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Drama on the Cooper Spur Drama on the Cooper Spur  by Rob Ricks

Chris Wright, our climbing guide from TMG, was climbing with alacrity for the first belayed pitch of our effort. The rockbands signified where the real climbing began. Mike Dietrich (Chevy Chase, MD) and I rested as the rope paid out above our anchor. I looked out over the skies in the Columbia River Gorge, anticipating a dawn of bluish-pink cast to begin showing itself. Instead, I registered a lightening charcoal gray hue signaling something different.

“Well, that doesn’t look right,” I said to Mike as I scanned the skies east for changes farther up the Gorge. Up to this point we climbed in beautiful, clear night skies. The only problem was that it was too warm. The freezing level was 16,000 feet – way above Hood’s 11,239 foot summit. The ridge snow provided a nice air-conditioning effect as we ascended from our camp. Still, it was much warmer than I was used to climbing in the past. I was doing great in a base-layer, shell pants, and a wind jacket.

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A Journey of a Very
Different Kind A Journey of a Very Different Kind  by Sierra Ledge Rat

This is a tale of a modern Odyssey. It is the epic adventure of two brothers who roamed throughout the High Sierra, cursed with wanderlust and graced with the love of Zeus's daughter, bright-eyed Pallas Athena. This story will recount the fate that befell these alpine travelers when they inadvertently incurred the wrath of Poseidon the Earthshaker, god of all waters. Wrathful Poseidon punished these timberline voyagers for their transgressions by luring them into the underworld, into the realm of detested Hades, into the depths of the Enchanted Gorge.

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The Hidden Teton The Hidden Teton  by b.

I’ve never been denied a campsite in the Tetons. We got a Lower Saddle permit once for the same night at 9 in the morning, peak season. I’ve camped on uncomfortable, cramped, windy cols high above Garnet Canyon because the camping zones were full, but the ranger on duty felt like we should get a shot at the south face of Cloudveil during the weather window. But trying to get a coveted site at the mouth of Leigh Canyon on Fourth of July weekend seemed to be asking too much of karma. So Garrett took the hit for the sake of the trip, and gave up an entire day of work to drive down early and reserve our site. It’s that kind of sacrifice that you look for in a climbing partner.

Leigh Canyon is one of those places that holds high treasure for those intrepid enough to leave the smooth walking trails of the southern range and side hill on loose talus for a few hours. This was my fifth trip up this way, twice to climb the Direct South Buttress of Mount Moran (last fourth of July we climbed the DSB and continued to the summit over two days), and three times to attempt the Hidden Couloir on Thor Peak. An often overlooked gem, Thor Peak is one of a dozen Teton peaks reaching Twelve thousand feet (12,028’) and sits in a truly remote and hard to reach setting. By now we were pretty well acquainted with the schwack into the canyon, the 1,500’ of steep gully and the couple hundred feet of snow that it took to get to the base of the east face. With the new moon, we would need familiarity to navigate the dense brush between talus fields until the sky lightened with dawn.

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Europe’s Westernmost
2000er Europe’s Westernmost 2000er  by Gangolf Haub

So we really are in Andalucía now and the skies of southern Spain are shining brightly blue. It’s 8 a.m. on a Monday morning in early May and we are wondering what we will do today. Yesterday was one of those horrible travel days. The flight from Frankfurt to Malaga had been postponed from reasonable 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and thanks to the usual delays at Frankfurt we had arrived only at 9:30 p.m. To claim our baggage took another 45 minutes, renting a car was quick but then we got lost in the underground parking garage. There is second rental car office on the lowest deck and getting down there turned out to be quite a journey in itself. But finally we got the keys, found the car (in a completely different place than indicated) and took on the 65km journey to Nerja in the east.

There the office of our apartment complex was closed, but our directions told us to pick up the keys in a hotel down the street. Down the street was no hotel but a Moroccan restaurant. The waiter, however, knew the hotel, directed us there and finally we received our keys. Another half hour later the baggage was unpacked and we sank into our beds. The clock struck 2 a.m.

So now we are planning the day. We need to pick ups some groceries first but then we want to get out and climb something. Something close to Nerja, something with a reasonable elevation gain. We don’t want to start with the most serious climb. And it shouldn’t take too long.

