Articles and Information (updated 9/14/08)

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Articles from guest authors are encouraged. If you are interested in writing an article on equipment, backcountry skiing, climbing or backpacking, please contact me and describe what you have in mind.

Click on Historical Accounts for riveting accounts of early-California exploration by John Muir, John C. Fremont, Clarence King, Theodore Solomons, the Donner Party, Snow-shoe Thompson, etc.

A Challenge to Federal Land Managers to Protect the High Country From the Impacts Caused by Pack Animals--In Yosemite National Park, Sequoia National Park, and some of California's pristine wilderness areas, riding stock and pack stock are allowed to roam about trampling meadows, wildflowers, and sensitive riparian habitat. They defecate in streams, meadows, and along the shores of alpine lakes. I have written to the Parks' Superintendents recommending that commercial packers be required to abide by the same commonsense rules as backpackers. I have recommend 4 simple rule changes for the 2003 season. I am anxiously waiting their responses.

A Perilous Winter Night on Lassen Peak--two personal experiences of how four climbers survived a fierce winter blizzard on the summit of Lassen Peak in an igloo by Paul Richins and Gene Leach.

A Wolf Sighting in the Sierra Nevada? On June 7, 2007, I saw a wolf or wolf-like animal near Mono Pass in the Sierra Nevada. Read my account.

A Woman Climber: The Elusive Image--mountain guides, programs, web sites geared to women climbers, hikers, skiers and snowboarders along with a report by Eliza Moran on the British Mountaineering Council's symposium dedicated to women climbers and their issues.

Adaptive Summiteers Expedition To Mount Whitney, by Timothy A. Cleveland--Tim plans to be the first paraplegic to ascend Mount Whitney in a specially designed wheel chair.

Adventures with a Broken Ski--What do you do if, on the second day of a four day backcountry trip, your ski breaks in half?

An Arduous Cross-Country Ascent of Mount Whitney--climb Whitney with an athletic and eager 10-year old girl. Read this account of climbing Whitney, not the easy way on the Whitney Trail, but as we ascend the peak via an arduous cross-country route from Cottonwood Lakes, Army Pass, Sky-Blue Lake, Crabtee Pass and Lake, over the shoulder of Discovery Pinnacle, and onto the summit.

Avalanche Awareness--this article by John Moynier, discusses the basic principles of avalanche hazard evaluation: terrain, weather, snowpack and human factors.

Adventuring in Xinjiang and Tibet--Few places on the planet better fit the profile for rugged travel as it must have existed centuries ago than East Turkistan, which China now calls Xinjiang. It was here on the Russian border that we had chosen a magnificent 14,000 foot peak to climb. Little did we know that we would be beset with nearly as many adventures as Marco himself . This fine article was provided by and written by Jim Jenner.

Backpacks--a buyers guide for purchasing backpacks for multi-day trips and a challenge to the industry to reduce the weight of their packs.

Backpacks (Lightweight): All the Functions, Nearly Half the Weight--Dennis two packs weighing less than 5 pounds, the Mountainsmith Mountainlight 5,000 and the Gregory Makalu Pro.

Bear Encounters of the Close Kind in the Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne River--an entertaining account of my encounter with a mother bear and 2 cubs in the Grand Canyon Tuolumne River.

Beginner's Luck: The 1954 Ski Traverse of Lassen Volcanic National Park-- although Gene Leach was probably not the first to make this crossing of Lassen Park, it is the first recorded account. The following is his highly entertaining account of that first crossing with the Shasta College Ski Club.

Stimson Bullitt, at age 79, A climber's Inspiration--is still doing highly technical climbs of note. This article appeared in the American Alpine Club's American Alpine News in April 1999.

California's Fourteeners--a list of the 14,000 foot peaks in California plus route descriptions for each.

California's "Hall of Fame" Ski Expeditions--route descriptions of some of the best ski tours and backcountry ski summits in California's Cascade Range and the Sierra Nevada.

