Red Cones

Fox Meadow to Red Cones (12 miles, +3,400 feet/-1,100 feet). Today we thought we might only make it to Rainbow Falls to camp.  But that area is very close to the developed areas around Reds Meadow, and it is dusty and mostly in a burn zone.  I was hopeful we would have enough energy to…

Fox Meadow

Marsh Lake to Fox Meadow (10 miles, +900/-3,500 feet). I finally slept well last night.  I was still having flashbacks to my nearly-fatal river crossing, but it only took about an hour to mellow out and drift away. I was up before dawn with Ultrashuffle, sitting by the fire and making coffee. Finder found a…

Long Canyon

Marsh Lake Trail to Long Canyon and return (9 miles, +1,800/-1,100 feet). I had a really tough time falling asleep last night. I kept replaying the nearly-fatal river crossing in my head, over and over.  My worst memory was me just holding onto the trunk, falling around on the surface of the water, watching my…

Fish Creek Almost Killed Me

Iva Bell Hot Springs to Marsh Lake Trail (7 miles, +1,900/-700 feet). Today was, in nearly all respects, another beautiful day with friends in the woods. But it was also the worst day of my life. Don’t worry, I will explain. The morning started uneventfully as we packed up from our lovely campsite. We started…

Iva Bell Hot Springs

Crater Creek to Iva Bell Hot Springs (10 miles, +1,900/-1,800 feet). I slept well last night, so I was eager to get up and start the day.  Ultrashuffle beat me to the punch, but not before the end of yet another gorgeous predawn light display. Eventually we all woke up, ate breakfast, and were packed…

Crater Creek

Twin Lakes to Crater Creek (11 miles, +1500/-3000 feet). I’m really lucky I get to do two trips with Ultrashuffle this year.  And on this first one, he brought family and friends! We originally planned to hike from Mammoth to Yosemite Valley on the John Muir Trail, but it’s been a huge snow year and…

The Sawmill Pass Trail

Sawmill Pass Trailhead to Bull Lake (8 miles, +5,500/-500 feet). Its been a while since I hiked! In May I had a losing argument with poison oak and it took more than a month for it to go away (it covered 2/3 of my body!). Anyhoo, occupational hazard I guess! I was originally going to…

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…