Happy Tramper

R.I.P.

R.I.P.
A short while ago I finished an epic October hike with a 4-hour descent in a steady cold rain.  As always, when the rain began I fished my trusty Helly Hansen full-zip rainpants out of my pack and slid them over my boots and hiking pants with nary a moment's delay and continued on.  Alas, within a half hour the rainpants…

Walking the Forest Primeval: Thunder Creek to McAllister Creek, North Cascades

Walking the Forest Primeval: Thunder Creek to McAllister Creek, North Cascades
Our hiking group had turned to this creekside forest trail on a drippy Saturday, discouraged from the high country by late spring snows and poor weather.  As we drove through the foothills, the clouds blowing in from yet another Pacific weather system bunched above us as if snagged by the shaggy treetops, spitting moisture onto the windshield.   It was going to be a…

Endless sky, brilliant water – Highline/Fremont Trail, Wind River Range, Wyoming

Endless sky, brilliant water – Highline/Fremont Trail, Wind River Range, Wyoming
A mountain is the best medicine for a troubled mind. Seldom does man ponder his own insignificance. He thinks he is master of all things. He thinks the world is his without bonds. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Only when he tramps the mountains alone, communing with nature, observing other insignificant creatures about him, to come and go…

An unexpected encounter in the great Northern Temperate Rainforest

It’s very difficult to forget that we live in one of the world’s great rainforest ecosystems here in western Washington – the Northern Temperate Rainforest.  After all, with very little coaxing (just a few decades), the trees grow tall and dramatic, the mosses and ferns quickly drape the fallen debris, and – lest you need a reminder – there is…

Sunrise on the Smoking Mountain: Monte FitzRoy, Argentine Patagonia

Sunrise on the Smoking Mountain:  Monte FitzRoy, Argentine Patagonia
The firefly sparks of a dozen headlamps sketched out the trail above our camp, with only the faintest pre-dawn glow to indicate the presence of the towering massif above. Climbers and trekkers had been hunkered down through the rain and wind for a month in the little boomtown of El Chalten, Argentina, awaiting this first clear stretch of weather, and…
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