August 25, 2011 Telescope Peak Trail Hiking

Telescope Peak Trail

Telescope Peak, California — monsoon moisture pops thunderheads to the south, while drier air pushes down from the north. Forecast: indeterminate. It’s seven miles from the trailhead at Mahogany Flat to Telescope Peak’s summit, and the majority traverse a broad, airy ridge offering not a hint of storm protection (more…) (more...)...

Posted in Hiking | 8 Comments
September 4, 2010 Half Dome via the Cables Hiking

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 (more...)...

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August 27, 2010 "You are not an Emergency" Hiking

“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, (more...)...

Posted in Hiking | 5 Comments
August 15, 2010 The South Kaibab-Bright Angel Loop Hiking

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 (more...)...

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July 9, 2010 The Bridge to Nowhere Hiking

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, (more...)...

Posted in Hiking | 4 Comments
June 22, 2010 Williamson Blues Hiking

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 (more...)...

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October 24, 2009 Mt. Baldy Bikini Party Hiking

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 (more...)...

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July 20, 2009 Hiking

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...)...

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June 8, 2009 Hiking

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 (more...)...

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May 22, 2009 Phil Leacock Memorial Trail & Loop Hiking

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 (more...)...

Posted in Hiking | 3 Comments

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When there is snow, SierraDescents is Andy Lewicky's California backcountry skiing and mountaineering website. Without snow, sierradescents becomes an ill-tempered hiking and climbing blog.

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