Paul Richins, Jr.(updated 12/9/07)

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Thank you for visiting the Backcountry_Resource_Center. I hope you enjoy exploring the site and find it useful for planning future excursions into the backcountry whether on skis, snowboard, snowshoes, or foot. The following is a short biographical sketch.

I was raised in Weaverville, a small mountain community at the base of the Trinity Alps in northern California. At the age of 12, I started hiking, backpacking, and backcountry skiing in the rugged Trinity Alps. During my college years, winter ascents of Mount Shasta, Pyramid Peak, Lassen Peak, and Mount Whitney wetted my appetite for more mountain adventure. I currently live in the Sierra Nevada foothills east of Sacramento in El Dorado Hills, CA.

Ascending the Russell-Carillon Col to climb the east ridge of Mount Russell.
Mount Whitney is in the background. Photo Credit M. Leach (9/99).

As a longtime member of the American Alpine Club and the Sierra Club, I have participated in successful expeditions to Alaska (West Ridge of Mount Hunter and the South Ridge of Saint Elias), Canada (East Ridge of Mount Logan), Tibet (Cho Oyu), Argentina (Cerro Aconcagua), and Chimborazo (Ecuador). In April 1991, I joined two other climbers to complete the first ascent of the Southwest Ridge of Stortind (Lyngen Alps, Northern Norway).

Other notable peaks climbed include: Mount Blanc (France), Mount Temple (Alberta, Canada); Mount Rainier, Mount Shuksan, El Dorado Peak, Forbidden Peak and Mount Stuart (Washington); Grand Teton, Mount Owen and Gannet Peak (Wyoming); Maroon Peak, North Maroon Peak, Pyramid Peak, Crestone Peak, Crestone Needle and Capitol Peak (Colorado); and hundreds of other peaks in California, Colorado, and Washington.

I have skied nearly the length of the Sierra Nevada from Donner Pass (Interstate 80) to Mount Olancha, a distance of about 300 miles; completed numerous east-west ski traverses of the Sierra Nevada; traversed Lassen Volcanic National Park many times; completed a ski traverse of the Teton Range; and skied across the Lyngen Alps in Norway. I have climbed Mount Shasta 20+ times via numerous routes, skiing from its summit on many occasions. As part of my backcountry ski mountaineering tours in the Cascade Range and Sierra Nevada, I have climbed and skied from the summits of over 100 peaks in the winter and spring, many which have been first ski descents.

My daughter, Sierra Nicole, and I have climbed over 45 peaks in Washington, Oregon, Colorado and California. Of the peaks we have climbed together, 20 have been over 14,000 feet. By age 13, she had climbed all the 14,000 footers in California and by age 15 added Mount Rainier and many of the fourteeners in Colorado.

I have written four highly successful guidebooks. Each was published by Mountaineers Books in Seattle, Washington. 50 Classic Backcountry Ski and Snowboard Summits in California: Mount Shasta to Mount Whitney (published October 1999) is in its second printing and is essentially the bible for backcountry snowboarders and ski mountaineers wishing to explore the ski summits of California. Mount Whitney: The Complete Trailhead to Summit Hiking Guide was published in April 2001 and is in its third printing. This popular guidebook to Mount Whitney provides several unique cross-country hiking routes to Whitney never before included in a guidebook. On the request of Mountaineers Books, I completely revamped and updated Best Short Hikes in California's Southern Sierra, authoring the Second Edition, which was published in March 2003.

Trekking California was published in October 2004, and it is off to an impressive start with book sales far exceeding the expectations of Mountaineers Books. This is an all-color publication of multi-day treks from 30-90 miles in length. It contains a creative array of treks from the California-Oregon border to Mount Whitney. Some of these imaginative treks follow existing trails over their entire course while others traverse less-sodden trail-less terrain to link one trail with another for an unforgettable wilderness experience.

Professionally, I am an Economist and am the Manager of the Environmental Protection Office with the California Energy Commission. The office includes 32 scientists, engineers, and environmental specialists that are responsible for assessing the environmental (air, biology, traffic, visual, water, waste and toxics, etc.), public health and safety, and engineering aspects of all new large power plants proposed in California.

Your comments on this website are encouraged.

That's me on the left taking photo of the ice fall between Camps 1 and 2 on Cho Oyu, the 6th highest peak in the world.

Backcountry_Resource_Center--Paul Richins, Jr.

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