Author: Hike Mike

Best Hiking Gifts 2020-2021

We’ve put together a curated list of coveted hiking gifts! From stocking stuffers to high-end technical gear, we’ve tested and researched to ID the gifts worth giving. Additionally, if you purchase these (or any other gift) by clicking a purple link below, a very small part of your purchase will go to keeping our site up and running (at absolutely no cost to you). Cheers. And happy gifting!

Stocking Stuffers
1. Leatherman Wingman Multitool ($60) – Easy to stow and carry, this little tool comes to the rescue in so many situations! Includes pliers (perfect for extracting pesky cactus thorns), a bottle opener, screwdriver and much more. A perfect hiking gift!

2. Zootility Pocket Knife ($35) – Light, nimble yet serious, this little number should be a standard in any hiker’s pack.

3. Tavva Snack Containers ($25) – Stow your trail mix, nuts or (hey why not) hair ties, in one of these super light weight, reusable, stainless-steal containers. Good for you and the environment!

4. AZ Silhouette ($18) or Gold Mountain Disc ($30) Necklaces – Delicate & stylish reminders of her love for the outdoors.

5. SOL Reflective Blanket ($12) – One gift they’ll be glad to have – but, hopefully, never use. A good “just in case” item to keep in the pack.

6. Hedgehog Multi Tool ($12) – We love, love, love this super compact, hardworking, and very cute tool. The comb is perfect for yanking out unwanted Chollas. And the bottle opener and screwdrivers are good to have on hand.

7. Sunbum SPF 30 Face Stick ($10) – Simply said “you can never have enough good sunblock.” And this baby is easy to pack and use.

8. Good Hiking Reads – Satisfy your wanderlust even when stuck indoors. These three books take you away: Wild, by Cheryl Strayed ($17), Desert Solitaire, by Edward Abbey ($8) and Bush Craft 101 Wilderness Survival, ($10.50), by Dave Canterbury.

9. Fox Sonic Blast Whistle ($9) – Sometimes we like attention. And other times we NEED it. This teeny beast packs a loud whistle if attention is required.

10. Letterfolk Hiking Journal ($10) – Keep a record of your best hiking memories with this compact journal. Space for 24 hikes with pictures.

Tech Essentials
1. GoPro Hero 9 ($400) – Capture and/or live stream your hikes with this rugged, waterproof action camera.

2. Garmin InReach Mini ($300) – Never be out of touch with this powerful satellite communicator. Allows 2-way texting, can send an emergency signal and more. An awesome hiking gift!

3. Garmin eTrex 10 ($95) – This rugged, handheld GPS navigator lets hikers go truly paperless. Tracks your path, mileage and other features.

4. Solar Power Bank ($30) – Capture Arizona’s plentiful sun to recharge phones and other electronics.

5. UBeeSize Flexible Tripod ($20) – No more contortions to get the right instagram shot. This tripod stands upright or wraps around branches for the perfect angle.

6. Slonik Rechargeable 1000-Lumen Headlamp ($36) – Yes. Lumens matter on a dark trail! Switch from 200-1000 lumens with this adjustable light. Or remove it and use it as a flashlight.

7. Waterproof Phone Pouch ($9) – I don’t know how many phones I’ve damaged during summer rains on the Mogollon Rim. Slip your phone into this tightly sealed pouch for full water protection.

Layer on the Style
1. Darn Tough Socks ($23) – Not only are these designs really cool, but Darn Tough socks are guaranteed for life! Cushy merino wool is both anti-microbial and great at keeping sweat and moisture at bay. One of our favorite hiking gifts.

2. Oboz Sawtooth II Hiking Shoes ($110-140) – OK. Hiking shoes are personal. But in our book, nothing beats the intense durability and tread of these shoes on Arizona’s hyper-rocky trails!

3. Arc’teryx Neck Gaiter ($40) – Pull it up when it’s cold, or down to protect your neck from the sun. Lightweight wool is anti-microbial and moisture wicking.

4. Page One Chunky Hat ($20) – Can you say “Cute?” We love this extra Chucky hat for cool mornings and evenings. Available in 20 colors.

5. New Balance Athletic Gloves ($15) – Protect your hands from chills and/or rock-scramble scrapes with these lightweight, grippy gloves.

6. PrAna Kingmans Baseball Cap ($35) -Organic cotton corduroy with a mountain design leather front. This one’s really special.

7. Cotopaxi Down Jacket ($170) – This company and their products rock! The down is responsibly sourced and nylon scraps go into other products. All about keeping the earth beautiful while enjoying it. Available for both men and women.

