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Dreischusterspitze - Dante
and the Shoemaker Dreischusterspitze - Dante and the Shoemaker  by Hydronium

Wind, ice, rock, and air. There was plenty of windy air around me, as I was dangling on the knife-edge thin ridge of dolomite rock and ice. The last few seconds had been a blur. The rock had given in. Seconds later I saw it fall just below my feet; shortly after…a crash. It would not be long, I thought, as I held, strongly, but hopelessly; all I tried to do was, one last time, smell life around me – a flower, a scent, sweetness. No. There was just a cold, bitter wind. Anger; melancholy. I should let go, that was it. YET….. ….of course this stuff would never happen to a “noob” like me. It was just to grab your attention.

But PLEASE (!), READ ON, it’s worth it nonetheless, the above has happened to plenty of people; I am proof that half the time people probably made up the stories anyway (like me just now). If you end up wasting your time nonetheless, comment, write your name, leave a sign: I shall remember you and feel for your sadness, your lost time, your insulted self; thou shalt not be alone. If else, comment anyway; I will share in your gladness; thou shalt not be alone.

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Our
Palisade Traverse: Long Day's Journey into Night Our Palisade Traverse: Long Day's Journey into Night  by bechtt

I had been intrigued on doing the Palisade Traverse for sometime ever since reading Bob Burd’s harrowing trip report from his 2002 Sierra Challenge. It had been on Augie’s checklist since August 2003 when Climbing magazine featured it as one of “America’s 4 Best Ridge Traverses.” I had attempted to climb Thunderbolt the year before but my partner and I had failed to “lasso” the summit block and we departed defeated.

To succeed this year, I enlisted the help of two friends that I had met over the last couple of years hiking and scrambling. Glenn has done most of the traverse already and had the necessary rock climbing skills to lead the summit blocks; Augie had climbed Mt Sill from our preferred exit point. After much deliberation, we had decided to follow the lead of others and use a car shuttle to enter via Bishop Pass and exit via Big Pine. Glenn and I had both experienced the reverse talus traverse back to Bishop Pass and elected not to repeat that path. At the time, we didn’t understand Augie’s reluctance with exiting via Big Pine TH – something we would understand by the end of the trip.

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Monarch of the Wasatch -
Jacobs Ladder Monarch of the Wasatch - Jacobs Ladder  by Rocky Alps

Lone Peak is a stunning mountain. Arguably the most difficult peak to climb within the Wasatch, its jagged summit is a prominent part of the skyline above Salt Lake City, and on a clear day from the top you can see all the way to Ben Lomond in the north and Mount Nebo in the south. Of the various types of rock found within the Wasatch, the granite in Lone Peak's alpine cirque is the best around. Just getting to the cirque requires considerable effort though, since all of the trailheads are at relatively low elevations (over a vertical mile below the summit).

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A Rude Awakening on Teewinot
Mountain A Rude Awakening on Teewinot Mountain  by TomSellick

Long story short, I flew into Jackson on the 16th of July. I had been planning this trip for a while, memorizing route descriptions, and basically obsessing over the peaks I was hoping to attempt: Teewinot and Grand Teton. Some of you probably replied to some of my questions a few weeks before. The pilot on our plane announced we would prepare to descend, so I knew the mountains were near. I strained my neck to see out the tiny plane window, spotting a few jagged peaks in the distance. Were those the Tetons? I thought I could make out the profile of the Grand, but I wasn't sure. The plane turned a little more and I could see a much larger group. Those must be them. I laugh at myself now. Finally the plane made a huge left and the Teton range stood about eye-level with me, rising out of the valley with such ferocity; like nothing I'd ever seen except maybe the Sierra Nevada. They literally took my breath away. Someone in the seat behind me said "Holy shit," and I agreed wholeheartedly.

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One wedding
and a summit: Grossglockner solo One wedding and a summit: Grossglockner solo  by kamil

It is already dark when I pass the toll booth near the top of the Grossglocknerstrasse above Kals. There is no one inside. After several hundred metres, just before I reach the Lucknerhaus mountain hut, first raindrops hit my windscreen. After a minute or two the rain suddenly changes into a proper downpour. Is the Big Bellringer telling me to bugger off even before showing himself to me?

