Showing posts from September, 2016

"Winterize" Your Gear

The snow is creeping down and as the non-snowy hiking season begins to wind down (whimper) it is time to begin thinking about winterizing your summer hiking gear and reorganizing your backpack for winter use.

Water Bladders:    Let's start out with your hydration reservoirs. I love my Osprey 2L pouch with its reflective outer shell that helps keep the water inside cool. I have owned it for 5 years and have never "cleaned" it. Whenever I am not using the reservoir I toss it in the freezer. Yep, the freezer! The cold inhibits any bacteria or mold from growing. Before I put it in the freezer I make sure all the water is out of the tube so that when I refill it later I can get water out again without waiting for ice to melt. Many websites discuss the importance of thoroughly drying your hydration pouch after use or washing, but by freezing it you don't need to worry about this step.
Here is a link to a site that give great ideas on how …

Matanuska Peak, One Mountain many approaches...

Matanuska Peak aka Byers Peak
The fair brings hordes of people to Palmer, but it also brings a temporary job with the amazing Alaska Chicks.  Seeing the beautiful weather (best in years), made my hiking feet cry for the mountains that call for me.  However, we had set September 10th for the ascent.

Like other large mountains, this one has rewards all the way you climb it.  On the day we hiked, we saw people with toddlers who didn't summit, but enjoyed the tundra meadow!

My husband is a fair weather hiker, and thankfully it was a STUNNING day.  We got a later start instead of 7am, we launched at 9 am.

Many Routes to the same Peak.

1)  McRoberts Creeks approach
Trailhead:  Smith Road

2) Matanuska Peak Trail
Trailhead: Smith Road but after

3) Summit Lazy then go down the backside of Lazy toward the valley and connect with the Mat Peak trail. (Matanuska Peak Race)
Trailhead:  Huntley Road Lazy Mountain Trailhead

4) Lazy-Matanuska Peak Connector Trail : Summit Lazy and follow the rid…

Fabulous Fall "Fotos"!

Well folks summer is over, time to put away the sprinkler and pack away the swimsuits until we are ready to reveal our pasty bodies next spring. :o)

Although there are a few of us devoted Chaco wearers who are still stubbornly refusing to stifle our toes!

And soon we will get to start enjoying THIS...

But for now Fall is in full swing and who doesn't love getting out on those Blue Bird days and trying to snap a pic of our beloved Pioneer Peak as the snow creeps down.
One of the pleasures of Fall is the glorious colors around us and for some us we love to attempt to capture those moments with our camera or smartphone. Here is a round up of some websites that offer great ideas for composing and shooting photos with your camera and a few sites that offer tips for using your iPhone.
For camera -
For iPhone  -…


A few tips for keep your Fall hiking at it's maximum enjoyment! BY JULIE MILLER

1. LAYERS! - It is that time of year where I want the heat on in the house in the morning and the windows open in the afternoon. That same idea applies to your hiking clothing. Our temps this time of year can swing a good 20-30 degrees. Keep in mind that elevation also effects temperatures, higher means colder. Rain gear is a must.
2. Be mindful of hunters - For sportsmen Fall is the most anticipated time of the year. Moose season is in full swing and hikers should take precautions. Wear bright colored clothing so that you are visible. If you happen upon hunters be sure they are aware of your presence. If you hear gunshots, judge the distance, keep your eyes open, and remain visible.
3. Shorter daylight - Toss a headlamp into your pack just incase you're out a wee bit later than you planned. 
4. Trust your gut - If the weather turns on you 1/2 way through a hike there is NO shame in turning around. Nev…

Hikes...based on wind and weather

Okay, three weeks of rain and a few 40 mph windy days.  Is it that miserable everywhere?  Actually, we live in a huge state.  I am blessed to live in Palmer between two large rivers (Knik and Matanuska) that are fed by huge glaciers and two major mountain ranges (Chugach and Talkeetna).  The cool thing about living among the mountains is that the weather can be quite different just a few miles away.   I am going to explain how to use Weather Underground to find out where it is not windy and where the current temperatures are more desirable.
Weather Underground is a sweet webpage and free app that I can use on my desktop or cell phone.  I have even arranged our hiking guide to be in distinct  areas so you can easily see the conditions (towards Hatcher Pass, Butte, Anchorage)
Now, as I have encouraged you in the past, regardless of the weather, Thrive Outside.  However, sometimes I do want to get away from the wind.  I love the Weather Underground webpage and mobile app to find a place…