Photo of the Week 6.20.22

Rough Trail, Red River Gorge, Kentucky

Photo of the Week 6.13.22

2 tents and some tress in the awesome mountains, pretty sure an awesome dog as well...
A fine campsite at one of the many Blue Lakes in Colorado….

Training for the Summer Adventures or How I Learned to Accept and Deal with the Heat

Pretty sure it’s my 24thish year here in Phoenix, Az. I’ve always tried to be active year round, there’s a certain time of year that requires an early morning start, but it’s never actually cold and rarely rainy enough to delay something more than a day. But it does get hot, in August when you get up at 4:30am to be on the bike at first light and walk outside and it’s in the mid-90s you might curse. If you want to recreate outside all year, you have to be out there as it gets hot, acclimating to the temps as the summer progresses, and you still need to be careful!

For me the keys to successful summer training are:

  • Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate – Drink lots water – kind of a no brainer but it needs to start the day before, you can’t really catch yourself up if you start with a deficit. Include Nunn Tablets or the like, you need those electrolytes.
  • Get up early – even if your conditioned for the heat, it’s best to get it done before it gets to be 112!
  • Accept that fact that some days just aren’t your days and know when to slow it down, or call it, there’s always tomorrow.
  • Do things you enjoy – there might be some suffering, it’ll be better if you really like the activity.
  • And of course accept the fact that’s going to be HOT and there will be sweating!

It’s just starting to warm up here, getting into the low 100s everyday, I’ve been getting out regularly for at least a month, and have felt good so far. I’ve getting back to a pretty good set schedule with some afternoon gym time.

  • Monday Afternoon- Swim
  • Tuesday – Rest Day
  • Wednesday – Cardio – Treadmill/Stair Stepper/ Treadmill
  • Thursday – Strength
  • Friday – Rest Day
  • Saturday – Hike or Bike
  • Sunday – Hike or Bike

For hiking fitness I’m using the hike that has gotten me up and down the Grand Canyon 4 times and to the top of Mt. Whitney. The Pyramid Hike is 4.2 miles to the top and back, you can also continue on and circumnavigate that area of South Mountain Park, going 7,8,10, or 12 miles. The first climb gains almost 1000ft of elevation and is an almost constant climb.

Pyramid Hike, South Mountain Park

Overall I think I’m on a good track. I feel like I could do the Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne hike right now, and really I’m training for the September Challenge, and there’s a lot of work to do to get ready for that! The next few weeks will be critical in heat acclimation, but I know it’s always worth the early suffering!

What are your summer adventure plans?

Photo of the Week 5.23.22

Aravaipa Canyon, AZ

Photo of the Week 5.02.22

Lee’s Ferry, Az

Summer Adventure 2022 – Update

I’ve gotten most of the planning done for this summer’s adventures. There are still a couple of things up in the air, but most of the important details have been taken care of or there’s a plan to do so. Right now I’m starting to concentrate on getting in shape for this challenge, not digging too deep yet, just trying to get a solid base built.

I hiked both days this weekend, yesterday was a nice 7 miles in South Mountain Park. I love this hike, 1600ft vertical and lots of rolling hill once you get up high!

The Status of the Plans

The Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne trip is all set. Plans, permits and all reservations have been made. The only thing left to do will be buy supplies, load up and head out. The hardest part will be waiting almost 3 more months!!

The September Challenge is almost all set with an important hurdle still to get over.

  • Grand Canyon Campsite ✅
  • Whitney Portal Campsite ✅
  • Mt Whitney Day Permit ✅
  • Yosemite Valley Campsite ✅
  • Half Dome Permit ❌

I was unsuccessful in getting a Half Dome permit during the seasonal lottery, my plan is to enter the daily lottery 2 days out from the hike date, The only complication is that’s the day I’m hiking Mt Whitney, so I’ll wait until midnight and drive down the Portal road until I get service, sign-up for the lottery, drive up to the trailhead and start my hike, hike out in the afternoon and find out if I got a slot. If I don’t get that slot then my last opportunity will be permit jumping. Apparently you can hike to the base of the sub-dome and ask the rangers if there have been any open spots on permits, if there have been up you go. If anyone out there has any experience with this please hit me up! If that doesn’t work out I’ll hike around for a bit and enjoy being in Yosemite Valley!

See you on the trails!!

Photo of the Week 4.25.22

National Trail – South Mountain Park, Phoenix, Az

Photo of the Week 4.18.22

Can’t wait to be back in the beautiful mountains!

Photo of the Week 4.11.22

Watson Lake – Prescott, Az

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!