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Not Bad for a Fat Man Not Bad for a Fat Man  by AJones

Being out of the climbing game for almost a year due to an injury has provided me with some new motivation to climb even harder in 2009 – you might say I’m making up for lost time. I’ve got a trip planned to Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado (cancelled last year) with my climbing partner Greg, with the goal to climb (at least) the South Face of the Petit Grepon (5.8), Syke’s Sickle on Spearhead (5.9), and the Casual Route (5.10) on the Diamond (Longs Peak). Later on in the summer, if we get a 2-3 day window of stable weather, I’ve also made plans to climb “All Along the Watchtower” (5.12), a 32-35 pitch route on the west face of North Howser Tower with Mirek, another long-time climbing partner. All this planning has made me realize I better get my fat ass in shape – and the sooner the better.

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Kings Peak
- On Snowshoes - In One Day Kings Peak - On Snowshoes - In One Day  by Moogie737

In writing this narrative I wish to inform more than entertain. Should I become deficient in either effort the reader may bring his or her perusal to an abrupt and final conclusion without the slightest thought of regret. In that same vein, skipping paragraphs or sections is wholly and utterly endorsed; I would do the same in the construction of this short piece were it within the realm of possibility. For obvious reasons, it is not.

In late March of 2008 I joined the Swanson brothers’ annual Kings Peak ski trip (aka The Uinta Beat-Yourself-to-a-Pulp Slog). I was curious and forgot the time-honored aphorism about how curiosity can be fatal to cats and other living beings. Having practiced on touring skis only once, I managed to boldly stride in, boot it to the Kings Peak summit and stagger out shortly before the hour of midnight. The humiliation of the ski out was so indelibly burned into my aching frame and muddled mind that I vowed then and there to never attempt such foolishness again. (See the excellent trip report titled "Kings Peak - One day to ski, 14 months to agonize over.")

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Determination in the Tetons Determination in the Tetons  by Judd97

This past summer, I received a job as a wildlife biologist for the Jackson office of the U.S. Forest Service serving Bridger-Teton National Forest in Jackson, WY. Being from western Pennsylvania, this was a great gig for me; allowing me to get out into some nice mountains and to see some neat sights. I was excited to have the opportunity to climb a few nice peaks, but being a rookie and easterner, my climbing is usually limited to class 4 or some easy class 5 at most. Wanting to respect this but still get to a nice lofty alpine peak, I started targeting the southwest couloir route to the summit of the Middle Teton. Throughout the summer I climbed a number of incredible peaks, including a few in the Gros Ventres, but the main goal was always the Middle Teton.

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Cho Oyu Summit Day Cho Oyu Summit Day  by snowflake

October 2, 2006: Tibetan Himalaya

I sit up, still wrapped in my down mummy bag, just after midnight. Note that I didn't say "I wake up", for at 24,500 feet in the Himalaya, well below freezing and with an an oxygen density just 40 percent that of sea level, sleep is nearly impossible.

I don my headlamp and finish last-minute details. Most everything I need for today has already been packed in my backpack, and I am already wearing my one-piece down suit, so now I remove my water bottles from my sleeping bag (kept there to prevent their freezing during the night) and put them in the large chest pockets of the down suit. Next I put on my triple insulated mountaineering boots which also had been sharing space in my sleeping bag to keep warm. I work quickly as I am not yet wearing gloves - for reasons of dexterity - and my fingers are starting to go numb.

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Ferdinandea - Climbing
Madness Pure Ferdinandea - Climbing Madness Pure  by Wolfgang Schaub

On that 1st April three years ago I thought about what I would do again next summer. No doubt it would have to do with my passion – climbing the highest points, of each European country, one by one. There was a country, 25 miles off the coast of Sicily, that suddenly emerged from the waters of the Mediterranean Sea in July 1831, spitting, bubbling and spewing out fire up to 63 meters above sea-level, before in the following 6 months it was cleared away again, levelled and finally swallowed by the swell: Ferdinandea.

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The Big
Prize: King's Peak in March The Big Prize: King's Peak in March  by Matthew Van Horn

A few years ago I would have thought skiing in to Henry's Fork basin and summiting King's Peak (13,528 ft.) on the last Saturday of March was something other people did, but not me.

I did do it. Here's the story:

I said goodbye to my wife and my boys Friday morning and went to work. At 3PM I left work and made a stop at REI to rent skis. Then I made one more stop at friend Joe's house to pick up ski climbing skins. I was on the road toward Evanston by 4:15 and I arrived at the trailhead in 2.5 hours. It's not really a trailhead. Henry's Fork campground is 3 miles from the winter car camp but because the road is not plowed, there is an extra 6 miles roundtrip added to the journey.

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Becoming a Part of Mexico's
Star Mountain Becoming a Part of Mexico's Star Mountain  by centrifuge

On January 24th of this year I read a Trip Report on 14ers.com by Jesse (JB99) about an attempt on Pico de Orizaba made earlier that month. It ended with an invitation to message him if anyone was interested in joining him and his fiancée, Jessica, for another attempt this year. I responded, and before I knew it was training and planning for my first major international climb. Nearly 2 months of planning and training later I was heading to the airport for one of the most memorable weeks of my life.

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South
Six-Shooter & Elephant Butte: Two Utah Desert Gems South Six-Shooter & Elephant Butte: Two Utah Desert Gems  by shknbke

After an exhilirating, challenging, and exhausting two days of scrambling on The West Temple & The Watchman in Zion, we set out sights on a desert tower climb in the Indian Creek area near Canyonlands N.P. Also on the agenda was the highly coveted (at least by me) highpoint of Arches N.P., mighty Elephant Butte.

I'll have to admit I wasn't too confident I could pull off South Six-Shooter (SSS) when Sarah said she was interested in climbing it, but after doing some research it seemed like a reasonable climb. This would be the first desert tower for all of us and was my first multi-pitch climb and would be a fine challenge. This is supposedly the easiest tower to climb in the Moab area. Indian Creek is known for its plethora of world class big wall climbs. The southern Six Shooter is a 5.6 climb by its easiest route, with two pitchs of 5.6and one of 5.4.

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Summitpost Snow Creek Climb
March 2009 Summitpost Snow Creek Climb March 2009  by Alex Wood

When I first started to get into hiking and climbing, my only experiences had been up on Mt. San Jacinto, which I had done quite a few times. I would always look down to the many rock carved gullies and crevasses that carved Mt. San Jacinto's north face and would think to myself that it was impossible to climb something that sheer and steep.

When I fist joined Summitpost, I started browsing through different pictures and routes (which I still do wayyy to much) and came upon a route named Snow Creek that climbed up that steep north face of San Jacinto. I started checking it out and thought it would be a cool idea. It seemed like an objective way out of my grasp, but I thought that I would try to give it a shot and see what happens. On my first route page, an Sp'er named TacoDelRio suggested that I try and go up with Sp'er forjan. So I sent him a pm and hoped for the best. Miguel (as I later found out) said that he was going to take a group in in March 2009 and said that I could tag along, which made me real happy.

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Back For More Back For More  by rpc

We had such a good time climbing Turkeys two weeks prior – especially with my wife providing me with a TR on the crux pitches – that we found ourselves once again in the beautiful Red Rocks of Nevada on a partly sunny Thursday not-too-early-of-a-morning. Given that Shirley seemed to be eating up leading the thin sandstone edges of Red Rocks, I figured I would ride that gravy train and try and tick off a couple of routes from the list over the course of four days.

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