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Quickstart Guide: Hayduke Trail

By Samuel Chaneles / May 28, 2019 / 1 Comment

Visit Engineered for Adventure for more information about and by Sam. For years I have wanted to explore the American Southwest, with its iconic walls, rock formations, and mesas. But as a college student I’ve always struggled to get out there, due to the summertime heat and aridity.  This year, however, record snowpack in the Four Corners…

Standout gear for cold-and-wet conditions in the Appalachians

By Andrew Skurka / May 19, 2019 / 19 Comments

Last week my guiding season kicked off in the beautiful — but soggy and unseasonably cold — mountains of West Virginia, with four 3-day/2-night learning-intensive Backpacking Fundamentals courses, split between two guide teams. Based on the conditions assessment that we performed during the Planning Curriculum, we expected rain and cool temperatures. But I was hoping for…

Almost done (and now available): Yosemite High Route Guide

By Andrew Skurka / February 28, 2019 / 21 Comments

I had self-imposed a deadline of March 1 for publishing the Yosemite High Route Guide, knowing that backpackers are making their summertime plans (and in some cases have already made them). The Guide is not yet complete — it’s about 85 percent of the way there — but today I’m releasing it anyway so that…

Spiderwoman’s KCHBR Tips || Reflections, conditions, comparisons

By Spiderwoman / December 29, 2018 / 2 Comments

Where We Camped, Approximate Daily Mileage 2016 1. Tarn below Mt Silliman. 5m 2. Lonely Lake. 12.5m 3. Just shy of Colby Lake, just past “PR-15”. 10m 4. Avalanche Pass area Where We Camped, Approximate Daily Mileage 2017 1. Creek just before Gardiner Pass. 11m 2. Between “PR-31” and “PR-32”. 5m 3. Lake below King…

Spiderwoman’s KCHBR Tips || Section 6: Monarch Divide

By Spiderwoman / December 26, 2018 / 2 Comments

Simpson Meadow Trail I ate a nice big breakfast. Our food bags were full again, so I was back to my normal, stick-to-the-ribs pot full of energy. By the time we got to the “small trailside campsite at Horseshoe Creek” (which I thought was kinda big), I was feeling sick to my stomach. The problem…

Spiderwoman’s KCHBR Tips || Section 5: Ionian Basin

By Spiderwoman / December 26, 2018 / 0 Comments

We skipped Ionian Basin due to Skurka’s cautionary advice. Our less-than-perfect encounters with King Col, Should-Go Canyon, Woods Creek, Dumbbell Pass, and Amphitheater Pass were still fresh in our minds. Connecting our steps via the Middle Fork Trail still gave us that special brand of satisfaction that a thru-hike brings. We also got to see…

Spiderwoman’s KCHBR Tips || Section 4: Cartridge Basins

By Spiderwoman / December 20, 2018 / 0 Comments

Cautionary Advice Boy did we read Skurka’s cautionary advice at a sensitive time. We were in the middle of rationing our way to running out of food, an impassable cornice had blocked King Col, we had a physically challenging time descending Should-Go Canyon…and had high anxiety not knowing if it would even go near the…

Spiderwoman’s KCHBR Tips || Section 3: South Fork Basins

By Spiderwoman / December 18, 2018 / 0 Comments

Charlotte Lake Kelby, The Brawn, and I started our KCHBR thru-hike loop at Onion Valley TH and walked to Charlotte Lake from Kearsarge Pass. Kelby planned to hike with us to “PR-51” at LeConte Ranger Station and we would all hike over Bishop Pass together. Kelby would leave in his rental car to catch a…

Spiderwoman’s KCHBR Tips || Section 2: Great Western Divide

By Spiderwoman / December 17, 2018 / 0 Comments

Colby Lake “After it crosses the outlet stream of Colby Lake”, head up two switchbacks, and then “Leave the Colby Pass Trail”. Talus Creek The combination of Skurka’s descriptions from Part II: As you go, and Critical Interim Updates – v 2.5, provides an excellent description for navigating between Colby Pass Trail and Talus Creek.…

Spiderwoman’s KCHBR Tips || Section 1: Tablelands

By Spiderwoman / December 17, 2018 / 1 Comment

Silliman Crest Bert From Belgium and I started at Lodgepole and walked up Twin Lakes Trail. But we left the trail too soon. I didn’t realize this until The Brawn and I were back in the area. Bert From Belgium and I did leave Twin Lakes Trail at a creek (although much smaller than Silliman…