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Eldorado Peak (winter
climb) Eldorado Peak (winter climb)  by StephAbegg

We woke up early to melt snow, spend 20 minutes shoving our feet into frozen boots, and take photos of a brilliant winter sunrise. Then, we climbed to the summit of Eldorado, which took less than 1 hour from high camp. The summit ridgeline was much more rounded than the nearly-knife-edge snow arete it is in the summer. I'm not sure if this is typical of winter vs summer conditions, or if on some years winter conditions can be corniced and sharper. We enjoyed the great views and marveled at the continuing spring-like weather, and then began the long slog to the car. There were some cool formations in the snow to keep us entertained on the slog out.

Old Chute
2010 Winter Ascent Old Chute 2010 Winter Ascent  by Holk

Delirium had set itself amongst my brother Isaac and I while climbing around Devils Kitchen. It was the beginning of last autumn with no beta for our climb, and worse no experience. We were far from being suitable mountaineers, but while sliding downward on car sized rock slabs near Crater Rock we weren’t pretending to be either. Our only prior exposure on such terrain was limited to childhood climbs in Oakridge and a select few summits. We had to bail. That day presented two great realizations. First, to not climb without having at least some solid beta is idiocy and that preparing one’s own safety, as much another’s, cannot be over achieved. Second, as miserable and drudging a day it had become it also stemmed a great desire in Isaac to begin climbing mountains. Thus the dream began and over the next Four months preparations were made to attempt another summit during a better season.

Pirineos: Success and Situational Changes Los Pirineos: Success and Situational Changes  by alexbuck

27 Dec 09 – 2300 EST
Location: Somewhere over the Atlantic

Last night, I took the overnight bus from Norfolk to New York City. My time in Norfolk was great. I got to spend quality time with my family, see some friends and played in the annual Boxing Day golf tournament. All in all, it was a great week. Eventually, though, it was time for me to catch that bus at 11PM on the 26th and start my next adventure.

A Tale of
Seven Summits A Tale of Seven Summits  by Bombchaser

Having failed on my South Sister climb, and not having very many peaks for the year I decided to do a multi-peak climb. I decided to climb Iron Mountain, Cone Peak, South Peak, Echo Mountain, and North Peak. The weather has been mild and most of the snow is above 5,000 feet. I had actually assumed there would not be a lot of snow on any of these peaks, except north slopes. I planned to summit all of these within one day and move fast. My pack loaded up weighed in at twenty-three pounds. I decided to pack snowshoes just in case snow was deeper than expected. The plan was to park at the Iron Mountain trailhead, summit Iron Mountian, then come back down to the trial and on around to Cone Peak. Beyond that would be the other three peaks, and then I would have to re-summit Echo Mountain and South Peak. With my route mapped out, gear loaded, I would set out early in the morning.

Mount McKinley (Denali)
2009 Mount McKinley (Denali) 2009  by hora

Once again, my wife Viera gave me wonderful anniversary gift, a permission to climb “normal” mountain somewhere in the world… Originally we were planning to visit Saint Elias mountain range in Alaska which borders with Wrangell Mountains. Our goal was to climb Mt. Bona 5005 m (16,421 ft) and Mt.Churchill 4767m (15638 ft). These are quite remote peaks, so we were hoping that we could join some other expedition and be safer that way. Our decision got also complicated by eruption of Mount Redoubt volcano in March 2009 which brought some uncertainty regarding flying to Anchorage. After having discussion with mountain guide from the American Alpine Institute in Bellingham, WA state, we decided to try Mount McKinley. His main point was that this mountain is not as dangerous as many people think and in addition, there are many climbers who may help in case of emergency, also climbing route is well marked, 50 degree steep section of the Headwall is secured with two fixed ropes (one to go up and one to go down), access to Denali Pass is well secured as well with snow anchors used for running belay and lastly, rangers are permanently stationed at two locations, at the Base Camp and at the Basin Camp (Camp#4). Lot of useful information can be found on the Summit Post web site (http://www.summitpost.org/mountain/rock/150199/mount-mckinley-denali.html ).

Scottish Towers Scottish Towers  by nattfodd

5:30. Both our alarms go off at the same moment. I had just found something resembling sleep in the decidedly not so comfortable bivy bag, but, excited by the climb to come, get up in an instant. It's too early to eat anything, but Dave manages to force a Scottish egg down while I lace my boots. We prepared the packs a few hours ago, when we reached the north face car park: a small rack, two 8mm ropes, our personal kit, a quart of water and some cereal bars, we're going light today. In less than half an hour, we are gone.

The path starts in a forest and goes steadily uphill. It takes me a little while to find a comfortable pace, especially with my huge Spantiks on the feet, but the walk in the dark soon becomes quite pleasant. After a little while, we reach the upper car park and a wide plateau void of any trees. In the distance, some lights close to the CIC hut let us know that we are not the only ones heading up the Ben.

