TIMELINE OF CLIMBS and SOME LONG BACKPACKING LOOPS

[ Trips and Albums by year, newest first ]

2018

  • Trip Name:Fall 2018
    Camera: Olympus OMD E-M10
    Destination:A much longer visit later that year. I left home on the 2nd of Sept and got back on the 19th of October.
    Timeframe:September
    Description:Did some hikes in Wyoming on the way out. Visited the Medicine Bow Range and hiked out to Mistymoon Pass in the Bighorns. That's a place I want to return to next year. This year I was determined to get back into climbing so I focused almost entirely on doing so. The first three trips included Emerson, Matterhorn and Starlight. Each climb was unique in it's own special way. After the Palisades a batch of rain/snow came thru so my finale this year was a quick three day loop hike on the front side of the Ritter Range. Again I started in Rush Creek and went in via Summit Lake.

The Albums:

Album Name:Emerson SE Face
Region: Evolution Region
Overview:

Mt Emerson Southeast Face

There with:

Solo

Description:

Given it's short approach and reputation as a fun climb, Emerson seemed like the perfect start to the fall campaign. I was feeling the need to actually climb while out here and really hadn't done so since 2014. I spent the day wondering if I was off route, and while I can imagine there are many ways to do this route, I did hit the all important notch up at about 12,700' where the fun begins.


Album Name:Sawtooths Finger Lakes
Region: Northern Yosemite
Overview:

Matterhorn - West Ridge

There with:

Solo

Description:

In 1983 after a big snow year, Mary Erdei and I came to the area to climb the North Arete. After an epic approach during which one of our dogs almost drowned as she got carried away in the ragging horse creek and almost disappeared into a snow hole, only to be snatched from the jaws of death at the last second we soberly carried on and setup camp beneath the climb. This was another route we did back then where all slides and for that matter most memories are lost in time.

This year (2018) I came back with the intention of seeing more of the area and climbing the peak by a route I could comfortable solo. The standard SW slopes has no appeal to me and only recently I read a trip report of a more suitable alternative being the West Ridge from Burro Pass. With that in mind, I put together what I hoped would be a nice scenic route there and back. Warm days and cold nights were standard fare for the four and a half days this trip took.


Album Name:Palisades West Side
Region: The Palisades
Overview:

Starlight - Northwest Chute

There with:

Solo

Description:

It seems to me no resume of Sierra Climbing would be complete without doing at least one of the 14 ers in the Palisades. I'd done Thunderbolts West Ridge and the Swiss Arete on Sill back in 81 and 79 but have literally one slide to show for those two long ago adventures.

With that in mind and with an eye on the relentless passage of time, I figured I'd better get another one done now while I could. Of all the "chute" climbs on the west side of the divide, it seemed like the Northwest Chute on Starlight had the most personality. Perhaps the West Face (5.4) of North Pal is a better option, but I could find zero beta on that route other than the sparse descriptions in various guides.

So Starllight got the go ahead. Going over Thunderbolt Col on a really dry year makes almost no sense because you then need to drop down about 500' to find water. That experience was enough to convince me that after the climb I was going to return to Bishop Pass via the very scenic Knapsack Col. There is alot of beta on this route so I didn't have any issues with the route and near the top took the left hand option to reach the summit. I then climbed up a small pinnacle just SW of the Milk Bottle - one that is maybe 3-4 feet shorter in height and one I've never seen pics of climbers on the coveted boulder problem taken from. That was my summit. On the way down, the loose scree and gravel spoiled what was a pretty good route. I ended up doing 5 raps with a 7.7mm 50m rope.

Note: album photo taken in May 2013


Album Name:Unsettled Weather
Region: Mammoth Lakes and the Silver Divide
Overview:

Storms and Convict Canyon Hike

There with:

Solo

Description:

After Starlight I took my normal 3 days of rest, but as that came to an end 3-4 days of stormy weather arrived. I finally got a good day on Oct 5th and decided on a trip up Convict Canyon to Mildred and Dorothy Lakes. The extra effort to get up to the Dorothy lake is worth the effort as the view really opens up. The view of the north side of Red Slate and its appealling couloir is much better too. Even after all the rain, the notorious stream crossing at the old washed out bridge was quite casual. The trail itself may soon be a thing of the past as weather events have done tons of damage to what is a problematic trail to begin with. Still a fine day and well worth the effort.


Album Name:Intro to Ritter Range
Region: The Minarets and June Lake
Overview:

Rush Creek Ritter Range Loop

There with:

Solo

Description:

With only a week to go before I was due to pull up stakes and head back to NH, there was time for one more adventure. After a false start thinking I wanted to go to Hell for Sure Pass over on the West Side (I did drive all the way up to Courtright Reservior), I came back and settled on plan B. That turned out to be an intro to the Ritter Range and Minarets. Knowing the shortest way in there was to use the now familiar Rush Creek approach, I came up with a Summit Lake loop. Lots of ups and downs along with some aggressive camping restrictions, but still a nice intro to the area.


  • Trip Name:Spring 2018
    Camera: Olympus OMD E-M10
    Destination:A really short trip to the East Side.
    Timeframe:May
    Description:A massive misjudgement to say the least. After a very slow start the High Sierra snow levels caught up to normal in March/April. My research was to put it mildly - faulty. So after a week in the area I decided to reset the plan and return instead around Labor Day. I could then stay until I'd had my fill.

