Backpacking – Backcountry Sights https://backcountrysights.com Photos and stories from the outdoors Thu, 27 Jun 2019 14:11:54 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.2.2 https://backcountrysights.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/cropped-favicon-1-200x200.png Backpacking – Backcountry Sights https://backcountrysights.com 32 32 123251974 A Night on the Tuscarora Trail https://backcountrysights.com/tuscarora-trail/ https://backcountrysights.com/tuscarora-trail/#comments Wed, 26 Jun 2019 21:00:07 +0000 https://backcountrysights.com/?p=9547 The climb doesn't take long, and we're soon strolling along the rocky ridge line. A cool breeze blows through the trees, and the soft colors of sunrise still linger near the horizon. We spend some time relaxing on a rock that overlooks the Shenandoah River, soaking in the view and enjoying the peaceful morning.

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Mountaineering at Mount Baker https://backcountrysights.com/mountaineering-mount-baker/ https://backcountrysights.com/mountaineering-mount-baker/#respond Mon, 06 May 2019 12:00:31 +0000 https://backcountrysights.com/?p=9433 My favorite part of the afternoon is learning about and practicing building haul systems: we use carabiners and prusiks to construct a system of pulleys that effectively reduce the amount of force the rescuer must exert to pull their friend out of the crevasse. As an engineer and an aspiring mountaineer, I very much enjoy using the laws of physics to gain a mechanical advantage with materials I'm already carrying.

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Backpacking Along the Teton Crest https://backcountrysights.com/backpacking-along-the-teton-crest/ https://backcountrysights.com/backpacking-along-the-teton-crest/#comments Mon, 27 Aug 2018 01:30:11 +0000 https://backcountrysights.com/?p=7460 The trail soon departs the airy ridge and begins descending, gradually at first but then more steeply, toward Alaska Basin. Along the way, Diane and I pass strange metamorphic rock that seems almost fluid, like the rippled surface of a slate-grey lake frozen in time. The entire plateau is covered with small, tile-sized pieces of the stuff as well as the occasional plinth protruding from the surface. Stranger yet, holes a few meters across and 1-2 meters deep lie scattered across the landscape; are these related to the volcanic history? Perhaps collapsed lava tubes? Yet another oddity: a murder of 30 or 40 crows sit perched on various rocks across the plateau, with a few floating just above the ground, riding the stiff wind like kites. Do they nest up here? Why are they all sitting around? I have so many questions and so few answers.

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The High Uinta Wilderness https://backcountrysights.com/high-uinta-wilderness/ https://backcountrysights.com/high-uinta-wilderness/#comments Sun, 19 Aug 2018 02:00:16 +0000 https://backcountrysights.com/?p=7590 Unlike many trailheads, this one is perched high in the mountains at 10,370'. With such a lofty starting point, the first mile of our trip is actually downhill, an easy beginning to the trek. The weather this morning is perfect: bright sunshine bathes the landscape, a light breeze wafts through the pines, and a few fluffy clouds drift overhead.

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Sierra High Route: Lake Country https://backcountrysights.com/sierra-high-route-lake-country/ https://backcountrysights.com/sierra-high-route-lake-country/#respond Wed, 08 Aug 2018 02:00:16 +0000 https://backcountrysights.com/?p=7400 From Cotton Lake, I follow Roper's instructions to descend a steep grassy slope to Izaak Walton Lake. The route instructions are oddly specific, but I understand why when I reach the lakeshore; most of the lake is surrounded by unassailable granite cliffs. Strolling around the southern shore, I can't help but admire the glassy water reflecting the nearby cliffs and distant, sunlit peaks.

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Sierra High Route: Whitebark Country https://backcountrysights.com/sierra-high-route-whitebark-country/ https://backcountrysights.com/sierra-high-route-whitebark-country/#respond Sun, 05 Aug 2018 02:00:06 +0000 https://backcountrysights.com/?p=7398 I soon locate the next landmark on the Sierra High Route: Lake Frances, a massive lake hiding up here above Evolution Valley. As I wander through the hilly terrain surrounding Lake Frances, I discover several other small ponds, twisted whitebark pines, and boulders scattered all around, the definition of pristine Sierra Nevada wilderness.

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Sierra High Route: Cirque Country https://backcountrysights.com/sierra-high-route-cirque-country/ https://backcountrysights.com/sierra-high-route-cirque-country/#respond Fri, 03 Aug 2018 00:44:05 +0000 https://backcountrysights.com/?p=7396 The views from the top of Potluck Pass prove to be well worth the effort. Ridge after ridge of serrated granite mountains stretch across the western horizon in front of me. Somewhere below is the John Muir Trail, that thoroughfare through the Sierra Nevada. The thought that dozens of excited hikers are passing by just a few miles away with absolutely no knowledge of this fantastic vista is a bit humbling; these mountains are vast and complex, and there will likely always be new spots and vistas to discover!

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Pine Creek to Piute Pass Thru Hike https://backcountrysights.com/pine-creek-piute-pass-thru-hike/ https://backcountrysights.com/pine-creek-piute-pass-thru-hike/#comments Sun, 22 Jul 2018 16:00:53 +0000 https://backcountrysights.com/?p=7292 A handful of small streams wind through the meadowlands, feeding the numerous lakes below. The evening light plays across the peaks, including the magnificent form of Mount Humphreys. The juxtaposition of the stormy clouds and soft light make for some great sights and photo opportunities!

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Sierra High Route: A First Taste https://backcountrysights.com/sierra-high-route-first-taste/ https://backcountrysights.com/sierra-high-route-first-taste/#comments Sun, 08 Jul 2018 12:00:50 +0000 https://backcountrysights.com/?p=7138 By the time we reach the top, Amanda and I are both exhausted. Breathing heavily, we take in the view and start laughing. Laughing at the ridiculousness of the fact that we're miles from the nearest trail, laughing at the terrain we have to cross next, a difficult slope of loose talus, laughing at the mind-numbing grandeur of the peaks that surround us; fear, awe, despair, excitement, exhaustion, pride... all kinds of emotions wrapped up in laughter. It's far too soon to continue hiking, so we sit for a while and admire the views while building the resolve necessary to navigate the next section of the Sierra High Route.

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A Night Atop Cucamonga Peak https://backcountrysights.com/cucamonga-peak-overnight/ https://backcountrysights.com/cucamonga-peak-overnight/#comments Sat, 23 Jun 2018 11:00:11 +0000 https://backcountrysights.com/?p=7068 With waning daylight, we set up our tents and cook/eat some dinner. The summit of Cucamonga Peak supplies tons of fantastic campsites, some beneath trees, others out in the open among rocks and chaparral. Coco and I set up our tent near a small stand of pines, but David and Nihal opt for a spot with more expansive views.

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