Deer Pass

Duck Lake to Lake George Trailhead (8 miles, +2,000/-3,300 feet). Last night I discovered a new use for my hiking umbrella.  The moon was so bright right there on the lake that I actually opened up the umbrella inside my tent to create a moon shade.  It worked perfectly!  I will definitely do that again….

Bighorn and Shout of Relief Pass

Mono Creek to Duck Lake (16 miles, +5,500/-3,600 feet). Well things have a way of working out.  I slept really well last night not only because I found a beautiful flat spot next to Mono Creek, but also because I was deep in the shadow of the woods and away from the bright moon.  Wonderful!…

Feather, White Bear, and Gabbot Pass

Merriam Lake to Mono Creek (17 miles, +3,900/-6,300 feet). Today was amazing but also disappointing.  I made such good time yesterday that I thought I could bust out 20 miles today, even though a lot of it was supposed to be intense cross country.  Well that was obviously not in the cards.  I came up…

Piute and Puppet Pass

Sabrina Basin Parking Lot to Merriam Lake (15 miles, +4,500/-2,600 feet). I’ve been backpacking for three years now and I have gotten more and more interested in cross country hiking.  I still like trails, but I really love the challenge of route finding and the feeling of solitude I get when I am just a…

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…

Tyee-George Saddle

Tyee Lakes Trailhead to Sabrina Campground (11 miles, +2,700/-2,700 feet). Today was a great… learning experience! Half Cookie and I set out on our semi-annual hiking trip with an eye towards completing the classic North Lake-South Lake loop (with the cross country variation over Lamarck Col and down into Darwin Canyon) in the John Muir…

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…

A Beautiful Blue Duck

Duck Pass Trail to Reds Meadow (20 miles, +2,000/-3,500 feet). This was originally supposed to be my first day on a thru-hike of the John Muir Trail with a couple of friends.   However, I hurt my ankle a couple of weeks ago, MixMaster hurt his back, and BarnFinder broke his toe.  Maybe the Universe is…

A Summit Whirlwind

Ruby Lake to Mosquito Flats via Summit Lake (6 miles, +1,100/-2,000 feet). Today was Day 2 of my Father’s Day trip to the John Muir Wilderness, and I can say without a doubt that it was my favorite day of hiking ever! It started around 5am as we awoke to alpenglow on Ruby Lake. We…