Trip Reports (Backpacking & Trekking)

Cordillera Huayhuash Circuit, Peru
June 2010

In June of 2010 I fulfilled one of my dreams – to trek around the remote and rugged Cordillera Huayhuash mountain range in Peru. In the city of Huaraz, the base for most of the expeditions in the Cordillera Blanca and Huayhuash, I signed on to a 10 day trek with burros to carry all our camping gear, an arriero (burro driver), a guide, and a cook for all our meals! Deluxe! Not only that, but our random assortment of people turned out to be a good group and we all had a great time together...

Winter Camping on Hurricane Pass - Tetons, Wyoming
March 2010

This last weekend of March I went winter camping again, this time for two nights up on Hurricane Pass, on the west side of the Tetons. Hurricane Pass is pretty close to Table Mountain where I went camping in January, but it has a very different perspective of the Tetons...

Winter Camping on Table Mountain - Tetons, Wyoming
January 2010

With a full moon and a partly sunny weather forecast, I decided this last Thursday to do a winter camping trip up on Table Mountain, on the west side of the Teton Range. The hike in was grueling, having to put in a skin track all by myself up 4,000 vertical feet through deep heavy powder, with a heavy backpack...

Icy Ice Lakes Basin, Colorado
November 2009

The light snowfalls amounts in the San Juan Mountains this November provided a good opportunity for me to do a quick overnight backpacking trip to Ice Lakes Basin, near Silverton, Colorado. This spectacular basin is a popular location for summertime hiking, but not many people visit in the snow...

Grand Gulch Loop Hike, Utah
October 2009

Over three days and two nights this October I went on a ~25 mile loop hike from Cedar Mesa in southeastern Utah. I hiked down Todie Canyon, to Grand Gulch, then out Bullet Canyon. Most of the way the hike passes through dramatic canyon scenery with vertical cliffs and dramatic rock formations...

Lightning Disco at Blue Lakes, Colorado
September 2009

On Saturday I hiked up to Blue Lakes for a quick overnight backpacking trip in the Sneffels Range of southwest Colorado's San Juan Mountains. The alpine tundra has turned a beautiful array of autumn colors, and even a few aspens are starting to change...

Six Weeks in Norway
July/August 2009

During the summer of 2009, I devoted six weeks to photographing the amazing mountains and fjords of Norway. During that time I traveled more than 8500 km (5300 miles), from the capital city of Oslo in the south, as far north as Tromsø, far above the Arctic Circle...

South Colony Lakes, Colorado
June 2009

This weekend I went on a little road trip to the Sangre de Cristo Mountains near Westcliffe, Colorado, to meet up with a friend for some camping and hiking around South Colony Lakes. The lakes are situated at the foot of three 14ers, making them a perfect basecamp for several days worth of hiking...

Bridge of Heaven Winter Camp - Ouray, Colorado
April 2009

Over the last few days, a late season storm has come through the San Juans in Colorado, dumping almost 2 feet of snow.  On Sunday, while still snowing hard outside the weather forecast called for a sunny clear Monday, so I headed out for a spur-of-the-moment winter backpacking trip, hoping to get a photo of the fresh snow smothering Ouray and the Uncompahgre Gorge...

Great Sand Dunes Megaloop, Colorado
March 2009

In mid-March I was desperate for some wilderness action, so I headed out on a backpacking trip in the Great Sand Dunes in southern Colorado. My initial plan was to do a simple three day hike up and back the Sand Ramp Trail along the eastern side of the dunes...

Milford Track, New Zealand
December 2008

Over the last four days in late November/early December I’ve been hiking the Milford Track, perhaps the most famous of New Zealand’s Great Walks. This walk belongs in its own class of Awesome, and all the other “Great Walks” I’ve been on should be renamed merely “Good Walks” in comparison...

Partial Kepler Track, New Zealand
November 2008

Te Anau is at first glance similar to a small version of Wanaka – both on the eastern side of large lakes with mountains to the west. However, while Wanaka is known for its proximity to several famous ski fields, Te Anau is the access point to three of the famous Great Walks – the Routeburn, Milford, and Kepler Tracks...