Carson Pass: Three Terriffic Tours and Two Splendid Summits--This excerpt from 50 Classic Backcountry Ski and Snowboard Summits in California: Mount Shasta to Mount Whitney describes ski/snowboard descents of Red Lake Peak and several other tours in the Carson Pass area of the Sierra Nevada.

Cho Oyu Expedition 1998--In a very entertaining style, Tony Hazma describes his climb of this 8,000 meter peak, the sixth highest mountain in the world.

Climber Re-conquers El Capitan at age 81: Gerry Bloch sets new record as oldest person to climb the face of El Capitan--this article appeared in the Sacramento Bee on May 24, 1999.

Climbing California's 14,000 Footers--this article appeared in the Mountain Democrat newspaper and describes Sierra Richins' accomplishment of climbing all of the 14,000 foot peaks in California, by age 13.

Climbing the West Ridge of Mount Hunter--an article appearing in the Mountain Democrat newspaper describing Paul Richins' and Dick Ratliff's climb of the West Ridge of Mount Hunter.

Clyde Minaret--climbing the southwest face, September 2007

Colorado's Fourteeners--a list of Colorado's 54 peaks exceeding 14,000 feet.

Mount Denali--Laura Evans has dedicated her life to helping others appreciate life more fully. She regularly co-leads adventures through The Expedition Inspiration Fund for Breast Cancer Research, which she founded. Here is a brief account of her climb of Denali with Expedition Inspiration.

Equipment Check List--list of recommended equipment and clothing to take on a multi-day backpacking trip.

First Aid Kit--the contents of a medical first aid kit as well as a discussion of winter mountain medicine, by Colin Fuller, M.D.

Food and Menu Planner--alpine cuisine and some tasty tips for the mountain gourmet. Suggested menus for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

"Giardia Lamblia and GiardiasisWith Particular Attention to the Sierra Nevada", by Robert L. Rockwell, PhD, or "To Filter or Not to Filter, A Different Opinion"--This article is printed from the Yosemite Association News Letter #4, March 18, 2002.

Igloo Construction Techniques--tips on how to build an igloo, by Gene Leach.

High Tech Ski Equipment of the 1960's--an entertaining account of Gene Leach's experience with the modern release bindings of the 1960's. A classic account you will enjoy reading.

How Exercise Affects Aging--studies show aerobic and anaerobic exercise can dramatically reverse many of the physiological changes occurring with aging.

Logan Bread--recipe for the bread invented by the 1950 Mount Logan Expedition.

Mountain Medicine (Winter)--this article focuses on the prevention, diagnosis and treatemt of sunburn, snow blindness, hypothermia, acute mountain sickness, High Altitude Pulmonary Edema (HAPE), dehydration, gastrointestinal (GI) illnesses, soft tissue injuries and frostbite. Also includes the contents of a medical first aid kit. by Dr Colin Fuller, MD.

Mount Baker--sets a world snowfall record of nearly 97 feet for the 1998-99 season.

Mount Everest's Elevation Measured with GPS--determined to be seven feet higher than previously measured--29,035 feet.

Mount Shasta--Laurie Bagley sets a women's record for climbing Mount Shasta in 2 hours 13 minutes.

Mount Whitney: Mountain of Solutide--this article was published in the Sacramento Bee on 2/3/05 and describes my ascent and ski descent of the Mountaineers Couloir and circumnavigation of Whitney on skis.

My Climb of Mount Whitney--Sierra Richins, age 10, describes climbing Cirque Peak by moonlight, Mount Langley and Mount Whitney on successive days. This article appeared in the Mountain Democrat newspaper.

Red Slate Mountain--Sierra Richins, age 10, describes her hike and climb of Red Slate Mountain and frigid swim in snow covered Big Horn Lake. This article appeared in the Mountain Democrat in August 1991.

Richins' Rule--a simple formula which incorporates both the distance to be traveled and the elevation to be climbed into a single formula for estimating the total amount of time required to reach your backcountry destination.

SPS Peaks List--Sierra Club's Sierra Peaks Section list of 247 peaks in the Sierra Nevada.

