Epic Grand Canyon Hike

Have you been following Peter McBride & Kevin Fedarko?

Epic Grand Canyon Hike: A 650-Mile Challenge (Part 1)

Epic Grand Canyon Hike: Frozen Shoes and Low on Food (Part 2)

I liked the 3rd and final instalment best.

Click PLAY or watch Thirst and Threats in the Godscape on YouTube.

hiking the Gila Wilderness, New Mexico

trip report by site editor Rick McCharles

You’ve heard of Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument.

It’s adjacent to the Gila Wilderness.

600px-gila-aldo_leopold_wilderness

Gila Wilderness was designated the world’s first wilderness area on June 3, 1924. … part of New Mexico’s Gila National Forest. …

The Mogollon Mountains traverse an arc across the wilderness. The tallest peak within this range, Whitewater Baldy at 10,895 ft (3,321 m) …

I headed for the most popular Baldy trailheadCrest Trail #182.

I never made it due to mountain road improvements January 2017. ROAD CLOSED.

img_3733

So I read some of the Peakbagger trip reports instead.

The consensus was not good: bad roads, snow into July, forest fire recovery sections, hunters.  It will not go on our list of the best hikes in North America.

The most popular hike in Gila Wilderness is the Catwalk – “… a one-mile trail suspended above a rushing stream in a gorge only a few feet wide.”

It had been rebuilt over a period of 2 years costing over $4.4 million dollars. And opened again in 2016.

I’d been advised by a Ranger that only the catwalk part of the trail was open. Hikers often continue on to #207. I would have wild camped if it had been open.

Sadly, that Ranger was wrong. It was all closed due to flooding.

img_3732

Still, the Catwalk does look very cool.

catwalk

The 1.1-mile Catwalk National Recreation Trail winds through the canyon’s steep, pink walls of volcanic rock, following the path of a pipeline built in the early 1890s to provide water and electricity for the mining town of Graham.   …

Desert USA

LESSON LEARNED — Before driving out to hike the Gila Wilderness, phone first to be sure your trail is open.

 

Tramway Trail, Albuquerque

trip report by site editor Rick McCharles

I took the Sandia Peak Tramway trip on one of the snowiest days of the year.

It’s one of the top tourist attractions in New Mexico.

img_3438

I first tried hiking to the top. Planning to ride down on the Cable Car. That would have been GREAT.

The La Luz Trail (Trail 137) … on the west face of the Sandia Mountains near Albuquerque, New Mexico. The trail begins at the La Luz Trailhead and proceeds approximately eight miles to either Sandia Crest or the Sandia Peak Tramway. The hike is strenuous, with 3,775 ft (1,151 m) of elevation gain and a grade of 12%. …

click for larger map

click for larger map

I started at the Tramway parking lot on the Tramway Trail (82). Planning to connect to the La Luz.

Tramway Trail, Albuquerque

It’s a pretty traverse above lovely residential homes.

Tramway Trail, Albuquerque

I’d heard a foot of snow had fallen up top. It did not look good for me getting up there.

Tramway Trail, Albuquerque Tramway Trail, Albuquerque

I – happily – backtracked to my vehicle.

Tramway Trail, Albuquerque

At one point I stumbled off trail. Easy to do in the desert. While scrambling an arroyo to regain the trail I kicked a cactus and drove a spine into my foot.

Lesson learned = STAY on the trail in the desert.

The main reason to go to Albuquerque are the 200 miles of Sandia hiking trails many of which are off limits to mountain bikes.

We’ve added the La Luz Trail to our list of best hikes in North America.

 

trouble climbing Mt Adams

Veteran climbing guide Dave Adlard led some new mountaineers on a climb of Mt Adams, Washington.

Thousands climb it every year.

mt-adams 7l6a6277-62

The weather went bad.

“If you haven’t figured it out already we’re not going up. We need to get the hell off this mountain alive.” as our guide and friend, David Adlard, said to us at six in morning.

7l6a6358-372

Read the entertaining trip report on Mtn Talk – Mt. Adams: Get Down Alive

Nepal – Dhaulagiri Circuit guided

This is a challenging trek around Dhaulagiri the world’s seventh highest mountain crossing two Himalayan passes. …

There is an option to climb Dhampus Peak at an altitude of 6,060m for those with previous mountaineering experience. If you like to climb Dhampus Peak there is an extra charge to cover the cost of the climbing permit.

The Mountain Company has organised eight successful treks around Dhaulagiri Circuit since Spring 2008 …

The Mountain Company

Cost about $150 / day for 20 days out of Kathmandu = US$2,895. Budget flights to and from Kathmandu plus extras.

Click PLAY or watch highlights of a 2013 Circuit on YouTube.

MountainIQ has independent information on this trip.

Compare Dhaulagiri to the rest of our best hikes in Nepal, many of which you can do independently for far less cost.