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West Ridge
in Spring: Sunshine, Snowpack and Sunburn West Ridge in Spring: Sunshine, Snowpack and Sunburn  by Sarah Simon

01_Jacque Peak from Parking Lot Enlarge Jacque Peak from Parking Lot Sunday morning arrives and the Colorado Front Range is socked in. Clouds hang low and a maddening, never-ending drizzle coats everything in a fine mist. There are hopes that in heading west of the Continental Divide, we can get above the cloud. But it's hard to escape the lingering doubt that we are heading into a day of damp, cold, cloudy, view-less misery on Colorado's 87th highest peak.

On the drive up I-70, we all hoped for that magical moment when we pop out of the Eisenhower Tunnel at 70 miles per hour into...SUNSHINE! Alas, even as we neared the tunnel, the clouds were breaking up and blue skies and sunshine were plentiful to the west. Perhaps things would go our way today, after all.

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Mormon Peak is remote and
lonely Mormon Peak is remote and lonely  by Dean

Remote? It isn't that far from a major interstate but getting to the peak's base is what sets this one apart from many other Nevada peaks that could definitely be called remote. When we were there, no one had signed the summit register in over a year and that is due to difficulty of access (a locked gate that isn't posted for no trespassing).

Special? Read on. Fellow SP member Dennis Poulin and I had already been to the summits of four Nevada mountains on this trip but the one we really really wanted was Mormon Peak, a not so lofty mountain of 7414 feet but significant in the fact that it has over 4000' of prominence, putting at the 139th most prominent peak in the continental USA.

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Keepin it Gangsta on
Philadelphia Keepin it Gangsta on Philadelphia  by Josh Lewis

Eastking and I have often seen Philadelphia Mountain on the way to much of our climbs along the highway 2 area. On April 3, 2011 we decided it was time to attempt it. We got to the trail head around 6 in the morning and were making good progress on the trail. I was pleased to see water falls along the way as well as dry trail until we got about halfway to Lake Serene.

After a ways of walking we got to the turn off for Philadelphia Mountain which follows a nice ridge to the summit. This is where we put on our snowshoes. The snow than began to fall, but we did not mind, although would have loved to get some views. After breaking trail a ways I get to a icy snow patch which looking behind me it was too late to turn around. I carefully took a few more steps almost topping out of the steep section and then this is where I slipped. I fell 40 or so feet down hill with little harm although it had snapped my snowshoes (still effects me to this day). I had to rig my snowshoes to just barely work.

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Mount
Shasta - Casaval Ridge Mount Shasta - Casaval Ridge  by jpsmyth

This was my third ascent of Mt. Shasta with my climbing partner, Sid. Our first ascent was via the Bolam Glacier while attending the Marine Corps Mountain Warfare School 23 years ago. After a long hiatus from the mountain, we returned last year and climbed it via Green Butte Ridge. This year we decided to try the Casaval Ridge. We knew it was a winter or early spring route and leapt when we saw what looked to be a good weather window that aligned with work demands. As it turns out we hit it just right. With just a couple days notice, Sid drove south from Oregon and I drove north from the San Francisco bay area after work. We met in Mount Shasta City on Monday night and stayed in town, planning on a good night sleep, a hearty breakfast and starting out first thing in the morning. When we stopped by the ranger station in town, we got a very helpful briefing on the expected weather and route.

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Prečenje with a Pal Prečenje with a Pal  by mvs

On a family trip to Lake Bled in Slovenia, I had the opportunity to meet Borut K., who I've known on SP for a few years and been impressed with his knowledge of technical climbs in Slovenian mountains. He met our family for a pizza dinner by the lake and we had a great time talking about music, history, climbing and topics more interesting to the kids. We planned to meet up and climb two days later, for which my wife granted me a morning off of kid-wrangling. Borut, a true alpinist, didn't mind getting up godawful early. He even rode the train from Ljubljana to Bled to make it easier to meet. In a dozen little ways like this, Borut proved himself thoughtful beyond measure.

