In the summer of 2004 I managed to get in thirty-one days of backpacking in the Sierra Nevada of California. Long a favorite mountain range, I was facing the prospect of a summer completely off to play for the first time since being a high school student myself. Now teaching high school and finally finished with my Master's, I wanted to explore a single area in depth, with much more time devoted to exploring and much less time begruged to driving. I had hiked out of many trailheads in the Eastern Sierra in previous years and knew that it was one of the most impressive mountain ranges in the United States; it was an easy decision to devote six or seven weeks of hiking to this single range.
I ended up doing a three-day climb of Mount Whitney, a ten-day backpack across the King's/Kern Divide, a five-day backpack on the back side of the Palisades, an eight-day trip from Mammoth Lakes to Tuolumne Meadows and back down, and a seven-day loop through the Matterhorn region. I kept a journal during all of the later backpacks; with some minor editing for clarity, those entries are cataloged below:
The King's/Kern Divide
West of the Palisades
Mammoth to Tuolumne and back
The Matterhorn Region
After those trips and the welcome critical acclaim (from an extremely small circle of friends and family), I decided to try to continue limited trip reports and musings...
A short report, with photographs, from a large loop through Northern California.
A short report, with photographs, from a few days in Death Valley.
Notes from my sabbatical are now in their own section.
Text and images at this site and the pages herein are copyright 1999 to 2006 by Mark A. Hespenheide. Please; this site is intended to inspire your passion for and protection of the natural world, not to use and claim as your own. If you'd like to use one of my pictures, please let me know. If you'd like to use some of my text, please let me know and give me a proper citation. Thanks.
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