The Albums:

Album Name:False Start
Region: The High Passes
Overview:

East Side False Start

There with:

Solo

Description:

I was a bit unprepared for all the snow after what I thought was a lean winter. While the hike to the top of Gould was mostly snow free, the view into the backcountry convinced me that it was going to be a while before the lakes started melting out and trails in the forest reappeared.


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2017

  • Trip Name:Fall 2017
    Camera: Olympus OMD E-M10
    Destination:The really big winter of 16/17 was like turning back the clock 1 month. Sept 2017 was full of wildflowers, thunderstorms, snowfields and green meadows.
    Timeframe:September
    Description:Betsy and I drove out in late August by way of Beartooth Pass and Stanley Idaho. We got to Bridgeport on our 5th day. We then did some hiking in Yosemite, KCSP and Mammoth Lakes before she needed to fly homr for her real job. I then did the long walk to McGee Pass, a 6 day loop around Silver Pass, a day hike to Virginia/Summit Lakes followed by a very nice 5 day trip to Kaweah Gap and back. After that I needed to get home in time for my friends wedding.

The Albums:

Album Name:Yosemite - Mammoth
Region: Mammoth Lakes and the Silver Divide
Overview:

Yosemite - SNP - Mammoth area hikes

There with:

Betsy Harrison

Description:

This time around Bets drove out with me and we had a great 2 weeks of exploring and relaxing in the Yosemite, Sequoia NP and Mammoth regions. We went out to Clouds Rest, Moro Point and Duck Pass.


Album Name:McGee Pass
Region: Mammoth Lakes and the Silver Divide
Overview:

McGee Pass Trail

There with:

Solo

Description:

After two weeks with Betsy wandering around the Sierra and introducing her to places she hadn't seen (the west side in particular), she flew home to the real job and I settled on doing this long 20 mile round trip day hike. Throw in 4000 feet of gain and you can bet my tank was empty when I got back to the trailhead. Big cloud buildup but at best at bit of a spritz from time to time. Lots of snow, bugs and wildflowers.


Album Name:Mono Pass - Silver Divide
Region: Mammoth Lakes and the Silver Divide
Overview:

A Loop Around Silver Divide

There with:

Solo

Description:

The idea here was to use Mono Pass as a way to get to and cross the Silver Divide twice. On the way in I would use 'Shout of Relief' Pass on the SHR to cross over to the north side and after connecting to the JMT would cross back over via Silver Pass. After that I would have the option of getting back to Rock Creek in one of three ways: 'Half Moon Pass', Mono Pass or the longer but more interesting 2nd Recess to Gabbot Pass and on over the Divide at Cox Col. In the end I choose the way I'd come in mostly because I was tired and wasn't sure what kind of snow conditions to expect on Cox Col. I did not have an axe or micro spikes with me. As boring as that decision sounds it certainly was not. If fact it ended in high drama - weather wise that is.


Album Name:Virginia Lakes
Region: Northern Yosemite
Overview:

Day Hike to Summit Lake

There with:

Solo

Description:

Its been quite windly lately so pick your poison. After this and that I decided a quick trip to summit lake would work (10 miles RT). A second look at the map revealed a pass that had to be crossed to get there. So, good workout. A bit rocky on the west side of the pass. But that's just me and my fused ankles. Wind was stout to start but moderated by the end of the day. Fuzzy clouds gave way to a very nice afternoon.


Album Name:West Side Sequoia
Region: The Kaweahs and the GWD
Overview:

Crescent Meadow to Nine Lakes Basin

There with:

Solo

Description:

A seriously over ambitious plan was quickly reconciled with reality and morphed into a nice 5 day trip to Nine Lakes Basin and back. Nights 2 and 3 were fabulous examples of being in the right place at the right time. The original plan would have seen me in the forest both these nights. I'm felling pretty lucky about that. The lesson learned on this trip was that I need to lighten my load if I'm going to keep doing these trips.


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2016

  • Trip Name:Fall 2016
    Camera: Olympus OMD E-M10
    Destination:The last of the dry years was about to come to a close. The backcountry was so dry that many of the small tarns and streams had gone dry. The weather however was most cooperative.
    Timeframe:Sept - October
    Description:Upon arrival I headed straight out for a 7 day loop around Mt Lyell by way of Rush Creek. After some rest time I then did a 5 day loop of Piute Creek, Goddard Canyon, Davis Lakes and Darwin Canyon. I hadn't been to Darwin canyon since 1981 it was almost like seeing it for the first time.

The Albums:

Album Name:A Loop Around Mount Lyell
Region: The Minarets and June Lake
Overview:

Donohue, Vogelsang, Blue Lake and Clinch Passes

There with:

Solo

Description:

Sept 2016. Started off the Fall season with a long 65 mile loop around Mt Lyell. Didn't know much about this region but after seeing some images of Twin Island Lakes I wanted to find a way to see this and other parts of Yosemite and Ansel Adams Wilderness. In hindsight I'm not sure the best way to start this loop was at Silver Lake. The trail up to past the reserviors to the JMT provides quick access, but that's about it.

I spent the 1st night just south of Donohue Pass, the 2nd on the south shore of Evelyn Lake, the 3rd at the Lyell Fork of the Merced River, the 4th below Blue Lakes, and the 5th at the top of the North Fork of the San Joaquin River. After crossing Clinch Pass I spent the 6th and last night at Rogers Lakes before re-connecting with the Rush Creek Trail the next morning.


