Spiller Canyon

Stanton Pass to Tuolumne Meadows (PCT Halfmile 942.7) via Spiller Creek and the PCT (19 miles, +2,000/–3,700 feet). I love sleeping high. No condensation, it’s usually (paradoxically) warmer, and the views are out of this world. We awoke this morning to a light show on Whorl Mountain as the moon faded and the sun blued…

Matterhorn Pass

Return Creek to Stanton Pass via Matterhorn Pass (14 miles, +5,000/-3,000 feet). Our campsite last night was lovely, but the proximity to the river made it cold and damp, creating some decent condensation inside my tent. The first order of business this morning was getting across Return Creek, so we waited until 6am when we…

PCT Yosemite

Tuolumne Meadows (PCT Halfmile 942.7) to Return Creek (956.2) (13.5 miles, +1,700/-1,800 feet). My buddy MixMaster and I were originally planning to do a 60 mile loop in Yosemite that would take us from Tuolumne Meadows up the PCT, down Rodgers Canyon, and then up the Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne. But then came the…

Lassen Peak

Lassen Peak Trail (5 miles, +2,000/-2,000 feet). Today was another day intimately tied to my youth.  On one of my cross country trips in the early 1980s between Oklahoma and Oregon my family stopped at Lassen Peak and I climbed it with my dad.  I still remember how amazed I was by the experience.  I…

PCT Taster

Subway Cave to Old Station via PCT (3 miles, +200/-200 feet). We lazed around a bit after our Cinder Cone hike and then decided to do another excursion this afternoon.  A lava tube called the Subway Cave was about a mile away from our airbnb in Old Station and the plan was for Half Cookie…

Fantastic Lava Beds

Butte Lake Campground to Cinder Cone and back (5 miles, +1,000/-1,000 feet). Last night we drove down to Old Station to spend a couple of days in Lassen Volcanic National Park on our way back from the eclipse.  We were originally going to stay at Crater Lake, but the Spruce Fire has caused lots of…

Eclipse!

Forest Road 797 to 395 and back (1.5 miles, +300/-300 feet). Okay, so this is kind of a fake entry. True, Pasta Jay and I got up early and took a nice walk down the forest road near where we camped in the Malheur National Forest.  We even turned it into a loop with some…

Sketchy at Best

Granite Park to Pine Creek Pass Trailhead (9 miles, +500/-4,300 feet). We left the storm doors open last night and also had a very light but persistent breeze flowing downhill through the screen doors.  The result was a bone dry tent when we awoke at 5am (yay!). As usual, we packed up and hit the…

Royce Lakes

French Lake to Granite Park (12 miles, +2,500/-2,500 feet). Half Cookie got cold last night so we closed the storm flaps on the tent.  While that did warm things up a few degrees, it also exacerbated condensation and we awoke to a very wet tent!  Not to worry though — out here it is pretty…

French Lake

Pine Creek Pass Trailhead to French Lake (9 miles, +4,300/-500 feet). Well, it’s time once again for my biannual trip with Half Cookie!  The grandparents always come down for our kids’ birthdays, and since that means we have built-in childcare we usually organize a trip before or after (thanks mom and dad!). Half Cookie really…

Spectacular Summit Peak

Guthook CDT mile 854.4 to Elwood Pass (mile 863.3) (8.9 miles, +1,300/-1,700 feet). Okay, I know I have said this before, but the scenery today might just have been the most spectacular I have ever seen. Now that I have built up your expectations, let me begin at the beginning! The altitude, sleep deprivation, and…

Rain, Rain, Go Away

Guthook CDT mile 844.6 to mile 854.4 (9.8 miles, +2,500/-1,800 feet). So I learned something last night: sometimes a site can be too slope-y! My sleeping pad kept sliding down the floor of my tent, and I kept sliding down my sleeping pad.  At one point I tied my pad to the tent, which helped a little,…