Tag: top10

55-mile Solo from Mineral King to Nine Lakes Basin

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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The North Ridge of Mount Conness!

…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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20+ Miles in Buckskin Gulch

I had been to Buckskin Gulch 10 days before with my friend Manny and hurt my back a few miles from the trailhead. I saw just enough of this amazing slot canyon to know I HAD to come back and see all 23 miles of it. When I showed my family some of the pictures, they all signed up and we planned a trip for the following week. Cold, muddy, waist high pools of water made it tougher than most of us had planned on, but no one was disappointed.

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My 85-Mile Sequoia-Kings Canyon Loop SOLO

Ever since hiking the John Muir Trail last year, I’d been thinking about getting back out there. But I didn’t want to just do the John Muir Trail again. Then I ran across something called the Big Sequoia-Kings Canyon Loop. There are a number of versions of this loop, the longest one being about 150 miles. I decided on the 85-mile version. I did this one solo and I had a blast.

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Humbled on the Summit of Cotopaxi

Every year I try to take an adventure that gets me outside of my comfort zone. It has to challenge me to push my physical limits and force me to face things that make me afraid. This ritual has been key to my personal growth and it pushes me to train in ways that I would otherwise not have the discipline to train. This year, mountaineering in Ecuador was that trip and Cotopaxi was the prize.

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At 50, Hiking the John Muir trail Was my Midlife Marker

When I got back from my trip, someone asked me if the trip was life-changing or not. Without hesitation, I replied, “Absolutely. It was totally life-changing.” At 47, I had just started getting in shape. I was hiking a lot in the local Southern California mountains and pushing outside of my comfort zone as much as possible. As I looked forward to turning 50, I felt like doing a solo on the iconic 220-mile long John Muir Trail would be a perfect adventure. It was. And this is the story of my adventure.

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Everything I Thought I Knew About Aging Was Wrong

Yes, we are all going to die. But you can dramatically change how you live as you age. If you want to see what aging well looks like, you will need to look to the margins. At the margins of the bell curve, we are seeing aging athletes who are strong and active into their 80s and 90s. Moreover, these people are free of the common lifestyle diseases that plague the general population. Yes, they are aging, but they are experiencing a smaller subset of aging symptoms.

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What is the Purpose of Adventure?

When asked why he climbed Everest, George Mallory famously replied, “Because it was there.” The quote made headlines worldwide and became a trademark statement among mountaineers for generations. Not to minimize Mallory’s achievement, but this is one of the most moronic statements ever made.

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6 Days and 80 miles on the High Sierra Trail

For many, the 220-mile long John Muir Trail, which runs north to south across the Sierra Nevada, represents the quintessential backcountry hike. While this trail was on our radar, we thought the High Sierra Trail would be a good way to ease into the behemoth JMT. The shorter, 72-mile High Sierra Trail runs west to east across the Sierras and can be done in six to ten days.

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Good Morning Bryan, This is Your Wake Up Call

On Tuesday, July 2, 2013, about 10 am, I got a wake up call. At the time, it was more like a waking nightmare. I had just sat down for an impromptu strategy meeting with two colleagues to brainstorm for a marketing campaign. Someone asked me a question, but when I tried to answer, only murmuring sounds escaped my mouth. Then I began to lose vision in my right eye. Thirty seconds passed, and I still couldn’t speak.

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What I Learned About Love, Death, and Fatherhood on Sawtooth Peak

Courtney took a step and immediately went into a slide. Time went into slow motion. My left hand still had a strong purchase on the rock and my right hand gripped the trekking pole that she was hanging on to. As her full weight started to load the system, she swung underneath me. The inertia was far greater than I was expecting and I felt the sharp pinch of fear throughout my body. I felt my hand slipping off the hold I had on the rock. I couldn’t let her go. Then I lost my grip on the rock and we started to slide. It was over. I knew in a matter of seconds we would be airborne, free falling 800+ feet to our deaths.

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