Leavitt Peak (11,572) and Some Lightning

Day 1 of my two week Sierra adventure!

I had been diligently watching the weather forecasts for weeks. Crazy storms had been chasing people off of summits and the trails for weeks. The normally predictable summer monsoon season wasn’t behaving rationally, and that had me worried. Fortunately, as the time for my trip grew closer, the forecast called for clearing skies and wonderful conditions. My departure date of August 11 looked good – in fact, the storms were predicted to move out that morning.

So, after playing tetris with the two weeks of supplies I wanted to fit in my Outback, I hit the road early on Monday morning with the intention to drive out via Sonora Pass with a warmup hike to Leavitt Peak.

A gorgeous sunrise during my drive to herald in two weeks of peak bagging.
A gorgeous sunrise during my drive to herald two weeks of peak bagging.

Read more

Bloody Mountain, 12,552 ft

I recently returned from a fantastic two week peak bagging trip to the Sierra. While I try to sort through the massive amounts of content I created on that trip (photos, GPS tracks, and journal entries), I thought I’d do some housecleaning by revisiting a climb I did back in July. I posted the pictures a while ago but never got the chance to write about it here, so here we go!

Laurel and Bloody Mountains are situated on the eastern side of the Sierra just south of Mammoth Lakes. Their rock is among the oldest in the range, and the colors and textures found in their landscape differs from elsewhere in the Sierra. Together, they make for a great double-peak day, and that’s exactly what we intended to do a few years ago when we started up Laurel. Unfortunately, rather violent storms decided to build up and we barely got off of Laurel after tagging the summit, let alone start on Bloody, before the skies opened up.

Read more

Mt Starr, 12,846 ft

Two weekends ago we took Thor on his second camping trip. We headed out, as usual, to the Eastern Sierra to camp, fish, hike, and bag peaks. Our first night was spent at June Lake where we got to do a little swimming with the pup as well as visit the new June Lake Brewery. It was great fun for Thor who even got to see his first bear!

Read more

Opening Day Experience at Levi’s Stadium, New Home of the 49ers

I’m going to deviate from my normal topics for a moment and share the opening game day experience that I had yesterday at the new 49ers stadium in Santa Clara, California. I had been providing some comments live during the game via Twitter and actually got some nice feedback and responses from vendors and partners. To this point, I wanted to expand on some of my observations.

The opening event at Levi’s Stadium was a football match, just not of the American pointy-ball type. The San Jose Earthquakes played the Seattle Sounders in a regular season MLS (Major League Soccer) match. This match was intended to be the dress rehearsal for the 49ers season and rather than fill it to the brim, they sold only the lower sections. That still meant an attendance of over 48,000 people.

Read more

A Local’s Guide to Hiking in Silicon Valley Part 1: The Easy Hikes

People travel to Silicon Valley and the Bay Area for work from all over the world. For many, the opportunity to visit California is a treat and people often look for activities to do outside of their business meetings. To that end, I often receive emails from outdoorsy-types requesting advice for spending their free time on the local trails. Instead of sending the same email responses over and over again, I thought it made a lot more sense just to publish something! Below you will find information about some of the easy hikes I regularly recommend to visitors. Coming soon: moderate and difficult hike recommendations for those with a bit more time.

Read more