Photo Journal & Trip Reports (Backpacking & trekking)

Backpacking in Grand Gulch
May 2017  |  Cedar Mesa, Utah

At the end of May we spent three days hiking through the upper portion of Grand Gulch, in Cedar Mesa, Utah. This was the third time I’ve backpacked in Grand Gulch, but the first since the area was designated as part of Bears Ears National Monument by President Obama in 2016...

Mount Robson & Berg Lake
September 2016  |  BC, Canada

The trek to Berg Lake and Mount Robson is one of the most famous backpacking treks in the Canadian Rockies, and one that was high on our backpacking wish list. But when we drove through Jasper on our way north in July, we were disappointed to discover that the backcountry permits there were 100% reserved...

Backpacking in the Tombstones
September 2016  |  Yukon, Canada

The Tombstone Range is a small but spiky mountain range located in the northern Yukon in Canada, almost up by the Arctic Circle. I have been dreaming of visiting and photographing these remote mountains since I first saw some photos of them almost 20 years ago...

A View of Denali from Kesugi Ridge
August 2016  |  Alaska

In mid-August after looking at rainy forecasts in Alaska for weeks, there was finally a one-day window of sun in the weather forecast. We high-tailed it towards Denali and went on a quick one-night backpack trip up Kesugi Ridge, in Denali State Park just across the valley from Denali National Park...

Backpacking in Kluane National Park
August 2016  |  Yukon, Canada

After hiking up King's Throne near Kathleen Lake, we were starting to get excited about the possibility of doing a backpacking trip in Kluane National Park. (Pronounced: "clue on ee"). Plus, we still had a pretty good weather forecast in the Haines Junction and Kluane area of southwest Yukon, while all of Alaska still looked rainy...

Backpacking in the Height of the Rockies
July 2016  |  Canadian Rockies

In July we drove over the border into British Columbia, Canada and headed east towards the Height of the Rockies Provincial Park in eastern BC. The trek I had in mind is a somewhat obscure one involving several hours of driving along dirt forestry roads to access a seldom traveled trail which eventually fades into a convoluted off-trail routefinding adventure, finally arriving at a spectacular series of high lakes in a rugged glaciated basin...

Alpine Lakes Wilderness Trek
July 2016  |  Washington Cascades

In mid July after having done two backpack trips on the Olympic Peninsula, we were excited to do some more in the Cascades; however, most of the treks we had researched in the central and northern Cascades were still snowbound on the higher passes and lakes...

High Divide Loop, Olympic Peninsula
July 2016  |  Washington

Mount Olympus is the king of the Olympus Peninsula in Washington; laden with thick glaciers, the 7,980 foot peak soars above the surrounding rainforest valleys. Some of the finest views to be had of this remote mountain are from the High Divide trail which follows a high ridge opposite the Hoh River valley — that is, when the notorious Olympic Peninsula rain stops long enough to see it...

Olympic Peninsula Coastal Trek
June 2016  |  Washington

At the end of June we did a 4-day backpacking trek up the wild coast of the Olympic Peninsula from Rialto Beach to Sand Point, in Olympic National Park.  This was a fairly demanding hike with many rugged and rocky headlands that could only be passed at low tide, along with the ever present coastal fog and rain...

The Cursed Mountains - a trek through the Prokletije
July 2015  |  Montenegro and Albania

Forming a natural border between Montenegro and Albania is a jagged spine of mountains called the Prokletije in Montenegran and the Bjeshkët e Namuna in Albanian. Both names translate to “cursed mountains”, likely due to their foreboding vertical spires, deep winter snows, and inhospitable ruggedness...

Durmitor Loop Trek
July 2015  |  Montenegro

Durmitor National Park is certainly the most famous and beloved mountain range in Montenegro. The mountains here aren’t the biggest or baddest ever, but they have an undeniably wonderful and unique character, like a combination of the rugged might of the Alps with the wild solitude of the Rockies...

Maglič & Trnovacko Jezero
July 2015  |  Bosnia and Montenegro

For the first mountain adventure of our Bosnia/Montenegro trip, Claudia and I went backpacking for two nights at Trnovacko Lake along the border of Bosnia and Montenegro. The lake itself is located on the Montenegro side of the border, but is only accessible via Sutjeska National Park on the Bosnian side...

Tapeats/Deer Creek Loop, Grand Canyon
April 2015  |  Grand Canyon, Arizona

Last week we repeated a backpacking trip down into the Grand Canyon which we had done several years ago — a “lollipop” loop from the north rim down to Thunder River and Tapeats Creek, along the Colorado River, and up Deer Creek...

Wetterhorn Ski Mission
April 2015  |  San Juan Mountains, Colorado

Wetterhorn Peak stands above its surrounding basins like an ancient crumbling volcano. Rising to 14,015 feet, the pyramidal fourteener is not only one of the most photogenic mountains in Colorado, but its steep eastern face holds a classic ski descent that I’ve been wanting to snowboard for years...

Annapurna Base Camp
November 2014  |  Himalaya, Nepal

In November after our 20-day trek in the Khumbu/Everest region, we headed to the town of Pokhara to embark on yet another trek in the Himalaya — this time a short but strenuous 7-day trek to Annapurna Base Camp, also referred to as the ABC Trek or Annapurna Sanctuary Trek...

