Thursday, October 30, 2008

West Mountains Hike

I've been trying to burn up some time off at work. Since the weather was looking good I took Wednesday off and went hiking in the West Mountains above Cascade. The objectives of the day were four peaks: Granite Mountain, Snowbank Mountain, Collier Peak, and the Gem County highpoint. The first two peaks only required getting out of the car, however the latter two required some hiking. Fortunately this area is relatively flat and open, allowing for some fast-paced hiking. This is a good thing because I got a much later start than I was intending. After quickly touching the first two summits, I hit the trail around 11:30am headed toward Collier Peak.

Soon I was atop Collier Peak, which has a great view of the Round Valley and Cascade. After taking in the vistas, I began the long but quick hike over to the Gem County highpoint. There were numerous photo opportunities along the way, of which I had to take advantage. Despite my dawdling, I made it to the Gem County highpoint at about 2:15pm. From there, I took in the scenery and began the trek back to the car, which took about 2 hours.

This was my first hike in this part of Idaho and I left very impressed! The terrain is very gentle and the views are spectacular. Unfortunately on this day some controlled burns limited the visibility to the west; about the only negative thing I can say!

Trip statistics: 5 hours, 11.5 miles, 2900' elevation

West Mountains Hike Pictures!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Star Hope Canyon Hike

Once again Dan and I decided to take advantage of the gorgeous Fall weather and use his company's condo as a base camp for a trip to the Pioneer Mountains. This week we met up with brothers John and Tom Platt who joined us for the adventure. In the evening on Saturday, we ate a quick take-out dinner from the Snow Bunny in Hailey and watched Penn State beat Ohio State.

On Sunday, we got moving about 6am and made the long drive from Hailey to Star Hope Canyon in Copper Basin. It was about 8:15am before we hit the trail. We hiked above the remains of the Star Hope Mine and up to the ridge where we would proceed to visit four summits. The weather was gorgeous for the entire day and aside from one section of class 3 climbing, the entire ridge was easy hiking.

After a tiring but enjoyable hike, we happily reached the truck and broke out the beers. After some celebration, we began the long drive back to Hailey where we refueled at the Sun Valley Brewing Company before finishing the trip back to Boise.

Trip stats: approximately 7.25 hours, 7.5 miles, and about 4100' of elevation gain.

Star Hope Canyon Pictures!
Dan's Trip Report
John's Trip Report

Monday, October 20, 2008

Pioneer Mountains Hike

The Fall weather once again turned pleasant, so it was time for another trip to the mountains. Dan was able to rent his company's condo in Hailey so we setup a hike where we'd drive up Saturday night and hike early Sunday morning. We drove over there on Saturday evening and met fellow hikers Art and John. The four of us stayed in the condo and watched some football and SNL before retiring.

We got moving about 7am and after some breakfast, hit the trail a little bit after 8am. It was a gorgeous morning hiking up Paymaster Gulch toward our objective, Paymaster Peak. Along the way we met John's daughter Mariel who was staying at her boyfriend Eric's rustic cabin high in the mountains. The six of us (plus Eric's dog Sweetie) hiked from there to the summit to take in the beautiful views under ideal conditions. On the way down, the weather started to move in but we were down well ahead of any precipitation.

Another great Fall hike! Trip stats: Just over 6 hours, 7.4 miles, and about 3300' of elevation gain.

Pioneer Mountains Hike Pictures!
Dan's Trip Report
John's Trip Report

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Diploma!

As many of you know, I finished my Master's Degree back in August, right before our camping trip. However, that graduation was only electronic because the actual diplomas aren't mailed out until nearly three months later. Today, mine finally arrived in the mail, thus making it official!


Next task: frame it and hang it along with our other diplomas. Go Gators!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Canadian Thanksgiving!

Liz and Ian drove from Vancouver on Wednesday for a Canadian Thanksgiving Day* visit. On Saturday evening, Greg and Dave arrived via airplane. Despite the unseasonably cold weather (see previous post), everyone had a great time.

On Sunday, Liz and Katie prepared and excellent Thanksgiving dinner. During this time, the guys (myself included) were relegated to watching football games. In addition to the Shepherd family, my Aunt Bonnie and Uncle Gary were in attendance. The dinner included all of the traditional courses: turkey, stuffing, sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, gravy, carrots, green beans, stuffing, and dinner rolls (courtesy of Bonnie). Liz made excellent apple pie for dessert as well. As you can see, everyone is having a great time! For reference, the picture includes (in clockwise order) Bonnie, Gary, Katie, Ian, Greg, Dave, and Liz.


On Monday, we took a few family photos in our backyard. Here is the Shepherd family, including the Shepherd family dog Cassie!


From the Vickery and Shepherd families, we wish everyone a happy Canadian Thanksgiving!

[*]: For those readers unfamiliar with the difference, Canadian Thanksgiving is an entirely different holiday from American Thanksgiving and occurs on the second Monday in October. The Shepherd family custom is for the dinner to occur on the prior Sunday.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Snow!

Katie's parents, Liz and Ian, arrived from Vancouver on Wednesday evening. It would appear they brought some Canadian weather with them because Boise received its first snow of the season today! This is actually the earliest Fall snow on record in Boise; in a normal year we don't get any snow until mid-to-late November. Officially the area received 1.7" of snow, but I think it was closer to an inch at the Vickery estate:

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Smoky Mountains Hike

Last weekend I went on a solo hike in the Smoky Mountains of Idaho, just above the ski resort of Sun Valley. It was a gorgeous, warm fall day with lots of peace and quiet. The only downside was the lack of wildlife. Total trip time was about 6 hours covering 7 miles and 3500' of gain.

Smoky Mountains Hike Pictures!