Master (I am not) Mixed Master (I am not)  by AJones

After having a fun day (for once) climbing the Right Side of the Weeping Wall two weeks previous, Greg and I had to decide on our next climb. Having scoped out (from the road) “Mixed Master” the previous week (when climbing the Left Side of the Weeping Wall), I suggested we have a go at that. Greg agreed.

Mixed Master, according to the Guidebook, is one of the best mixed climbs in the Canadian Rockies. The climb is seven pitches in length, with ice up to Grade 5 and mixed climbing to 5.8. The crux is the rarely formed last pitch, which (when formed) climbs a ten-inch wide smear of ice for 10 vertical metres, and then another steep thin section of ice to the top. I had looked at the last pitch through binoculars on the previous Sunday and it appeared formed to me.

A Capitol Winter A Capitol Winter  by Kiefer

Each mountain has its own, distinctive identity. For the non-mountaineer, looking at pictures of various mountains or non-descript panoramas of mountain ranges, it would beg the question as to why such mountainous terrain would be any more special & precious then say, coastal areas, desert steppe, canyon country or miles and miles of grasslands? And to be fair about it, it isn’t. Anyone who’s seen places like Inner Mongolia, The Icelandic Interior, The Grand Canyon or the Pawnee National Grasslands knows these places are just as special and indeed, precious.

But the mountains are what I know. I’ve grown up on a steady diet of 9,000ft (2.743m) to 14,000ft (4.267) peaks and equally cacophonous terrain. Multiple summers of cragging and scrambling segue into winters of snowshoeing, skiing and camping. This directly fuels my appetite for all things vertical. And it’s true. Every mountain does have an identity and character. There are as many Anthony Hopkins and Ian Holm comparisons as there are Aleister Crowley and Sid Vicious. And as far as natural basaltic, granite and sedimentary temperaments (Maroon Bells anyone?), each mountain can have mood swings. Capitol Peak is arguably Colorado’s hardest 14er. Winter adds a whole new dimension that few are willing to experience.

Hiking in the Falkland
Islands Hiking in the Falkland Islands  by vancouver islander

The last two weeks of November saw my wife and me once again in the wild and wonderful Falkland Islands. A previous visit in 2005 was mostly to see the incomparable wildlife in the Islands whilst trying not to eat too much without offending the locals’ incredible hospitality. We had plenty of opportunity to recognise, however, that with their open, trackless terrain the Islands would make a superb hiking destination and we accordingly made this the principle focus of our latest trip down there.

Falkland Island mountains are neither high nor rugged. They’re more like high heathland topped by ridge-like tors, not unlike Dartmoor in the UK or certain areas of Tasmania. What challenge is lost to simple lack of height, however, is more than made up for by the conditions. There are no trails. Risk of hypothermia is ever present. The constant frigid wind, uninterrupted on its passage from the Antarctic, can literally blow you off your feet. “Summer” weather includes sunshine one minute and a snowstorm/white-out the next. There are no trees and the mountainsides are mostly bare and open to the wind with limited possibilities for shelter in an emergency. Not, in the sparsely populated Falklands, that getting hold of anyone in an emergency would be likely anyway. On all hikes I carried clothing appropriate to climbing something more akin to Mt Rainier and often used all of it.

The Beast of the East The Beast of the East  by Son of Hendrick

The plan was to meet in Boston around 6 at night and hopefully leave shortly thereafter and then take the long 5-6 hour drive up to Millinocket. However, as we all know plans rarely if ever come to fortune like that; we ended up leaving Melrose after waiting for everyone to pack up at around 8 at night. After that the miles went on and on until we got up to Maine and then it seemed as if we left the mountains and entered into snow machining land with a bunch of pine trees and no hills whatsoever. The long drive ended with us getting lost in Millinocket and eventually finding the way with help from back home. After we packed up and fixed the sleds in the parking lot we started hiking at around 5am and the long haul began.

The first few miles went very slowly, the sleds just kept on tipping over and we had to readjust them every single time they did tip over. After countless readjustments the sun broke and we started over the 2-mile long esker with our first views of Katahdin to the right of us. After that the only other landmark and noticeable thing along the trail was a mile marker that said 6.8 miles. Those next 6.8 miles were the killer and we ended up going around 1 mile per hour with no views of our objective and no landmarks to see how far we had made it. The sign at Roaring Brook was one of the most beautiful sights of the day, as I strolled in with Paul my pace quickened and I smiled for the first time in 6.8 miles. Once we got all checked in with the rangers and chose our lean-to the fun began with the nighttime ritual of boiling water, eating, and getting ready for bed. Once the sun went down we were knocked out, we slept like babies all night long until Paul woke up in the middle of the night yelling that there was a moose in the lean-to. After much deliberation we realized that it was just Reggie and a duffle bag making the midnight stroll behind us. When we all settled down the cold night, -15* F, was made even colder when our water bottles cooled down.

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