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Five-Star
Climbing on Mount Cleveland's West Ridge Five-Star Climbing on Mount Cleveland's West Ridge  by Matt Stockinger

Mount Cleveland (10,466) is the highest mountain in Glacier National Park, Montana and it has several really great scrambling routes to the top. Each of these routes offers a very different experience, and they all culminate in a long, high, beautiful ridge walk to the summit. This mountain has a lot to offer for climbers of all levels and it is my favorite climb in the park.

In July 2005, my dad and I decided to try it by the west face route, described in the Edwards guide. We took the touristy boat from Waterton Lakes village to Goat Haunt and set up camp at Kootenai Lakes. That afternoon, we tried to find the mysterious elk trail that would shoot us into Cleveland’s west bowl, per the guide. However, after three hours of searching without finding, we decided that we’d have a better chance if we got up really early to do the Stoney Indian traverse from Kootenai Lakes.

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skiing Val
Scura del Sassongher skiing Val Scura del Sassongher  by filova

My return to the mountains after two years: my broken bones have been hailed, nevermore in my head a small piece of the psychohas remained. Two years ago, the big powder avalanche in Bulgarian Rila miraculously left me alive. After all, I am successfully back, again on the ski, in steep gullies, couloirs and valleys covered by snow. I started again in December; at the beginning it was all about to keep myself fit, afterwards the first easy descents in High Tatras couloirs, and later more complicated and tougher routes.

The last week of March we were (me and Peter Kovac) heading to Dolomites. On the list there were three ultimate objectives: Sassonger Val Scura, Monte Cristallo Canale Staunies and Sass Pordoi Canale Holzer. On Wednesday, after eight hour drive we were on the spot, in Colfasco, a small village in the middle of Dolomites, just ahead of Sassonger couloir Val Scura (2500 m above sea level)

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Solo 14er
Finish on Capitol, no. 58 Solo 14er Finish on Capitol, no. 58  by maverick

Thanks are due to Craig, Steve Knapp and CO Native for the conditions info. I waited 9 months for the conditions I saw in their most recent trip reports. Several times in the interim I had packed and all but jumped into my Jeep to drive to the TH only to be yanked back to reality by doumall or someone else who understood my plight. I hardly thought I would last that long: Patience in Mountaineering 101. There was a 30% rain/snow forecast for my planned first-choice summit day (Saturday) but theres always a 30% forecast everywhere so I decided to go. I reached the trailhead late on Friday evening and began hiking up the ditch trail enjoying the bluebird day and the fantastic views this mountain offers during the hike up.

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"Barrett Peak"  by Brian Kalet

I camped at the South Lake Trailhead Sunday night. Monday morning, I hiked up to Bishop Pass, then continued cross country towards Thunderbolt Pass. The terrain was primarily small boulders and grassy slopes at first, but soon turned to talus, large boulders and snow. From Thunderbolt Pass, I traveled towards Potluck Pass by contouring high, but when past North Palisades southwest chute, the sand, loose talus and scree became unbearable, so I descended nearly to Barrett Lakes before continuing towards Potluck Pass. At this point, I could see 13962 and was concerned that it would be too technical for me to free solo.

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Geiselstein Alte Nordwand Geiselstein Alte Nordwand  by mvs

There is something special about the Geiselstein. It's a "front range" mountain, rising up quickly from the gentle green hills and torqoise lakes of Bavaria. The vertical towers of limestone are a promise of whats to come if you venture further south into the ranges. I like the idea of starting at "the edge" of the mountains, and gaining the heights via the most severe path. By that criteria, the Geiselstein is a good one. A northern outlier with the nickname "Matterhorn of the Ammergau," even the normal way on this peak requires low 5th class climbing. But from the north the silvery-gray rock of the 1300 foot high north face looms over a sleepy cow-grazed meadow, their bells tingling softly. It seems to say: this is what I have to offer you, further in. That is, if you can get by me first.

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Photo Album
of Cholatse South West Ridge, 1993 Photo Album of Cholatse South West Ridge, 1993  by RobSC

The following pictures were taken during a climb of the South West Ridge of Cholatse in 1993. Although it has been a long time since that expedition, Cholatse is not a peak that sees many ascents, and there are not an abundance of pictures out there showing the route. Our trip began wben John Climaco was looking through an old American Alpine Club Journal and saw a picture of the peak and was overcome by a desire to visit the magnificent Khumbu region and attempt to climb the peak. The pictures below show the ascent made by John, myself, Andrew Brash and Chris Breemer on October 21st of that year, when we repeated the route climbed on the first ascent of the peak.

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