Category Archives: Climbing

Stories and images from my climbing adventures.

November 30, 2014 Scrambling to the summit of Mount Heyburn.

Photo Gallery: Idaho’s Sawtooth Wilderness

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By Michael Lanza

When can you claim to know a mountain range well? How do you know? Maybe it’s once you have spent enough time—certainly measured in years, and probably decades—that you have explored beyond the most accessible and popular spots to the obscure, unknown corners; when you have hiked most of its trails; when you unfold a map and it takes several minutes to tick off for someone all the places you have visited.

That’s a good start, anyway.

 

 

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July 10, 2014 Great Sand Dunes National Park, Colorado.

Photo Gallery: 25 Favorite Backcountry Campsites

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By Michael Lanza

Everyone has favorite campsites from unforgettable backcountry trips. I’ve been fortunate to have pitched a tent in many great backcountry campsites over more than two decades of backpacking and trekking all over the U.S. and the world. I’ve boiled my list of my favorite campsites down to 25. Continue reading →

May 21, 2014 Fishing at Lake 8522, Sawtooth Mountains, Idaho.

Boy Trip, Girl Trip: Why I Take Father-Son and Father-Daughter Adventures

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By Michael Lanza

On a morning when the late-summer sunshine sharpens the incisor points of every peak and spire in the jagged skyline of Idaho’s Sawtooth Mountains, Nate and I step inside the Sawtooth National Recreation Area ranger station, south of the little town of Stanley, population sixty-three. I chat with the ranger behind the counter, mentioning that my son and I are heading out to backpack the 18-mile loop from Pettit Lake to Alice and Toxaway Lakes.

The ranger sizes up my six-year-old, 40-pound kid, and frowns skeptically. “You know, that’s a pretty rugged hike,” he tells me. Continue reading →

March 6, 2014 Vogelsang Lake, Yosemite National Park.

One Photo, One Story: 10 Tips For Raising Outdoors-Loving Kids

In Backpacking, Climbing, Family Adventures, Hiking, National Park Adventures, Paddling, Skiing, Skills   |   Leave a comment

By Michael Lanza

As we neared Gunsight Pass in Glacier National Park, on the middle day of a three-day family backpacking trip, a man and woman in their fifties stopped to talk with us. They sized up our kids and smiled; Nate was nine and Alex was seven. “We’re impressed!” they told us. “We never had any luck trying to get our kids to backpack when they were young.” We chatted a bit and then headed off in opposite directions on the trail.

After they were out of earshot, Alex turned to me, wanting to clarify a point: “You didn’t get us to do this,” she told me. “We wanted to do it.” Her words, of course, warmed my heart. But her comment also spotlighted the biggest lesson for parents hoping to raise their kids to love the outdoors: Create experiences that make them eager to go out again the next time. Continue reading →

December 5, 2013 Sunset above Buck Creek Pass, Glacier Peak Wilderness, Washington.

Photo Essay: A Year of Outdoor Adventures

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By Michael Lanza

A few weeks ago, as I hiked with my daughter up the steep Grandview Trail in the Grand Canyon, knocking off the last few miles of a three-day backpacking trip that had been wonderful on many levels, I was feeling awfully satisfied. For starters, through most of this fall, I’d had a bad itch to get out somewhere—and the Big Ditch, it turns out, is a pretty good place to scratch that itch. Plus, we’d just enjoyed three absolutely gorgeous, summer-like days of father-daughter time, and the company of two other families who joined us.

But seen from a longer view, returning to the Grand Canyon again felt like the perfect way to cap off another good year outdoors. In 2013, I got to seven national parks; five federal wilderness areas; an Idaho mountain range (the White Cloud Mountains) that might… no, should… become either federal wilderness or a national monument in the near future; and had the unforgettable pleasure of standing with my 12- and 10-year-old kids, my 15-year-old nephew, and my 76-year-old mom on the crater rim of Mount St. Helens. Continue reading →

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