During the month of January, I hiked 91.1 miles, gaining approximately 14,650 feet of elevation. I spent a total of 39 hours and 40 minutes on the trails, during which time I burned approximately 13,440 calories (and lost five pounds). It was a good start to 2013, especially given how busy I’ve been all month with work and school.
I enjoyed all of the hikes, but there were definitely three that stood out as stellar hiking experiences. The first, a snowshoeing trek through Giant Forest in Sequoia National Park, introduced me to one of my favorite places at a time when the forest was blanketed in snow and shrouded in silence and mist. My friend Kyle joined me on that one, and it was one of the great hiking experiences of my life. Perhaps it’s not quite up there with Mt. Whitney, but as a single-day hike, I’d say it ranks with any of the day-hikes I had taken before.
Also notable were two trips up to snow-covered peaks that offered endless desert views. I climbed Whale Peak on January 1st as a New Year kick-off hike. Hiking that peak is an adventure, as well as an exercise in solitude and a demonstration of a brilliant botanical island in a sea of scorched, sandy wastelands. The Spitler and Apache Peaks trip near the end of the month rounded out the month’s adventures with a trek up to the PCT on the Desert Divide, featuring views of the Coachella, Anza, and San Jacinto Valleys.
All told, I took 13 hikes, in this order:
1/1 – Whale Peak
1/4 – Bernardo Mountain
1/5 – Mission Trails – South Fortuna Mountain
1/8 – Batiquitos Lagoon
1/10 – Batiquitos Lagoon
1/12 – Marble Falls Trail
1/13 – Giant Forest
1/18 – Sitton Peak
1/19 – Penasquitos Canyon, East
1/22 – Cuyamaca State Park
1/25 – Calavera Hills
1/29 – Spitler and Apache Peaks
1/31 – Batiquitos Lagoon
Coming up in February, I will head out to Charleston, SC for the wedding of my friends, Jenn and Chris. I’ll also tackle Anza-Borrego once more, take a peak-bagging excursion into the Santa Ana Mountains, check out the Tecate Cypresses on Guatay Mountain, and explore the Dry Lakes Ridge in Ojai, Ca.