All posts by dfkotz

David Kotz is an outdoor enthusiast, traveller, and father of three. He is also a Professor of Computer Science at Dartmouth College.

Yosemite

Just back from a brief family vacation in Yosemite National Park. Somehow, I’d never managed to visit this gem of the park system, and have long been eager to do so.  John is interning in silicon valley this summer so it provided the perfect excuse for the rest of us to hop out there to spend three days in the park.  We were fortunate to have clear, sunny weather throughout – though it was hot (over 90° every day) and crowded.  It was nonetheless a great place for me to test a new batch of camera gear. Read on for the full story – and photos!2018-06-23-47044-2.jpg Continue reading Yosemite

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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]

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

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

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.