Filling the Gap

Garnet Lake to Agnew Meadows (8 miles, +1,100/-2,500 feet). Our last day on trail was super easy and surprisingly pretty.  The main virtue of today’s route for me (other than the burger and beer at its end!) was to see part of the John Muir Trail I had to abandon on an earlier trip where…

Clinch Pass

Lower Twin Island Lake to Garnet Lake (11 miles, +3,200/-3,100 feet). Today was one of those happy accidents.  I have frequently found that Plan Bs end up being better than Plan As, maybe not because they are objectively better, but because they often involve surprise. I had no idea how spectacular the upper basin of…

Whitebark, Garnet, and North Glacier Pass

Forest camp above Ediza Lake to Lower Twin Island Lake (9 miles, +3,300/-3,000 feet). Today was extremely gorgeous!  We basically spent the whole time circumnavigating the highly photogenic Ritter and Banner Peaks and the lakes below them.  I will definitely need to come back to this part of the High Route. To make things even…

Nancy Pass

Devil’s Postpile to forest camp above Ediza Lake (13 miles, +4,700/-2,900 feet). Time for my annual hike with UltraShuffle!  Only this time we added two to our party, MixMaster and UltraShuffle’s son Rainbow T.  We drove up to Mammoth yesterday to acclimatize and then headed off on a section of the Sierra High Route.  Our…

Isabelle Glacier

Isabelle Glacier Trail (11 miles, +2,500/-2,500 feet). It was great to have a zero day yesterday after our backpack around the Maroon Bells!  But since we finished a day early, we had a chance to do a day hike today.  We decided to hike up to one of Colorado’s disappearing glaciers, the beautiful Isabelle. The…

Day 3: Buckskin, ‘Bundy’, Willow, and East Snowmass Passes

West Maroon Creek to East Snowmass Trailhead (17 miles, +3,800/-6,200 feet). Okay, let me apologize right away.  There are over 90 pictures in this post!  I spent a lot of time deleting pictures, but this was one of those days where I just couldn’t kill my darlings. We awoke to crystal clear skies and a…

Day 2: Hasley, Frigid Air, and West Maroon Passes

Lake Geneva Trailhead to West Maroon Creek (18 miles, +5,800/-4,700 feet). So I guess it was a little too slopey last night.  MixMaster and I kept sliding towards the river.  I got good rest but not much sleep.  Oh well. We got an earlier start this morning and that was a good thing because we…

Day 1: Trail Rider Pass

Snowmass Creek Trailhead to Geneva Lake Trailhead (17 miles, +4,600/-3,400 feet). Time again for my annual trip with MixMaster and ChiaGlyph.  Woo hoo! So far we’ve done the Trans-Zion Trek and Paria Canyon.  This time we decided to head for Chia’s home turf, Colorado.  Chia has had his eye on the famous “Four Pass Loop”…

Spitler Peak

Fobes Trail to PCT Halfmile 168.6 and back (9 miles, +3,000/-3,000 feet). I’ve been itching to get into the Sierra with the low snow year we’ve had but May has turned out to be surprisingly cool and a little snowy — just enough for me to cancel a couple of trips. But not to fear…

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…