September 4, 2010

Half Dome via the Cables

Half Dome via the Cables

It is perhaps the most famous hike in the United States. Every Summer, thousands attempt the 16 mile round trip from Yosemite Valley’s floor to Half Dome’s 8836-foot summit. Along they way they will travel through some of Yosemite’s most inspiring terrain, passing not one but two major waterfalls and countless jaw-dropping vistas. But the route’s main attraction is its finale (more…)

Posted in Hiking | 8 Comments

August 27, 2010

“You are not an Emergency”

“Howdy neighbor,” were the first words he said to me. I’ll call him Mr. M, and he and his young son were staying in the Curry Village tent cabin next to mine. Mr. M had a wry, slightly ironic Old World demeanor—maybe Slavic, maybe Baltic. Good neighbor material, I thought. And as a fellow father, I admired him for spending time enjoying the splendors of the Yosemite Valley with his boy (more…)

Posted in Hiking | 5 Comments

August 15, 2010

The South Kaibab-Bright Angel Loop

The South Kaibab-Bright Angel Loop

It is only natural, standing atop Grand Canyon, to gaze into the depths below the rim and wonder if it’s possible to hike all the way down to the river and back in a single day. Hiking rim-to-river offers the ultimate Grand Canyon experience—a ‘trip through time’ traversing twelve distinct geologic formations. Attempting the entire route in a day, however, is not a trivial undertaking (more…)

Posted in Hiking | 8 Comments

July 9, 2010

The Bridge to Nowhere

The Bridge to Nowhere

You have to admire the audacity of the attempt to build a road through San Gabriel Canyon connecting Azusa and Wrightwood. The planned route, along the East Fork of Southern California’s San Gabriel River, passing beneath the immense west and north faces of Iron Mountain and up the dramatic narrows of the East Fork canyon, was to have cut through the very heart of the San Gabriel Mountains (more…)

Posted in Hiking | 4 Comments

June 22, 2010

Williamson Blues

Williamson Blues

This past weekend I and two friends made a go at Williamson via the big-big West Face/Shepherd Pass route. We made it as far as Anvil camp, but had to turn back the following day when AMS took out one of my companions overnight. While I was disappointed at not getting a shot at the summit (it would have been my third time up there) (more…)

Posted in Hiking | 3 Comments

October 24, 2009

Mt. Baldy Bikini Party

Mt. Baldy Bikini Party

Okay, I kid you not, as I was driving to Mt. Baldy this morning for an early-season training hike, I was bemoaning the dearth of scantily clad women in the backcountry. I mean, I’ve been hiking a long, long time, and while initially in my hiking career I was convinced I’d one day hit the jackpot and find a mountain covered with lovely ladies, time has taught me it never happens (more…)

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July 20, 2009

BPL Wilderness Trekking Course

Backpacking Light has a tremendous wealth of information on ultralight hiking strategies. Unfortunately the site is subscription-only, so most of its content is firewalled, but BPL also runs wilderness courses, including this Aug 23-Sept 5 Wilderness Trekking Long Distance class, which runs 14 days and a whopping two grand per person (more…)

Posted in Hiking | 2 Comments

June 8, 2009

SPOT 911 on the PCT

A hiker on the Pacific Crest Trail near Horseshoe Meadows got hit by Wednesday’s weather and pressed “911” on her Spot Satellite Messenger when she became cold, wet, and afraid she would not survive the night (read her account here). In the morning, she sent an “OK” message and hiked to Lone Pine, where she was met by worried family members (more…)

Posted in Hiking | 2 Comments

May 22, 2009

Phil Leacock Memorial Trail & Loop

Phil Leacock Memorial Trail & Loop

Los Angeles has a wealth of good metro-area hikes, though finding them can be challenging. One of my favorites is the Phil Leacock Memorial Trail, which connects Pacific Palisades to the Topanga State Park trail network. For the urban hiker, the Leacock Trail offers tremendous bang for the buck. You get a sharp climb right from the start, great city and ocean views, and a quick loop (about 1.5 miles) back to the car (more…)

Posted in Hiking | 3 Comments

September 29, 2008

The SoCal 8000m Challenge

The SoCal 8000m Challenge

Jansport apparently issues an annual challenge to its gear retailers: get as many employees as you can to the top of Southern California’s three big peaks (Mt. Baldy, Mount San Jacinto, and San Gorgonio Mountain) in one day. For the uninitiated, that entails a whopping total of 24,000 total vertical feet (more…)

Posted in Hiking | 2 Comments

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