Roof of Yosemite Loop

Leor Pantilat seems to have invented his own high Sierra route:

The Roof of Yosemite Loop travels to the highest point in Yosemite National Park on 13,114 ft Mount Lyell and also includes ascents of 12,900 ft Mount Maclure (5th highest in the park) and 12,561 ft Mount Florence (9th highest in the park).  …

The Roof of Yosemite Loop combines many of the highlights of this region into an aesthetic and highly scenic loop. …



Leor Pantilat’s Adventures – The Roof of Yosemite Loop

That looks one wild and challenging adventure. 🙂

I believe I saw this linked from Hiking in Finland.

Mt Townsend Trail, Washington

trip report by site editor Rick McCharles

8.2 miles round trip

In 1792, as Captain George Vancouver was exploring the Puget Sound, he named a large, protected bay Port Townshend. The h was eventually dropped.

One of the most hiked summits in the Olympics, and it’s easy to see why this peak is so popular. Easy access, a long hiking season, and unparalleled views of Puget Sound and the eastern half of the Olympics give Mount Townsend quite an edge. Of the three trails leading to its summit, Trail No. 839 is the route most taken. …

Most hikers intent on reaching the 6280-foot open summit opt to begin their journey from the upper trailhead. This saves 1.2 miles and 600 feet of elevation gain, but at the expense of missing a beautiful old-growth forest and Sink Lake, a small body of water that causes tumbling Townsend Creek to disappear. …

Washington Trails Association

I did start from the upper trailhead. 4 miles at an angle of about 20 degrees was challenging enough.


Perfect weather, the only surprise were solo tent caterpillars dangling down across the trail at lower elevations.


It took longer than expected to clear the tress and get to the gorgeous views.


Up top, late in the afternoon, it was just me and these guys. 🙂


I decided to go for a scramble down this ridge, eventually having to retrace my steps.


Somewhere on that ridge, I left a Summit Stone.

I didn’t get back to the parking lot until 7:30pm, much later than I had expected. My trail running down hill was not all that speedy.

more photos


• another trip report – Mount Townsend Trail #839

10 very scary hiking trails

Matador posted this list of thrilling walks.

1. Hua Shan (Shaanxi, China)

2. Caminito del Rey (Málaga, Spain)

3. Huayna Picchu (Machupicchu District, Peru) *

4. Half Dome (Yosemite National Park, California) *

5. Angel’s Landing (Zion National Park, Utah) *

6. Tianmen Mountain Walkway (Zhangjiajie, China)

7. Liathach (Torridon, Scotland)


8. Crib Goch (Snowdonia National Park, Wales)

9. Pu’u Manamana (Oahu, Hawaii)

10. Amphiteatre (Northern Drakensberg, South Africa) *


I’ve done four * of the ten. And put the rest on my “life list”. 🙂

NEW – GR 20 Corsica

We’ve posted a new information page on the GR 20 in Corsica, France.

I hiked the more difficult, rugged northern half in 2011.

Europe’s toughest trek250px-Corse_in_France.svg

… The trail (conceived by Michel Fabrikant back in 1970) is long (even if you walk half of it) and tough. Don’t underestimate it! You need to be fit, well trained but most of all you must be highly motivated. …


The path is basic: i.e. there actually is no real path underfoot for 98% of the time. So much that on many occasions if you don’t see the next waymark or cairn you won’t know where to go. Seriously. In addition to that forget the flat path you’re probably used to; most of the time you’ll walk on rugged and tormented terrain, rocks, stones galore, granite slabs … you get the idea. Get used to it. …


The huts are basic. If we leave out the minor exceptions of the decent buildings at Haut Asco and Castel de Verghio, the huts are small rudimentary (some of them) bergerie-style buildings with small suffocating dormitories …

My advice instead is to bring your own tent. …


  • corsicamorenkop one of the best treks in the world
  • 180km
  • 15 days (many hike only half)
  • 19,000m of ascent and descent
  • sleep in tents or mountain huts (refuges or gîtes)
  • hiking permit not required. Reservations for the refuges recommended.
  • located west of Italy, southeast of the French mainland, and north of the Italian island of Sardinia


read more – BestHike GR 20 information page

Klahhane Ridge, Olympics WA

trip report by site editor Rick McCharles

If you are talking to experienced Olympics hikers, you’ll very soon be talking about this rugged, interesting — very accessible — route.

The ridge is reached by a variety of hiking trails off of high Hurricane Ridge in Olympic National Park and offers spectacular views of the Olympic Mountains and the Strait of Juan de Fuca. In good weather.

Klahhane is a Chinook word meaning “outdoors.” It’s often misspelled. 🙂


I started from the Visitor’s Center up the Sunrise Trail. And followed the signs for Lake Angeles.


Soon I side tripped a mad scramble up Mt Angeles. Good fun.

The pretty trail winds steeply up and up.

steep trail

The roadway up to Hurricane falls away below.

Hurricane road

The higher you climb, the more rugged it gets.

rugged Klahhane

At points you must guess where the trail lies, under the snow. I took the chance to do some glissading.


Klahhane is pretty. No doubt about it.

Klahhane pretty

I was sorry to see the climb end.

Rick Klahhane

Finally. A glimpse of Lake Angeles far below.

Angeles Lake

During the slippery, steep descent I fell once. Landing (correctly) on my backpack. No injury.