Album Name:Piute - Goddard - Darwin
Region: Evolution Region
Overview:

Piute, Goddard and Darwin Canyons Loop

There with:

Solo

Description:

Sept 2016. Next up was a somewhat convoluted attempt to see more of the North Lake to South Lake terrain that I have such fond memories of (1981). Also wanted to see some new terrain so I added a trip up Goddard Canyon with a exit back to the JMT via the north fork of Goddard Creek and Davis Lake. A comfortable 4 night trip with a serious dislike of the rough conditions over the last couple of miles of the Piute Pass trail as it approaches it's end at the JMT. Darwin Bench and Canyon was as expected a wonderful place to be. The real surprise was how nice the terrain leading up to and around Davis Lake was. Alot less talus and scree than I had been prepared for.


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2015

  • Trip Name:Fall 2015
    Camera: Olympus OMD E-M10
    Destination:After the disappointing spring visit, I decided to come back in the fall and see what that would be like. It was the year of the Rough Fire, but other than that, the weather was warm and dry.
    Timeframe:Sept - October
    Description:Flying out West with all the gear you need for 3 week in the backcountry is challenging. 100lbs and your carry ons. Hardest part was lugging it around the airport getting over to the car rental. The smoke in the Owen's Valley was pretty thick so I drove around to Wolverton and did a really nice 7 day loop up to the Tablelands and out via Bearpaw. After a short break and a couple of stormy days, I did a nice 4 day trip into Reflection Lake and up to Pilot Knob. I wanted to stay longer, but I was out of time and the days or should I say the nights were getting pretty long by the middle of October.

The Albums:

Album Name:Tablelands
Region: The Kaweahs and the GWD
Overview:

Tablelands to Lion Lake Pass

There with:

Solo

Description:

Sept 2015. After the stormy spring left me feeling like I hadn't accomplished much I made plans for a fall trip where I could experience the range without concern for snow. Arriving in Lone Pine after the drive over from Vegas, I found the whole Owens Valley full of haze and smoke. Next morning I drove around to the west side and made the hot drive up to Wolverton and what I hoped would be better vistas south and west of the Rough Fire. Other than a 24hr stretch of haze and grey skies, things worked out pretty well.


Album Name:On the Tourist Path
Region: Owens Valley
Overview:

On the Tourist Path - Snow storms and Fall Foliage

There with:

Solo

Description:

Oct 2015 - While it may have precluded some high peak ascents, the snow storm the first week of Oct added some great potential to both on oncoming fall color and the generally dry look of the Sierra in the fall.


Album Name:Reflection Lake
Region: Kings Kern Divide
Overview:

Longley Pass and Pilot Knob

There with:

Solo

Description:

Oct 2015. After the Tablelands adventure and a week of stormy weather, there was enough time left for a five day somewhere. With all the high peaks showing a winter look it seemed fitting to finally take the long walk into see Reflection Lake and upwards to Longley Pass


  • Trip Name:Spring 2015
    Camera: Olympus Stylus 1
    Destination:Spring 2015 was different kind of year for me. After a lean winter the weather in May was mostly unstable and short storms were the norm. The weather never really stabilized.
    Timeframe:May
    Description:I got in alot of miles but my success ration was not much to write home about. The weather was OK for a hike to Baxter Pass, Bullfrog Lake and a climb of Muir. After that the weather changed and never really recovered. During this period I did trips to Baker Lake, South Fork of Tuttle Creek and Finger Lake. By the end of the month there was more snow up high than when I had arrived at the end of April.

The Albums:

Album Name:The High Passes
Region: The High Passes
Overview:

Day Hike to Baxter Pass

There with:

Solo

Description:

Having enjoyed the hike to Sawmill I was hoping that Baxter would offer up a similar experience. Well sort of but not really. Rocky, rough and other than the alpine looking spur off of Mary Austin and Diamond Peak, a fairly long day without alot of drama. These long day hikes always mean you spend most of your day moving along in what I call the non 'magic hour' when the lighting for photography is less than optimal


Album Name:Bullfrog Lake
Region: The High Passes
Overview:

Day Hike to Kearsarge Pass and Bullfrog Lake

There with:

Solo

Description:

A quick trip to Kearsarge Pass is one of the better ways to see how much snow is left in the backcountry. Extended it a bit walking out to the JMT. Should have gone to Glen Pass - there was plenty of time.


Album Name:Mt Muir
Region: Whitney Region
Overview:

Mt Muir - Std West Face Route

There with:

Solo

Description:

Another snowy April left me looking for a day route that would help with conditioning and tag a summit. Most of the low hanging fruit had been plucked. A return to the Whitney region turned out to be just the ticket. Hadn't been there since 1981. The std route on Muir is a shadow of the big east face, but still a worthy route as the summit block contains some nice stout bouldering which to me seemed more 4th class than not - at least the way I went.


Album Name:Baker Lake
Region: The Palisades
Overview:

Baker Lake - Skyhaven Pass

There with:

Solo

Description:

Ramping up for a wet spring, the first of several storms blew thru adding to my downtime. After a 3 day affair I got going again with a scenic trip to Baker Lake via the North Fork of Big Pine Creek. Plan was to top Skyhaven at sunrise. Could have worked, but it didn't. A mostly cloudy sunrise gave way to fierce winds at the pass and little or no reason to scramble up to the summit given the grey cold skies. Settled for a consolation prize by camping at the edge of the drop back in the Big Pine Creek. Enough snow was found to take care of water issues. The 3rd day sunrise was of course perfect.


