Mar 15 2014

The Trek Begins

At the the trail head…the journey is the destination along the road less traveled :-)


Mar 14 2014

Hiking the Rollercoaster of the AT


Winter Hike 2014 is on tap to be the warmest winter hike take to date.  Though just a short 6 days prior to the first day of spring we are reminded we still remain in winter with a pending winter storm at the end of the weekend.

The details:

  • 14 miles of hiking on the “Roller Coaster” section of the AT on day 1 (Sat March 15th) and a very short hike out to RT 7 and the destination parking area Sunday morning.  One note for Sunday; Dane will be providing a message/devotional prior to departure.
  • Overnight stay at Bears Den Hostel

As signal permits there will be continued updates.

Sep 2 2012

Mt. Le Conte

Thanks Backpacker Magazine for posting the Trail details for Mt. Le Conte.  A Trail within the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in TN

Jan 29 2012

LHHT Turnpike Bridge

The new bridge spanning the turnpike has reached final completion.  Took a short hike there today with Mike S. (Poncho).  Obtained a great deal of video (video to come soon) and some pictures of the bridge to share.  The day was in the 30’s with a nice blue sky.  Looking forward to the official opening ceremony in the spring.  The first picture is the view from the south side.

The wide angle view of the new wider bridge – plenty of room for all the winter snowmobiling activities that will share the bridge with hikers etc.

Sunny with blue skies on a mid 30 degree winter day in the laurel highlands.

Just adding in a mile marker just north of the bridge.  Enjoy.

Jan 10 2012

LHHT January 2012

Ventured out on the LHHT for an overnight winter hike with the usual crew: Sherpa, Legs, Ring Tone, Father Time and a new addition Sundance.  Thanks to Sherpa and Legs for having the shelters all ready to go by the time the rest of us arrived at the TurnPike shelters for the overnight stay – they arrived early and graciously had a fire awaiting our arrival.  A beautiful night with a clear and near full moon nearly eliminating the need for a headlamp on the hike into the shelters.  Morning arrived with an awesome sunrise and a great day of hiking ahead of the group along the LHHT on an atypical January winter day.   The entire timing of the trip was set around the supposed official opening of the turnpike bridge, however that as we found out was delayed by some measure of weeks.   Not letting that stopping us we went on as planned with boots on the ground intel provided by our ultra marathon runner with some real time imagery exhibiting a fully open and cross-able bridge.  So we carried on with our plans to stay the night at the turnpike bridge and hike south the following day finishing up at RT 31.  Video included on the CatchTech Adventures youtube page.


Oct 23 2011

LHHT October 2011

The Rum Bottle Outdoorsman made the annual fall hike on the Laurel Highlands trail this year October 21st and 22nd.  The trek began at the northern end of the trail with initial plans of staying at the Rt 56 shelters Friday night and continuing south the following day finishing up at Rt 271 parking area.  Rain prevailed with fog setting in, similar to the famous fog out hike at the Turnpike shelters a few years ago, however certainly not as thick of fog – no one needed to call the cell phone of their shelter mate to find their way from a short 20 yards away.  Joining the group for their first ever trip in western PA was Pastor Sam from FCC – unlike others that still have yet to have been tagged with a trail name, Sam earned his within the first few miles of the hike.  As I recall the details were as such, Sam asked “Is it foggy or are my glasses just foggy?” and Mike C simply replied with ” Yes and Yes” – so Foggy it was.   Just like that Mike C. brandished his witty style..hmm Mike C. may be nameless no longer – Witty seems fitting?

Anyhow the night was wet and increasing cold. Tom and Ben departed the trailhead a little over an hour after we did but rolled into camp only a short 15/20 mins after we did.  Upon getting a fire going in two shelters we settled in for the night and  cooked up the food we had packed in for the night.  The following day proved to be a very nice day for a fall hike, however the previous night proved more than Foggy had planned on.  Witty decided to call in a ride from the shelters for he and Foggy while Tom, Ben and I hit the trail and headed North back to our cars at the trailhead parking.  What a great day to be on a hike – and even a great night be bedding down next to a campfire.

Some notes from this hike:  Shelter 2 at the Rt. 56 shelters is closest to the wood pile.  Upcoming Hike invites will include a difficulty rating associated with the description.  Cotton is not your friend on the trail.

Up Next a winter Hike —- Maybe early January 2012?