Six Times to the Top: Climber Sets Record on Mount Shasta--Robert Webb climbs Mount Shasta six times and 37,572 feet in 24 hours. This article appeared in the Redding Record Searchlight on July 15, 1998, and was written by Tony Hopfinger, Record Searchlight staff reporter.

Ski trips into the Trinity Alps including climbs and descents of Sawtooth Mountain and Thompson Peak, and a traverse of the Alps on skis and snowshoes. Traverse of the Trinity Alps in winter. Climbing and skiing Sawtooth Mountain. Skiing from the summit of Thompson Peak

Ski Mountaineer's PeaksSMP--List of the 20 Ski Mountaineer's PeaksSMP in California, the 17 peaks of The Snowboard Challenge, and 24 Single-Day Gems. These lists are excerpted from 50 Classic Backcountry Ski and Snowboard Summits in California: Mount Shasta to Mount Whitney.

Ski / Snowboard Descent of Mount Shasta--Mount Shasta's Hotlum - Wintun Ridge--an excerpt from "50 Classic Backcountry Ski and Snowboard Summits in California: Mount Shasta to Mount Whitney", by Paul Richins, Jr.

SkiTips--tips for purchasing backcountry skis.

Snow Blind on Mount Shasta--a first hand experience of snow blindness and the importance of wearing goggles or sunglasses even though it may be cloudy, overcast or stormy.

Snowboard Mountaineering--by John Moynier

Snow Cave Construction Techniques--simple steps on how to build a snow cave, by Gene Leach.

Snow Shelters--the importance of learning to construct a snow cave or an igloo.

Surviving Mount Logan's Icy Ridge--the following article appeared in the Mountain Democratic newspaper and details the climb of the East Ridge of Mount Logan. Mount Logan (19,850 feet) is the highest peak in Canada and the second highest in North America. Article by Paul Richins, Jr.

Tele Tips for Free-heelers--A few tips on technique. This is not a comprehensive "how to learn" ski guide but includes some tips you may find useful for improving your turns.

Ten Trip Planning Tips--before heading to the mountains, here are ten planning tips.

Tents--a buyer's guide to purchasing a 3 or 4 season tent. Includes a challenge to the tent manufacturers to reduce the weight of their product.

The Top Ten Innovations--ten advances in backcountry gear that have made the biggest impact on the life of the climber, hiker, backcountry skier.

Three Weeks in Paradise: The Lyngen Alps of Norway--The following account details the three weeks (April 17-May 6, 1991) Paul Richins, Jr. spent in the Lyngen Alps cross country skiing and ice climbing. The article was featured in the Mountain Democrat newspaper on August 2, 1991.

Top of the World: Stortind's Unclimbed Southwest Ridge--The account details the first ascent of Stortind's unclimbed Southwest Ridge. Stortind is located north of the Arctic Circle in the Lyngen Alps in Norway. The article was featured in the Mountain Democrat newspaper on August 2, 1991.

Traverse of the Trinity Alps on skis and snowshoes.

Trinity Alps--Peak Bagging in the 1930's--If the Trinity Alps had a golden age of mountaineering it was in the 1920s and 30s. Legendary Norman Clyde made over 30 ascents, many of them firsts. Hatfield Goudey , a mountaineer's name if ever there was one, wrote this article for the Sierra Club Bulletin covering the state of mountain climbing in the Trinity Alps in the 1930s.

Wind-Chill Table--shows the equivalent temperature of various wind speeds and temperature on bare skin. Both Celsius and Farhenheit scales.

World War II Airman's bodies found in Mendel Glacier--After more than 60 years the bodies of two WW II airmen have been found in the Mendel Glacier, Sierra Nevada. Their bodies have been encrusted in the glacier's ice since November 18, 1942 when their AT-7 Navigator aircraft crashed into Mount Mendel during a snow storm.

X-C skiing to Glacier Point, 10.5 miles one way but it is a wonderful experience in Yosemite National Park.

Backcountry_Resource_Center--Paul Richins, Jr.

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