Album Name:Tuttle Creek
Region: Whitney Region
Overview:

Tuttle Creek - South Fork

There with:

Solo

Description:

After Baker Lake a larger front arrived. For eight days, more or less, it snowed, rained, melted and froze. I considered going elsewhere but in the end just waited it out. Some mornings during this period were clear. But it never lasted. When it finally looked to be over I decided my options were limited so a return to Tuttle Creek seemed in order. I thought another trip up Langley and a scramble up Tuttle Peak might be doable. What I got instead was the sucker storm of the season. It rained and snowed all night. I woke up to six inches of new snow and whiteness all the way down into the valley. Beautiful sight, just not one the boded well for alpine adventures.


Album Name:Palisades South Fork
Region: The Palisades
Overview:

Finger Lake

There with:

Solo

Description:

May 2015. After the sucker storm I was starting to lose faith that I would get anything done this season. Snow was melting but it had accumulated to an alarming degree in the shady zones. What to do. In the end I settled for yet another hiking trip. This time I went to Finger Lake, not having been there since 1976. Went thinking I might go up to South Fork Pass, but didn't.


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2014

  • Trip Name:Spring 2014
    Camera: Olympus Stylus 1
    Destination:Spring 2014 was a shorter version of the previous two years.
    Timeframe:May - June
    Description:I did a long warm-up hike to Sawmill Pass followed by climbs on University, Russell and Tyndall.

The Albums:

Album Name:The High Passes
Region: The High Passes
Overview:

Day Hike to Sawmill Pass

There with:

Solo

Description:

Another year. Similar start. Long hikes to acclimatize. This one starts low and comes in at 20 miles. That ought to help


Album Name:University Peak
Region: The High Passes
Overview:

University Peak - Northwest Face

There with:

Solo

Description:

What started out as yet another trip to Kearsarge Pass turned into something far nicer. I happened to have brought ice tools with me so one look at the NW side of University Peak was more than enough temptation to veer left and go climbing. Good route but a tedious descent down from University Pass back to Onion Valley.


Album Name:Russell
Region: Whitney Region
Overview:

Russell - East Ridge

There with:

Solo

Description:

This climb was never high on my list of things to do, but given that April had been a snowy month, it made sense to go here while giving the snow a chance to melt. Didn't get the classic clear sunrise on day 2 but other than that it was a fun route with enough snow to give it a little spice.


Album Name:Tyndall
Region: The High Passes
Overview:

Tyndall - Northeast Face

There with:

Solo

Description:

Arrived at the pass without a real agenda. Since I'm always keen to avoid boulder hopping in favor of snow, I saw right away a nice line on Tyndall -to the right of the 'rib' - that would be exactly that.


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2013

  • Trip Name:Spring 2013
    Camera: Olympus XZ-2
    Destination:2013 was very similar to the year before.
    Timeframe:May - June
    Description:A couple of warm up hikes and then off to the backcountry. This season included climbs on Gould, Langley, Bear Creek Spire, Humphreys and Winchell. Again Betsy flew out to Reno where we spent time hiking and camping with my brother Chip and his wife Nancy before starting the long drive home.

The Albums:

Album Name:Mt Gould
Region: The High Passes
Overview:

Kearsarge Pass -Mt Gould

There with:

Solo

Description:

Coming from NH, a couple of warm up hikes is always a good thing. Included here are the two hikes done to get acclimatized. Palisade Glacier to 12,000' and Mt Gould to 13,000'. Two years ago in the big winter/spring of 2011 I'd been blown off of Gould as I started up from the pass. Bit anti-climatic this time around, though the bouldering at the top was quite nice.


Album Name:Langley
Region: Whitney Region
Overview:

Langley - New Army Pass

There with:

Solo

Description:

After the storm this trip seemed like a good thing to do while waiting for the new snow to melt. Just a long walk when all was said and done ... but a nice one too.


Album Name:Bear Creek Spire
Region: Mono Recesses
Overview:

Bear Creek Spire - Northeast Face

There with:

Solo

Description:

While Langley was fun, it was time to do some actual climbing. Popular peak so there were some other climbers camped at Dade Lake. Clear cold nights. About a half inch of new ice formed over my water source each night. Climbing was found. Bit of route finding to keep the grade under control.


Album Name:Palisdes
Region: The Palisades
Overview:

Palisades - Backside Loop Hike

There with:

Solo

Description:

Additional segments of the Sierra High Route. In this case Bishop Pass to Knapsack Col, to Potluck Pass to Palisades Lakes to Leconte Canyon and back up thru Dusy Basin to South Lake. Good weather the first half of the loop. Bit more fickle after that. Didn't do any climbing, which was a mistake.


Album Name:Humphreys
Region: Mono Recesses
Overview:

Humphreys - Northwest Ridge

There with:

Solo

Description:

With a little over a week before Betsy and family arrived I needed to get in a few more climbs before the tempo changed. This peak has been on my tick list for a long time. With section of snow all the way up the route, it was far more interesting than it would have been without. Glad I brought a 120' rope for the numerous raps I made to speed up the descent. Nice thunderstorm 2nd afternoon. I had already decided to move down to a nice site I know just off the Piute Pass trail. Got there just as it started to come down in earnest. Really nice sunset afterwords.


