2 Free Issues and 3 Free Gifts!
Full Name:
Address 1:
Address 2:
Zip Code:
Email: (required)
If I like it and decide to continue, I'll pay just $12.00, and receive a full one-year subscription (9 issues in all), a 73% savings off the newsstand price! If for any reason I decide not to continue, I'll write "cancel" on the invoice and owe nothing.
Your subscription includes 3 FREE downloadable booklets.
Or click here to pay now and get 2 extra issues
Offer valid in US only.

Also on

Enter Zip Code

Backpacker Magazine – October 2012

Killer Trips: You

Our favorite high-risk, high-reward adventures in North America.

by: Kelly Bastone

Mt. Hood from Bald Mountain Trail (Eli Boschetto)
Mt. Hood from Bald Mountain Trail (Eli Boschetto)
Descending into Maze's Range Canyon (Glenn Randall)
Descending into Maze's Range Canyon (Glenn Randall)

[summit fever]
Mt. Hood, OR
The hike
Rising to just 11,250 feet, Mt. Hood still looks plenty monstrous, thanks to its precipitous prominence high above the surrounding valleys. This dramatic topographic relief is a magnet for the summit-hungry—10,000 attempt it annually. Feeling the urge? Cut your teeth on the south slopes, which aren’t as technically demanding—from the Silcox Hut at 6,950 feet, it’s a straightforward climb to the Hogback (the saddle between Crater Rock and the summit). Catch your breath and regroup, then cross the omni-present bergschrund to the Pearly Gates, a steep, often rime-rimmed pitch to the peak, where the glacier-covered world drops beneath your boots.

The risk Hood shocks climbers with quick-moving, violent weather. But done-in-a-day routes make climbers feel they can beat the odds. Some feel they have invested too much planning and expense to call off their bid. Others, like Jarod Cogswell, simply underestimate the storms. He’d summited Hood 15 times before attempting the Leuthold Couloir in January 2003. “The forecast called for a slight chance of light rain in the afternoon, but our plan was to be off the mountain before then,” Cogswell explains.

Excellent climbing conditions (firm snow) lured the group upward despite the accumulating clouds. Once the storm closed in, iced-up goggles and milky skies made visibility too poor to backtrack, so they continued to the summit ridge where darkness trapped them—stoveless—amidst 60-mph winds and -40°F temperatures. Two feet of snow fell that night. They survived by building a snow cave, but Cogswell suffered frostbite on all fingers and his partner lost part of a thumb. Now, Cogswell serves on Portland Mountain Rescue, the same team that saved his group the following morning. Free permit required May 15-Oct. 15 and year-round on Hood’s south side; (503) 668-1700;

[route planning]
The Maze, Canyonlands NP, UT

Few trails penetrate this labyrinth of sandstone fins, knobs, and interconnecting canyons—and that’s both the reward and the risk: Devising your own route (and staying found) through The Fins (a trailless zone north of Ernie’s Country) can uncover never-glimpsed arches. (435) 259-2652;

[fading trail]
The Kekekabic Trail, Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, MN

Wilderness rules prohibit permanent trail markers, and riotous Northwoods vegetation often snuffs this lightly used, 38-mile trail, but heightened navigational senses make hikers more likely to spot resident moose and bear. (218) 626-4300;

[outdated map]
Trout Peak, Kaniksu NF, ID

Trail #57 is easier to find on a map than on the ground—the faint switchbacks fade into a nest of recently-downed trees two miles into the five-mile (one-way) route. But huckleberries reward hikers in July and August, and the 5,226-foot summit feels like your own private island in the sky. (208) 443-2512;

[unprepared for the unexpected]
Tuckup Trail, Grand Canyon NP, AZ

Just getting to this Toroweap district trail demands sand-driving skills and spare tires (25 percent of visitors experience at least one flat), and the Tuckup Trail disappears after two miles. Payoff? Easy walking on one of the Grand’s rare patches of flat trail and its best pictograph panel, Shaman’s Gallery, at mile three. (928) 638-7875;