8. Northface Mens fleece ($89) – This sustainable fabric pullover is perfect for Arizona layering. Available in 7 colors.

9. Northface Womens Osito Jacket ($99) – Super-soft, cozy and perfect for cool-weather-layering. Available in 14 colors.

10. PrAna Wolf Pack Tee ($35) – This years set of visual word-play-Tees totally cracked us up. One of a great series.

11. Black Diamond Hiking Poles ($130) – Super light-weight aluminum poles that are a snap to adjust for height. The cork hand holds are an extra comfy bonus.

All About Hydration
1. OspreyMen’s Tallon 11 ($82) or Women’s Tempest 9 ($75) Hydration Backpacks – Major respect to Osprey for designing specifically for the male and female forms. Plus, small details such as easy seal bladders, magnetic hose connectors and more, make these our favorites.

2. Hydration System Cleaning Kit ($10) – Stave off mold and mildew. Kit includes a short brush for the bladder, a long Flexi-brush for the tube and O rings.

3. BonDry Bladder Dryer ($20) – Insert this highly-absorbent, machine-washable, reusable mat into your clean bladder to quickly soak up moisture and wick it away. Made from sustainably sourced fibers.

4. Lifestraw ($17.50) & Carry Case ($9) – Another “good to keep in the backpack” hiking essential. This small, award-winning filter kills 99.9% of waterborne parasites, to sanitize drinking water in a pinch. The case protects it.

5. Katadyn BeFree Water Purifier ($36.50) – A solid water emergency filter alternative, this product kills 99.9% of waterborne parasites, to sanitize water in a pinch. Bonus, the 20 oz. silicon “soft bottle” rolls up to fit in tight spaces.

6. Yeti 30 L Cooler ($530) – Perhaps the luxury gift for hikers who love an ice cold drink after a long day outdoors! With its abuse-proof shell and leakproof design, this portable cooler literally keeps ice for days!

7. Nathan Hydration Belt ($26) – For hikers who prefer a waist belt to carry their water and keys, this one’s well built and holds 22 oz.

Your Fun and Their’s
1. Hike More Sticker ($3) – Show their love of the outdoors with this colorful sticker.

2. Sedona Playing Cards ($12) – For a quick game on a Mountaintop, or at home thinking about the next hike.

3. Grand Canyon Puzzle ($40) – This 1,000 piece puzzle brings home Arizona’s beauty even when stuck indoors!

4. Superstition Mountains Gaming Pad ($25) – Check out the trails online, while using this oversized picturesque mousepad.

5. Extra Strong Dog Leash ($11) – Keep your pet secured on the trail with this extra strong leash.

6. Collapsable Water Bowl ($8) – It’s easy to keep their hiking buddy hydrated with this durable, collapsable dog bowl.

7. Kurgo Dog Backpack ($42) – Let Fido carry some of the weight with this roomy dog backpack.

The post Best Hiking Gifts 2020-2021 appeared first on AZ Utopia.

We’ve put together a curated list of coveted hiking gifts! From stocking stuffers to high-end technical gear, we’ve tested and researched to ID the gifts worth giving. Additionally, if you purchase these (or any other gift) by clicking a purple link below, a very small part of your purchase will go to keeping our site up and running (at absolutely no cost to you). Cheers. And happy gifting!

Stocking Stuffers

1. Leatherman Wingman Multitool ($60) – Easy to stow and carry, this little tool comes to the rescue in so many situations! Includes pliers (perfect for extracting pesky cactus thorns), a bottle opener, screwdriver and much more. A perfect hiking gift!

2. Zootility Pocket Knife ($35) – Light, nimble yet serious, this little number should be a standard in any hiker’s pack.

3. Tavva Snack Containers ($25) – Stow your trail mix, nuts or (hey why not) hair ties, in one of these super light weight, reusable, stainless-steal containers. Good for you and the environment!

4. AZ Silhouette ($18) or Gold Mountain Disc ($30) Necklaces – Delicate & stylish reminders of her love for the outdoors.

5. SOL Reflective Blanket ($12) – One gift they’ll be glad to have – but, hopefully, never use. A good “just in case” item to keep in the pack.

6. Hedgehog Multi Tool ($12) – We love, love, love this super compact, hardworking, and very cute tool. The comb is perfect for yanking out unwanted Chollas. And the bottle opener and screwdrivers are good to have on hand.

7. Sunbum SPF 30 Face Stick ($10) – Simply said “you can never have enough good sunblock.” And this baby is easy to pack and use.

