Climbing in the Sierra Nevadas

Pilgrimage to Mecca: Yosemite and the High Sierras

This article may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase through these links, I will earn a commission at no extra cost to you. Thanks!I’m drawing on my days in college as a Middle Eastern Studies major—one of the Five Pillars of Islam is that every Muslim with the means and ability to do so has the religious duty …

Old Rag at Sunrise

Backpacking White Oak Canyon, Stony Man, and Old Rag at Sunrise

Saturday morning, three of us from DC UL Backpacking headed out to Shenandoah National Park for waterfalls, some strenuous climbs, and absolutely stunning vistas over the course of 19+ miles on this Old Rag backpacking trip. The highlight of the trip was a bright and early alpine start for an Old Rag sunrise hike to watch the sun come up …

Climbing at New River Gorge Memorial Day Weekend

I joined a small group of twelve or so DC area climbers who were taking advantage of the long Memorial Day Weekend to make the more than five-hour drive to the popular New River Gorge in southeastern West Virginia. Some of the group was old faces but most were new to me on this New River Gorge Memorial Day trip. …

Going from a Traditional Hiker to an Ultralight Backpacker

It’s been almost three years since my first backpacking trip out here on the East Coast. I had been living in DC for almost two years with not much exploration of nature beyond the Beltway. Being from the Northwest I had initially kind of (unfairly) dismissed the hiking and backpacking opportunities available here in the Mid-Atlantic. Well, after so much …

Ed Viesturs on Obsession, Commitment, Fear, and Risk

Having the chance to see Ed Viesturs, one of America’s greatest mountaineers, speak on the theme of risk, obsession, commitment, and fear in the mountains, was one of the most illuminating outdoors talks I’ve ever attended. Here is an idea of what Ed Viesturs had to say and my own reflections on the topic. Maurice Herzog closes his seminal book …