Album Name:Winchell
Region: The Palisades
Overview:

Winchell - Southeast Ridge

There with:

Solo

Description:

Bit of a walk up but you can at least keep it aesthetic by looking for harder ways to stay on solid rock. Hot spell moving thru the area that weekend so the snow barely froze. Post holing up from Sam Mack Meadow. Finally got solid up around 12+. Was really slushly on the way down. Walked all the way back to the old walk in campground on the north fork trail that afternoon. Nice to have a picnic table to sit at while killing time.


Album Name:Bishop Creek
Region: Evolution Region
Overview:

3 Day trip to Sailor Lake

There with:

Betsy Harrison

Description:

After some quality time with the fam where we did some nice hikes @ tioga, mammoth lakes and little lakes valley, Bets and I had just enough time to do a quick 3 day before heading back to NH. Spent first night at Sailor Lake and the 2nd at Blue. An early departure the next morning got us to the Burger Barn in Bishop in time for lunch.


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2012

  • Trip Name:Spring 2012
    Camera: Panasonic Lumix LX5
    Destination:2012 was the start of the big drought in California. It was also the start of really good early season access to the Sierra backcountry. I got alot done this season.
    Timeframe:May - June
    Description:A couple of warm up hikes and then I was altitude ready. After that came trips to Thompson, Lamarck, Abbot, Haeckel, Gilbert and Feather. Late in June Betsy arrived and we spent some time hiking and backpacking giving her a good introduction to the high country. We left for home when the bugs took over the back country.

The Albums:

Album Name:Warm Up Hikes
Region: Mono Recesses
Overview:

Bishop and Mono Pass Hikes

There with:

Solo

Description:

Two warm-up acclimatization hikes before the real show began. Casual start for Bishop Pass. For Mono I started in the dark. Really cold at the pass until I found some sun and a place to sit out of the wind.


Album Name:Thompson
Region: Evolution Region
Overview:

Thompson - Harrington Couloir

There with:

Solo

Description:

First of several day climbs. Long days but a good way to get in shape. Nice route. Descended via North Ridge.


Album Name:Lamarck
Region: Evolution Region
Overview:

Lamarck - North Face

There with:

Solo

Description:

Second of several day climbs. Easy day climb as the distances involved are less. Somewhat melted out at the top.


Album Name:Abbot
Region: Mono Recesses
Overview:

Abbot - Std East Face Route

There with:

Solo

Description:

After the storm the third of several day climbs. Nice route. Fair amount of new snow gave it the alpine look.


Album Name:Haeckel
Region: Evolution Region
Overview:

Haeckel - North Face / N Ridge

There with:

Solo

Description:

This route comes with a longer approach so I did it as a casual 3 day trip. Great campsites above Hungry Packer and at Topsy Turvy on the way out. Thought I was doing the NW RIdge, and though I am still not totally convinced of what is what, I fell like the route I did was the North Ridge. One of the best routes I've ever done. Little bit of everything on a classic peak. Only wish it was longer. Time of year is important here. The alpine flavor means this is definitely a spring time route.


Album Name:Gilbert
Region: Evolution Region
Overview:

Gilbert - Engram Couloir

There with:

Solo

Description:

Snow melting fast but still time for one more snow route before the approaches become tedious piles of scree.


Album Name:Sierra High Route
Region: Mono Recesses
Overview:

Sierra High Route - Loop Hike

There with:

Solo

Description:

A high quality loop starting at Piute Pass going north to Granite Park, over Italy Pass, thru Bear Lakes and up to Feather Pass where I made a quick trip up the SW Ridge of Feather. I then continued down to a shoulder above Merriam Lake where I spent my 5th night. Very early start the next day got me down to French Canyon before the bugs woke up. From there it was a race back up Piute Creek to get above treeline and the swarms of mosquitos. I spent the last night just west of the pass listening to the coyotes all over the valley. Perfect weather. Only saw four people - all at Feather Pass.


Album Name:Dusy Basin
Region: The Palisades
Overview:

Dusy Basin - Long Lake

There with:

Betsy Harrison

Description:

After the loop hike Betsy arrived and we did a number of nice day hikes followed by a 3 day trip to Dusy Basin and back. Hot, cold, windy and calm. A little bit of everything with the well known hordes of mosquitoes in Dusy.


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2011

  • Trip Name:Spring 2011
    Camera: Panasonic Lumix LX5
    Destination:After the big winter of 2010/11, a different kind of trip to the Eastside. Skiing and climbing w/ Rob Garneau
    Timeframe:May - June
    Description:I can't ski anymore but I did get to climb Independence and Basin with Rob after which I got to watch him strap on the boards and rip it up. I on the hand got to boot it down those long mellow slopes trying not to get too far behind. We then did a very alpine ascent of Dade's north face followed by some Gorge time. After Rob left, I headed south to have a go at the North Ridge of Lone Pine Peak. A heady finish to a fairly short visit to the area. But, the pattern was set and I would be back once or twice a year till I can't do this stuff anymore.

The Albums:

Album Name:Independence Peak
Region: The High Passes
Overview:

Independence Peak - East Gully

There with:

Rob Garneau

Description:

Rob arrived with skiis which was ideal for the big snow year of 2011. So, first few adventures focused on that. Ankle issues being what they are, I don't ski anymore so just plunge stepped down chasing after Rob who was long gone.


