tv studio in Hollywood. I had an amazing time over the next few days, learning much more about our product and how it gets used than I could in weeks back in the office. And, thanks to great co-workers, our server patch deployment Friday afternoon was successful. I was free for the weekend!

I had one idea in mind: call the Chief and see if he can go climbing!

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Snoqualmie
Lundin Traverse Snoqualmie Lundin Traverse  by Tsuyoshi

I had planned on doing something this weekend no matter what the weather report was saying. My friend chico and I were originally planning on climbing the Fisher Chimneys route on Shuksan until his truck broke down and I received a call from him saying he couldn't go. Now that I was going to be alone, I didn't want to climb something quite as big so I thought I would settle for a small peak close to home. Soon I was planning on the west ridge of Lundin Peak. Then my plans kept growing and finally I settled on climbing Snoqualmie Mountain first, then traversing over to Lundin Peak, climbing the west ridge and descending the east ridge. Altogether it would be a nice 9.5 miles (including the one mile walk between trailheads where I parked and exited the climb). The night before, I find out that both Ellen and Bob are wanting to join me! Two good friends, alpine rambling, decent weather forecast, what could be better?

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A Matter of 49 vs 51 A Matter of 49 vs 51  by Gangolf Haub

„Warmth is overrated. A photographer doesn't need to be warm. It's the light that counts.“

I keep mumbling discontentedly as we are hiking through the village of Ardez in Graubünden's Unterengadin region in eastern Switzerland. We just parked our car at the local train station and are heading out for a long hike through the southern reaches of the Silvretta Group. We have just surfaced from a very rainy weekend, after which snow covered the mountains down to 2500m. Two days ago we made a first attempt on Plaschweller (2534m), one of the northernmost mountains of the Ortler Group. Yesterday – after being blown back out of the Schlinig Valley by ice cold and fierce winds – we hiked up to St. Martin im Kofel, a village “high” (1750m) up on Vinschgau's Sonnenberg, the sunny side of the valley. Today we intend to cross the Furcletta Saddle at 2800m. Just now we have been arguing about the direction and Judith has decided that we hike counter-clockwise. She figures that we'll have the morning sun warm us during our hike in Val Tasna in the east of the loop while the afternoon sun will do the same while we'll return through Val Tuoi on the western leg. I fear that I'll have to point my camera into the light, thus obtaining imperfect shots.

But who am I to complain? After all Judith holds 51% of the shares of our relationship...

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Reynolds Mountain, Glacier
National Park Reynolds Mountain, Glacier National Park  by Brad Snider

It was brisk and sunny morning at Logan Pass, which I agree with Bob Sihler is easily the most fantastic setting of any trailhead I have visited. Two days earlier I had been introduced to the grandeur of Glacier National Park. Along the lower ramparts of Going-to-the-Sun Road, the aspens were at their peak of color. At the trailhead the tundra was a colorful autumn mix of reds, greens and yellows. And above it all rose the hulks and horns of some impressive mountain peaks. From Logan Pass, it was evident that the snow from a week earlier was intent on sticking to the north-facing slopes of the surrounding mountains. I had originally intended to climb the highly-exposed north face of Reynolds Mountain, but the approach from Logan Pass was the same no matter which route I chose, so I decided to get a better look at the face as I approached. Along the easy approach I had great views of Oberlin Peak, Clements Mountain and Bearhat Mountain.

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Mangart,
Vevnica/Veunza and Via della Vita Mangart, Vevnica/Veunza and Via della Vita  by saman

As we continued our way, the rain began to fall. I asked the others' opinion about changing the plan and going to bivacco Nogara instead of risking the hart ferrata of Via della Vita, but they weren't so worried about the weather and finally we proceeded on the original route. The rain also stopped later, so it proved to be the right choice.

The ascent to the start of the ferrata however, wasn't as quick as the first walk in the forests of Fusine. It was four o'clock wher we reached it. We had another pause, take our harnesses and VF equipment, and some chocolate and raisins also:)

Probably the hardest point was the first few meters of cable in a chimney, with a steepness of more than 90 degrees. We had quite heavy rucksacks and they appeared to pull us back to the groung. Finally we managed to pass this point.

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Devil's Head - West Ridge
5.4TR Devil's Head - West Ridge 5.4TR  by Bill Kerr

Devil’s Head did not go easily for us as we made several scouting trips and two serious attempts before we finally succeeded on our third try. We had decided to do the complete West ridge route versus the South gullies because we had heard the ridge was more interesting climbing and that the south gullies were apparently complicated, steep and very loose. At this time(1998) there were no decent pictures or route descriptions. The Rocky Mountains of Canada – South (aka little green bible) had a very cursory description of the original 1925 ascent. Basically ascend the West ridge and that the going was thin in places and the rock was very coarse. We decided to go in by Malamute Valley which is on the West side of Devil’s Head because of cliffs on the East and South side of the lower mountain and that was original approach route. Note there now is a trail that goes up a break in the cliffs on the SE side of the mountain by the Valley of the Birds. Malamute Valley is named for Al Dunham’s Malamute dog and all of the first ascent ice climbs that were done by Al and friends in the valley have names that are references to dogs.

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