Month: January 2014

Mokelumne Wilderness: Winnemucca Lake

Hike: Winnemucca Lake and back
Where: Mokelumne Wilderness
Trailhead: Carson Pass trailhead off of Highway 88. Look for the bathroom!
Level: Moderate
Duration: 3 hours and 58 minutes roundtrip
Gear: CamelBak Aventura pack, UNIQLO Heat-Tech tights, REI Sahara Convertible Pants, Icebreaker Oasis Crew, Triple Aught Design Artemis Hoodie, Ahnu Montara Waterproof Boot, Black Diamond Ultra Distance Trekking Poles, MSR Denali snowshoes, Black Diamond FrontPoint gaiters
Cost of Parking: $5 for a SNOPARK day permit ($25 for the season)

Mokelumne Wilderness is a pretty sweet gem off of Highway 88 near Kirkwood. Compared to its neighbor, Desolation Wilderness, it’s relatively unknown; I’ve rarely seen more than 10 other people on the trail.

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Outdoor Research Enchainment Jacket

Outdoor Research Enchainment Jacket Outdoor Research Enchainment Jacket Outdoor Research Enchainment Jacket Outdoor Research Enchainment Jacket

The Outdoor Research Enchainment Jacket is yet another softshell I have come to love from this awesome brand. (Remember my Valhalla review?)

The Enchainment is a fantastically versatile softshell. If you know me, you know I love being able to wear all my gear ALL THE TIME. And this jacket contributes to that life goal.

Most notable features on this are the lack of pit-zips and the trimmer fit. Instead of having full length pit-zips like the Valhalla, Outdoor Research opted to create the jacket with Schoeller® fabric with Nanosphere® technology under the arms. This allows for maximum breathability and infinite amounts of stretch for a dynamic range of movement. It doesn’t look like you’re about to go skiing down some San Francisco hills. And bonus, the lack of zippers means less wear on the fabric!

The 100% polyester fabric body is designed to block wind and shed snow. However, I haven’t taken this out to roll around in some snow. I like my winter clothing on the looser side for layering; it’s just personal preference. The slim cut doesn’t allow me to layer warmly when needed, and I look like a giant marshmallow when I try to. So far, it’s seen breezy but warm days of hiking and many days gallivanting around the city.

Other technical specs are two zippered hand pockets and a zippered chest pocket, critically taped seams, adjustable hood, and durable, water-repellent zippers. The jacket weighs in at 15.8 oz for a size Medium. Pictured above is an XS running across San Francisco and the Sutro Baths.

The trim fit makes the jacket run on the smaller side, so if you’re in between sizes, size up.
Buy through Moosejaw for $199.

This was sent to me for review as a part of the OR Insight Lab.

Icebreaker BodyFit 200 Oasis Crew Long-Sleeve

Icebreaker BodyFit 200 Oasis Crew Long-Sleeve Icebreaker BodyFit 200 Oasis Crew Long-Sleeve

The Icebreaker BodyFit 200 Oasis Crew is my body’s new best friend.

It’s an incredibly versatile baselayer that keeps you warm and dry on slopes and on top of peaks, and cool and dry-ish on weird, warm, 70 degree) California winter days. It’s been accompanying me on almost every adventure since it’s a little cold for my Tech T Lite shirt.

It’s made of blah blah merino wool which has magical properties of supreme odor control, which came in super handy on my recent backpacking trip. Oh and because I think I wore this shirt for three days straight before the trip and was too lazy to wash it. I didn’t smell that bad. Really. And of course, merino wool has antimicrobial and moisture wicking properties to keep you feeling fresh throughout your adventure.

One more thing that’s kind of cool about Icebreaker is you can trace the origins of your shirt back to the very sheep that spawned the wool. Feels nice to be connected to what you’re wearing and supporting, right?

They’re kinda pricey, even on sale, but it’s worth the splurge for a do-it-all shirt. You don’t even look that weird wearing it around every day. And they come in lots and lots of colors. I want them all.

Buy through Icebreaker for $89.99.

Ventana Wilderness: Cone Peak via Vicente Flat

Hike: Cone Peak via Vicente Flat
Where: Ventana Wilderness
Trailhead: Kirk Creek off of Highway 1
Level: Moderate
Duration: 3 days and 2 nights
Length: Approximately 20~ miles out and back
Cost of Parking: Free on the side of Highway 1

Fun fact: I’ve never really hiked in Big Sur until this holiday break. I got the chance to tackle Julia Pfeiffer Burns and Cone Peak! Not all in one day though.

Peakbagging in the Santa Lucia Mountains is something that has been on my to do list for a while, but I’ve been putting it off with trips to bag peaks in the Sierra Nevadas instead. With a few days off before 2014, what better way to ring in the new year than traversing across mountains?

I originally planned to start this hike at Limekiln State Park and taking the Stone Ridge Trail to Vicente Flat, but couldn’t park my car at Limekiln. Ended up starting at Kirk Creek, which knocked a few miles off the adventure.

It has been unusually dry this winter, so I was a little worried about water sources along the trail. However, the creeks are flowing above Espinosa Camp (2.6 miles in) and above Vicente Flat (5 miles in). The hike in to Vicente Flat starts with switchbacks ascending above a breathtaking view of the coastline. It then descends into second growth redwoods where the campsites are located.

From there, I took Vicente Flat up to Coast Ridge Road. The majority of this section of Vicente Flat follows a gorgeous creek, and then makes way for spectacular views of Cone Peak. Coast Ridge Road is currently open for motorized vehicles, so Cone Peak was a little busier than usual. Cone Peak was amazing with views of the coastline and Ventana Wilderness.

I then retraced steps back to Vicente Flat for another night, then back to the trailhead.

Ventana Wilderness: Cone Peak via Vicente FlatVentana Wilderness: Cone Peak via Vicente FlatVentana Wilderness: Cone Peak via Vicente FlatVentana Wilderness: Cone Peak via Vicente FlatVentana Wilderness: Cone Peak via Vicente FlatVentana Wilderness: Cone Peak via Vicente Flat