Blog

Update on Runoff in the Sierra 4/5/19

The Department of Water Resources has updated the predictions for run off. The maximum runoff dates have been pushed back and later due to cooler temperatures in the Sierra and unsettled weather with small storms moving through and frequent thunderstorm activity that seems to be ongoing. Kern River at Isabella, May 17 PCT mile approx. [...]

By |2019-05-05T09:27:31-07:00May 5th, 2019|SMC Blog|

AIARE Pro 1 Avalanche Course: A Guide’s Experience

Since our regional avalanche forecasting center, Eastern Sierra Avalanche Center (or ESAC), started issuing its advisories on the first of January, we have seen “considerable” to “high” danger ratings more than fifty percent of the time, with more than a dozen days so far receiving the latter rating. For some, this might seem unusual for [...]

By |2019-02-23T09:33:44-07:00February 23rd, 2019|SMC Blog|

Kalymnos

It was late one night in July of this year, I was messaging a few friends and tossing around an idea for this year’s off season “retreat”.  Some may say that my job is a retreat or a sort of vacation already. I now have numerous arguments against such claims, but this story is not [...]

By |2019-02-16T08:00:52-07:00December 30th, 2018|SMC Blog|

The Titan

The book, 50 Classic Climbs of North America, came out in the early 1980 and was then, and still is now, a collection of the great climbs from a classic era. Some of the climbs are not so great and there are climbs that are better, but these all have history behind them and are [...]

By |2018-12-30T06:47:10-07:00December 30th, 2018|SMC Blog|

Technical expertise and leadership qualities

I just wanted to mention the entire group was impressed with Ryan's technical expertise and leadership qualities. It's a rare combination that lent itself to calming (group) stress, while providing quiet motivation and instilling confidence in the face of challenging conditions. Dave seems to share the same unique set of qualities that helped develop trust [...]

By |2016-09-29T20:43:29-07:00June 2nd, 2015|What Our Clients Say|

The Four by Four

By Aaron Richards Most of the big climbs I do in the Sierra are thanks to my friend Ian McEleney. He comes up with stupid ideas and I’m dumb enough to join him. Well, payback is a bitch: When I came up with the idea of stacking Peter Croft’s “Big Four” alpine routes car-to-car and [...]

By |2016-12-23T19:52:38-07:00July 13th, 2014|Alpine Climbing, Rock Climbing|

Mount Patriach – Kauhurangi National Park New Zealand

I (Sp) am back in New Zealand for a few weeks and filling it with some hiking, climbing and enjoying the country.The great thing about NZ "tramping" is that there are lots of tracks, fantastic views and a great hut system. The bad thing is that there are lots of biting sandflies, rain and nothing [...]

By |2016-12-23T19:52:38-07:00January 15th, 2014|SMC Blog|

Hokitka on West Coast in New Zealand- Jan. 2013

The Wet West Coast West side of the South Island has always had a reputation. Annual rainfall here can be up to almost 60 feet of water. The forest is rainforest and often a battle to get through. Rivers come up and people are stranded for days. A bridge on the main highway washed out [...]

By |2016-12-23T19:52:38-07:00January 16th, 2013|SMC Blog|

Mt. Owen aka Moria in New Zealand

Mt Owen aka Moria Jan. 2013 Owen is the high point of Kahurangi National Park and also had a moment of fleeting fame as one of the settings for Lord of the Rings. Even has a summit dragon. More importantly it has a wonderful new hut and spectacular limestone karst terrain and is about an [...]

By |2016-12-23T19:52:38-07:00January 15th, 2013|Hiking|

Rene and Chris Whitney Via Cottonwood 8/26/12

My wife Chris and I want to tell you what a fabulous experience the Whitney Cottonwood trip was. Much better than we hoped it would be. It was one, if not the best, vacation experiences we have ever participated in. Our leaders, Aaron and Jessica were marvelous--patient, caring, helpful, knowledgeable, and good-humoured. In addition, they are terrific cooks. We [...]

By |2016-09-29T20:43:29-07:00September 19th, 2012|What Our Clients Say|

Boundary Peak 9.2.12

Boundary Peak is the high point of Nevada and we get a number of people who are doing all of the high points of the 50 states wanting to do it. This was the case with Jayme and Don Holcomb. This was a warm up before Whitney, but with no good  trail and the dry [...]