Album Name:Basin Peak
Region: Evolution Region
Overview:

Basin Mountain - East Couloir

There with:

Rob Garneau

Description:

Another ski day. Longer approach made longer because we couldn't get the Honda 'E' close to the trailhead. Decent climbing to get to the summit. Snow was not so good.


Album Name:Dade
Region: Mono Recesses
Overview:

Dade - North Face

There with:

Rob Garneau

Description:

Pretty much the perfect day. Not the best conditions as we sort of swam up the route. But that added some spice to the climbing as we were climbing without a rope or gear.


Album Name:Lone Pine Peak
Region: Whitney Region
Overview:

Lone Pine Peak - North Ridge

There with:

Solo

Description:

With all the beta now available, I thought I had enough to do this route alone. No rock shoes, no helmet, no gear rope or harness. Perhaps an unskillful choice. But doing it alone on a snowy year in Trangos was intense. Route finding was as challenging as the climbing. Turns out I think Secor's description is the most accurate. Started early and was back at camp by lunch.


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2009

  • Trip Name:Spring 2009
    Camera: Panasonic Lumix LX3
    Destination:Return to the Sierra. Solo climbs and some hikes w/ Jim Nupp
    Timeframe:May
    Description:After the long fruitless drive to Rogers Pass the summer before, I decided it might be time to redirect my energies to a range where the weather was more reliable. The locals called it the wettest spring in 30 years. 30 years ago, I was in the Valley and the weather was terrible that month. I've driven all the way out here, so now what?

The Albums:

Album Name:Powell
Region: Evolution Region
Overview:

Powell - North Face

There with:

Solo

Description:

Return to the Sierra. Lots of snow that spring. This was a good warm up and a visit to a place I hadn't seen before.


Album Name:Royce Lakes
Region: Mono Recesses
Overview:

Royce Lakes via Co-Co La

There with:

Jim Nupp

Description:

Goal was Feather. Conditions were terrible. Warm and soft.


Album Name:Conness & Dana
Region: Northern Yosemite
Overview:

Day Hikes Tioga Pass region

There with:

Jim Nupp

Description:

Conness was a bust for me. Dana the next day was a very nice hike with enough snow to keep it interesting.


Album Name:Glacier Divide
Region: Mono Recesses
Overview:

Goethe NE Peak

There with:

Solo

Description:

Really small window in an otherwise miserable stretch of weather. Fair amount of new but stable snow. Lakes were still frozen so the approach was quite simple. Climb while short was fun. Had hoped to climb Goethe from the north side but conditions weren't that good and there was plenty of evidence of natural avalanches all over the cirque. This climb was definitely the safe bet.


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1996

  • Trip Name:Fall 1996
    Camera: Canon EOS Elan - Fuji Velvia 50
    Destination:A little bit of time at the Gorge and 2 weeks at Joshua Tree
    Timeframe:October - November
    Description:Blown south by storms and snow we arrived at JTree hoping for some relief. This was our first visit so the goal was to see as much of the park as time permitted. We particularly wanted to get out to the Astro Domes. The only time we didn't climb was when we went into town and got a motel room to watch the election returns. Back to the crags early the next day. We meet up with John & Ron early on so hooked up with them often during our stay.

The Albums:

Album Name:Just Passing Through
Region: Owens Valley
Overview:

On the Way to Joshua Tree

There with:

Betsy Harrison

Description:

Unlike the fall before this visit felt more like the beginning of winter. It snowed in the Gorge and it certainly snowed on the high peaks. We were on our way to JTree but would have stayed longer if the weather had cooperated.


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1995

  • Trip Name:Fall 1995
    Camera: Canon EOS Elan - Fuji Velvia 50
    Destination:Rock & Road: 16 days in California w/ Eric and Rob
    Timeframe:September - October
    Description:I don't remember how this all came about, but all of a sudden I was headed out west to catch up with Rob and Eric for a brief but exciting circuit around the Sierra. The idea was to crag and enjoy ourselves as much as possible in 16 days. We started in Vegas at Red Rocks, headed west to the Needles, went up thru the National Parks, stopped by Tuolumne and ended up down in the Gorge the first week of October.

The Albums:

Album Name:Rock and Road
Region:
Overview:

Red Rocks, Needles, Tuolumne and East Side

There with:

Eric Olsen and Rob Garneau

Description:

A sixteen day tour with Rob and Eric. Started in Red Rocks. Then on to the Needles. After that up thru Tuoloumne to Cathedral Peak. Then over the pass and down to the Gorge. A little boldering at Buttermilk followed by a trip up to the Bristlecone Pine forest and we were out of time. Arrived back in NH on the most turbulent flight I have ever riden - right in the middle of a big storm. Scary.


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1983

  • Trip Name:Summer 1983
    Camera: Nikormat - Kodachrome 64
    Destination:The better part of a month on the east side with Mary and then a solo excursion into the Evolution region.
    Timeframe:July
    Description:Various climbs w/ Mary Erdei. A big winter left plenty of snow in the backcountry all summer. Our final East Side adventure included climbs on University, Goode, Gilbert and the Matterhorn. Most of the slides from this year were lost so there is not much to show here.

