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North to South ~ The Rawah
Wilderness North to South ~ The Rawah Wilderness  by Bill Reed

Looking back on the relative ease of doing this trip closer to home vs. the difficulties and cost of a Wind River trip, maybe we got what we paid for, but the die was cast.

It was a plan that seemed to make a lot of sense at the time. Instead of spending a day getting to and another day getting back from our usual destinations in the Wind River Range, we’d drive a mear two hours from home to reach our starting point. No motels, no filling the gas tank multiple times and no long approach drives over little used backcountry roads. Definitely made a lot of sense.

Teide, here I come! Teide, here I come!  by rgg

Summer was over, but I really needed a fresh dose of the outdoors. So, where to go, late in season? The mountain refuges in the Alps were closed, and the fresh snow would make things a lot more serious and dangerous, so that was out. In fact, the days were getting shorter already, so northern and central Europe were out as well. The southern hemisphere was too early. Southern Europe perhaps? Northern Africa? Anywhere in the tropics? Cloud cover on the northern coastline of Tenerife Enlarge Cloud cover along the northern coast

How I came to look at the Canary Islands, I'm not sure anymore, but somehow I did. I had heard a little about them, as a hiking destination that is, but never paid close attention, thinking the Canaries were mainly for beach type holidays. However, that changed as soon as I started reading about them: I quickly learned that there was some great hiking to be had on several of the islands, and as icing on the cake, there was Pico del Teide, a huge volcano that was just begging me to come and climb it!

So, I booked a flight, packed my bag and by the end of September I was on my way to Tenerife.

Weekend at Indian Creek Long Weekend at Indian Creek  by Liba Kopeckova

Indian Creek I heard so much about this climbing area and I was both afraid and excited about my first trip. My friends warned me - the first time there, you cannot climb much, sometimes nothing, your hands get beaten up, and you get mentally wasted. There are no easy climbs there, hard to find those few 5.9s. And crack climbing is different, almost like a new sport compared to face climbing. I wondered what will happen to me there. Will I get defeated by those smooth walls with cracks, or will I conquer it? I knew deeply in my heart that I will not accept any defeat. I will eventually crack those cracks!

I got invited to go there over Halloween, but my son had 2 parties that weekend, so deeply disappointed I excused myself. Luckily, my good friend (a first person I met in a storage unit when I was moving to Colorado) Michael Covington offered that he would be more than happy to go climbing there with me the following weekend. And I had 3 days off! Surely enough time to figure out crack climbing. Patience is not one my virtues.

Accursed Mountain of
Destiny Accursed Mountain of Destiny  by kamil

After the moonset everything takes weird colours and shapes. Lichens on the rock look like some black monstrous creepy-crawlies. I still get this wacky impression that there is someone third with us. It must be just a figment of my half-asleep imagination. Jumping and moving my arms I try to warm up. I can’t discern the rock face from the valley below us. There is no more light visible at Gusinje and Plav, maybe just some pale afterglow. In Grbaja I can see two bright lights next to each other. Our Eko-katun perhaps? The Plough has travelled a long way across the sky, only the Pole Star remains in her place, as if she wanted to give us back some sense of reality.

A long day
on Babia Góra - Hillwalking through the eyes of a professional buttsniffer... A long day on Babia Góra - Hillwalking through the eyes of a professional buttsniffer...  by Danteke Zjadaczkakotow

It all began on a time that I was still laying comfortably on Ania's bed, when all of the sudden my nice dreams of chasing and killing big, fat cats were suddenly ended by Ania waking up and starting to get dressed when the sun wasn't even up yet... Like seriously - One of the reasons I sleep with the girl is because she doesn't kick me out of bed on weird hours - like 8am - as that male human does...

Moonlight Buttress in a
Sandstone Fortress Moonlight Buttress in a Sandstone Fortress  by runawayreignbow

"Now this here is a serious violation of the climbing code." Ryan stated in a very stern, stoic manner.

I furrow my brows in expected dismay toward myself while looking up at my climbing partner analyzing my gear placements in a tight, dihedral formation that hangs 30 feet up and right. We're at the Straight Shooter wall in Red Rock Canyon, Las Vegas.

"What....what did I do." I say in a question disguised more as a statement.

Autumn Day on Snowdon Autumn Day on Snowdon  by Big Benn

My last visit to Snowdonia in Wales was in early March this year. That was at the end of my main walking season in those small but wonderful mountains. I just love winter walking in the mountains and 2009/10 had been superb. Indeed I owe Summit Post a detailed TR with photos from that winter. It's coming soon!

I had kept walking during the months since March, some on hills, but mainly local daily walks on small slopes local to my home in Kent, SE England.

But by October I had a yearning to get back to Snowdonia. To see if my summer "training" had kept me sort of fit for the coming winter. And to just enjoy the Welsh mountains in what I hoped would be decent Autumn weather.

Deja Vu on Whitehorse Ledge Deja Vu on Whitehorse Ledge  by nartreb

"Falling!" Brian yelled.

I went into the belayer's brake position without conscious thought. This made no difference: even as Brian accelerated down the featureless slab, riding the wet streak he'd tried to step over, he was still far above his last (and only) piece of protection. There was a LOT of slack in the system. I'd have to take in as much as I could. For a split moment I stared at my belay device, unable to remember which end of the rope to pull in what direction with which hand.

"Take! Take! Take!" Brian screamed.

"I'm taking! I'm taking!" I replied, and it was true: I had already pulled in three or four arm-lengths by the time he yelled "take".

Finishing My List Finishing My List  by Brian Jenkins

Seems like everyone has their tick list and I have never really understood that whole thing. I always just wanted to climb things I thought were neat or scenic or cool-looking. That’s why I do just as much hiking as rock climbing as alpine mountaineering as scrambling as whatever. Being out in a beautiful place enjoying nature and the outdoors is way more important to me than any prominence, county high point, state high point, geocache list-checking could ever be. The only “list” I was ever interested in were the Cascade volcanoes mentioned in the “Climbing the Cascade Volcanoes” book by Jeff Smoot. I’ve since come to the belief that there should be a few additions to his list (Diamond Peak and Garibaldi-although I hear earlier editions of his book had Garibaldi in there) but as far as the book went, I really wanted to summit every peak in there.

I started climbing these in 2001 and finally completed the “list” when I dealt with the mileage of Glacier Peak this summer. Back when I moved to Oregon in 2000, my only ambitions were to really get into rock climbing and whitewater kayaking. The kayaking never happened (well, I bought a sea kayak and have enjoyed that) but I was lucky enough to be introduced to through work and we soon started going to Portland Rock Gym. Then they took me to Smith Rock, Flagstone, Beacon Rock (and eventually to places like Yosemite, City of Rocks, etc.) to get on real rock.

Payette, Peak 10336 and
Hidden Ridge Payette, Peak 10336 and Hidden Ridge  by SawtoothSean

Another great dry and warm October Fall week had me driving to the upper Hell Roaring Trailhead for some backcountry fun. I was doing 2 or 3 climbs for the last couple of weeks after some down time in September (fractured foot). After driving the 5 miles of awful road in about 25 minutes in my Jeep, I reached the trailhead and was the only vehicle there. The new trail starts south of the creek and is slightly longer, but it avoids a tough or cold creek crossing. Soon enough I was at scenic Hell Roaring Lake and navigating the south side. The trail above here has been redone and utilizes a wandering plethora of switchbacks to ease the grade. The problem is the grade is too gradual and long- perhaps they redisgned the trail with horse users in mind or such. After 6 miles I was at Imogene Lake.

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