Five Guys on Middle Palisade

We made our way above the glacier and saw the beginning of the Red Rocks Shoot. This was our route to the summit. A couple of climbers went ahead of us up the shoot. We gave them a 15-minute head start so we would not be in the firing line of rockfall. I overheard one of them say to his partner, “That looks scary as hell!” The other climber nodded with a concerned look on his face. The same thought crossed my mind, but I decided not to overthink it.

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Mount Silliman: Don’t Get Killed from a Non-Fatal Injury

Mount Silliman is on the Sierra Peak Section list. It’s a moderately difficult hike that begins at the Lodge Pole Campground in Sequoia National Park. From my hotel in Three Rivers, I got up at 4:00 am and got to the trailhead just after 5:00 am. It had already started out to be a warm summer, but a late storm the day before blanketed the area with 6 inches of snow. It was just beautiful.

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Madera Peak: Adventure, Healthy Boredom, and Men’s Life Renewal

Tom from Summit Adventure talked to me about the Men’s Life Renewal course he was putting on and asked me to join as a support person. It sounded like a blast. We took six guys into the Ansel Adams Wilderness near Yosemite. Over six days, we did some peak bagging, some solitude, and some time processing the big issues going on in life with one another.

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Crag Peak (+Smith Mountain): Scooting My Way to a Fun Day

When I came to the end of the crag system, I found what I had seen on some trip reports. There is a razor-sharp ridge that is about 40 feet long with exposure on each side but easily crossed by scooting on your butt. It’s like riding a horse. I had a rope with me in case I needed to rappel off, but I didn’t end up needing it.

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Half Dome: Leading a Day Hike with Summit Adventure

Tom Smith from Summit Adventure asked me if I wanted to help him lead a Half Dome day hike with a handful of guys at the beginning of 2020. It’s on the Sierra Peak Section list, so I said, “Yes. Of course.” at the time, but one of the guys got COVID, so we postponed it to May 1. I drove in the night before and Tom picked me up at 5:00 am at the Summit Adventure Lodge.

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Sawtooth Peak (South): A Fun and Easy PCT Side Trip

Sawtooth Peak (South), not to be confused with Sawtooth Peak (North) in Mineral King, is an easy hike off the Pacific Crest Trail in the Chimney Peak Wilderness in the southernmost part of the Sierras. It was on the Sierra Peak Section list and it was too early in the season to get out to the High Sierras, so I did this one as a day trip. I knew this wasn’t going to be “epic,” but it was a lot of fun just to get out.

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Owens Peak: Don’t Underestimate the Small Adventures

Idid Owens Peak with the kids on Saturday. Bec watched the grandbaby, and since Owens Peak was close enough for a day hike, it seemed like the perfect objective for all of us. It’s also on the Sierra Peaks Section so I sort of had to do it anyway. I didn’t realize that the big adventure was actually getting to the trailhead.

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Lamont Peak: Short and Steep

There is nothing special about Lamont Peak. It’s a sub-8,000 foot peak in the lower Eastern Sierras. It ended up on my list because it is part of the Sierra Peaks Section or SPS List for short. According to the Sierra Club, there are 247 notable peaks in the Sierras.

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Utterly Alone on Mount Rixford

As I walked on to the 12,887 ft summit of Mount Rixford, the view was spectacular. It was 1:00 pm and there was no wind. There was not one person at the trailhead, on the trail, or on the mountain. I was completely alone on this big mountain and I felt this sense of euphoria.

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Bitter Cold and Blue Skies on Boundary Peak

We reached the summit by 1:30 pm, a much longer trip than Wes or I had planned on. But we made it! The views along the ridge, and especially at the summit of Boundary Peak were incredible. This was the clearest day I had seen all year. We could see for over a hundred miles across Nevada and I would even make out the distinct shape of Mount Humphreys along the Sierra Crest to the West.

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