Oregon Mountain Community

The Chamonix Experience

This is what heaven on earth looks like for climbers and skiers. I spent six months there in the 70’s and still can’t get Chamonix out of my system.


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Holiday Jewelry

Bennett Photo 542

As we approach the holiday season I think it is important to reflect on things I am thankful for. There are many things from the great north that I am grateful for. The Stark clan, Scandinavian women, dog sledding. Today, I am most grateful for the northern weather.


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A Swiss Photographer Just Captured Matterhorn’s Hörnli Ridge Like Never Before

To help celebrate the 150th anniversary of the first ascent of Matterhorn’s Hörnli ridge, in the Alps, by Edward Whymper and his team in 1865, photographer and mountain guide Thomas Bosch organized an amazing photo and video tribute.

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Thorung La Pass, Nepal before the blizzard

At least 40 people died on the Annapurna circuit last week due to avalanches, this video from the Washington Post documents life along the trail before the blizzard.


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NOAA VIDEO: Official 2014/15 Winter Weather Outlook


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The Versatility of Trekking Poles

As an addendum to the post about tarps, I’ll add that tarp/wings like the MSR E-Wing Shelter are a great choice for treeless enviorns like deserts or beaches where your trekking poles become a way of keeping the tarp off your head. The E-Wing packed is about the size of a tall boy and weighs a pound. For emergency shelter, when benighted day hiking, there isn’t a good reason to leave it or a similar shelter behind.


The Light and Right MSR E-Wing

There are more good reasons to use trekking poles, hiking and backpacking, than bad. Trekking poles improve footing and balance (especially while crossing creeks), decrease stress on joints and back, push back wet vegetation on trails, splint a broken limb, repel bears (see video) and, as mentioned above, work as tent poles. The only probable downside, of owning trekking poles, might be the price of carbon poles or getting wacked by an irate spouse. The Black Diamond Trail trekking poles and Leki Micro Stick Carbon models can fit into luggage or packs, for travel, and perform all required tasks when you arrive. Bonus feature: you always have an emergency pair of ski poles if you can find the powder baskets in your garage.


Black Diamond Trail Poles $109.95


Leki Micro Stick Carbon $195.95

Although using trekking poles would seem self-evident, this video has some useful tips regarding their use. Especially, the bear repellent feature at 1:37. Enjoy.


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The Rain Dance


Fellow Oregonians,

Do not despair. The fall rains are coming. This is inevitable, but a little rain never stopped anyone from having a good time in the hills! Dust off your rain boots and hit the muddy trail. I am going to highlight some excellent hikes for the fall, to be enjoyed on a sunny day or torrential downpours.


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Tarp season

Fall is a great time to use a tarp, when backpacking, but there are tricks to getting your tarp just right. Here is a great piece from Outdoor Research on the Art of the Backcountry Tarp. For an easier approach there is always the Mega Mid style shelters for light weigh protection, without the rope work.


The indomitable Mega from Black Diamond $269.95



Posted in Gear Guides, General, Guides

The final blast of Glines Canyon Dam, the Elwha River is Free!

On a remote stretch of the Elwha River, in northwestern Washington state, a demolition crew hired by the National Park Service detonates a battery of explosives within the remaining section of the Glines Canyon Dam. The blast destroyed the last 30 feet of the 210-foot-high dam and will signal the culmination of the largest dam-removal project in the world.



The final blast of Glines Canyon Dam, the Elwha is Free from John Gussman on Vimeo.


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The Ridge

Like a summer dream about winter…


THE RIDGE from Camp 4 Collective on Vimeo.



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