8. Good Hiking Reads – Satisfy your wanderlust even when stuck indoors. These three books take you away: Wild, by Cheryl Strayed ($17), Desert Solitaire, by Edward Abbey ($8) and Bush Craft 101 Wilderness Survival, ($10.50), by Dave Canterbury.

9. Fox Sonic Blast Whistle ($9) – Sometimes we like attention. And other times we NEED it. This teeny beast packs a loud whistle if attention is required.

10. Letterfolk Hiking Journal ($10) – Keep a record of your best hiking memories with this compact journal. Space for 24 hikes with pictures.

Tech Essentials

1. GoPro Hero 9 ($400) – Capture and/or live stream your hikes with this rugged, waterproof action camera.

2. Garmin InReach Mini ($300) – Never be out of touch with this powerful satellite communicator. Allows 2-way texting, can send an emergency signal and more. An awesome hiking gift!

3. Garmin eTrex 10 ($95) – This rugged, handheld GPS navigator lets hikers go truly paperless. Tracks your path, mileage and other features.

4. Solar Power Bank ($30) – Capture Arizona’s plentiful sun to recharge phones and other electronics.

5. UBeeSize Flexible Tripod ($20) – No more contortions to get the right instagram shot. This tripod stands upright or wraps around branches for the perfect angle.

6. Slonik Rechargeable 1000-Lumen Headlamp ($36) – Yes. Lumens matter on a dark trail! Switch from 200-1000 lumens with this adjustable light. Or remove it and use it as a flashlight.

7. Waterproof Phone Pouch ($9) – I don’t know how many phones I’ve damaged during summer rains on the Mogollon Rim. Slip your phone into this tightly sealed pouch for full water protection.

Layer on the Style

1. Darn Tough Socks ($23) – Not only are these designs really cool, but Darn Tough socks are guaranteed for life! Cushy merino wool is both anti-microbial and great at keeping sweat and moisture at bay. One of our favorite hiking gifts.

2. Oboz Sawtooth II Hiking Shoes ($110-140) – OK. Hiking shoes are personal. But in our book, nothing beats the intense durability and tread of these shoes on Arizona’s hyper-rocky trails!

3. Arc’teryx Neck Gaiter ($40) – Pull it up when it’s cold, or down to protect your neck from the sun. Lightweight wool is anti-microbial and moisture wicking.

4. Page One Chunky Hat ($20) – Can you say “Cute?” We love this extra Chucky hat for cool mornings and evenings. Available in 20 colors.

5. New Balance Athletic Gloves ($15) – Protect your hands from chills and/or rock-scramble scrapes with these lightweight, grippy gloves.

6. PrAna Kingmans Baseball Cap ($35) -Organic cotton corduroy with a mountain design leather front. This one’s really special.

7. Cotopaxi Down Jacket ($170) – This company and their products rock! The down is responsibly sourced and nylon scraps go into other products. All about keeping the earth beautiful while enjoying it. Available for both men and women.

8. Northface Mens fleece ($89) – This sustainable fabric pullover is perfect for Arizona layering. Available in 7 colors.

9. Northface Womens Osito Jacket ($99) – Super-soft, cozy and perfect for cool-weather-layering. Available in 14 colors.

10. PrAna Wolf Pack Tee ($35) – This years set of visual word-play-Tees totally cracked us up. One of a great series.

11. Black Diamond Hiking Poles ($130) – Super light-weight aluminum poles that are a snap to adjust for height. The cork hand holds are an extra comfy bonus.

All About Hydration

1. OspreyMen’s Tallon 11 ($82) or Women’s Tempest 9 ($75) Hydration Backpacks – Major respect to Osprey for designing specifically for the male and female forms. Plus, small details such as easy seal bladders, magnetic hose connectors and more, make these our favorites.

2. Hydration System Cleaning Kit ($10) – Stave off mold and mildew. Kit includes a short brush for the bladder, a long Flexi-brush for the tube and O rings.

3. BonDry Bladder Dryer ($20) – Insert this highly-absorbent, machine-washable, reusable mat into your clean bladder to quickly soak up moisture and wick it away. Made from sustainably sourced fibers.

4. Lifestraw ($17.50) & Carry Case ($9) – Another “good to keep in the backpack” hiking essential. This small, award-winning filter kills 99.9% of waterborne parasites, to sanitize drinking water in a pinch. The case protects it.