I’m no real fan of mountain lakes, mainly because of mosquitoes. The flying mini-vampires of Lake Angeles were the first that had pestered me in 5 days.

But I’m happy to have tented there. For some reason the campground was overrun by mountain goats. Altogether we saw 8. Mothers with new born young.

mountain goats

I speculated that some predator might have driven them towards humans for protection … Bears and cougars don’t want to be anywhere near people if they can help it.

Just above was where the only hiker ever died from mountain goat attack. A slight cause for worry.

Next morning I strolled out of the mountains on a quiet old growth trail.

old growth

Jeni rescued me. After 5 days, 4 nights … I finally departed Olympic National Park.


more photos

related – The Crossroad – Backpacking in Olympic National Park: Klahhane Ridge (2013)

scrambling Mt Angeles, Olympics WA

trip report by site editor Rick McCharles

Mount Angeles is the highest point between Hurricane Ridge and the Strait of Juan De Fuca in Olympic National Park.

It offers incredible views from Canada to Mount Olympus.

It is only about 15 miles from the town of Port Angeles and is a very popular climb, both in winter and summer.

Summer offers a hike and a scramble to the top while winter offers a nice fairly easy snowclimb with a short easy chute at the end to the summit. Because this is so close to the ocean, the mountains tend to dump a lot of moisture with nasty weather. It is after all how Hurricane Ridge got its name. …

The main trail is the Mount Angeles Climbers’ Trail which switchbacks up the south side before switching over to the west side and then up a chute to the summit. There is an option on the East Ridge that offers some scrambling up the ridge to the summit. …

read more on Summit Post

Mt Angeles

I’d decided on a whim — after chatting with a descending runner on the Sunrise Ridge Trail — to try to climb the peak. Not knowing any better, I blasted straight up the face.

 6454 ft
6454 ft

I took the “easy” way down. Slowly and carefully. Descending is far more dangerous than climbing.

No water. Some report mosquitoes though I had none the day I climbed.

Given its close proximity to the Hurricane Ridge Visitor Center, the climbers’ trail route is frequently climbed by determined hikers, and even a few tourists manage to reach the summit, although the mountain is far too craggy and exposed to recommend it to any but experienced scramblers.

Accidents due to slips and falls on loose rock and snow account for many accidents on Mount Angeles.

Climbing Washington

hiking Obstruction, Olympics WA

trip report by site editor Rick McCharles

The famed 7.7mi road from the Visitor’s Center to Obstruction Point trailhead 6150ft (1875m) was CLOSED for 2013 due to budget cuts. Lucky us.


A road’s a road.

But this CLOSED road is a wonderful ridge walk.


Non-stop magnificence.


Once departed the Visitor’s Center at Hurricane Ridge, I saw only 3 other people over 2 days. Two of those were trail runners.

Starting late in the day, I decided to stop at an unofficial campground near the P.J. Lake Trail turnoff. A nice quiet spot but one without water. We’re too high here.

Next morning I arrived Obstruction Point Campground.


It’s nothing but a parking lot with a toilet.


No water. But I found a nice snow melt runoff stream nearby. No mosquitoes. 🙂

On the bright side, it was nice to stash pack with food in the biffy. Away from critters.

Ridge hiking out of Obstruction is unbelievable. I’ll let the photos prove my point.



avalanche lilies
avalanche lilies



I made an afternoon scramble of Moose Peak, a highlight.

Ptarmagin must be the stupidest birds on the planet. How do they survive?


This dumb mother was doing a terrible job of protecting her new chicks.


The only other hiker tenting at Obstruction that night was from Denmark. With the good weather report, he’d bought gear at REI and driven straight to Hurricane Ridge.


Found himself in Heaven.


Next morning I enjoyed coffee with a superb vista.

I’d hoped to take the GRAND Ridge Trail in the direction of Deer Park. … But Rangers had warned that it was probably impassable without an ice ax.

Rick on Grand


After making an attempt to climb over the steep snow. And under the steep snow. I gave up.

But I’ll be back. 🙂


more photos

scrambling Moose Peak, WA

trip report by site editor Rick McCharles

My FUN adventure in Olympic National Park Washington State.

Obstruction Point
Obstruction Point

You MUST have good weather. Otherwise, stay low. Obstruction Point is already high at 6100ft. The summit of Moose is 6753ft (2058m).

It’s mostly gorgeous alpine meadow ridge walk in the direction of Moose Lake. There was some snow left on the trail on July 4th, but nothing to worry about.


Hikers enjoy the wild flowers this early in the season.


Head on the trail towards Grand Lake, Moose Lake, Grand Pass. It’s about 2mi to the “Grand Valley” trail cut-off, elevation 6450ft.

You’ll know you’re there when you see this TRAIL sign.


Some trip reports found the ridge scramble fairly easy.

ridge scramble

I actually found it challenging. Depends on the route, I guess. I stayed as high on the ridge as possible on the way out. … Took the lower (obvious) easy trail across the scree on the return.

Fantastic views on top, of course. Those are Grand and Moose Lakes below.


I left a Summit Stone.

Summit Stone

LOVE Moose Summit. 🙂

Rick on Moose

Moose is not named after Moose, surprisingly. It’s named after some guy with the last name of MOOSE.

There is no water high in the Olympics. Bring your own. Or melt snow.


• Explore Olympics – Gary Huff – Moose Mountain

• Summit Post – Moose Peak

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