A View to the North

Summit Meadow to Sage Flat Trailhead via a 10,000 foot and a 9,400 foot knoll (10 miles +2,300/-5,800 feet). We got up this morning and assessed the weather.  It was probably about 30 degrees last night and we slept with most or all of our clothes.  Tonight it is supposed to be 5 degrees cooler,…

Olancha Pass

Sage Flat Trailhead to Summit Meadow (6 miles, +4,000 feet/-500 feet). It’s been dry so far in the Sierra this year, so I thought we might sneak in one more trip before the whole place gets socked in.  At just four hours door-to-trail, Sage Flat is an extremely convenient place to get up to the…

Bulletproof PCT

Wrightwood to Cajon Junction (24 miles, +3,500/-6,700 feet). Today I had the opportunity to finish up the part of Section D that Half Cookie and I missed when we had to leave trail early last May.  It was a gorgeous day starting out in the low 30s and peaking somewhere in the 50s, and I…

Back in the Saddle

Vincent Gap to Wrightwood (14 miles, +3500/-4200 feet). Ever since Half Cookie rolled her ankle and we had to get off trail at Vincent Gap, I’ve had my eye on the part of Section D of the PCT between there and Cajon Junction.  Today I got a chance to hike some of it with my…

Not 30

PCT Halfmile 424.4 to Indian Canyon Trailhead (PCT 444.2) (19.8 miles, +3,000/-6,400 feet). Today was…. interesting. I’m not sure I would do it again.  In fact, I know I wouldn’t.  But sometimes it is useful to have certain experiences because they are novel and they help define the lines within which we color our future…

Trail Gorilla

Mill Creek Summit (PCT Halfmile 418.6) to PCT 424.4 (5.8 miles, +2,200/-1,400 feet). Over the last two and a half years I’ve hiked about 15% of the PCT.  It’s such a beautifully-designed and well-maintained trail that my buddies and I often use it as a baseline to rate other trails (as in “hey, this is…

Day 4: Columbine Pass

Grizzly Creek to Needleton (15 miles, +3,500/-5,000 feet). Today was our biggest day yet and we needed to be done by 3pm when we expected the train to arrive in Needleton. And just to make things a little more exciting, the weather forecast called for several inches of snow and 50 mile an hour winds…

Day 3: Sunlight Lake

Sunlight Lake day hike then Sunlight Creek to Grizzly Creek (14 miles +4,800/-4,700 feet). It was calm and very warm last night in our beautiful little Vallecito camp site.  Since we  were just doing a day hike up to Sunlight Lake and back and then had easy miles along the river later on, we slept…

Day 2: Up on the Divide

Highland Mary Lakes to Sunlight Creek (13 miles, +1,700/-4,600 feet). Although we camped on a bit of a slope last night, it was okay.  I only had to scooch back up hill inside my tent a couple of times. The wind also was not as bad as I thought it might be.  I could hear…

Day 1: Highland Mary Lakes

Elk Park to Highland Mary Lakes (10 miles, +4,000/-500 feet). When Ultrashuffle and I finished our High Sierra Trail yo-yo last year we immediately started talking about the next trip.  I love the Sierra and proposed a sequel, but Ultrashuffle was really drawn to the idea of a hike in Colorado.  So we decided to…

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…