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...)...

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September 29, 2008 The SoCal 8000m Challenge Hiking

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...)...

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September 14, 2008 PCT: Onion Valley to Cottonwood Pass Hiking

PCT: Onion Valley to Cottonwood Pass

Horseshoe Meadow, California — I take one last look inside my car, checking to be sure nothing will appeal to the bears, and then I lock the doors. It feels kind of spooky as my hiking partner Bill drives us back down Horseshoe Meadows Road in his truck, heading east to Highway 395, then north (more...)...

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October 28, 2007 Hiking

A Very Special Halloween Treat

For my last major hike of the 2007 season, I wanted to do something special. I got the chance this month to do a rare hike with my brother in Arizona. This is definitely one of those off-the-map specials: a rim-to-river scramble deep in the remote, rugged wilderness of the eastern Grand Canyon. During the (more...)...

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July 29, 2006 Hiking San Jacinto Peak Hiking

Hiking San Jacinto Peak

Of the view atop Southern California’s San Jacinto Peak, elevation 10,804′, John Muir reportedly said, ‘it is the most sublime spectacle to behold upon this Earth.’ Having driven by Palm Springs and the San Jacinto Mountains many times myself, I’ve often wondered if the heat got to Muir that day. Last weekend, I got the (more...)...

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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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