Taboose Pass Trail

Taboose Pass to a mile past the Taboose Pass Trailhead (9 miles, +100/-7,000 feet). Today was down, down, down.  From my icy perch to the baking Owens Valley, it was a quick morning of extremes. I slept so hard last night!  I briefly woke up to see the sunset, the moonset, and the Milky Way,…

Pinchot Pass (Plus Three!)

Bull Lake to Taboose Pass(14 miles, +4,600/-2,900 feet). Today is a day I will never forget. It was really hard. It was maybe even harder than my solo trip over Forester Pass in the Spring of 2017. But it was way less scary. I knew what I was doing this time. Even so, it was…

Buena Vista Crest

Lower Merced Lake to Buena Vista Crest to Mono Meadows Trailhead (18 miles, +3,100/-4,600 feet). I was very excited to get up and get started this morning.  Set aside the fact that it was 25 degrees and our water had frozen and I was happy to be moving.  What I was really looking forward to…

Lower Merced Pass Lake

Mono Meadows Trail to Lower Merced Pass Lake (13 miles, +3,000/-1,400 feet). It’s been quite a while since Orion and I did a hike together, so I was really looking forward to our trip to Yosemite. Although the forecast called for lows in the 20s, the weather was bizarrely still quite seasonal, with no snow…

Chilnualna Falls Trail

UC Yosemite Field Station to View of Wawona Dome on the Chilnualna Falls Trail (5 miles, +1,500/-1,500 feet). The University of California has some sweet facilities for hosting conferences, including some at Yosemite, so I reserved one of them in late October for our annual “Human Nature Group Masters” conference of colleagues and UCSD alumni….

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…