5. Katadyn BeFree Water Purifier ($36.50) – A solid water emergency filter alternative, this product kills 99.9% of waterborne parasites, to sanitize water in a pinch. Bonus, the 20 oz. silicon “soft bottle” rolls up to fit in tight spaces.

6. Yeti 30 L Cooler ($530) – Perhaps the luxury gift for hikers who love an ice cold drink after a long day outdoors! With its abuse-proof shell and leakproof design, this portable cooler literally keeps ice for days!

7. Nathan Hydration Belt ($26) – For hikers who prefer a waist belt to carry their water and keys, this one’s well built and holds 22 oz.

Your Fun and Their’s

1. Hike More Sticker ($3) – Show their love of the outdoors with this colorful sticker.

2. Sedona Playing Cards ($12) – For a quick game on a Mountaintop, or at home thinking about the next hike.

3. Grand Canyon Puzzle ($40) – This 1,000 piece puzzle brings home Arizona’s beauty even when stuck indoors!

4. Superstition Mountains Gaming Pad ($25) – Check out the trails online, while using this oversized picturesque mousepad.

5. Extra Strong Dog Leash ($11) – Keep your pet secured on the trail with this extra strong leash.

6. Collapsable Water Bowl ($8) – It’s easy to keep their hiking buddy hydrated with this durable, collapsable dog bowl.

7. Kurgo Dog Backpack ($42) – Let Fido carry some of the weight with this roomy dog backpack.

The post Best Hiking Gifts 2020-2021 appeared first on AZ Utopia.

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Snorri on his Way to K2 Base Camp + Climbers follow their instincts on Pizzo Badile (Alps) +

Snorri on his way to K2 Base Camp, More on Manaslu — from Explorersweb.com
Climbers follow their instincts on Pizzo Badile (Alps) — from PlanetMountain.com
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https://explorersweb.com/2020/12/01/snorri-on-his-way-to-k2-bc-more-on-manaslu/ — Snorri on his way to K2 BC, More on Manaslu.

https://www.planetmountain.com/en/news/alpinism/matteo-della-bordella-silvan-schupbach-follow-their-instincts-pizzo-badile.html — Climbers follow their instincts on Pizzo Badile (Alps).

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Please visit my website
http://www.hiking4health.com

Snorri on his way to K2 Base Camp, More on Manaslu — from Explorersweb.com

Climbers follow their instincts on Pizzo Badile (Alps) — from PlanetMountain.com

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https://explorersweb.com/2020/12/01/snorri-on-his-way-to-k2-bc-more-on-manaslu/ — Snorri on his way to K2 BC, More on Manaslu.


https://www.planetmountain.com/en/news/alpinism/matteo-della-bordella-silvan-schupbach-follow-their-instincts-pizzo-badile.html — Climbers follow their instincts on Pizzo Badile (Alps).

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Please visit my website

http://www.hiking4health.com

No Comments on Snorri on his Way to K2 Base Camp + Climbers follow their instincts on Pizzo Badile (Alps) +

Rocky River Nature Park (Blog Hike #826)

Trails: Main, Bluff, River, and Cox Creek Trails
Hike Location: Rocky River Nature Park
Geographic Location: east side of Anderson, SC
Length: 1.4 miles
Difficulty: 2/10 (Easy)
Last Hiked: November 2020
Overview: A short lollipop loop through blufftop and wetland environments.
Park Information: http://rockyriverconservancy.org/tablet/index.html
Hike Route Map: https://www.mappedometer.com/?maproute=848534
Summary Video: (coming January 1, 2021)
Photo Highlight:

Directions to the trailhead: From the intersection of US 29 and Old Williamston Road on the east side of Anderson, drive Old Williamston Rd. north 0.5 miles to the signed parking area on the right. Park in the small gravel lot.
The hike: Owned and maintained by the Rocky River Conservancy, a private not-for-profit organization, Rocky River Nature Park protects 132 acres of bluffs and wetlands on the east side of Anderson. The park is less than 10 years old, and scars from the land's previous industrial use will be seen in numerous places throughout the park. Nevertheless, the wetlands along the Rocky River comprise the largest wetlands located within city limits in upstate South Carolina, and future plans call for expanding the park to as many as 400 acres. The park has a rough-around-the-edges feel typical of a new park, but major efforts have been made to make the park more user-friendly. In terms of amenities, the park features only a small shelter, an outdoor classroom/amphitheater, and about 2 miles of trails. I came here on a cool morning the day after Thanksgiving and had a very pleasant hike. I plan to come here more often in the future: I live less than 3 miles from this park. The route described in this post explores both the blufftop and wetland habitats, and thus it forms a good sample of what the park has to offer.Starting the Main Trail
Before you leave the trailhead, take a picture of the trail map at the information kiosk. The trails at Rocky River Nature Park are unmarked and only occasionally signed, so the trail map might come in handy while you hike. Start on the wide two-track Main Trail, and stay left to climb a small rise when the trail splits. This trail split actually forms the loop portion of this hike, so we will return on the trail going downhill to the right.
At 0.2 miles, you reach a newly-constructed shelter and a bench. Angle left at the shelter to leave the Main Trail and begin the Bluff Trail, which soon passes what remains of an old brick structure. Pine trees dominate this area, the highest ground in the park.
Old brick structure
At the next intersection, turn left to loop around a small ravine and descend to the wetlands. Turn right upon reaching the wetlands to begin walking a narrow corridor between the wetland on your left and the steep bluff on your right. Despite its urban location, Rocky River Nature Park is an above average destination for birding and wildlife observation. My approach sent several turtles plopping into the water, and I also saw a heron, some hawks, and some deer in this area.Gazing across the wetland
At 0.5 miles, you reach a major trail intersection. We will eventually continue straight to begin the Cox Creek Trail, but first turn left to hike across a causeway that leads deeper into the wetland. The causeway ends at the west bank of the Rocky River. Turning right at the river leads to a short boardwalk over the wetland, which is the highlight of the trail system. The grassy wet meadow is dotted with trees, and nice views can be had in multiple directions. Take a few minutes here to see what birds and wildlife you can observe.
Current end of boardwalk

View from boardwalk Future plans call for the boardwalk to be extended further across the wetland, but for now you have to retrace your steps to the major intersection and turn left to begin the Cox Creek Trail. The Cox Creek Trail follows a sewer line before curving right to head up its namesake creek. The area along Cox Creek is the wettest of this hike, and an alternate route would be to return on the Main Trail if the wetness is too great. Staying with the Cox Creek Trail closes the loop in just under 1.4 miles, where a soft left returns you to the trailhead to complete the hike.

Trails: Main, Bluff, River, and Cox Creek Trails
Hike Location: Rocky River Nature Park
Geographic Location: east side of Anderson, SC
Length: 1.4 miles
Difficulty: 2/10 (Easy)
Last Hiked: November 2020
Overview: A short lollipop loop through blufftop and wetland environments.
Park Information: http://rockyriverconservancy.org/tablet/index.html
Hike Route Map: https://www.mappedometer.com/?maproute=848534
Summary Video: (coming January 1, 2021)
Photo Highlight:


Directions to the trailhead: From the intersection of US 29 and Old Williamston Road on the east side of Anderson, drive Old Williamston Rd. north 0.5 miles to the signed parking area on the right. Park in the small gravel lot.
The hike: Owned and maintained by the Rocky River Conservancy, a private not-for-profit organization, Rocky River Nature Park protects 132 acres of bluffs and wetlands on the east side of Anderson. The park is less than 10 years old, and scars from the land's previous industrial use will be seen in numerous places throughout the park. Nevertheless, the wetlands along the Rocky River comprise the largest wetlands located within city limits in upstate South Carolina, and future plans call for expanding the park to as many as 400 acres. The park has a rough-around-the-edges feel typical of a new park, but major efforts have been made to make the park more user-friendly. In terms of amenities, the park features only a small shelter, an outdoor classroom/amphitheater, and about 2 miles of trails. I came here on a cool morning the day after Thanksgiving and had a very pleasant hike. I plan to come here more often in the future: I live less than 3 miles from this park. The route described in this post explores both the blufftop and wetland habitats, and thus it forms a good sample of what the park has to offer.

Starting the Main Trail

Before you leave the trailhead, take a picture of the trail map at the information kiosk. The trails at Rocky River Nature Park are unmarked and only occasionally signed, so the trail map might come in handy while you hike. Start on the wide two-track Main Trail, and stay left to climb a small rise when the trail splits. This trail split actually forms the loop portion of this hike, so we will return on the trail going downhill to the right.
At 0.2 miles, you reach a newly-constructed shelter and a bench. Angle left at the shelter to leave the Main Trail and begin the Bluff Trail, which soon passes what remains of an old brick structure. Pine trees dominate this area, the highest ground in the park.