* * * * *

The sound of alarm clock in my phone wakes me up. I switch it off without thinking but in a while it rings again. It’s not the alarm but Ag calling with some urgent stuff to talk about. Yeah, how could she know I badly need some kip right now? I look at my watch - it’s midnight. Only an hour since I went to bed. The two Italians in the opposite corner seem to be fast asleep.

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Big, Black
and Beautiful: Tasting the Kaweah Mystique Big, Black and Beautiful: Tasting the Kaweah Mystique  by Augie Medina

I had the good fortune to have a friend and hiking/climbing partner, Tom Becht (SP bechtt), who initiated the plans to tackle the Kaweahs. A third candidate was unable to make it, so it was Tom and me in the end.

Of the two approaches, we chose the “easier” one from Mineral King. This would involve a 26-mile roundtrip with 11,000 feet of gain to climb the coveted Black Kaweah. But 18.5 of those miles would be with full backpack and 8,200 feet of gain! I’m not as successful at going ultra light as Tom is, either with a day pack or an overnight pack. Taking too much food was one mistake for me, but that’s in hindsight. We opted to take along ice axe and crampons in case needed. We didn’t want to fail to summit any of the peaks due to lack of equipment. We vacillated on the need for tents until the very last minute. We decided to take our respective one-man tents in case of inclement weather (which we got but not at camp).

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Wolf's Head
Fully Charged+/- Wolf's Head Fully Charged+/-  by dfrancom

Our trip started with the idea to climb the East Ridge of Wolf’s Head in the Windriver Mtns, Wyoming. Was it a good idea? The answer to this question is left to the reader’s judgment. Wolf’s Head is a huge granite razor back ridge located in the Cirque of the Towers. I had heard about this climb as one of the “50 Classics”. I began to search information about the climb, its difficulty, approach time etc… and then we set the date and time to go.

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Teton
Dreams: Photo Trip Report July 2008 Teton Dreams: Photo Trip Report July 2008  by marauders

Who hasn't dreamed of climbing in the Teton Range? The adventure, the terrain and the history. For years I've wanted to begin exploring the Tetons, but work and responsibilities kept pushing me away from my goal. Out of frustration, I simply threw out a random set of dates and proclaimed that this week I was going to the Tetons. Initially it was for 7 days, then 5, and then 3; but I did it! Three uninterrupted days in the Tetons with a great climbing partner and superb weather. Let the fun begin!

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Did someone say Gran
Pilaster Did someone say Gran Pilaster  by mvs

This is part of a week-long trip Carlos, Theron ("OZNID") and I made in the Alps. Theron wrote his version of the trip report here.

After a difficult late night trying to get down to this southerly Dolomite region (I'd never been this far south), we crashed on the ground for a few hours of sleep. Our guidebook warned us against trying this climb from the ski lift, probably because it doesn't open until 8 am, but there was no way we were going to walk up after our previous hard hiking days. So we slept until almost 7 am, then started getting ready.

I had mentioned a lot of different climbs to Carlos and Theron over the months before their visit, but this one, the Gran Pilaster on the iconic Pala di San Martino really seemed to stick. In my mind, it didn't stand out especially, but at any opportunity one or the other of my friends would mention it: clearly it was a goal not to be passed up! So I got into the spirit too, and the heroics of the night before were our way of living up to that dream.

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Wasatch Wildcat Ridge
Traverse Wasatch Wildcat Ridge Traverse  by Matthew Van Horn

When I first climbed Mt Olympus over 15 years ago, I became aware of the vast green and orange wilderness stretching east from the peak. On that first climb, I ventured a small distance past the peak, to the point where I could overlook a steep, narrow chute running down into a maze of vegetation and rock to the North. The other side was even more impressively wild and treacherous: an enormous southwest-facing amphitheater (I would learn later it is called Heugh's Canyon) lined with dozens of colossal vertical rock fins, steep ramps of talus, and a jumble of boulders and trees clinging to all sides. At the head of Heugh's Canyon is a narrow strip of ridge that slims down to a knife edge, a near vertical slab sandwich that at one point in geological time was as horizontal & flat as a parking lot.

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