Thru-Hiking Will Break Your Heart …

An Adventure on the Pacific Crest Trail by Carrot Quinn 

I’ve read a number of books on the PCT. I believe this is my favourite.



Carrot Quinn was raised in Alaska on welfare by a schizophrenic single mother. A rough life. In fact, she became a hobo riding the rails.

This book reads as a blog. That’s because it started as blog posts from the trail.

reaching the Canadian border

reaching the Canadian border

If you are one of those who disliked Cheryl Strayed’s memoir Wild … because it had too little actual hiking … know that this extended trip report is all about the hiking. 🙂

It’s funny. It’s real. It’s surprising. Carrot makes no apologies.She’s a big advocate of trail romance. Even sex.

I’ll certainly buy any of her other books that get released on audio.

related – Carrot did not love the Continental Divide Trail. She did love the Hayduke Route.

Summit by Harry Farthing (2016)

Even if you have zero interest in alpinism or Nazis, I highly recommend this book. It’s very entertaining throughout.

In the autumn of 1938 Germany’s Reichsführer, Heinrich Himmler, is growing frustrated at the British using their regional power in India to block passage of an SS expedition to Tibet. Determined to spite them, he plots to steal something the British hold dear and have failed for the seventh time that spring to achieve – a first summit of Mount Everest.

Seventy years later, seasoned mountain guide Neil Quinn’s ninth visit to the top of the world’s highest mountain in the charge of the sixteen-year old son of a Long Island billionaire begins to unravel. As a desperate fight for their lives begins in the freezing air high above Tibet, Quinn stumbles across a clue to a story that questions everything he thinks he knows about the great mountain. …



The author reads the audio version. That always adds something for me.

Farthing was inspired by 11 other mountaineering books. I’ve read at least 3 of those.

Watch an interview with the author.

James Kaiser’s Yosemite

Mary Jane Carroll from Whitecloud sent me a review copy of Yosemite the Complete Guide to Yosemite National Park 4th edition 2016.

yosemite-complete-guide-300Filled with gorgeous photographs, this full-color guidebook showcases the highlights and hidden gems of Yosemite National Park. From the thundering base of Yosemite Falls to the sparkling granite of El Capitan, Yosemite: The Complete Guide equips travelers with everything they need to make the most of their time in the park. …

James is a photographer / writer / hiker who’s obviously in love with everything Yosemite.

Though the guidebook is very comprehensive, the text is succinct. Very clearly written.

If you were headed to Yosemite it’s an excellent resource for where to stay. And where to hike.


Great Walks of the World – D. Larraine Andrews

This 2014 book includes some great walks: Larapinta Trail, Milford Track, Carthew-Alderson, Chilkoot Trail, Yosemite’s Panorama Trail, etc.

But it also includes some surprising choices – Mt Sinai, for example.

It includes an oddball assortment of tips on each. I’d hardly call it a hiking guidebook, however.

Great Walks

An eclectic collection of 11 global walks and hikes, the book includes destinations on every continent but Antarctica. From one-day saunters to two-week odysseys, readers will find the in-depth story behind each trail, combined with detailed maps and a visual feast of archival and contemporary images from contributors located around the world. …


Cape Scott and the North Coast Trail

Cape Scott and the North Coast Trail is the first comprehensive guidebook about one of Vancouver Island’s most iconic destinations. Each year, thousands of backpackers and nature lovers head to the northern limits of Vancouver Island, bound for the jewel of the region: Cape Scott Provincial Park and the recently completed North Coast Trail. …

$26.95 CAD; $26.95 USD

Cape Scott bears

North Coast campfire

more photos

This part of the world is a fantastic wilderness. But we have serious reservations about the standard route – don’t hike the North Coast Trail

back to the Sunshine Coast Trail

11 of us tried to hike British Colombia’s  Sunshine Coast Trail summer of 2015.

We lasted only 3 days. 🙂

I’m heading back to the Sunshine Coast today on my own to see if I can knock off a big chunk of the 180-kilometre trail that stretches from Sarah Point in Desolation Sound to Saltery Bay.

newmapmore maps

The huts are basic. First come, first served. I’ll carry a tent, just in case.

Tinhat hutNo fees. No registration. Easy access from multiple trailheads means you can resupply en route. Logistics will be easy.

My main worries are bugs. And mud.

I’ll swat the bugs with the guidebook by Eagle Walz.