Old brick structure

At the next intersection, turn left to loop around a small ravine and descend to the wetlands. Turn right upon reaching the wetlands to begin walking a narrow corridor between the wetland on your left and the steep bluff on your right. Despite its urban location, Rocky River Nature Park is an above average destination for birding and wildlife observation. My approach sent several turtles plopping into the water, and I also saw a heron, some hawks, and some deer in this area.

Gazing across the wetland

At 0.5 miles, you reach a major trail intersection. We will eventually continue straight to begin the Cox Creek Trail, but first turn left to hike across a causeway that leads deeper into the wetland. The causeway ends at the west bank of the Rocky River. Turning right at the river leads to a short boardwalk over the wetland, which is the highlight of the trail system. The grassy wet meadow is dotted with trees, and nice views can be had in multiple directions. Take a few minutes here to see what birds and wildlife you can observe.

Current end of boardwalk

View from boardwalk

Future plans call for the boardwalk to be extended further across the wetland, but for now you have to retrace your steps to the major intersection and turn left to begin the Cox Creek Trail. The Cox Creek Trail follows a sewer line before curving right to head up its namesake creek. The area along Cox Creek is the wettest of this hike, and an alternate route would be to return on the Main Trail if the wetness is too great. Staying with the Cox Creek Trail closes the loop in just under 1.4 miles, where a soft left returns you to the trailhead to complete the hike.

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Slater Woods, Hiland Park, and Peter Pond (Dudley, MA)

Buy my new novel Take to the Unscathed Road now! Follow me on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter!
Lauren and I have been on a local hikes binge lately. We discovered that Dudley had several areas to explore, so we opted to go to Slater Woods. It's a little bit past downtown Oxford on a roadside trailhead. An out and back trail, a good map can be found HERE.

The trail is considerably shorter than advertised. It says it's about 5 miles round trip but it is closer to 3.4 miles.

We began our hike through typical November forests. The leaves were a bit slippery but nothing we couldn't handle. It's mostly flat for the first portion, but then becomes quite rolling over interesting terrain.

After the rolling terrain, you emerge on a logging/snowmobile type road and it remains wide all the way to Peter Pond. I had expected this area to be more isolated, but it is in fact not. There are houses along the pond.

Nonetheless, it was an interesting spot to explore. I probably w..

Buy my new novel Take to the Unscathed Road now! Follow me on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter!
Lauren and I have been on a local hikes binge lately. We discovered that Dudley had several areas to explore, so we opted to go to Slater Woods. It's a little bit past downtown Oxford on a roadside trailhead. An out and back trail, a good map can be found HERE.

The trail is considerably shorter than advertised. It says it's about 5 miles round trip but it is closer to 3.4 miles.


We began our hike through typical November forests. The leaves were a bit slippery but nothing we couldn't handle. It's mostly flat for the first portion, but then becomes quite rolling over interesting terrain.






After the rolling terrain, you emerge on a logging/snowmobile type road and it remains wide all the way to Peter Pond. I had expected this area to be more isolated, but it is in fact not. There are houses along the pond.


Nonetheless, it was an interesting spot to explore. I probably won't be returning anytime soon, but it has been nice to visit these local spots and to inform others of their existence.

Total Time: 50 minsTotal Distance: ~3.38 miles (Garmin Fenix 5x Plus)Total Elevation Gain: ~524 vertical gain

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Exercise in November: it’s weird

Things I thought I'd never say:
“I forgot my mask.”
“What time do you want to have Zoom Thanksgiving?”
“I didn't get picked in the adjustable dumbbell lottery.”
“The gym is closed, so I did an aerobics video on Youtube.”
“I have a five hour Microsoft Teams meeting today.”
“Thanks so much for the hand sanitizer!”
“What kind of bidet do you have?”
My friend A and I were complaining talking about the difficulty of this time of year. The big snows haven't come, ice coats the trails, making running a hazard, and our usual winter escapes (for me, a long distance trail, for her, Mexico) are unavailable, at least if you are a person with a modicum of responsibility. So this icy, cold time (with no gym either) has forced me to change up my workouts.
The moraine has become the go-to for just about everybody. It is only an 800 foot climb to the top in a mile, but it is a huff and puff to run it. Once you are up there, though, you can run to the elk fence, which is typically snow-fr..

Things I thought I'd never say:

"I forgot my mask."

"What time do you want to have Zoom Thanksgiving?"

"I didn't get picked in the adjustable dumbbell lottery."

"The gym is closed, so I did an aerobics video on Youtube."

"I have a five hour Microsoft Teams meeting today."

"Thanks so much for the hand sanitizer!"

"What kind of bidet do you have?"

