Thunderbolt and Knapsack Pass

Dusy Basin to Thunderbolt Pass to Knapsack Pass to Bishop Pass Trailhead (15 miles, +3,300/-4,800 feet). We awoke this morning to a phenomenon I have never experienced.  One half of our tent had severe condensation and one half did not!  As it turns out, we had a heavy dew overnight, and the half of the…

Dusy Basin

Bishop Lakes Trailhead to Dusy Basin via Chocolate Lakes (13 miles, +3,600 feet, -2,000 feet). The weather yesterday looked just like the day before, so we decided to take a zero day in Bishop and wait for some sunshine.  It was an eerie day because the valley filled up with smoke from the Ferguson and Lions…

Harding Icefield Trail

Harding Icefield Trail to Top of the Cliffs (5 miles, +2,500/-2,500 feet). I have been looking forward to this hike for a very long time.  When we started planning our trip to Alaska, this was the first trail to make the “must do” list.  And today didn’t disappoint. We started out very early at the…

Eielson Alpine

Eielson Alpine Trail (2 miles, +1,000/-1,000 feet). We got so, so lucky today!  To get near Denali you have to take a 4 hour bus ride (and 4 more hours back out!), and I scheduled that ride months ago, not knowing what the weather might be.  About 70% of the people who take the bus…

Savage Alpine

Savage Alpine Trail to Savage River (4 miles, +1,400/-1,600 feet). Today we had a full day for hiking so we decided to try something bit more challenging.  The farthest you can drive on your own into Denali National Park is Savage River, and there is a trail that starts a couple of miles away, climbs…

Hello Denali!

Taiga Trail to Horseshoe Lake Trail (4 miles, +600/-600 feet). Time for one last nuclear family trip with the four of us before DoubleSub goes to college! Where to go?  We originally thought about Iceland, but the time change for a short trip can be brutal, so we decided to stick closer to our own…

Farewell Canyon

Lower Franklin Lake to Sawtooth Trailhead (6 miles, +600/-3,100 feet). Today was an easy day, but that’s just alright with me given the last two days and my impending 7 hour drive back to San Diego. Last night was peaceful and calm again.  You’d think I would have slept well, but I kept having dreams…

Franklin Pass

Little Five Lake 10476 to Franklin Lake 10331 (19 miles, +4,800/-4,900 feet). It was calm and peaceful in my perfect campsite last night.  But in spite of my big day yesterday, I did not sleep much.  My legs still twitched from the cramping yesterday, and I was restless.  By the time the sky started to…

Glacier Pass

Sawtooth Pass Trailhead to Little Five Lake 10476 via Glacier Pass (8 miles, +5,300/-2,700 feet). Time for another trip to Mineral King!  My first trip here was with Nick and Meredith, and it was my first-ever backpacking trip in the Sierra.  This time I was supposed to go with MixMaster, but he couldn’t make it…

Hamilton Lake

Kaweah Mile 72 to Hamilton Lake to Middle Fork Trailhead (19 miles, +5,000/-8,000 feet). Wow. Just wow. Today was one of the most epic days of hiking I have ever experienced. I’m not sure I want to repeat some parts of it, but I feel really psyched to have achieved a crazy-hard goal and to…

Middle Fork Trail

Middle Fork Trailhead to Mile 72 on the Kaweah (14 miles, +6,000/-3,000 feet). I had originally planned to knock out 48 miles on the PCT this weekend, but it was supposed to be extremely windy in the Mojave and I have been really craving a return to the Sierra. The weather gods helped me out,…

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…