May 5 2011

Malans Peak

Located on the east side of Ogden Utah, the summit of Malans Peak offers dramatic views out over the community,  theGreatSalt Lake and the surrounding mountains.  I started at the 29th street trail head parking area; a very nice area for mountain bikers, trail runners and hikers alike.  The locals in Ogden certainly have some extremely nice trail options at their use; and special thanks to some private land owners that allow the trails to continue through their land.  At one point on the trail I noticed a sign making us aware of their generosity; otherwise I would have been left taking pictures from well below.  As for the pictures and the video; they are certainly sub par as I only had my phone with me; which made the video very shaky and quality lacking at best – so watch at your own risk.

A video from the trek on Malans Peak

Malans Peak sits at a listed elevation of 6980 feet and boasts a 2140 feet gain over the course of the hike.  Had I been a betting man I would have more than doubled the elevation gain; so I suppose the fact the climb seemed tougher than a normal hike around home would lend to the fact the air is a little thinner.  At least that is the explanation Im sticking with; certainly not leaning toward being out of shape.

The conditions in early May provide the opportunity to to hike in summer like conditions at the trail head and finish in winter like conditions near the peak.  I must admit that I did decide to turn around near the summit; as I estimate it now looking at a map I suspect I may have been less than 300 yards short of the summit bid.  The snow was deeper with every step toward the summit once I got to a certain point and I had only packed in two water bottles, gps, headlamp and my light North Face jacket.  All the while in my running shoes so I was pushing my limits the way it was trekking through the snow on the lower end of the switch backs.  The open face snow falls were in the back of my mind and without some simple light crampons or even a good pair of hiking boots my better judgement won out.  The many books I have read on mountain climbing and the perils of even the all common short hikes were in the back of my mind; so all that weighing on my mind I decided to turn back.  In addition at about the half way point I had passed a fellow hiker on her way down from reaching the peak with simple light crampons in use. “The upper switch backs get a little dicey” she went on to say the snow was deep just before wishing me good luck.  I didn’t say but did think to myself she could wish me all the luck till she could until the cows comes home, but that faction of societal saying would not change one aspect of the outcome of my trek.  I digress. ;-)  

The hike was still an enjoyable and successful hike even though I did not summit.  After all I got to be in God’s great outdoors and thankful to be in the Wasatch mountain range on a beautiful day in early May.

Mar 11 2011

Seek the Peak 2011

On July 23, 2011, I will climb 6,288-foot Mount Washington, New Hampshire as a participant in the 11th annual Seek the Peak hike-a-thon. As the largest annual fundraiser for the nonprofit Mount Washington Observatory, every dollar I raise will directly support the Observatory’s mission of research and education on Mount Washington.

Since 1932, the member-supported Mount Washington Observatory has been observing and reporting on Mount Washington’s infamous conditions from their mountaintop weather station, maintaining a continuous climate record nearly eight decades long.

The data they collect is utilized in nationwide forecasting models, local and regional weather reports, landmark climate research projects and a variety of innovative educational programs. Through research and education, the Observatory is working to inspire the next generation of scientists.

Please join me in supporting this legendary institution by making a donation towards my hike. All gifts are fully tax-deductible, and will help Mount Washington Observatory continue their important work in the Home of the World’s Worst Weather.

Mar 11 2011

Laurel Highlands Trail Turnpike Bridge

The Somerset Daily American has recently reported that new bridge spanning the PA Turnpike will be finished this year.  The bridge that had oringinally been constructed in 1970 was removed in 2010 due to structural integrity.  The bidding process opened March 10th which should signal that construction should be in the near future.  Upon reviewing all the bids the Design constructions officials will award the contract with the apparently intentions of having the newly constructed bridge finished this calendar year.

Notable differences that equestrians and mountain bikers will certainly welcome is a wider bridge.  What did I mention equestrians, bikes, apparently this down time allowed park officials to revisit the other potential uses of the bridge and utilizing the additional multi use trails offered by DCNR.  The LHHT will remain hikers only (sure runners too!)

Certainly great news for hikers/mountain bikers/snowmobiles/and equestrians alike!  Thanks for all the hard work to those in DCNR and associated agencies to make this possible.

Who will be the first one to cross the new bridge?

Jan 22 2011

LHT January 2011 Hike

The new year brought in the first hike for the year; a short hike but non the less a great one night stay along the beautiful Laurel Highlands Trail.  The trek finally brought along some outdoor enthusiasts that prior to this hike always had a scheduling conflict; glad you could make it this time Brantley.  In addition a green horn made the trip along; as far as I know it was Matt’s first trekking adventure.  Great time with temps in the teens as I can best remember and a beautiful overnight snow fall that brought in around 3 to 4 inches; maybe more but who measured.  Looking forward to the next trek; Im thinking the Loyalsock Trail for a future trip or even the Terrace Mountain Trail along Lake Raystown.  Of course there is always Seek the Peak in late July for anyone interested in joining CTA for that trek. for more information.