My friend A and I were complaining talking about the difficulty of this time of year. The big snows haven't come, ice coats the trails, making running a hazard, and our usual winter escapes (for me, a long distance trail, for her, Mexico) are unavailable, at least if you are a person with a modicum of responsibility. So this icy, cold time (with no gym either) has forced me to change up my workouts.

The moraine has become the go-to for just about everybody. It is only an 800 foot climb to the top in a mile, but it is a huff and puff to run it. Once you are up there, though, you can run to the elk fence, which is typically snow-free this time of year. Or you can take it from the other, less-used side and run (or flounder, if the snow is deeper) on cow paths where there is hardly every anyone else. I have become very familiar with the moraine. I'm glad it is available.

In desperation, I did indeed look up a Youtube HIIT workout. I picked one for "bad knees', because I didn't want to leap around and possibly hurt something. To my surprise, it was actually a pretty good workout. Things have changed since the 90s!

I'm also spending more time on my bike trainer. I don't want to sign up for a virtual class, so I grimly pedal away in supreme boredom, trying to watch movies on my phone. The time inches by, punctuated by a dog or two showing up to see what I am doing. Why not ride outside, you ask? The answer: ice, and fear.

For weightlifting, I've resorted to a makeshift routine of pull-ups (excruciating), and some dumbbell work with the coffee table as a bench. This is marginally successful unless I fall over a dog. It turns out that a tiny house is not really a good venue for exercising in.

Like everything else, it's weird. Usually at this time I am hiking in the California desert or in the Grand Canyon. I've hunkered in, which led to a frantic house reorganization, I am so tired of looking at the same four walls that moving furniture around has been entertaining. The bar is low.

Idaho is over there, but can't go!

However, I feel lucky that I am well enough to exercise, though a knee occasionally hurts. I wonder about my endurance, since I'm not doing multi-hour hikes for weeks at a time, but what can you do? I am waiting it out. The snow is coming, we must believe.

are you doing anything different for exercise these days?

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Simone Moro and Alex Txikon : Winter Expedition to Manaslu + More Skiers Head Off-Piste to Winter Karakorum + Purja on K2

Simone Moro and Alex Txikon : Winter expedition to Manaslu – by Stefan Nestler /Explorersweb
More Skiers Head Off-Piste to Winter Karakorum including Nirmal Purja on K2 — Explorersweb
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https://abenteuer-berg.de/en/simone-moro-and-alex-txikon-winter-expedition-to-manaslu/ — Stefan Nestler — Simone Moro and Alex Txikon : Winter Expedition to Manaslu.
https://explorersweb.com/2020/11/30/breaking-moro-and-txikon-to-winter-manaslu/ — Moro and Txikon to Winter Manaslu.

https://explorersweb.com/2020/11/30/more-skiers-head-off-piste-to-winter-karakorum/ — More skiers head off-piste to Winter Karakorum including Nirmal Purja on K2

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Simone Moro and Alex Txikon : Winter expedition to Manaslu – by Stefan Nestler /Explorersweb

More Skiers Head Off-Piste to Winter Karakorum including Nirmal Purja on K2 — Explorersweb

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https://abenteuer-berg.de/en/simone-moro-and-alex-txikon-winter-expedition-to-manaslu/ — Stefan Nestler — Simone Moro and Alex Txikon : Winter Expedition to Manaslu.

https://explorersweb.com/2020/11/30/breaking-moro-and-txikon-to-winter-manaslu/ — Moro and Txikon to Winter Manaslu.


https://explorersweb.com/2020/11/30/more-skiers-head-off-piste-to-winter-karakorum/ — More skiers head off-piste to Winter Karakorum including Nirmal Purja on K2

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NH 4K: Mount Garfield via Mount Garfield Trail (Cate’s 48 Finish)

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Mount Garfield is the odd one out of the Franconia Range. It dwarfs the ridge peaks, but its summit views are probably better than its brethren (in my opinion). After doing this trail in September, I came to the conclusion that it is a lousy summer trail but a great winter trail due to erosion.

This was a very special ascent for my friend Cate, who was due to finish her 48. Unfortunately we had no views all day. But we only saw a handful of people and the trail was mostly in good shape with light snow cover from top to bottom. There were definitely some sketchy icy spots though, but those will soon cover.

Once we breached the 3000 foot mark, it was pretty much completely snow covered, but there was ice under a fair bit of that snow.

It was quite windy on the summit, so we didn't spend too much time. But as always, the ascent on Garfield is steady and not too steep.

Total Time: 4 hrs..