The Albums:

Album Name:University Peak
Region: The High Passes
Overview:

University Peak - North Face

There with:

Mary Erdei

Description:

Another route we had seen before when crossing the pass back in 79. Underestimated the time needed to do the complete route, so took the easy line to the top after the first half. Still got down in the dark.


Album Name:Goode and Gilbert
Region: Evolution Region
Overview:

Goode - North Face & Gilbert - Engram Couloir

There with:

Mary Erdei and Tom Cole

Description:

Goode route not all that worthy of a repeat. Gilbert north face was great. Back in the day of 15 minute maps, I had zero beta on how to get to and get off of Gilbert. Big snow year, so felt very much like a spring climb.


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1981

  • Trip Name:Summer 1981
    Camera: Nikormat - Kodachrome 64
    Destination:The better part of a month on the east side with Mary and then a solo excursion into the Evolution region.
    Timeframe:May - June
    Description:May 1981 was certainly the biggest and most successful of the early years. It was also the beginning of the end. Though I didn't know it at the time, Mary and I would never again spend this much time in the range. After she left to head east for grad school I spent a fantastic week doing the North Lake to South Lake loop thru Evolution country, climbing whatever looked good. Still plenty of snow, so I did 3 snow route and then a rock route on Thunderbolt. Could have and should have stayed longer. It was a magic time for me.

The Albums:

Album Name:Peak 13016+
Region: Whitney Region
Overview:

Peak 13016+ - Southeast Buttress

There with:

Mary Erdei

Description:

Seeing Galen Rowell's pictures of this peak was enough to convince us we needed to go take a look for ourselves. Tried a line on LPP, but bailed after a while. Next morning we got an early start on 13016. Can't remember much about the route other than where it went. Do remember wishing we had ice axes at the top of the descent gully. Little bit spooky there. Got down late that day.


Album Name:Aiguille Junior
Region: Whitney Region
Overview:

Aiguille Junior - East Buttress

There with:

Mary Erdei

Description:

Alot of terrain between Muir and the Aiguille Extra. This one was fun ... not great, but long enough to be interesing, particularly since we did it in super guides.


Album Name:Shepherd Pass
Region: The High Passes
Overview:

Shepherd Pass - Blowout

There with:

Mary Erdei

Description:

We'd gone in to have a go at one of the potential routes on the big east face of Tyndall. Two days to get there. Trojan day hike as weather breaks down. Next day rain, the 5th day snow storm - we're gone.


Album Name:North Lake to South Lake Loop
Region: Evolution Region
Overview:

North Lake to South Lake Loop - Snow climbs

There with:

Solo

Description:

A solo trip to link up as many climbs as the North Lake to South Lake Loop offered. Climbs: Lamarck North Face, Darwin North Face, Huxley North Couloir and Thunderbolt SW Ridge? (no pics). Just the right amount of snow too as the descent from Muir Pass to LeConte Canyon was not as rough as I've heard it described. Didn't see a soul for a week. Perfect.


  • Trip Name:WInter 1981
    Camera: Nikormat - Kodachrome 64
    Destination:The Beckey Route on Angel Wings in winter w/ Jay Wilson.
    Timeframe:January
    Description:That's winter with a lower case w. After an attempt on a new line up the center of the face, we took a day off and then on the fifth day did the Beckey route on the left end of the wall. Got down in time to get as far out as Buck Creek where we slept on the bridge. Next day we made it out and over to the east side before taking Route 6 back to SLC the following day. A really fun 10 day trip.

The Albums:

Album Name:Angel Wings
Region: The Kaweahs and the GWD
Overview:

Angel Wings - Beckey Route (winter)

There with:

Jay Wilson

Description:

We went with skies assuming it was winter. We got late fall conditions instead. Carried those skis every step of the way in and out. Tried a new route, bailed at the end of a long day. Took a rest day and then did the Beckey Route on the 3rd day in the valley.


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1979

  • Trip Name:Summer 1979
    Camera: Nikormat - Kodachrome 64
    Destination:ate summer climbs w/ Mary Erdei, Mark Whiton and Rainsford Rouner
    Timeframe:August - September
    Description:Nothing lasts forever though in 1979 we tried our best to stay on the road indefinitely. After 3+ months Mary and I spent late August and early September climbing in the high country. The weather was perfect. After our three weeks in the High Sierra Mary and I went to the ocean for a bit. Then we went up to Tuolumne for a few days. After that it was back down to the Valley to meet Mark Whiton for a go at the big stone. It was too hot and we bailed on both the NA and Zodiac. So it was back up to Tuolumne with a new plan to hook up with Rainsford Rouner and do the Harding Route on Conness. Great ending to a really long trip.

The Albums:

Album Name:The Cleaver
Region: Whitney Region
Overview:

The Cleaver - Southeast Buttress

There with:

Mary Erdei

Description:

The one drainage we hadn't yet explored yielded a gem. The SE Buttress of the Cleaver is the obvious moderate route on the face. The first day there I did a nice loop around Tulainyo Lake which serendipitously showed me the descent from Cleaver col which we would use the next day after our climb. The fourth day we moved over to Upper Boy Scout Lake and on the 5th day we hiked out. Great start to the '79 season.


Album Name:Mt Stanford
Region: Kings Kern Divide
Overview:

Mt Stanford - East Face

There with:

Mary Erdei

Description:

Some friends had shown us a picture of Jct Peak so why not we said. But seeing Stanford on the way in was enough to change our minds immediately. Of the numerous buttresses that make up the East Face, the last one on the right was the most attractive to us.


