Hiking Report: January

As I write this, December 31, 2012; Tucson and the surrounding mountain ranges are being pelted with rain and snow. as I look from the Summit Hut door to the North, The Catalinas are being blanketed with snow to about 4000 feet. What a spectacular place we live and know that conditions can change on…

Building a Better First Aid Kit

I recently went backpacking in Aravaipa Canyon which, if you haven’t been there, it’s crazy beautiful and a requirement for southern Arizona residents, like a smaller accessible version of the Grand Canyon. My friend who came with me was pretty reactive to bee stings. She got stung once on a river trip and her ankle…

Patagonia Light Flyer Review

The Patagonia Light Flyer Jacket is a light weight breathable waterproof active shell featuring GORE-TEX Active Technology is a great option or any runner looking for some reprieve from storms. The back panel vents as well as zippered vents on the upper arm allow for extra air flow when you’re really pumping out a tough…

Milagrosa Canyon

Milagrosa Canyon was the first place I ever experienced the magic of monsoons: my brother and I hiked out there under a sky going indigo and saguaros shining electric on the ridge. The first wash crossing drenched us to our knees with warm summer rainwater. Looking at the first sunbathed red cliffs is a view…

Arc’Teryx Atom LT Jacket Review

At 1:30 in the morning in early October I woke up to nearly freezing temperatures in the back of my car parked at Castro Park, in Douglas Arizona. I crawled out of my sleeping bag, desperately pulled on thicker socks and shoes, and stumbled out under the street light to meet a tiny crowd of…

First Snow of the Season

Snow days are few and far between in Southern Arizona – and when they do come, you usually need to drive up a mountain to enjoy them. Mt. Lemmon is the highest mountain in the Santa Catalina range just north of Tucson and resides at a modest 9,157 feet. While it isn’t the tallest point…

Mount Rainier: Part Two

Finally the day came. After three months of intense training and intense worrying, I was on a plane flying over the peak that I hoped to stand on top of. And then I was on a van driving through thick pine forests scarred by avalanche. In the parking lot we divvied up group gear and…

Climbing Mount Rainier – Part One

From March through June, climbing Mount Rainier was all I could think about. Njow, a few weeks after my guided trip up the Emmons route, that amazing experience is still all I can think about. But this is the part where I’m relieved. For three months, I obsessed constantly. All my worries could be summed…

Repairing a Zipper

It happens to everyone: you’ve had your favorite backpack for years. It’s held textbooks, a week’s worth of clothes, and camera equipment. You’ve dragged it on and off of trains, planes and automobiles; you took it caving and scraped it against rock walls. Its limits were tested and it always stood up to the test,…

Climbing Moby Dick

The day began with a long drive down a deeply rutted dirt road into the far reaches of the Cochise West Stronghold. I swear I have car-narcolepsy; sometimes no matter what the circumstances, I completely bonk out in the passenger seat, and this was happening to me as the truck bucked down the road: despite…