Saturday, July 13, 2013

Epic (relatively) Weekend

We'll provide an overview of what we thought was a pretty epic weekend in the mountains, but before we do, we thought it best to be clear about the relative epic-ness of our trip. 

Here are some people we came across in the last week:

  1. We'll call him Bill: Celebrating his 60th birthday by getting all his pals to join him for 2 climbs considered 2 of 3 hardest climbs in the Northwest (we're talking biking here). They met in Lone Pine, CA and climbed 6,000 feet up to Horseshoe Meadows and then rode back to down to climb another 4,000 feet up to Whitney Portal -- all in 100 degree heat! Happy 60th Bill!
  2. We'll call her Janet: We see the calves of a 35 year old on the trail in front of us plugging away up the trail to Nevada Falls. She passes most people on the trail. As we catch up, she turns around and it turns out those 35 year old calves are attached to a 65 year old woman who is prepping to celebrate her 65th by climbing Mt Whitney next week! I bet we were the only people who passed her that day. We were traveling light -- a day pack only, so she didn't really have a chance. 
  3. We'll call him Eduardo and that's his real name: Eduardo Calisto from Brazil. We met him in a coffee shop. Appearing relaxed and happy as he sipped his cappuccino, we learn that he's just come in from a run from Lone Pine up to Whitney Portal -- a 10 miler with 4,000 feet elevation in more than 100 degree heat. He just wanted to get an idea what the finish of BadWater would be like the next week. He ran it in 1 hour 44 this time. Wonder what his time will be next weekend after the first 125 miles from Death Valley to Lone Pine? His results should be posted here: We'll be following his progress for sure!
And here is how we define epic: Hail storm, 14,000 foot peak, 22 mile day hike with 5,000 feet of climbing. Oh yeah, and then there was the search and rescue mission...

First, the hail. Dave was feeling a bit pokey due to his participation in the aforementioned 60th birthday celebration climb and as we slowly progressed toward Cottonwood Lakes, storm clouds moved in, thunder started and the next thing we knew, we were soaked. That's wasn't so bad, because we found a spot to stash our packs, put on our rain gear and have lunch. As our lunch of pita and salmon become dotted in white balls that didn't taste like salt, we looked at eachother, grabbed the tent and began assembling. The hail poured down and melted immediately as it reached the tent -- we weren't fast enough with the rain fly and the whole tent was filled with puddles of water...we were still glad for the shelter because the storm continued for 2 more hours and boy did it pour!

Next, the 14,000 ft peak: Maybe I should make a whole post about this -- it was pretty epic. I think I will.

The 22 mile day hike with 5,000 feet of climbing: We drove through Yosemite to get home and decided to retrace a hike that Dave has done a few times -- from Yosemite Valley to Cloud's Rest. You might remember Cloud's Rest from our JMT hike. It was our final night of the hike before descending to Yosemite. Views of Half Dome and the Valley -- an incredible way to end our trip. But, I digress. Perhaps it was those fond memories that motivated me to do this one-day round trip version?

It was worth it. 4 hours 55 minutes up and about the same down (stairs, a wrong trail choice, steep terrain and a bear). Dave finished earlier because he used the cell phone reception on top of Cloud's Rest to check his work email...then, decided he should get back to the Valley for a call. I took my time.

View of Half Done

Feels like you're on top of the world on Cloud's Rest

Nevada Falls

He's pointing to the people climbing the cables to Half Dome

A tall trail duck

Monday, July 1, 2013

Cottonwood Pass - We're going again

We planned a trip out of Cottonwood pretty much spur of the moment this month, but it seems like someone knew we would be there. Today, while reviewing hikes around Cottonwood, I found this site: and the banner photo at the top of the page is us in 2009 at the start of our NB JMT hike!

Here's the photo Dave was taking of me as someone was taking the banner shot of us. I can't image why they wouldn't have published this shot as the banner photo on their site (click on the photo to zoom)...

Friday, October 23, 2009

This Might be The Next Adventure

Or something similar to long will it take us to train for days of riding that have from 9-11,000 ft of elevation gain each day?

We'll post our training schedule.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Photos & the Next Adventure

Photos are ready for viewing. Click here to view.

Dave is currently creating a Blue-Ray DVD of our adventure as well. Will you see us sometime soon? If so, you might enjoy the DVD version.

What's next? Well, climbing Half Dome in September with Alexa and Eric. But, that's not what you had in mind is it? Here are our top picks for upcoming adventures. Click on 'Comment' below to let us know your vote (you can be anonymous if you please):

1. Belize

The GR 20 Route in Corsica. Click here for a brief description.
3. Tahiti
4. Camino de Santiago, a pilgrimage route through Northern Spain
5. Morocco

6. A Galactic Experience, Click here

Thursday, July 30, 2009


It happened. We returned to the noise, constant movement and highly distractible environment of daily life. And, two dented cars. Alexa hit something with the Prius (Ryan pretty much fixed it before we came home) and my car was involved in a hit and run on a quiet Los Gatos street (I don't think Ryan will be able to fix this one)...What a contrast!

Gone are the perfectly still nights, feeling like you might be the only people to experience an incredible view, and a star filled sky to enjoy just before you fall asleep. We were continually amazed that we could look so far in the distance at a mountain and then hike over it that same day. Today, walking to Peets, we looked at the hills of Skyline Blvd and decided we could definitely walk there before lunch!

Gone also are freeze-dried dinners, beef jerky, mosquitoes, sleeping on a leaking Thermarest and hiking through 4-5 thousand feet of elevation change in one day while carrying a 40-50 pound pack! We're enjoying Peets, bathroom visits that don't involve an orange hand shovel, Super Taqueria, Fish and NON-INSTANT rice, fresh fruit and vegetables, eggs from free range chickens, homemade fresh sourdough bread and pungent cheeses.

We're working through the photos and will have them posted in the next few days. There will also be a slide show complete with our personal commentary if you live close by and would like to hear about the trip in person!