Backcountry Sights https://backcountrysights.com Photos and stories from the outdoors Sat, 18 Jan 2020 16:23:01 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.3.2 https://backcountrysights.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/cropped-favicon-1-200x200.png Backcountry Sights https://backcountrysights.com 32 32 123251974 The Pemi loop https://backcountrysights.com/pemi-loop/ https://backcountrysights.com/pemi-loop/#comments Sun, 18 Aug 2019 16:00:00 +0000 https://backcountrysights.com/?p=10248 The trail continues downhill for quite a while but, eventually, we begin climbing again. "Down and then up again!" The rain and mist that characterized the morning is long gone and sunlight streams through the trees. An hour or two into the woods we pause to relax on a fallen tree and eat some snacks. A couple of AT hikers we've been leap-frogging with this afternoon pass us with a wave.

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Glacier National Park Backpacking: Part 2 https://backcountrysights.com/glacier-national-park-backpacking-2/ https://backcountrysights.com/glacier-national-park-backpacking-2/#respond Fri, 09 Aug 2019 16:00:00 +0000 https://backcountrysights.com/?p=10131 As we climb higher, the trees grow shorter and in smaller groves. We wind through a rocky valley, cross a gurgling creek, and then spot a magnificent waterfall a little ways up the valley. Excited, we hurry toward it, although I stop every few hundred feet to snap photo after photo of the waterfall, the trees, and the cliffs. The approach to the waterfall is one of the most scenic sections of hiking I've ever done. The brilliant green grass and trees lead up to a dark red line of cliffs over which the series of waterfalls crash down. At the bottom of the lowest falls, the water impacts boulders and atomizes into a fine mist. I'm surprised that we haven't seen any other day hikers up here; this hike is easily just as impressive as the trail to Iceberg Lake or the Ptarmigan Tunnel!

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Glacier National Park Backpacking: Part 1 https://backcountrysights.com/glacier-national-park-backpacking-1/ https://backcountrysights.com/glacier-national-park-backpacking-1/#comments Mon, 05 Aug 2019 21:00:00 +0000 https://backcountrysights.com/?p=9767 Happy to have seen a moose in the wild, we resume hiking. Near a campsite about midway along Cosley Lake, we pause for a morning snack and to refill our water containers. As it turns out, Cosley Lake is perhaps the most beautiful lake we've visited so far. The glassy water reflects Pyramid peak while also providing a crystal clear window to view the brightly colored rocks that cover the lakebed.

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Glacier National Park Day Hikes https://backcountrysights.com/glacier-national-park-day-hikes/ https://backcountrysights.com/glacier-national-park-day-hikes/#comments Thu, 01 Aug 2019 12:00:44 +0000 https://backcountrysights.com/?p=9828 As we wind around Metahpi Peak, the alpine meadows of Preston Park recede behind the rocky slopes. We get a few glimpses of the Boulder Creek drainage lined with rust-red slopes, but soon lose that view as well as we reach Siyeh Pass. From that high vantage point, we're treated to a spectacular view of the valley we'll be hiking through for the remainder of the afternoon, the Baring Creek drainage. The massive Sexton Glacier feeds half a dozen cascades which in turn feed the roaring Baring Creek several thousand feet below the pass.

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Lost Creek Wilderness Backpacking Loop https://backcountrysights.com/lost-creek-wilderness-backpacking-loop/ https://backcountrysights.com/lost-creek-wilderness-backpacking-loop/#comments Tue, 09 Jul 2019 01:40:07 +0000 https://backcountrysights.com/?p=9643 Once all our preparatory chores are complete, we begin “The Alphabetizer,” an off-trail route that hits four 12-ers (peaks above 12,000 feet high): Zephyr, Peak Z, Peak Y, and Peak X. According to the map, we’re somewhere below Zephyr, so we head uphill. As with the lower section of the hillside, it’s a steep climb, but the ascent is much easier with our lightened packs.

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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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Haleakalā Summit Loop https://backcountrysights.com/haleakala-summit-loop/ https://backcountrysights.com/haleakala-summit-loop/#respond Sun, 20 Jan 2019 00:40:32 +0000 https://backcountrysights.com/?p=8375 The trail continues to twist and turn between the numerous sandy cones, eventually descending into a large valley full of strange, twisted rocks. It looks very alien; Mars-like, perhaps. The lava doesn't even look solid, like some strange extrusion from a 3D printer. The path makes a beeline through these curious formations; I pause a few times to examine them more closely and then hurry to catch up with Brian and Diane.

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Day Hikes on the Road to Hāna https://backcountrysights.com/road-to-hana-day-hikes/ https://backcountrysights.com/road-to-hana-day-hikes/#respond Fri, 18 Jan 2019 13:02:45 +0000 https://backcountrysights.com/?p=9267 Further up the trail, we cross a ravine full of deep pools and small cascades. On the opposite side of the ravine, we enter a bamboo forest. The bamboo stocks tower some 40 or 50 feet above the trail, blocking out most of the afternoon sunlight. I've never seen bamboo so tall, or so much of the stuff; our walk through the bamboo forest covers the better part of a mile!

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Autumn Day Hikes in the German Alps https://backcountrysights.com/autumn-day-hikes-german-alps/ https://backcountrysights.com/autumn-day-hikes-german-alps/#respond Tue, 09 Oct 2018 22:46:00 +0000 https://backcountrysights.com/?p=7781 The path to the top soon appears as we reach the base of the cliffs. A set of stairs constructed from logs and back-filled gravel between two of the stone escarpments provide an easy route to the top. As soon as I reach the top I'm instantly distracted by the incredible vista that has appeared on the other side of the ridge. Multiple lines of craggy, snow-dusted mountains stretch across the horizon, their peaks hidden in the clouds. The long, tedious climb up the ski runs and gravel roads is well-worth this reward!

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