Appalachian Trail, Mt. Katahdin, Baxter SP, ME

Many northbound thru-hikers are so eager to snap their photo atop Katahdin that they brave wintry weather in ultralight summer gear. Sandal-shod pilgrims wearing grocery bags over naked toes are frighteningly common come October. (207) 723-5140;

Subscribe to Backpacker magazine
Sign up for our free weekly e-newsletter
Address 1:
Address 2:
Email (req):

Reader Rating: -


Star Star Star Star Star
AZ Hiker
Jul 12, 2014

Keep your summer hikes from turning tragic by hiking smart and knowing how to use your compass! Read "Felix the Sugar Glider Be Safe Hike Smart" (Amazon). Remember to calibrate your compass to the declination at your camp site or the trail you’ll be hiking ( A compass doesn't need satellites, a signal, or batteries and works in all types of weather, day or night, but you need to know how to use it and this book makes learning how to use a compass easy. Learn how to orient yourself using a compass, a compass and a map, no compass and a map, no compass and no map. The ability to know your way and know where you are is something we all need in any survival situation not just while hiking and camping. Learn what to pack for a day-hike, what to do if you get lost, how to get rescued, and survival packing (for the car and for the trail) just in case you end up unexpectedly spending the night outdoors. Buy it on Amazon, "Felix the Sugar Glider Be Safe Hike Smart".

Oct 22, 2012

Welcome to our jerseys shop we would off you the best jerseys and best servise. We are professional jerseys manufacturer from china, nike nfl jerseys, mlb jerseys, nhl jerseys,nba jerseys and shoes. we offer the latest 2012 nike jersey, with the best quality and the cheapest price, Cheap Nike NFL Jerseys, the perfect jersey to let you enjoy the sport, to make you crazy for sports. cool base mlb jerseys and throwback mlb jerseys. Revolution 30 swing nba jerseys wholesale NFL T-Shirt,
All Our Jerseys Are Sewn On and Directly From Chinese Jerseys Factory, hope to do longtime business with you.

Oct 12, 2012

Welcome cheap nfl jerseys website, this site specializes in producing the NFL, MBL, NHL all kinds of jersey, we offer the latest 2012 nike jersey, with the best quality and the cheapest price, Cheap Nike NFL Jerseys, the perfect jersey to let you enjoy the sport, to make you crazy for sports, MLB-Jerseys-c94.html Cheap MLB Jerseys, if you buy our on the jersey, we give you a discount, Discount NFL Jerseys, integrity sales jersey purchase quantity we will free shipping wholesale NFL T-Shirt, join us for freemembers have more discount.


Your rating:
Your Name:


My Profile Join Now

Most recent threads

Trailhead Register
Your favorite backpacking photo
Posted On: Aug 22, 2014
Submitted By: Echo
Trailhead Register
Stick is fine
Posted On: Aug 22, 2014
Submitted By: JasonG75
View all Gear
Find a retailer

Special sections - Expert handbooks for key trails, techniques and gear

Check out Montana in Warren Miller's Ticket to Ride
Warren Miller athletes charge hard and reflect on Big Sky country, their love for this space and the immense energy allotted to the people who reside in Montana.

Boost Your Apps
Add powerful tools and exclusive maps to your BACKPACKER apps through our partnership with Trimble Outdoors.

Carry the Best Maps
With BACKPACKER PRO Maps, get life-list destinations and local trips on adventure-ready waterproof myTopo paper.

FREE Rocky Mountain Trip Planner
Sign up for a free Rocky Mountain National Park trip planning kit from our sister site

Follow BackpackerMag on Twitter Follow Backpacker on Facebook
Get 2 FREE Trial Issues and 3 FREE GIFTS
Survival Skills 101 • Eat Better
The Best Trails in America
YES! Please send me my FREE trial issues of Backpacker
and my 3 FREE downloadable booklets.
Full Name:
Address 1:
Zip Code:
Address 2:
Email (required):
Free trial offer valid for US subscribers only. Canadian subscriptions | International subscriptions