By |2016-09-29T20:43:29-07:00September 3rd, 2012|SMC Blog|

Pack-supported JMT

We have been working with Rock Creek Pack Station to set up the JMT in stages as a pack supported trip. This allows people who want to do the JMT but do not want the heavy packs to spread the journey out over four years and to have a relaxed memorable vacation along the way. [...]

By |2016-09-29T20:43:29-07:00September 3rd, 2012|Hiking, Whitney|

Brian on his Whitney Climb 6/4/12

I want to thank your Team for a great Climb on Mt. Whitney this past week.  Aaron and Luke did a fantastic job for us.  These two young men were friendly, knowledgeable and very helpful.  It was a pleasure having these two guide us on the mountaineers route.  At every step along the way, Aaron [...]

By |2016-09-29T20:43:29-07:00July 30th, 2012|What Our Clients Say|

Tom on his Mount Whitney trip 7/10/12

The summit to Mt. Whitney via the Mountaineer's Route was amazing. Sam is a great guide and we were fortunate to have him lead our group.  Daniel and I will have this special memory forever and I want to thank you for your patience with all of my calls and answering all of my questions. I [...]

By |2016-09-29T20:43:30-07:00July 30th, 2012|What Our Clients Say|

Mt. Emerson 13, 225′ July 4, 2012

Some of the Sierra Mountain Center team went out on July 4, 2012 to check out Mt. Emerson 13,225'.  There are several different approaches.  We decided to climb the SE Face.  Short approach for this fun alpine route on solid rock.  Leaving the Piute Pass trail before Loch Leven Lakes-  Route climb the [...]

By |2016-12-23T19:52:38-07:00July 6th, 2012|SMC Blog|

What our Clients are saying: 2012

Dear Connie: My recent trips with SMC (Boundary Peak & Mount Whitney) were incredible! I want to thank my guides (Ryan, Jim, Andrew, & Sam) for two awesome mountaineering adventures. Their knowledge, professionalism, and preparedness made both trips a rewarding and unforgettable experience. Please share this email with them and thank them for me. I [...]

By |2016-12-23T19:52:38-07:00June 19th, 2012|What Our Clients Say|

Skiing Canada’s Wapta traverse

Over the years John Miller has done a bunch of trans Sierra ski trips with SMC. Given this year's low snow fall in California it was just as well that we decided to head north to Canada to do a hut to hut ski across the Wapta Traverse out of Lake Louise in [...]

By |2016-09-29T20:43:30-07:00April 12th, 2012|Backcountry Skiing|

Jim on his Mt Whitney climb 8.11

I just wanted to thank you both for making our climb up Mt. Whitney an absolutely fantastic experience.  You guys were terrific and the trip couldn’t have gone any better.   I have been talking about it nonstop since getting back and have recommended it and you guys to several friends at home and at work.

By |2016-09-29T20:43:30-07:00August 20th, 2011|What Our Clients Say|

Rhonda on climbing Whitney via Cottonwood 8.11

We just returned home from our trip to Whitney via Cottonwood and I wanted to express my sincere thank you for putting together such a fantastic trip.  Honestly, it will be one to remember forever.  Above all, Marie and Luke were outstanding.  Their expertise, encouraging words, ability to pace us and sure friendship was the [...]

By |2016-09-29T20:43:30-07:00August 13th, 2011|What Our Clients Say|

White Mountains Hike 6.11

The White Mountains of California are truly fantastic. This unique range became wilderness only two years ago. It is high alpine desert and this year was marked by a profusion of flowers with fragrant phlox scenting the air. This year we had only one client, Robyn from Monaco (she hiked the JMT with us last [...]

By |2016-12-23T19:52:38-07:00July 29th, 2011|Hiking|

Peter on his Bear Creek Spire climb 6-11

Connie, Andrew, and SP, I'm just now back in touch with e-mail, so it's the first opportunity to say thanks for the Bear Creek Spire trip and for the flexibility in rescheduling.  It was perfect.  Andrew is an excellent guide; I can't imagine better.  I've done four trips with SMC, all of them A+.

By |2016-09-29T20:43:30-07:00July 29th, 2011|What Our Clients Say|

Bob on his East Buttress climb 7/11

Hi Connie, Just wanted to say thanks for everything.  The climbs were great and so was the service.  You handled the scheduling (and changes) quickly, kindly and professionally.  Aaron was also great -- he is a very skilled guide and also very professional with people and logistics.  Thanks again for a great experience.

By |2016-09-29T20:43:30-07:00July 21st, 2011|What Our Clients Say|