Kearsarge Peak ~ Sierra Nevada (April 1990)

Up until 2008, our adventures were retained only as memories and on 35mm slides. While our memories may have faded (just a bit), the slides haven’t – and we have a lot of them. So we’re digitizing a select few to bring some of our past adventures into the 21st Century. The photos below are some of those old slides.


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Lake Genevieve (Desolation Wilderness) 01-Oct-2018

Lake Genevieve Desolation Wilderness Lake Tahoe California

For our last Fall color hike on this trip, we picked the Meeks Creek drainage near Lake Tahoe, California based on a suggestion in only one guidebook.  Well, it didn’t have too much in the way of color but it was a nice hike on a good day to a pretty lake. Plus we logged an unexpected geocache on the way back!  We stayed in South Lake Tahoe and were forcefully reminded (again) of what a traffic snarl it can be (particularly if they’re paving the road during rush hour).

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Leavitt Meadow (Hoover Wilderness) 30-Sep-2018

Leavitt Meadow West Walker River Hoover Wilderness California

After a night in Bridgeport, California, we continued north in search of more Fall color.  The guidebook suggested Leavitt Meadow, just north of Bridgeport, as a likely color spot, so we went there. This is another popular hiking and fishing location, so there were several vehicles already in the lot when we pulled-in. After a little orienteering, we found the West Walker Trail Trailhead at the north end of the now closed-for-the-season Leavitt Meadows Campground, along with a spiffy new bridge over the West Walker River. Judging from the dents in its superstructure and the scour around its abutments, the old bridge (decommissioned but still standing) had been set just a little too close to the river’s surface. 

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Lundy Canyon (Hoover Wilderness) 29-Sep-2018

Lundy Canyon Hoover Wilderness California

While our hike to Marie Louise Lakes was long on cherished memories, it was a bit short on Fall color. So, after consulting several Fall color guides, we figured that Lundy Canyon, just north of Lee Vining, California, was the most likely spot to offer up a palette of hues. So after stopping to visit Devils Postpile National Monument, we made our way to the Lundy Canyon Trailhead at the end of Forest Road 2N01. The parking here is surprisingly limited and awkward for what seems a popular trailhead. And the only “amenity” is a single, fragrant, pit toilet. But we found a parking spot and were soon heading up-canyon is search of color.

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Making a Difference in the Sierra Nevada (July 1968)

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair…” ~ Dickens

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Mobius Arch Loop (Lone Pine, CA) 27-Sep-2018

Mobius Arch Alabama Hills Lone Pine California

On our way from Death Valley to the first of our Fall color hikes near Bishop, California, we made a short detour to see the Mobius Arch just west of Lone Pine, California. This is the most accessible (and most visited) of the 70+ natural arches scattered among the boulder fields of the Alabama Hills. We were lucky to visit it on a weekday when only about six other people were ahead of us for photos. It’s pretty amazing what natural forces can do to a piece of rock!

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Mount Whitney, East Face (September 1985)

Mount Whitney East Face California

Up until 2008, our adventures were retained only as memories and on 35mm slides. While our memories may have faded (just a bit), the slides haven’t – and we have a lot of them. So we’re digitizing a select few to bring some of our past adventures into the 21st Century. The photos below are some of those old slides.


August 16, 1931 saw the first ascent of the East Face of Mount Whitney. The climb, on the highest peak in the U.S., and the first one on a really big wall in the Sierra Nevada, ushered in  a new standard of competence for technical climbs in California. Although not particularly hard (III, 5.6) by today’s standards, it remains one of the classic routes of the Sierra Nevada, due both to its spectacular location and to its place in the history of the Range of Light. My friend Alan and I were keen to do it for those reasons and, of course, to see if we could.

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Mount Elwell (Sierra Nevada) 07-Aug-2016

Mount Elwell Tahoe National Forest California

Mount Elwell (7,818 feet) overlooks Long Lake in the heart of the Lakes Basin Recreation Area in the Tahoe National Forest north of Lake Tahoe.  We were attracted to this peak because it provided a reason to visit the Lakes Basin and because of its presence on the Sierra Peak Section’s list (SPS List) – note that we’re not “finishing the list”, only using it for hike ideas.  Though it’s an easy hike to the summit, arriving there provides an exceptional view of the Lakes Basin below it, as well as of the Sierra Buttes, Weber Peak, and Sardine Peak to the south and southeast; Mount Lassen can also been seen to the northwest on a clear day (which wasn’t true this day due to forest fire smoke haze). We got to the Lakes Basin trailhead near Elwell Lodge early enough to find only a few cars already in the small parking lot. Unfortunately, The LovedOne discovered a hike-ending equipment shortfall soon after our arrival, but then generously volunteered to wait for me at the trailhead.  Sigh.  Because of the waiting, I promised to do this loop hike as fast as possible.

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Granite Chief (Sierra Nevada) 05-Aug-2016

Granite Chief Wilderness California

Granite Chief (9,006 feet) sits on the edge of the Granite Chief Wilderness (details), just west of the Squaw Valley Ski Resort. We chose to approach the peak via the Granite Chief Trail (USFS #15E23) and the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT), with a little cross-country on a sandy use trail at the end.  This peak was attractive both for the view from its summit and for the views that could be had along the Granite Chief Trail and the PCT. If there’s anything tricky about this hike, it’s finding the start of the trail.

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Mount Rose (Sierra Nevada) 04-Aug-2016

Mount Rose Nevada

Mount Rose, at 10,776 feet, is the highest peak in Nevada’s Tahoe Basin and the 3rd highest mountain in the Lake Tahoe Basin (Freel Peak at 10,881 feet is the highest and Jobs Sister, at 10,823 feet, is the second highest). The very well-used trail to the summit of Mount Rose is typically described as “…the most popular trail in the State of Nevada…”  owing to the proximity of all the people in Reno and Lake Tahoe (and probably Sacramento and San Francisco too). This proximity seemingly results in the trailhead parking lot overflowing on summer weekends – which is impressive given that there is space for 50 cars!  I figured my chances for a less crowded hike would be best early on a weekday so, after a short drive up from Reno, I left the trailhead at 0630 on a Wednesday, with only six cars ahead of me in the parking lot.

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Echo Col Loop (John Muir Wilderness) 6/12-Aug-2012

Echo Col Lake Sabrina John Muir Wilderness California

The big trip this year was a backpack through the Evolution Basin region in California’s John Muir Wilderness and Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park. The trip was partly on trail (the John Muir Trail (JMT)) and partly cross-country. Weather was generally excellent, except for afternoon thunderstorms, the worst ravishes of which we were able to mostly avoid until the last day. It’s been a drought year in the Sierras, so there was no late season snowpack to speak of and we were thus spared the need to carry ice axes and crampons that might otherwise have been needed for safety on some of the cross-country segments.

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