Routeburn Track, New Zealand
November 2008

The Routeburn is one of New Zealand’s renowned “Great Walks”, and as such it has wide trails, huge huts, lots of people, and lots of signs telling the people where to go.

Since it is a one way hike with vast distances between the start and end points, I turned in my rental car, shipped one bag to Te Anau from Queenstown, and got a shuttle to the start...

Backpacking in Mt. Aspiring National Park, New Zealand
November 2008

Over the last four days I’ve been tramping in Mount Aspiring National Park near Wanaka. I started in the Matukituki River valley, an idyllic mountain valley with green grass, turquoise river, soaring glacier-clad mountains, and waterfalls pouring down from the sides...

Hut Trek in Arthurs Pass National Park, New Zealand
November 2008

For the last four or five days I’ve been hanging around Arthurs Pass, one of the three mountain passes that crosses over the South Island mountains here in New Zealand. The first two days were spent mostly lounging about the hostel as it dumped snow and the wind raged outside...

Adventures on the West Coast, New Zealand
October/November 2008

In late October I left Wanaka and drove over Haast Pass toward the infamous West Coast. I say infamous because this region is notorious for its huge amounts of rainfall (up to 7 meters annually in some spots!)...

Tramping by Aoraki / Mount Cook, New Zealand
October 2008

The last several days I’ve been based out of Mt. Cook Village, a little tourist outpost based mainly around the Hermitage Hotel, situated in a remote valley at the foot of New Zealand’s highest mountain – Aoraki/Mt...

Weminuche Wilderness Loop, Colorado
August 2008

For 7 days in August, I hiked a high loop route through the high and rugged Needle Mountains in the Weminuche Wilderness in the San Juans south of Silverton, Colorado. This trip had a couple unexpected events in store for me, but fortunately, Lady Luck was really by my side this time...

Continental Divide Trail through the South San Juans, Colorado
August 2008

This last week I hiked the Continental Divide Trail (CDT) through the South San Juan Wilderness with two of my friends. It’s a 60+ mile trek from Cumbres Pass near Chama, New Mexico to Wolf Creek Pass near Pagosa Springs, Colorado...

Ouray-Uncompahgre Loop, Colorado
July 2008

This weekend I went on a wonderful 25 mile backpacking loop from Ouray, Colorado. I started at Bear Creek, a few miles up the road from Ouray, hiked up to the rolling green tundra paradise of the Uncompahgre Wilderness, along the Horsethief Trail to the Bridge of Heaven Trail, then back down into Ouray...

Cow Creek Bushwhack, San Juans, Colorado
July 2008

During the last three days, I bushwhacked through the Cow Creek valley, a rugged and remote mountain valley in the Uncompahgre Wilderness of the San Juan Mountains east of Ridgway. My original plan was to hike through the valley and continue up to the high alpine zone, where I would hike a high loop route around to Wetterhorn Basin and then take a trail back to my truck...

Winter Camping in the West Needle Mountains, Colorado
March 2008

Lured by a full moon and a forecast of clear skies, in late March I went backpacking for two nights in the West Needle Mountains in the San Juans near Silverton, Colorado. This area is incredibly photogenic; from my campsite on a 12,200 ft ridgeline, I enjoyed broad vistas of the Needle Mountains, the West Needles, and all the peaks of the Molas Pass area...

A Month in Patagonia
November/December 2007

From mid-November to mid-December 2007, I spent a month backpacking in Patagonia. During the first few weeks, I was hiking amongst the jagged peaks of the Fitz Roy Range in Parque Nacional los Glaciares near Chaltén, Argentina...

Weminuche Wilderness Trek, Colorado
September 2007

Over a span of 7 days in late August/early September, I hiked alone through a high route in the Weminuche Wilderness of the San Juans. The mountains here are perhaps the most rugged and remote in all of Colorado...