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Tag Archives | Kings Canyon High Basin Route

From Sentry Peak Pass, looking across the upper Middle Fork valley towards the next pass on the Wind River High Route, Photo Pass.

Repeating myself: Section-hike (don’t thru-hike) the Wind River High Route

The Wind River High Route is world-class and represents a “best of” backcountry experience in one of the wildest mountain ranges in the country. A similar statement could be made about the Sierra High Route, Kings Canyon High Basin Route, and Glacier Divide Route. A thru-hike of any one of these routes is likely to be a lifetime memory. But for nearly everyone, […]

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A third-place smooch at 8:15 AM after racing (and crewing) for the previous 20 hours, through the night

Getting after it again: 2015 Year in Review

Fifteen months ago, my bitterness reached its peak. The cause was obvious: for four consecutive years, starting with 2011, I had worked too much and adventured too little. Essentially, I had stopped being me. During the first two years, I wasn’t bothered. My work — mostly guiding, speaking, and writing — was novel and challenging, […]

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Overlooking the North Fork of Bull Lake Creek, one of the prettiest views on the Wind River High Route. My next objective is in view: Blaurock Pass, the low spot on the ridge with the clouds above it. It's a 2,000-foot off-trail climb, mostly on scree and talus.

A backpacker’s training plan for a 100-mile ultra marathon

On Friday I’m racing Run Rabbit Run 100 in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. The official distance for this ultra marathon is 102.7 miles, though the consensus among participants is more like 107. There is 20,000+ vertical feet of climbing and elevations are often around 10,000 feet. It will be my longest race of the year, and my first 100-mile race since […]

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No, this is not Alaska, it’s still Wyoming. Klondike Peak, the Sourdough Glacier, and Iceberg Lake.

Glaciers & Granite: Wind River High Route thru-hike photos

Earlier this month I completed the Wind River High Route, a project that I’d been working on since 2008 and that I left frustratingly incomplete after a failed attempt last year with Buzz Burrell and Peter Bakwin. It took me about 4.25 days to complete the 95-mile trip, which has 60,000+ vertical feet of change and which is two-thirds off-trail. […]

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A firefighting helicopter in the Middle Fork of Kings Canyon, September 2013

Heading to the High Sierra? Updates on the Rough Fire.

After yet another extremely dry winter, it’s no surprise that California’s High Sierra is being affected by wildfires this summer. The action was mostly in Yosemite National Park in 2013 and 2014, with the Rim Fire and Meadow Fire, the latter of which necessitated the plucking off via helicopter of stranded hikers atop Half Dome. Unfortunately, Sequoia-Kings Canyon […]

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Extensive talus and huge vertical relief, par for the course on the Wind River High Route. It can get old.

Planning a high route? Three critical mental adjustments.

Within the backpacking community I have sensed increasing interest in “high routes,” such as the the Sierra High Route, Wind River Range High Route, and Kings Canyon High Basin Route. I think this concept will continue to expand, with most of the emphasis on “route” rather than “high,” since there are thematically similar opportunities in […]

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Food for 10+ days. When I calculated the cost/benefit of a mid-trip resupply, I determined that it was more efficient to carry all of my food from start to finish. This had the added advantage of increased flexibility: for 10 days I could go where ever I wanted, when I wanted.

Notes for next time: Gear, supplies, food & logistics

An assortment of takeaways from my Kings Canyon High Basin Route thru-hike earlier this month. They are mostly a reminder for me, but maybe they’ll have some value for you, too. If any prompt a question, leave a comment. Gear Pack weight. Take a handheld digital scale to the trailhead for a final weigh-in of all gear, supplies, and food. This […]

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Mt. Silliman sunset. Lights of the Central Valley, the food basket of the World, shimmer 10,000 vertical feet below and 50 miles to the west. In the High Sierra, such views of civilization are rare.

Eye candy: Thru-hike of the Kings Canyon High Basin Route

Earlier this month I completed the Kings Canyon High Basin Route in its entirety, plus several more of its alternates and section-hike segments. All told, my 204-mile route featured 70,000 vertical feet of gain and 102 miles of off-trail travel, and I completed it in about 9.5 days. For much of the route, it was my second […]

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East Fork, with views of the peaks surrounding Gardiner Basin. This is big country.

Finest route in the High Sierra? Introducing the Kings Canyon High Basin Route.

Seven years ago I thru-hiked with Buzz Burrell the Sierra High Route, which parallels the crest of the High Sierra between Sequoia-Kings Canyon National Park and Yosemite National Park. Its 200 miles represents less than 1 percent of the total miles that I have hiked, yet the experience proved to be one of the most […]

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Cloud Canyon, Sequoia-Kings Canyon National Park. If you can only backpack for a few weeks each year (or less), why not spend all of your time in places like this?

Short is the new long: My next “big” adventure

Since the end of the Alaska-Yukon Expedition over four years ago, hundreds of times I’ve been asked, “So what’s your next big adventure?” Relative to what I had just done, and relative to some of my other big efforts like the Sea-to-Sea Route, Great Western Loop, or even Leadville 100, my answers always felt lame. […]

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