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,…

A Change of Heart

Moose Lake to Wolverton Trailhead via Emerald Lake (12 miles, +1,000/-4,200 feet). Yesterday I had a bit of a meltdown. When I got back to camp I was so tired of walking in the slushy suncups and so anxious about doing icy traverses that I suggested to MixMaster that we just leave Moose Lake the…

The Tablelands

Moose Lake to Kings-Kaweah Divide near Big Bird Peak and back (8 miles, +1,500/-1,500 feet). Today was exhausting. I mean really, really exhausting. But crazy beautiful. I guess the best things in life are not free. We had originally planned to pack up and head over Pterodactyl Pass to Lonely Lake, but the ranger at…

Moose Lake

Wolverton Trailhead to Moose Lake (10 miles, +3,900/-500 feet). Ever since I hiked the Watchtower Trail to Heather Lake with ZoZoZoom I have wanted to do a cross-country trip in the Tablelands.  They looked so beautiful from a distance, with their gentle granite slopes above the tree line. And what better time to go?  I…

Kearsarge Pass

Bullfrog Lake to Onion Valley (7 miles, +1,000/-2,700 feet). So, last night was my worst night ever in a tent. All night long I was tortured by the fear that Kearsarge Pass was wrapped in a wall of ice just like Forester. The words of the thru-hiker I met before my trip rang in my ears:…

Forester Pass

Tyndall Creek (PCT mile 774.7) to Bullfrog Lake (14 miles, +3,000/-3,700 feet). Today was a life-changing day for me. Don’t get me wrong.  I am not claiming that anyone else would have my experience.  In fact, in talking to others today who did Forester Pass, I’m pretty sure my experience is unusual. But I am…

Racing Past Whitney

Rock Creek (PCT mile 760) to Tyndall Creek (mile 774.7) (14.7 miles, +3,600/-2,400 feet). I slept pretty well last night, though it’s always a little annoying to deal with cold and wet shoes, socks, clothes, tents, and sleeping bags.  I was also starting to worry about Forester and felt the need to cover lots of…

High Snow in the High Sierra

Horseshoe Meadows to Rock Creek (PCT mile 760) (14 miles, +1900/-2200 feet). It’s a record snowfall year in the Sierra and I have been dying to get out there and see it for myself.  None of my hiking buddies were free this week, so I decided to set out on my own to tackle the…