Khumbu Three Pass Trek
October/November 2014  |  Himalaya, Nepal

In October and November of this last year, Claudia and I fulfilled lifelong dreams to trek in the mighty Himalaya of Nepal – the world’s biggest mountains. We spent 20 days trekking the so-called “Three Pass Trek” over three high passes and through the four major valleys of the Khumbu/Everest region...

Conundrum Hot Springs
September 2014  |  Elk Mountains, Colorado

There are few things in life finer than soaking in natural hot springs, especially when those hot springs are situated at treeline in an alpine basin surrounded by high peaks and valley vistas! Such is the case at Conundrum Hot Springs, a remote but popular wild hot springs in the Elk Mountains between the towns of Aspen and Crested Butte in Colorado...

8 Days in the Wind Rivers
August 2014  |  Wind River Range, Wyoming

The Wind River Range forms 110 miles of the Continental Divide in central Wyoming. Notable for its plethora of alpine lakes, its soaring granite walls, and some of the largest glaciers in the US Rockies, the Winds are a supremely majestic mountain range and a paradise for backpackers, climbers, and fishermen...

Wildflower Wonderland
July 2014  |  San Juan Mountains, Colorado

Earlier this week Claudia and I backpacked for 5 days in the mountains west of Silverton, Colorado, following an improvised route that took us through numerous high alpine basins filled with endless fields of wildflowers...

Mt. Lindsey & Lily Lake
June 2014  |  Sangre de Cristos, Colorado

With our San Juans still covered in quite a bit of snow up high, earlier this week we drove east for 3 nights of backpacking in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains where the snow is mostly gone and summer backpacking season is well underway...

Great Sand Dunes Trek
June 2014  |  Colorado

The Great Sand Dunes in southern Colorado are perhaps the most unique landscape in the Rockies, with 700-foot tall sand dunes nestled at the foot of 13,000-foot mountains. Winds that blow across the vast San Luis Valley carry sand grains which become trapped by the towering Sangre de Cristo Mountains, and the streams that flow out of the mountains keep the sand in one place, resulting in the tallest dunes of North America...

Death Hollow Canyon
April 2014  |  Escalante, Utah

The morning after returning from our previous Escalante backpack, we embarked on another even more adventurous trek – this time into the slickrock country just east of the town of Escalante, Utah...

Backpacking in the Needles District
March 2014  |  Canyonlands National Park, Utah

As winter drags on, there are times when no matter how good the snow is, all I can think about is getting out to the desert for some warm weather backpacking. Such was the case last week when Claudia and I drove over to Utah for four days of backpacking in the Needles District of Canyonlands National Park south of Moab...

Winter Camping above Ouray
February 2014  |  San Juan Mountains, Colorado

I headed out yesterday for a night of winter camping up on the “lower” Bridge of Heaven overlooking the town of Ouray, Colorado. I've winter camped up here once before five years previously, but this time I found a ridiculous spot to pitch my tent, right on the point of a precipitous rock outcropping! This airy perch provided a spectacular scene for tent photos, as well as an island of dry rock amongst the snow to cook and relax in ease...

Powderfest at the Fowler/Hilliard Hut
January 2014  |  Gore Range, Colorado

It had been snowing for nearly three weeks straight in the northern mountains of Colorado. With the northwest storm flow forecasted to dump a few more heavy punches before finally clearing out, last week I checked the 10th Mtn...

Winter Camping at Blue Lakes
October 2013  |  San Juan Mountains, Colorado

Hungry for an adventure, on Tuesday I hiked up to Blue Lakes in the Sneffels Range to camp out in the snow. Late autumn can be a good time for winter camping – kind of like “diet” winter camping since there’s less snow to deal with and usually less avalanche danger (*depending, of course)...

Tough Luck in the Pyrenees
September 2013  |  France/Spain

On the first day of September Claudia and I started walking into the Pyrenees, the great mountain range that forms a natural border between France and Spain. Our plan was to trek along the Pyrenean Haute Route as far eastward through the range as we could in the next three weeks, staying in mountain huts and occasional small towns along the way...

Climbing the Zugspitze
August 2013  |  Germany

At 2962m (9717 ft), Zugspitze is the tallest mountain in Germany. The white limestone massif of Wetterstein (of which Zugspitze is the summit) rockets out of the green hills below, towering above all surrounding peaks and dominating the landscape in this part of southern Bavaria near the towns of Garmish and Erwald...

Ferrata Trek through the Rosengarten
August 2013  |  Dolomites, Italy

The Rosengarten is a group of mountains in the Dolomites with a dense cluster of exceptionally jagged peaks. 10 years ago I did two hikes through this range, and since then I’ve longed to return for some better photography and more challenging via ferrata climbing...

Lechtal Alps
July 2013  |  Austria

Our latest adventure in the Alps was an 8-day trek through the Lechtal Alps in Austria, the neighboring range just south of the Allgäuer Alps of our previous trek. In fact on many days of our trek we could look across the valley and see the peaks and ridges which we had just hiked and climbed over the previous week...