HomeAdventuresThe High Sierras

I reached Baxter Pass by 1pm. It was like being on the surface of Mars with its vast, desolate red landscape. It was quite beautiful. The vastness of it all gave me that strangely comforting feeling of being insignificant. I lingered at the summit a little longer than I typically do just to take in the stark beauty of a it all before heading down toward Baxter Lake…

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Bryan Feller

…By 11:40am the sky had turned dark and I felt the first drop of rain on my head. Contrary to the weather report, my instincts told me to turn around and get lower, so I headed back to the lake where I thought I’d wait it out for a while. When the first thunder came, it was close and powerful, followed by more of the same. Now my instincts told me to run, so I did. As I did, nickel-size hail rained down in almost biblical fashion…

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Bryan Feller

I’ve applied for a Mount Whitney permit over the last few years, but I never seem to get one. This year, by a miracle, I got one for 10 spots! Some friends of mine, Steve, Sam and Chris, said yes. Chris was able to invite five more of his friends: Tad, Lee, Daniel, Pete, and Kyle. And at the end of the day – everyone made the summit! That said, what started out as a 10-12 hour day eventually turned into a 17+ hour day…

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Bryan Feller

…soon the class 2 ridge turned to class 3/4 so we roped up alpine style and continued walking. There were a few sections of the ridge Neil climbed ahead and gave us a hip belay, but we never needed to set up any belay anchors along the ridge. This place was so beautiful it was hard to take it all in. And I got to do this with my son – who gets to do that?

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Bryan Feller

…the route turned into bigger and bigger talus until it finally ended on a ridge that overlooked the Palisade Glacier. And as I expected, it was truly awe-inspiring and huge. A ridgeline of 14ers – Mount Sill, Polemonium Peak, North Palisade, Starlight Peak, and Thunderbolt Peak – towers over the glacier bowl.

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Bryan Feller

After nine miles of hiking I could finally see Mount Julius Caesar. I was relieved to find it, but troubled about my energy level. I ate a Cliffbar, hoping to fill the tank with a little extra gas to get me to the summit. I had 600 feet of scrambling left to reach the summit. I’m glad a pushed myself. The view from the summit was incredible.

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Bryan Feller

I had been wanting to do Cloudripper for a while, so last year I took the family to make an attempt on the summit. My son Wes and I made it to what I thought was the summit of Cloudripper, only to discover from our GPS tracks that we had summitted the wrong mountain!

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Bryan Feller
mount bago

It had been a while since Wes and I had bagged a Sierra peak together, so I thought I’d choose an easy one. Mount Bago seemed to fit the bill since it wasn’t that high in elevation and we could get to it in a day hike.

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Bryan Feller