Category: Mountain Man

In the Throne Room of the Mountain Gods*

Why climb a mountain? Short answer (from George Mallory): “Because it is there.” Longer response (from Reinhold Messner): “Most people are not interested in personal experience. The concept that one can willingly tax one’s physical and mental resources out of a pure joy of living: that one can become obsessed with a hunger to experience the world and the mind… Read more →

Mount Whitney

California constantly amazes with its diversity of landscape! One wild ramble took me from Badwater, Death Valley -282 feet; the lowest point in the United States – then just a few miles away I began climbing up to the highest point in the mainland U.S.: Mt. Whitney,+ 14, 495 feet! It was mid-October and I had the entire mountain to… Read more →

Mount Shasta

  Mt. Shasta, 14,162 feet, in Northern California is situated in the largest zone of volcanoes in the world, the Pacific Ring of Fire. 75% of the world’s volcanoes lay along this ring, which stretches from Alaska to South America, circles the Pacific Ocean heading north through Japan and back over to Alaska. Mt. Shasta is in a section called… Read more →

Pico de Orizaba

  18,700 foot Orizaba is the highest peak in Mexico and the third highest in North America (after Denali and Mount Logan). Its Aztec name is Citlaltepetl, meaning “Star Mountain” – possibly because its snowy cap acted as a beacon seen from miles away at night. An excerpt from my book: Angeles Crest: “. . . After resting in a… Read more →

Kachina Peaks

  Atop Humphrey’s Peak — Flagstaff, Arizona, the views are dazzling! Air loses 1/30th of its density with each 900 feet of altitude gained. At 12,643 feet we looked through air not just humidity free, but it had lost nearly half of its weight in oxygen and carbon dioxide. We gazed into the Grand Canyon, and the Painted Desert’s multihues… Read more →

Mount Roberts

  It’s just a three-mile hike up a well-marked trail to the 2,200-foot summit, but what you can see in this half-day above Juneau, Alaska! There are bald eagles and ravens soaring overhead; hoary marmots whistling up-down-and-around the mountain to one another; and if you go up in early summer (postholing a bit through snow near the top), look out… Read more →

Table Mountain

  One of the most recognizable mountains in the world, with its massive flattop looming over Cape Town, South Africa. For centuries Table Mountain has been a guiding landmark to mariners rounding the tip of Africa, the confluence of the Atlantic and Indian Oceans. Summit is 3,563 feet and first recorded ascent was in 1503 by the Portuguese navigator Antonio… Read more →

Mount Kilimanjaro

  Excerpt from my magazine article, “Red Dirt, Sweet Smoke and Kilimanjaro in The Moonlight”: “. . . At High Camp, during the rest of the day, we keep staring up at that steep, unrelenting Western Breach – an immense, exposed wall looming above you and weighing down continuously on your chest. We are up against it now and can… Read more →