Zion from sunrise to sunset

I had the great pleasure of spending 24 hours in Zion National Park, as a quick respite from the hustle and bustle of work life and a conference in Las Vegas.  (After a brief visit to Zion in 2014, I knew I needed to come back for more!)  I arrived at sunset on Monday and left at sunset on Tuesday, with the aim of doing several hikes and making the best of this photographer’s paradise.  It had snowed over the weekend, so the high cliffs were dusted white, but the weather for my visit portended clear blue skies, a frigid morning, and a warm sunny afternoon.  Read on, and check out the photo gallery. The photos are much more beautiful there!

David at Canyon Overlook, soon after sunrise.
David at Canyon Overlook, soon after sunrise.

Continue reading Zion from sunrise to sunset

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Mystical India

I’ve just returned from India, where Pam and I had the opportunity to host a Dartmouth Alumni Travel group for a two-week tour of the history, architecture, culture, and arts of northern India.   We joined a wonderful group of 12 interesting individuals, and an outstanding tour guide from Odysseys Unlimited, for a bustling tour of Delhi, Jaipur, Ranthambore, Agra, and Varanasi.  I think what struck me most about the agenda was its fascinating mix of the sights (palaces, temples, mosques, etc.) with the culture (villages, markets, families. religion) and arts (dance, music, weaving, pottery, jewelry, stonework, carpets, and even paper).  Read on for a summary of our journey, and for a sampling of the many photos!

Continue reading Mystical India

Alta-Snowbird traverse

I had the good fortune to be out in Utah to attend the MobiCom conference, held this year at the Snowbird ski resort.  Although late October is the shoulder season, I was nonetheless eager to get out hiking in the mountains above Snowbird.  Wow, was I ever lucky with the weather!  It snowed on the final day of the conference, leaving me to hike through a snowy wonderland on the day after.  See the photo gallery, and read on to hear more about the hike. Continue reading Alta-Snowbird traverse

Kilimanjaro

Climbers are backlit by the sunrise.
Climbers are backlit by the sunrise.

With the rising of the equatorial sun, the undercast clouds climbed the slopes of Kilimanjaro and slowly enveloped us in an eery mist. We had begun our summit push about an hour before dawn, a line of bobbing headlamps weaving through the sleeping camp at Barafu, 15,200′ above sea level.  Now, as we ascended past 17,000′, pole pole (slowly, slowly), I was beginning to really feel the altitude. Despite six days of acclimatization and hiking along the Lemosho Route, all five of us were quietly focused on each slow step along the steep and winding switchbacks up toward the rim of Kilimanjaro’s volcanic crater; step, breathe, step, breathe.  A few trekkers were already descending – those who rose at midnight to make their entire summit push during the moonlit night, jubilant from reaching the summit – and those who looked quite pale and were gingerly being led down by a guide holding each elbow.  The altitude affects everyone differently, and the sick have to descend quickly.  We pushed on, hoping for clear skies at the summit and for weather good enough to stay overnight in the crater as planned.

But I get ahead of myself. This 11-day trip, including 9 days on the mountain, is a long story. As you read the trip description below, be sure to check out the photo galleries of the trek, of our two days pre-trek, of the flora and fauna, and of night skies on the mountain.

Continue reading Kilimanjaro

Mount Washington

David on the summit of Mount Washington. After a busy spring term at Dartmouth I decided to take advantage of clear skies and a clear calendar to hike Mount Washington.  As I drove to the mountains, I could see that every mountain in New Hampshire was in the clear… except one.  A persistent cloud snuggled the summit of Mount Washington.  I headed up the Ammonoosuc Ravine Trail at 7:15am, and intermittent views ahead confirmed this cloud was stuck on the summit. Still, the trail passes many beautiful waterfalls and rocky formations, and I saw only one other hiker in the early morning chill.  I reached Lakes of the Clouds, and the AMC hut, in brilliant morning sunshine.

Fortunately, as I scrambled up into the cloud, it dissipated, and I reached the summit at 10am under sunny skies.  After exploring there for a while, I headed toward the northern Presies (Clay, Jefferson, Adams, Madison), to each of which still clung small patches of snow.  I hopped over the Cog Railway tracks, skirted Clay to the west, and dropped down the Jewell Trail to my starting point.  [It’s amazing how pleasant the Jewell Trail can be in good conditions – i.e., when it’s not dark, 30 degrees and raining, postholing through an ice crust; but that’s another story.]

See more photos.

climb: 4.5mi; 2h40 including stopover at hut; 3800’ gain

descent: 5.0mi; 2h08. 

route

Winter hikes

It was a great winter – once it got started, there was deep snow and many days with outstanding conditions.  Unfortunately, I didn’t have much time to get out and enjoy it.  Still, I managed to get in one fantastic hike every month.

Dennis and Cory and Saiah enjoy the view of the Jobildunc headwall.
January: Bushwhacking a ravine on Mount Moosilauke

The summit of Moosilauke on a rather cloudy winter's day.
February: a blustery, cloudy day on Moosilauke [more photos
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March: a blue-sky day with deep snow on Moosilauke [more photos]
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April: fresh powder in the Franconia Range, on Mount Liberty [more photos]

Alpine hike in Switzerland

I was in Zurich for a day of meetings and decided it would be a great opportunity to go hiking in the beautiful mountains of Switzerland.  So, despite earlier stops in Dallas (for ACM CCS) and Delft (for ACM SenSys) I brought along my backpack, boots, and full winter hiking gear.  On Wednesday morning, after lots of helpful advice from my ETH colleagues, I boarded an eastbound train from Zurich.  Read on for the full story, and check out the photos. Continue reading Alpine hike in Switzerland

Delft, in The Netherlands

I enjoyed a couple of quick days in the historic district of Delft, The Netherlands, while attending the SafeThings workshop in advance of SenSys 2017.  Although it rained on and off, the picturesque streets and canals were a delight to explore.  I also ducked into the Old Church and New Church (both hundreds of years old), for a peek at their excellent exhibits.  I stayed in Hotel Johannes Vermeer, named after the famous painter, so I was especially interested in those exhibits.   Beautiful town!  See the photos; the one below is from my hotel room (which was a 4th-floor attic!).

The spire of Nieuwe Kerk, behind another church, as viewed from my hotel room in Delft.