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Archive for the ‘Pursuits’ Category

The Great Golden Trout Wilderness

Tuesday, August 31st, 2010

Over the fourth of July, I returned to the Golden Trout Wilderness for a four day backpacking trip with Bob and Jimmy. There were three goals for this trip:

    1) catch some Golden Trout
    2) summit kern peak
    3) relax by the fire each night

I’m happy to report that all of those goals were accomplished, and our 37-mile itinerary was as follows:

Day 1:
We joined the trailhead to Trail Pass in Horseshoe Meadow, and from there we continued through Mulkey Meadows (very sandy, flat, and long). Camp on the first and second nights was near the Tunnel Guard station at the end of Tunnel Meadow. The end of the first day brought with it some beautiful — albeit small — golden trout, which I caught in the Golden Trout Creek.

Day 2:
The entirety of the second day consisted of Jimmy and myself climbing Kern Peak. (Bob decided to stay back and rest at camp.) We were the fourth and fifth people to summit the 11,510 ft peak in 2010! It was certainly a beautiful day, and some very majestic views were to be had at the summit. There used to be a fire lookout at the summit, but today it stands in ruin.

Day 3:
We packed up camp and hiked to Big Whitney Meadow. My beta on a great campsite served us well, and it was here that we spent the night of the fourth.

Day 4:
We hiked over Cottonwood Pass through a large number of mosquitoes and down lots of switchbacks to Horseshoe Meadow. Of note, the conventional end to our backpacking trips has just been stepped up a notch – the regular Double Double order at In-N-Out has been replaced with a very tasty 3×3!

Coyote Gulch

Sunday, August 22nd, 2010

It’s been a busy summer, and I’ve finally found the time to update the blog. Over Memorial Day Weekend this year, a number of friends made the trek to Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument for one purpose: to celebrate Greg’s Bachelor Party by backpacking 22 miles through Coyote Gulch over 3 days.

Coyote Gulch is a very remote, semi-narrow canyon – just to get to the trailhead involved 2 hours of off-roading with the dune buggies. The first day involved hiking across the dry slick rock to the canyon where we descended through a very narrow “Crack-in-the-Wall.” The views from this point were especially majestic. After everyone made it through the crack, we descended into the canyon and began our hike up Coyote Gulch.

Over the next two days, we followed a very shallow creek up the canyon, stopping often to enjoy the views, take photos, and contemplate how we were going to navigate the next obstacle. As we continued to march towards the exit, the walls of the canyon grew shallower and we eventually entered a mosquito-filled marsh / cow pasture. Fortunately that part was short, and we were back to the car before we knew it. Next stop: Vegas!

Fiji Diving Video

Saturday, February 20th, 2010

Recently I’ve been organizing my photos from the South Pacific, and in the process I came across my videos from diving in Fiji. Here’s a compilation that highlights the Great White Wall (in the Somosomo Strait near Taveuni) and the Shark Dive (in Beqa Lagoon near Suva).


Friday, January 29th, 2010

Back in November, Eli, Dave, and I went to Catalina for a weekend to camp at Two Harbors, hike the Trans-Catalina trail, and camp at Parson’s Landing.  I took a similar trip to Parson’s during the summer of 2007, but this was my first trip to Catalina in the fall, and I was surprised to find what seemed like a nearly deserted island. We attributed it to the time change. 😕

So on a nearly deserted island there isn’t too much else to do besides sit back, relax, read books, and play some horseshoes, and that’s how we occupied our time in Two Harbors and at Parson’s. The 5 mile hike on the Trans-Catalina gave us an intro to the majestic views that could be had on a clear day, but the fog and clouds we encountered made it a unique and windy experience.

Mt. Whitney

Wednesday, September 23rd, 2009

Mt. Whitney is the highest mountain the contiguous United States, with an elevation of 14,496 ft. Most hikes to Whitney start at the Whitney Portal, which results in a roundtrip hike of about 22 miles with an elevation gain of over 6,100 ft. It’s extremely popular during the summer months, and because of that Inyo National Forest has implemented the Whitney Lottery to decide who gets a permit and when.

Back in June 2007, Paul, Jimmy, Marc, and I hiked Mt. Whitney for the first time. Just for kicks, I entered the lottery once again this year. Luckily, my ’09 permit application was chosen, and even more luckily, the permit was awarded for the first choice of dates (a weekend in early August). Ben, Andrew, and Jimmy joined the adventure this time, and our three day, two night hike took us through some very picturesque mountain scenery.

Although the Whitney Portal is good, Jimmy and I agreed that now after having done the hike twice, any future trips to Mt. Whitney will have to be on a trail less trodden. Alternatively, there are many other 14,000+ ft. peaks that see many less visitors. The options are wide open for next summer…

Approaching Trailside Meadow along the Whitney Portal Trail.Andrew joins the adventure.  (And yes, there will be WAG bag jokes.)Jimmy consulting near Consultation Lake.A 12-minute time lapse from Trail Camp.Ben deftly navigating the snow along the trail.Jimmy, Andrew, and Ben nearing the summit.A 14,496 ft. album cover.