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The Hidden Value of a Mountain Guide – from Middle Palisade & Mount Russell

In From the Range of Light & Fast, Guide Tips, Trip Reports by Howie SchwartzLeave a Comment

Tom and Andy are a couple of very intelligent and engineers from the Eastern US. They work for the Department of Defense to help keep all of us Americans safe. They are also experienced mountaineers. Why then have they had so much trouble summiting mountains in the Sierra together over the past decade? Altitude is probably blamed by many as the number one reason for aborting High Sierra climbs. It’s usually not conditions, as so many of the peaks are …

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Backpacking Mammoth to Tuolumne: June 28 – July 1, 2014

In From the Range of Light & Fast, Trip Reports by Howie Schwartz1 Comment

Kyle and Kurt Kupiec engaged our services for a journey from the Eastside, through the Ritter Range, to Tuolumne Meadows and we sent them out with one of our best – Jen Reynolds! Here are some excerpts from her report with some photos of the team: I met with Kyle and Kurt the night before the trip and did a gear check so that they could get packed and ready that night before heading out. I brought the group gear and their …

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The Incredible Hulk, Red Dihedral – June 29 to July 1, 2014

In From the Range of Light & Fast, Trip Reports by Howie SchwartzLeave a Comment

  Incredible! Colin Murphy and I sent the Red Dihedral route on the Hulk this week. What a phenomenal trip it was – perfect weather, long days, warm granite, and good company. Colin said it was his hardest and best alpine climb to date, and what an honor to have been there to share it with him. Enjoy the photos and hopefully Colin will share his video footage at some point too. ~ Howie July 3, 2014: the video from …

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High on Crystal!

In From the Range of Light & Fast, Trip Reports by Howie SchwartzLeave a Comment

Yesterday, we had a fine traverse of Crystal Crag, the monolith that towers over the Mammoth Lakes basin and offers fine, moderate, multi pitch rock climbing with an exciting alpine ridge traverse. The group consisted of Clark Harding – a writer for Outtraveler online travel magazine  and Hollywood visual effects technician, and Lara Kaylor – a Mammoth local writer and media specialist for visitmammoth.com. Thanks to both Clark and Lara for being excellent climbing partners and for a fantastic day …

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Frogland (III, 5.8+)

In From the Range of Light & Fast, Trip Reports by Howie SchwartzLeave a Comment

This spring Alex Stepanek and I reconnoitered in Las Vegas for a couple days of rock climbing in Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area on some super classics that he had always wanted to do. One of these was Frogland. If you like POV footage (and who doesn’t?), if you want to get a sense of what the route is like, and if you want to listen to some groovy music, check out his final cut just released here: Thanks …

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Sublimation: A Journey to the Black Divide with Glen Plake

In From the Range of Light & Fast, Trip Reports by Howie Schwartz4 Comments

Prologue It has been 3 seasons of drought for the Sierra. This makes a skier harken back to wetter and better times. Exactly 3 years ago, Easter week 2011, Glen Plake and I went on a multiday ski tour together and had a grand old time skiing some of the wildest and under-explored terrain in the High Sierra in a 5 day point-to-point tour. This was one of the biggest snow years on record and we had epic snow conditions. …

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Rendezvous in Red Rock – March 28-29, 2014

In From the Range of Light & Fast, Trip Reports by Howie Schwartz1 Comment

Not to be confused with the Red Rock Rendezvous, the mass gathering of climbers and gear manufacturers which happened to be going on the same March weekend, Alex Stepanek and I went ready to get up early and beat the crowds onto some of the most classic routes in Red Rock. In 2 days we logged about 20 pitches of rock climbing, none of which were short of excellent. Great days with a great partner and looking forward to more …

The Bloody Couloir

In Trip Reports by SMG OfficeLeave a Comment

Join Janet on her 2 days of guided backcountry skiing with IFMGA Ski & Mountain Guide, Howie Schwartz, of Sierra Mountain Guides exactly one year ago in 2013. The trip finished with a coveted descent of the Bloody Couloir on Bloody Mountain, located in the Mammoth Lakes area of the Eastern Sierra, and is one of the most classic steep big mountain lines in the range. If you have ever wondered what it would be like to ski this incredible …

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Trip Report – Mammoth to June via the Ritter Range, “A Tale of 2 Aussies”

In From the Range of Light & Fast, Trip Reports by Howie Schwartz2 Comments

From March 10-13, 2014, I had a chance to spend some quality ski time with two “mates” from the land down under. JP Darby and Mike Garret were certainly Men At Work out there but they know how to play too on skis in our Sierra Mountains. What a pleasure it was to show these guys around in our backyard including the spectacular Ritter Range where they could not believe we saw nobody in 3 days. Enjoy this video SMG …