Since the nearby mountains were sadly socked in with rain and clouds, we drove south to the sea. Parking at the campground in Osp, we walked up to the base of the impressive wall over the town. Our climb for the morning was Pre?enje (meaning, "The Traverse"), 5 pitches snaking from the lower center right to the upper left of the wall. Borut sent me off first with a few pieces of gear in addition to some quickdraws. I actually used two cams too, slowly getting used to the rock, which looked kind of scrappy but was solid and well loved but not polished.

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Stob na
Broige...at last! Stob na Broige...at last!  by Boydie

Having climbed Stob Dearg on the Buachaille Etive Mor back in 1994 and again in 2008, I figured it was about time I got my butt down the other side of the Buachaille's long elegant ridge. Surely 2011 would be the year.

The original plan was to camp overnight around Loch Awe and climb Cruachan, but a late change of plan that took into account the girls being with us, landed us in Glencoe. A good night of refreshments and banter on a windy overcast evening passed quickly and was replaced with a splendid morning of clear blue skies and a slightly foggy head.

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Socked in on James Peak...or
not? Socked in on James Peak...or not?  by Matt Lemke

As described in my previous trip report...I really needed to hit the mountains. I hadn't been anywhere in the mountains since December while I was back home in WA for Christmas!

For my first mountain summit of 2011 we went out to tackle James Peak in the Front Range last Wednesday. Three of us went and lets just say it was a very fun adventure of wind, clouds, snowshoeing, route finding, post-holing, and to our surprise...a lot of great views.

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Old Man's First Thirteener
No Gimmie Old Man's First Thirteener No Gimmie  by metal4lyf

Already thoroughly addicted to mountains, I moved to Colorado in March '09. I did some hikes around Boulder and wanted to try for some real altitude with my parents on their first visit in June that year. We drove up Evans, we rode the cog train up Pikes, and then we tried to hike Mount Bierstadt but turned back around 13000' due to ill preparation and an outspokenly fatigued eight-year-old niece. They went home to Ohio, and I climbed my first fourteener (Longs Peak) in August. Since then my father has been inundated weekly with tales and photos of climbs.

My parents planned another visit this April, and Dad wanted to tackle a fourteener. Already in decent shape, for months he'd been training, building endurance, and losing weight. We discussed a few peaks and settled on Longs--I've been itching to climb the Trough and wanted my dad to experience a snow climb. He's always been stronger and faster than me, so I didn't worry much about whether he could do it. Unfortunately, the forecast deteriorated after their arrival and we had to look elsewhere.

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Lake Fork
Peak East Chute Snowclimb & Ski Descent Lake Fork Peak East Chute Snowclimb & Ski Descent  by scotthsu

I've skied multiple lines off Lake Fork Peak (12881') over the years but never the east chute, just never got around to it probably due to the very early start required to ski it just after sunhit (at least in spring). If you have skinned up the SE slopes of Lake Fork Peak, you will likely have passed right beneath the tempting looking east chute on the way to the SE slopes. Due to overcast and snowy conditions, we were able to start skinning from the bottom of Lift 4 (el. ~10160') at Taos Ski Valley at the civilized hour of 8am, reached the summit just after 11am, and skied the chute in very decent spring conditions with a few inches of fresh powder in spots. Here is a Google Earth perspective of our route.

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Sunrise
Traverse to Cascade Heaven Sunrise Traverse to Cascade Heaven  by EastKing

It is Friday Night and I am just getting home from another late day at work. The weather is absolutely amazing but work needs me back there in the afternoon. Looks like another blown opportunity in the mountains, right? Never!!! Sleep can wait a day!!

Realizing this issue I got in touch with two of most reliable climbing partners, Josh Lewis and Jimbopo. All of us realized that this was much more of an opportunity for us than a handicap. The avalanche danger in the mountains was supposed to rapidly increase during the daytime from the April sun and the snowmelt. So we decided on an alpine start for this mountain so that we can hit these two summits during the safest times, and so I can make it back at work. I would provide the car; Jimbopo would be driver; and Josh Lewis would be the talker to keep Jimbopo up.

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