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Archive | Short is the new long

The loose Class 3 gully below Paiute Pass, at the head of Thunderbolt Creek on the Pfiffner Traverse.

Words of caution: FKT’ing or “running” the Pfiffner Traverse

In a recent photo essay in Trail Runner, Sunny Stroeer gave a hearty endorsement of the Pfiffner Traverse, for which she set a 55-hour fastest known time (FKT) last summer: “The Pfiffner Traverse is a mountain runner’s dream: miles of smooth, gentle singletrack that flow through high mountain meadows and across infrequently traveled passes along the […]

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Harriet Lake alpenglow

Where should the Yosemite High Route start and finish?

As a distraction from more time-sensitive and critical work, recently I began drafting the Yosemite High Route Guide, which I’m planning to release in late-winter. This first edition will be about 90 percent right; it will need a revision after double- or triple- checking my work and field-researching some minor areas of interest in summer 2019. […]

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Unnamed ruins in a deep alcove in Grand Gulch, between Bullet and Shieks Canyons

Quickstart guide: Cedar Mesa & Grand Gulch, Utah || Wild archaeological epicenter

Years ago I was turned on to Cedar Mesa by Alan Dixon, but needed inspiration this spring from the roamings of Paul Magnanti to plan a trip of my own there. It was a perfect couples trip for Amanda and me: the wilderness that I needed after a winter inside, with an additional and more unique dimension […]

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pawnee-lake-divide

Route beta || Pfiffner Traverse: Thunderbolt Creek & Paiute Pass

To connect Buchanan Creek with Cascade Creek in Colorado’s Indian Peaks Wilderness, the Pfiffner Traverse ascends a knife-edge pass at the head of trail-less Thunderbolt Creek that offers sweeping views of the Pawnee Lake basin and the Continental Divide. The alternative to this route is an ordinary and relatively view-less all-trail route around the west […]

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The Tribal Lakes basin, as seen from its western edge at the top of the elk trail.

Route beta || Pfiffner Traverse: Northeast Gully, Lone Eagle Cirque & Lost Tribe Lakes

The Northeast Gully is the most difficult feature on the Pfiffner Traverse: it’s filled with snow through mid-summer, covered with talus and loose scree in late-summer, and always steep. Unfortunately, it’s also a critical connector between Lone Eagle Cirque, Lost Tribe Lakes, and upper Arapaho Creek, all in Colorado’s Indian Peaks Wilderness. An easy all-trail […]

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verizon-coverage-area-winds

Reader question: Wireless service on the Wind River High Route

Melissa, who is undertaking the Wind River High Route this August, asks: Wireless coverage along the Wind River High Route — and in the Wind River Range, more generally — is poor but possible. Your odds are best from high vantage points with unobstructed views to the high plains east or west. I’m thinking of specific […]

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Below Downs Mountain

Spiderwoman’s Tips || Reflections, camps, conditions & other small details

Where We Camped, Approximate Daily Mileage Just past “Campsite tr rejoins”. 2m “Protected camps in krumholtz”. Fished. 12m Lake 11,185 below West Gully. 4m Down in the trees just past “Legal camps on trailside benches”. 8m Just past “PR-20” & “Grassy lateral moraines, krumholtz + rockfield clusters”. 9m Outlet of Bewmark Lake. Fished. 7m Just […]

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Overlooking the East Fork of Torrey Creek

Spiderwoman’s Tips || Section 4: Continental Crux

“The finest backcountry experience” – The scenery and raw mountain feel were absolutely amazing, but that was somewhat offset by the toll the terrain took on our joints (unstable talus, loose moraines, steep up, steep down, steep up, steep down). With my admittedly modest experience to draw from, I think a route in the High […]

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