In January I planned nearly all of my trips for 2017. I knew that permits for some of the places I wanted to visit would be tough to come by so I made sure to secure them the moment they became available. For the long July 4th weekend I had (barely) snagged a couple of permits for a 4 day/3 night backpacking trip through the Ansel Adams Wilderness.
At midnight on Friday, June 9th I awoke from a fitful bout of rest to the distinct sound of my alarm ringing. Instinctively, I reached to snooze it, but when my blurry gaze fell upon the dial that read 12:00am my reality hit me. Snoozing my alarm didn't mean that I wouldn't have time to shower before work it meant that I would delay my attempt to summit the highest peak in the contiguous US: Mount Whitney. Suddenly sleep was the furthest thing from my mind.
After our 3 day/2 night kayaking excursion to the Northwestern Fjord in Kenai Fjords National Park Alex and I decided to stop at Exit Glacier.
The highlight of Alex's and my trip to Kenai Fjords National Park in early May was the 3 day/2 night kayaking trip we went on with Miller's Landing. While there are a few trails to hike in the park the best way to see and experience Kenai Fjords is by boat and we didn't want to take just a short day cruise, we wanted to really immerse ourselves in the park.
The summer backpacking season is just around the corner and I'm in the process of finalizing almost all of my trips. Since you may be as well I thought it would be a great time to finally put together a review for my guided backpacking trip to the Arrigetch Peaks in Gates of the Arctic National Park last summer, in case you want to add it to your itinerary!
On New Year's Eve Alex and I finally tackled a hike that we have wanted to do for over a year and a half, and we couldn't have done it without the help of Chelsea (who joined me on my trip to Blue Lakes in October!)
The past two years Alex and I have taken the long Thanksgiving weekend to #optoutside and spend some quality time in the national parks. Finding places to go in November that aren't too cold or too snowy can be a challenge but we've found that Utah is a pretty good bet. Last year we hiked in Zion and Bryce Canyon national parks, but this year I wanted something a little more remote.
I've had my Deuter ACT Lite 60+10 for an entire summer backpacking season now. Last spring I went into REI hoping to exchange my one-size-fits-all cheap generic pack for a pack more suited to my body. I had gone into the store assuming I would walk out with an Osprey, having only heard stellar things about their packs. However, as I began trying different Osprey packs on it became very apparent that they did not fit me the way I had hoped.
We wanted to get one last hike in on our final day in Washington before we had to head to the airport for our redeye flights. Lake Serene, located in the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest, seemed like what we were looking for. It was just over an hour from the airport and, at 8.2 miles round-trip, would make for a perfect day hike.
After our hike to Mount Storm King Alex and I drove to the Third Beach Trailhead to begin our 6.4 mile hike to Toleak Point. High tide was scheduled for 2pm so we set out from the trailhead at 4pm. This would ensure the tide would be low by the time we reached a few stretches of beach and the headlands that require a low tide for crossing.
Packing for a ten day backpacking trip was a logistical challenge (read: nightmare). I needed to pack enough food, gear, and clothing to last me ten days in the wilderness without any sort of resupply. The longest I had spent in the backcountry without heading back to civilization was two days so this trip was about to smash that record.
The third day of our trip we ventured up into the valley directly below The Maidens. East and West Maiden are massive granite slabs that shoot up from the valley floor and tower over the creek below. They are so massive that from base camp they looked as if they were a short leisurely hike away but it took us half an hour just to reach their base.