Trail Report: Cone Peak Loop – Big Sur

April 26, 2016
coastal view

…three miles in this is just the start of what you’ll see. You only get more!

Want to see the real Big Sur? The wilderness where mountains dive dramatically into the ocean? A mountain range hidden from Highway 1? Cone peak (5155 ft) is a great route for you. It is one of the most diverse trips I’ve been on with vast ocean-stretching views, lush redwoods, green waterfalls, wildflower-laden hillsides and a rocky (cone) peak topped with an old fire lookout.

read more …

Trail Report: Spring Summit Attempt of Lassen Peak

April 20, 2016
View from 10,000 ft on Lassen Peak. Shasta in the upper left and Chaos Craigs in center.

View from 10,000 ft on Lassen Peak. Shasta in the upper left and Chaos Craigs in center-left.

Lassen Volcanic National Park is one of the snowiest places in California and also one of the least visited national parks despite its rich geology and beauty. Around mid-April it was one of few lower elevation peaks with enough snow for a full snow mountaineering accent. The other peaks we had considered near Convict Lake (Laurel and Morrison) now nearly bare.

read more …

How to (Not) Climb Round Top, or: The Importance of Good Research

April 3, 2016


“We think we took a wrong turn a quarter of a mile back.”

Guest post by Matthew Adjemian

read more …

Becoming Bilingual @ Coursera

March 16, 2016

Photo under CC by Tsahi Levent-Levi

Halfway through my HCI degree I “saw the light” and moved from a flip phone to an Apple iPhone in 2010 despite being notoriously cheap. The following year I wrote my first iOS app for the device. Since then I’ve worked at Apple in the iOS division for two and a half years, watched every Apple keynote, been developing in Swift pre-1.0 and worked on Coursera’s iOS app while releasing another iOS app on the side…

So why have I been working on Android in Java for the last nine months?

read more …

Best of the Bay: Training Hikes

March 6, 2016

Looking towards Mt. Tyndall (14,026′) on way to summit Mt. Williamson (14,380′)

Need to keep fit for a big backpacking trip or mountain climb? Maybe eye’ing a Shasta summit? The best way to train for such trips is to spend more time in nature and pack a heavy bag (30-40lbs). Stay away from the business of Mission Peak and use these go-to hikes for building up confidence, strength and endurance. Click this link for map of each route.

read more …

Training for a Mountaineering Summit

February 15, 2016

The best way to get up here is a good training program

One way of describing mountaineering is, “walking uphill while not feeling very well”. Another is a performance sport pushing mental and physical exhaustion. Since last year I’ve completed two Mt. Shasta (14,180′) routes and a Mt. Williamson (14,380′) summit and I am constantly trying to stay mountaineering shape. For those new to the sport it can feel daunting so I thought I’d share what I do and some advice from the mountaineering textbook “Freedom of the Hills”.

read more …

Trail Report: Mt. Shasta via Green Butte Ridge

February 9, 2016


On February 5, 2016 I went up to Mt. Shasta City with my friend Michele to attend a free avalanche training from the Mt. Shasta Avalanche Center. Once we saw that low avalanche danger, clear skies and light wind was predicted for the whole weekend we decided to do a summit attempt Sunday morning up the Green Butte route (map 1map 2, map 3). Spending Saturday night on the mountain somewhere around Green Butte.

read more …

The Complete Guide to Patagonia

January 9, 2016
Lago de los Tres hike near El Chalten

Lago de los Tres hike near El Chalten

You are all set on going to Patagonia, but don’t know what you want to do down there yet? First thing to know is there are three main regions: Northern (Lakes District), Central and South. Most people however think of Southern Patagonia when they think of Patagonia. Below you’ll find the boots on the ground knowledge I gained from spending three weeks in Southern Patagonia in November 2015.

read more …


Parks and Places of Southern Patagonia: Argentina

El Chalten

El Chalten near Mt. Fitz Roy

Argentina’s Torres del Paine and UNESCO World Heritage Site is Parque Los Glaciares. This area features its own  glaciers, beautiful mountain vistas and contains the “end of the world.” Below you’ll find the many great experiences available on the Argentinian side of the border…

read more …


Parks and Places of Southern Patagonia: Chile

Rocks of the French Valley in Torres del Paine

Rocks of the French Valley in Torres del Paine

Activity in Chilean Southern Patagonia centers around Torres del Paine National Park. Torres del Paine itself has many options to experience it, however if you didn’t come to Patagonia to experience among crowds I’d recommend the more strenuous or remote options within the park. Below you’ll find the many great experiences available on the Chilean side of the border…

read more …