Album Name:Mt Sill
Region: The Palisades
Overview:

Mt Sill - East Face attempt and Swiss Arete

There with:

Mary Erdei

Description:

Hard to miss the big east face having seen it on the walk in to Clyde. Didn't know a thing about it. Approached from Contact Pass, and left via the South Fork. Ended up trying what is now called 'Larrys Pillar' but ran out of time and bailed late in the day. Impatient and frustrated, the next day I went over and soloed the Swiss Arete under the mistaken assumption that it was 5.4. That was exciting!


Album Name:Mt Conness
Region: Northern Yosemite
Overview:

Mt Conness - Harding Route

There with:

Mark Whiton and Rainsford Rouner

Description:

After a bit of Tuolumne time, Mark, Rains, Mary and I headed in to Conness, via Young Lakes, for a season finale. Headed up the route with bivy gear with the intent of enjoying a night at the summit. A few days later Mary and I were headed home to NH. We'd been on the road since mid June.


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1977

  • Trip Name:Spring 1977
    Camera: Nikormat - Kodachrome 64
    Destination:High Sierra climbs w/ Mary Erdei and Bryan Becker
    Timeframe:June
    Description:After spending one of the wettest Mays on record in the Valley, we were hoping for a better luck in June. We got a little bit of both. Bryan Becker and I did a route on the West Face of Russell in marginal weather. Spent most of the day in the clouds. Walked out the next day in a storm. Then the weather settled down and the three of us did Temple and Bear Creek Spire. After that Mary headed home and I went off to solo Clarence King. Up the East Ridge and down the South. Don't think I did the drop down that the 'Indirect' does. Just stayed with the ridge. Lost all the pictures from the Russell and Clarence King.

The Albums:

Album Name:Temple Crag
Region: The Palisades
Overview:

Temple Crag - Sun Ribbon Arete

There with:

Mary Erdei and Bryan Becker.

Description:

After cold snowy weather on Russell we got perfect weather for the long day on Temple Crag


Album Name:Bear Creek Spire
Region: Mono Recesses
Overview:

Bear Creek Spire - North Arete

There with:

Mary Erdei and Bryan Becker

Description:

Another climb that came about only because there was a picture in Ropers guide.


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1976

  • Trip Name:Summer 1976
    Camera: Nikormat - Kodachrome 64
    Destination:Keeler and Clyde. The Harding route w/ Rainsford Rouner and Starlight Pillar w/ Mary Erdei
    Timeframe:August - September
    Description:Two of the best routes from the early years. The Harding route was interesting because we were a few pitches above them when Galen Rowell and friends were doing their historic FFA. After the Keeler Needle, Rains left for the Valley. I would catch up with him later, but before that I wanted to do Clyde with Mary. It was a wonderful trip into the unknown. If you have a copy of Roper's SC guide, you'll know what I mean. It was the first week of September. We had the South Fork all to ourselves. What's really sad about these two routes is that I lost most of the slides many years ago - long before I even had a scanner to preserve them.

The Albums:

Album Name:Keeler Needle
Region: Whitney Region
Overview:

Keeler Needle - Harding Route

There with:

Rainsford Rouner.

Description:

Highlight of this trip was having Rowell and friends following us on their 'FFA' while I had left all the water behind. It was cool that night at the bivy, but all we could manage were sardines. Everything else just didn't work without water. Lucky for us, Mary came most of the way up the Mountaineer's route to meet us and had extra water with her.


Album Name:Clyde Peak
Region: The Palisades
Overview:

Clyde Peak - Starlight Pillar

There with:

Mary Erdei.

Description:

No beta back then. Just walk up and figure it out on your own.


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1975

  • Trip Name:Spring-Summer 1975
    Camera: Nikormat - Kodachrome 64
    Destination:Introduction to the High Sierra. Springtime on Mt Whitney and late summer on Mt Mendel
    Timeframe:May and August
    Description:This was a two part year. I was on the road for 4 plus months. Started in California and ended there too. After spending May in the Valley, the highlight of which was doing the South Face of Mt Watkins, I joined Mary Erdei and my older brother Chip for a quick trip up Mt Whitney. The big wall thing in the Valley I was familiar with, the High Sierra I knew nothing about. What better place to start than Mt Mendel. Back in the day, as they say, there was almost no one around. Mark Richey, Rainsford Rouner and I had the mountain to ourselves. After that we returned to the valley and did the Nose.

The Albums:

Album Name:Mt Whitney
Region: Whitney Region
Overview:

Mt Whitney - Std Trail

There with:

Mary Erdei and Chip Cole

Description:

Introduction to the Sierra. Late May, normal snow year. Pretty hot too. Back then the world was a different place and late May was not like it is today. We had the trail, the campsite and the mountain to ourselves. Priceless.


Album Name:Mendel
Region: Evolution Region
Overview:

Mendel Couloir

There with:

Mark Richey and Rainsford Rouner.

Description:

During an extended bout of bad weather in the Bugs, we got a tip from some California climbers at the Kain Hut to head south to do this classic route. I'd been on the road all summer, so another thousand plus miles was just part of being out there. We must of had a map as we found the crossing from Blue Heaven Lake to Darwin Glacier. Likewise the east side of Mendel seemed the logical choice for getting off.