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Musings

Plastic: not fantastic for Earth, wildlife or us

Plastic: not fantastic for Earth, wildlife or us

Would it be possible to go a full day without using any plastic? For the majority of us across the world, the answer is no. There are little things you…

“Fool’s gold” can forge golden memories

“Fool’s gold” can forge golden memories

We reached the foot of the mountain early, which should have tipped us off; climbing trips never go ahead of schedule. But the summit looked inviting and achievable, so the…

Bidding farewell to Royal Robbins

Bidding farewell to Royal Robbins

We bid a sad but fond farewell to Royal Robbins, who died this week at age 82. The noted climber who pioneered routes on Half Dome and El Capitan not…

Roust the rebels from our mountains

Roust the rebels from our mountains

“May God have mercy on Bobby Lee, for I will have none,” decreed Union General Joe Hooker during the Civil War. His druthers are my druthers. Confederates have invaded the…

RIP Scott Cosgrove: great climber, great friend

RIP Scott Cosgrove: great climber, great friend

Scott Cosgrove, a 52-year-old climber of extraordinary accomplishments in Yosemite and elsewhere, died this week near his home in Santa Monica. His cause of death is unknown, though…

Happy hiking with kids, the “no nightmare” approach

Happy hiking with kids, the “no nightmare” approach

Zach suddenly stopped in front of me as we trudged uphill through the woods north of Yosemite. “Pole break, dad.” I shifted the pack on my back. I was carrying…

How the other half lives in Yosemite

How the other half lives in Yosemite

When my wife and I carried our bags down the red carpet into a plush lobby, I could still hardly believe it. In all the years we had visited Yosemite…

Musings of a Mono Lake kayaker

Musings of a Mono Lake kayaker

As I set my kayak down with a crunch on the rough sheets of limestone in a few inches of salty water, I disturbed a furious cloud of tiny black…