Winter Mt. Whitney 2013

In Trip Reports by SMG OfficeLeave a Comment

To Summit or not To Summit – Musings of a Sierra Mountain Guide As I put away the expedition gear from my recent trip and place the kit back on the racks in the garage, I find myself reflecting on the outcome of the trip I am returning from. Drying the tent out, I think about the locations we used for camps and add a little self critique as to if they could be improved on or not. Cleaning and …

Scramblers/Senders- Kids Climbing Program

In Trip Reports by SMG Office1 Comment

Summer 2012 flew by as I had so much fun teaching rock climbing to almost fifty kids from the Eastern Sierra. We had a great mix of ages and abilities, some climbed for the first time and others returned to further develop their skills. In all of the returning climbers I saw an amazing step forward. It was great to see the kids taking climbing seriously, taking responsibility for their learning and turning into real rock climbers. The new kids …

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Europe Trekking Part 2

In Trip Reports by Lyra Pierotti1 Comment

Another stellar week in the Italian Dolomites! Dan and I hiked a good portion of the Alta Via 1 trek, staying at several stunning alpine huts along the way. My favorite was Rifugio Lavarella – great food, relaxing ambiance, pleasant staff, and a traditional Finnish sauna to relax your muscles at the end of a long day’s hike.   Exploring a bit off the beaten track, we hiked up to a high point above the Lavarella hut. A small rock …

Dolomites 2012! – Part 2

In Trip Reports by Howie SchwartzLeave a Comment

Evening light on the Fanes and Tofana Groups featuring 3 of our classic via ferratas  Wynne and Jill on Day 1 “Can we please stop somewhere?” asked Kellie in a shaky voice as we drove up the pass on day 1 of our week long via ferrata mega tour in the Italian Dolomites. The trailhead was around 5 minutes away, but Heidi the taxi driver pulled over promptly, which was good because it turned out that Kellie was very suddenly …

Summery Summary, Part 3: "Listers"

In Trip Reports by Jediah PorterLeave a Comment

Jed’s final post of the summer.  After one more Palisades trip he’ll head to Washington for an AMGA exam.  He’ll be back in October:  Bring on couloirs and rock climbing! Forgive me, but I like to find themes that unify chunks of time in my memory.  My summer, 2012 has been easily divisible by 4: Part 1- Sweet sending.  Part 2- Big traversing.  Part 3- Family time.  Finally, this latter portion of my personal summer, has been chock-full of peak-bagging …


In Trip Reports by Lyra Pierotti1 Comment

Cancel the return flight by: Guide Lyra Pierotti I think I made a big mistake purchasing a round trip plane ticket for my trip to the Dolomites. Should have just gotten a one-way. I just about passed out on our descent from Passo Falzarego. It may have been from having to skip lunch and run in cirlces to buy my bus ticket here and catch it there after finally locating the one person who could tetris together my complicated transportation …

SMG Dolomites 2012! Part 1

In Trip Reports by Howie Schwartz1 Comment

The Italian Dolomites: where mountain culture and geology converge to facilitate the most outstanding and accessible alpine rock climbing adventure opportunities on Earth. A climber from the Eastern Sierra can really appreciate the contrast here. At home we have craggy and sometimes snowy high peaks juxtaposed against the desert of the Owens Valley. Here in the Dolomites we see steep, gray-orange peaks and spires rising above lush, rolling green valleys. In these valleys are little hamlets situated perfectly to welcome …

Mammoth to Yosemite Fastpacking

In Trip Reports by Neil SatterfieldLeave a Comment

One of the sayings I often find myself using is, “There is more than one way to skin a cat.” Aside from the obvious negative imagery this may conjure up it does have real application in many of the activities that we offer at Sierra Mountain Guides (SMG).  In this case it relates directly to a fundamental methodology regarding how we use, travel, and enjoy the backcountry.  This summer I had the opportunity to tag along on the first day …

Summery Summary, Part 2: Family Time!

In Trip Reports by Jediah PorterLeave a Comment

More ramblings from Jed… Man, keep this guy in the mountains.  He just won’t shut up when he’s in town. Some things come in binges!  In June it was sweet alpine sending action.  Mid-July brought a ton of traversing.  Now, since that Evolution Traverse, my guiding world has revolved around the theme of family time. First, and connecting the summer with a welcome continuity, is the ever-more popular and polished “Scramblers” program.  Barbara and Neil have worked together to set …

Wedding Anniversary with Peter Croft

In Trip Reports by Howie SchwartzLeave a Comment

How to celebrate a wedding anniversary???  A day out with Peter Croft, perfect! Betsy was originally interested in Charlotte Dome, but after a few discussions everyone decided the best route for the special day should be The Third Pillar of Mt. Dana. This is a classic climb on amazing white granite.  Read more on Betsy and Ney’s Blog, for their full experience. Betsy climbing, photo: Ney G.

Evolution Traverse, July 2012

In Trip Reports by Jediah Porter2 Comments

“When will I stop doing the hardest thing I have ever done?”  Jon A., July 2012, high in the Evolution Peaks. The Evolution Traverse (VI 5.9) as seen from its final peak. That is a great question for any of us!  What ever possesses us to do these things?  Needless to say, Jon does not shirk from challenge.  We have already expounded on his prodigious apetite for facing big endeavors with a hard-core work ethic and tough-to-the-soul grit.  Jon’s self-awareness, the detachment …

Summery Summary, Part 1

In Trip Reports by Jediah PorterLeave a Comment

SMG guide Jed Porter expounds on his diverse guiding experiences from Summer 2012 to date. Enjoy! How do you measure Summer?  Someone once decided that the longest day of the year marks the start of summer.  Summer partiers count July 4 as their kickoff.  Sierra climbers watch the snow-line retreat and mix in a little consideration to the monsoonal thunderstorm forecast and come up with their own definition entirely.  By the latter algorithm, we’ve already had a couple months of summer up …