Guided trips in Rocky Mountain & Sequoia-Kings: Apply now, through January 21

A lush wildflower-filled meadow in upper East Inlet, below the Continental Divide

After a year off in 2016, I resurrected my guiding program last year, ultimately offering six 5-day Backpacking Adventure trips in Sequoia-Kings Canyon National Park.

Originally, I had planned to guide just three sessions with Flyin’ Brian Robinson. But for the 24 spots I received 52 applications, many from alumni. So I doubled the schedule and flew out Alan Dixon (“Adventure Alan”) and Mike Clelland to help cover the rest. For the program to be sustainable in the long term, I’d known that I could no longer guide every single trip, and this seemed like a good moment to finally take that step.

Alan, Brian, Mike and I had a great time, and so did the clients. These post-trip survey results (with 40 of 47 clients responding) confirmed our anecdotal observations from the field:

The 2018 program

This year I intend to expand the program further. I’m committed to offering at least nine sessions in two world-class locations: Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado, and again in Sequoia-Kings Canyon National Park. Pending demand, I may add additional sessions.

The 3-day Backpacking Fundamentals courses are ideal for first-time and beginner backpackers, and some intermediate backpackers who need updated training. Over a long weekend (and a few hours on the computer beforehand), we teach more about backpacking gear, supplies, and skills than you would learn in years on your own (and probably at a far greater cost). The second day is dedicated almost entirely to on- and off-trail navigation, which I think is the single most powerful backcountry skill.

The 5-day Backpacking Adventure trips are best for intermediate or advanced backpackers, and some ambitious beginners. We run through the same core curriculum as on the Fundamentals courses, but have two additional days to master skills and to hike deeper into the wilderness. This year we will follow sections of the Pfiffner Traverse and Kings Canyon High Basin Route.

A classroom tutorial in upper Buck Canyon, on the Kings Canyon High Basin Route

Apply now

Applications for 2018 trips received by Sunday, January 21 will be considered equally. After this date, applications will be considered on a first-come-first-served basis.

I will review applications during the week of January 22, and will contact all applicants by Sunday, January 28. Do not submit a deposit until you have received a PDF invoice from me.

I’m certain that many of the sessions will fill during this open application period. In fact, as of January 4, some sessions already have more applications than spots available. I will try to tweak or expand the schedule to accommodate demand, but I’m limited by guide availability and commercial permit regulations.

Priority will be given to (a) alumni and (b) applicants who were waitlisted in past years. To maximize your odds of being offered a spot, please be flexible by being open to more dates, more locations, and more trip types. I will try to give you your first-choice trip, but it is not always possible.

Questions about the trips?

Leave a comment below, or contact me directly for personal questions.

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