Buy my new novel Take to the Unscathed Road now! Follow me on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter!
Mount Garfield is the odd one out of the Franconia Range. It dwarfs the ridge peaks, but its summit views are probably better than its brethren (in my opinion). After doing this trail in September, I came to the conclusion that it is a lousy summer trail but a great winter trail due to erosion.

This was a very special ascent for my friend Cate, who was due to finish her 48. Unfortunately we had no views all day. But we only saw a handful of people and the trail was mostly in good shape with light snow cover from top to bottom. There were definitely some sketchy icy spots though, but those will soon cover.


Once we breached the 3000 foot mark, it was pretty much completely snow covered, but there was ice under a fair bit of that snow.


It was quite windy on the summit, so we didn't spend too much time. But as always, the ascent on Garfield is steady and not too steep.




Total Time: 4 hrs 43 minsTotal Distance: ~9.8 milesTotal Elevation Gain: ~3400 vertical gain

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Nepal to Run K2 This Winter by Alan Arnette + Watch Cold Feet Trailer about Mt Kenya Barefoot Free Solo +

Nepal to run K2 this Winter – from Alan Arnette on his detailed blog
Watch Cold Feet Trailer about Mt Kenya barefoot free solo – from Gripped Magazine
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https://www.alanarnette.com/blog/2020/11/27/nepal-to-run-k2-this-winter/ — Alan Arnette — Nepal to run K2 this winter.

https://gripped.com/news/watch-cold-feet-trailer-about-mount-kenya-barefoot-free-solo/ — Watch Cold Feet Trailer about Mt Kenya barefoot free solo.

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Please visit my website
http://www.hiking4health.com

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Nepal to run K2 this Winter – from Alan Arnette on his detailed blog

Watch Cold Feet Trailer about Mt Kenya barefoot free solo – from Gripped Magazine

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https://www.alanarnette.com/blog/2020/11/27/nepal-to-run-k2-this-winter/ — Alan Arnette — Nepal to run K2 this winter.

https://gripped.com/news/watch-cold-feet-trailer-about-mount-kenya-barefoot-free-solo/ — Watch Cold Feet Trailer about Mt Kenya barefoot free solo.

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What if No One Has Actually Summited All of the 8000ers ? + 10 Profiles to Follow on Instagram +

What if no one has actually summited all of the 8000 ers ? — from Explorersweb.com
Ten profiles to follow on Instagram — from Montagna.tv — English translation also
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https://explorersweb.com/2020/11/27/what-if-no-one-has-actually-summited-all-the-8000ers/ — What if no one has actually summited all the 8000ers ?

https://www.montagna.tv/150272/i-10-profili-da-seguire-su-instagram-se-hai-la-montagna-nel-cuore/ — 10 Profiles to follow om Instagram.

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What if no one has actually summited all of the 8000 ers ? — from Explorersweb.com

Ten profiles to follow on Instagram — from Montagna.tv — English translation also

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https://explorersweb.com/2020/11/27/what-if-no-one-has-actually-summited-all-the-8000ers/ — What if no one has actually summited all the 8000ers ?


https://www.montagna.tv/150272/i-10-profili-da-seguire-su-instagram-se-hai-la-montagna-nel-cuore/ — 10 Profiles to follow om Instagram.


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Ama Dablam 2020 : Climbing in an Empty Khumbu + Breaking : Nirmal Purja to Attempt Winter K2 +

Ama Dablam 2020 : Climbing in an Empty Khumbu – from Explorersweb.com
Breaking : Nirmal Purja to Attempt Winter K2 – from Explorersweb.com and Montagna.tv
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https://explorersweb.com/2020/11/25/ama-dablam-2020-climbing-in-an-empty-khumbu/ — Ama Dablam 2020 : Climbing in an Empty Khumbu.

https://explorersweb.com/2020/11/26/breaking-nirmal-purja-to-attempt-winter-k2/ — Breaking : Nirmal Purja to attempt Winter K2

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Ama Dablam 2020 : Climbing in an Empty Khumbu – from Explorersweb.com

Breaking : Nirmal Purja to Attempt Winter K2 – from Explorersweb.com and Montagna.tv

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https://explorersweb.com/2020/11/25/ama-dablam-2020-climbing-in-an-empty-khumbu/ — Ama Dablam 2020 : Climbing in an Empty Khumbu.


https://explorersweb.com/2020/11/26/breaking-nirmal-purja-to-attempt-winter-k2/ — Breaking : Nirmal Purja to attempt Winter K2

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