Summer 2022 – Looking Pretty Awesome.

I’ve been getting together the plans for this summer and the outlook for excellent adventure seems high! The first and main backpacking trip of the summer is the Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne. I have never been to Yosemite and it’s been on the list for a long time. Since it’s in the middle of the crowded time I was pretty happy that this is the permit I ended up getting my hands on! We’ll be in Tuolumne, the Yosemite high country, which should be a little less crowded than the valley, To make things better I’ve got two longtime friends coming along, one I met the first day of kindergarten.

The hike is a 33 mile point to point hike that follows the Tuolumne River through an amazing looking canyon with a number of awesome waterfalls. We’re planning on 4 days and 3 nights of hiking, most of the days shouldn’t be too bad distance-wise so hopefully we’ll get some time to chill by the waterfalls and check things out! My friends are flying in and out of Vegas, so we’ll cruise through Death Valley National Park on our way back. Maybe stop by Star Wars Canyon or Badwater Basin! Really looking forward to a point to point backpack in an amazing place with good friends.

The next adventure will be a big one! It’s my friends 50th birthday the first week of September, and he reserved a group campsite right outside of Grand Canyon National Park. I’m going to drive up Friday, get the campsite set-up and chill for the evening. The next morning I’m going to wake up early and do the South Kaibab to Bright Angel Hike. I’d like to do it under 8 hours, so I’m going for fast and light mode. That puts me back at the campground in the early afternoon. I’ll hang out Saturday night and Sunday assisting my friend in his birthday celebrating.

Monday morning it’ll be time to get up and get on the road to the Whitney Portal. That’s right, I scored a day permit for Mt Whitney! I have a reserved campsite at the Whitney Portal Campground, and hope to get there and get all set up by 4pm. After that I’m going to try to sleep for a few hours and get started with the hike about midnight. I’d like to do the hike in about 12 hours, putting me back at the campsite around noon. The rest of the day will be about refueling and resting up as much as possible, while still getting a good night’s sleep.

Wednesday morning will be another morning to get up and get going because we’re headed back to Yosemite. It’s time to tick Half Dome off the list! I’ll hit the road to the Lower Pines campground as early as possible, once I get to the valley I’ll get set-up, get my permit and take in the majesty of Yosemite Valley. I hope that being there in September will take the crowds down a little compared to the height of the summer, we’ll see…

Thursday morning I’ll probably try to start hiking about 3-4am to ensure I beat the crowds and any weather. After what I think will be an amazing hike, it’ll be back to the campsite to chill the rest of the day and then head back to Phoenix Friday morning.

Permit/reservation-wise, the Grand Canyon campsite is taken care of and I don’t need a permit for a day hike. I have a Day Whitney permit and reserved campsite at Whitney Portal. The only big hurdle left is the Yosemite stuff. I find out Monday the 11th if I get a Half Dome Permit, and on the 15th I can try and make a Lower Pines Campground reservation. If I don’t get a half dome permit but am able to get a campsite I’ll probably still go and try and get a daily permit lottery slot.

I’m going to have to be pretty fit and get a little lucky with the weather, but I think I can pull this off. It’ll be fun to try, one way or another!

Photo of the Week 1.31.22

Arizona Snowbowl

Photo of the Week 11/15/21

Bright Angel Creek, Grand Canyon

Grand Canyon Hike 2021 Video

Photo of the Week 8/30/21

South Kaibab Trail , Grand Canyon National Park

Photo of the Week 7.12.21

Doyle Saddle, Mt Humphreys – Flagstaff, AZ

Getting a Little Altitude

My Mt Whitney trip is coming up quickly, July 20th will be here soon! I wanted to get in at least one higher altitude hike beforehand, but when they closed the National Forests in Az due to fire danger I thought I was out of luck.

Fortunately they re-opened the forests right after July forth, and I got a rare Friday off. Seemed like hiking a mountain was the thing to do!

Left to house in Phoenix a little before 5am, at the trailhead around 8. Started out under blue skies! Glad I got an early start from Phoenix, an hour after I left the summit the thunder started!

Felt good the whole time, pretty much did it with no breaks in one push. I’m feeling good for Mt Whitney and ready to roll!

Picacho Peak Hike

This hike is something I’ve wanted to do for a while, and I figured was a good Mt Whitney milestone hike.

The wife and I took all this week off, it’s her birthday week and we both needed a break. We took a few day trips and just relaxed! We saw Arcosanti, Montezuma’s Castle, Tombstone, and cruised around Phoenix.

I had Wednesday morning free so it seemed like a good time to tick off this hike. Woke up a little after 5am, grabbed the gear and headed out. After a quick stop for coffee I was on the road. It’s about an hour to get there from my house, pulled into Picacho State Park about 6:45, a few cars in the lot, but pretty quiet other than that!

The hike starts off uphill and really doesn’t ease up much at all until you get to the saddle, where the first of the cable sections begins. From the saddle, where some nice people have stashed extra gloves (make sure you bring gloves), you descend a steep rocky section, taking you around to the west side and meeting up with the Sunset Vista Trail for the climb to the peak.

There are 3 main sections of cables from here to the peak, it’s a pretty cool section of a hike. The exposure isn’t too bad but I was definitely glad to have the cables in a number of places! After the last cable section it is a few minutes hike to the top and a great view. As you make your way down you might be even more glad to have the protection the cables provide, I know I was!

When you reach the saddle again the work is done and you can cruise on downhill to the parking lot, there’s some cool rock formations to check out, and they’re easier to enjoy on the way down!

Overall it took me just over 2 hours, I felt good the whole time, can’t wait for some more time hiking up big hills!

Photo of the Week 2/15/21

Siphon Draw/Flatiron, Superstition Mountains, Arizona

Photo of the Week 1/18/21

A seriously tall cactus!