04
Apr
2011
kloomis

Coyote Wall Hike in the Columbia River Gorge, Washington

Coyote Wall in the Columbia River Gorge, Washington

On Sunday we decided to take advantage of the sunny spring weather and ventured out for our first hike in Washington State. Our new friends Kara and Matt suggested we all hike Coyote Wall in the Columbia River Gorge. Located approximately 4.5 miles East of Hood River on the Washington side, Coyote Wall rises high above the river and offers spectacular views of the Gorge from its rim. The trail head is relatively easy to find, located on Courtney Road off SR 14.

02
Apr
2011
jloomis

Hiking the Appalachian Trail to Blood Mountain, Georgia

View from Blood Mountain, Georgia

I was able to go into work early on Wednesday in order to get off at 3 PM to drive to Neels Gap where the Southern Appalachian Trail crosses US Highway 19/129. It's about a 1.5 hour drive from Chatsworth, Georgia. Neels Gap is about 13 miles South of Blairsville. My plan was to park in the Walasi-Yi parking lot (with permission) and hike 2 steep miles along the Appalachian Trail to the summit of Blood Mountain and back. The 4 mile round-trip gains 1,400 feet of elevation on the way to the summit at 4,458 feet.

29
Mar
2011
jloomis

Hiking in Fort Mountain State Park, Georgia

Fort Mountain, Georgia

My job took me to Georgia this week where our carpet fabrication facility is. On Tuesday evening after work, I was able to drive up to Fort Mountain State Park for a short hike. The park is only about a 20 minute drive East of Chatsworth. The road quickly winds up into the mountains leaving the city far below. I went on a short easy mile loop hike to the summit of Fort Mountain and back. The conditions were calm with overcast skies and a temperature around 50°F.

24
Mar
2011
jloomis

Atlas 9 Series FRS Snowshoes Review

Product Rating: 
4
Atlas 9 Series FRS Snowshoes

Features:

Just like the 10 series, the Atlas 9 Series FRS Snowshoes are built on a 6000 series aluminum frame with Nytex decking. The flexible Wrap™ bindings easily tighten and provide a solid connection to the snowshoes. Traction is achieved with steel front All-Trac™ toe crampons and rear Tri-Cleats. Atlas 9 Series Snowshoes also feature Free-Rotating™ Suspension for natural articulation and greater traction on uneven terrain. Available in two sizes: 25 and 30 inch.

23
Mar
2011
kloomis

Snowshoeing Maxwell Butte near Sisters, Oregon

Summit of Maxwell Butte, Oregon

After spending much of the winter enjoying the sights and peaks of the Northern Oregon Cascades, Jason and I decided to travel further South and snowshoe to Maxwell Butte on Sunday. We left early, hoping to avoid any Spring Break traffic and have the trail at least partially to ourselves. Our reward was a nearly empty parking lot. The only cars there had clearly been left overnight. The sky was high overcast with a slight breeze and 29° F temperature when we arrived. Maxwell SnoPark is located approximately 28 miles Northwest of Sisters, Oregon along Highway 22.

22
Mar
2011
jloomis

Snowshoeing Barlow Butte, Oregon

Summit of Barlow Butte, Oregon

After a fun night snow camping at Devils Half Acre Meadow, Matt and I took off on snowshoes for Barlow Butte. Since we were camped at the base of the butte on the Western side, we chose to go almost straight up from there. Our route was about 0.6 miles each way. The temperature was in the mid 20s F with no wind and mostly sunny skies. This was one of those times I regretted not bringing my sunglasses.

21
Mar
2011
jloomis

Snow Camping at Devils Half Acre Meadow Campground, Oregon

Devil's Half Acre Meadow Campground in the Winter

On Friday night, my friend John and I headed off with fully loaded pulk sleds to snow camp at Devils Half Acre Meadow. We left my house at about 2:30 PM and set out from the Barlow Pass SnoPark at around 4 PM. Another friend, Matt, planned to meet us there just after dark. It's an easy 1.2 mile hike downhill to the campground, which was our destination. The campground sits right at the base of Barlow Butte. The weather was a comfortable 29°F with moderate to heavy snow fall.

15
Mar
2011
jloomis

Olympus Stylus Tough-6020 Digital Camera Review

Product Rating: 
4
Olympus Stylus Tough-6020 Digital Camera

Features:

The Olympus Stylus Tough-6020 is a waterproof, shockproof, and freezeproof digital camera designed for those with rugged pursuits such as any Loomis Adventure. It is jam-packed with features like HD video and 29 shooting modes. The Tough-6020 works under water, on top of a mountain in the middle of winter, at sporting events, and of course at home. For more information on all of the features, visit the Olympus website.

12
Mar
2011
jloomis

Climbing Eureka Peak, Oregon in the Winter

Eureka Peak, Oregon

I have been eager to get back out in the snow since returning from vacation in Kauai. The tropical climate was nice and we had an amazing trip, but I love the snow and mountains of the Pacific Northwest. My friend Tyler and his friend Holli joined Katie and I on a non-technical climb Saturday to Eureka Peak. The route ( 5 mile round-trip) we took begins at the Trillium Lake SnoPark off hwy 26 about 3 miles Southeast of Government Camp.

11
Mar
2011
jloomis

Atlas 10 Series Snowshoes Review

Product Rating: 
4
Atlas 10 Series Snowshoes

Features:

Atlas 10 Series Snowshoes are built on a 6000 series aluminum frame with Nytex decking. The new Wrapp™ Comfort binding allows effortless entry and removal of the snowshoes. Traction is achieved with steel front All-Trac™ toe crampon and Traverse Trac™ rails. Atlas 10 Series Snowshoes also feature Spring-Loaded™ Suspension for greater comfort and maneuverability. Available in three sizes: 25, 30, and 35 inch.

07
Mar
2011
jloomis

REI Lookout 40 Liter Backpack Review

Product Rating: 
5
REI Lookout 40 Liter Backpack

Features:

The REI Lookout daypack has plenty of pockets for organizing gear and its contoured fit feels great over miles of trail. The molded-foam back panel increases comfort and features channels to improve air circulation. The internal sleeve accommodates a hydration bladder with drinking tube exits on either side of the backpack. The wide opening main compartment allows easy access to gear. Additional pockets include the zippered front organizer pocket, zippered top stash pocket, two zippered stash pockets on the waist belt, two zippered vertical side pockets, and two mesh side pockets. The backpack also features side compression straps and a single ice axe loop that tucks away when not in use. To top it off, the pack has a polyurethane coating for weather resistance.

06
Mar
2011
jloomis

Ziplining with Kauai Backcountry Adventures

Katie, Jason, Mom, and Grandpa Geared up for Ziplining

The weather changed for the worse on Thursday after our mostly sunny hike to Hanakapi'ai Falls on Tuesday. We decided to go ziplining anyway. We drove to the Kauai Backcountry Adventures headquarters off hwy 56 in Hanamaulu (SE part of island). At the warehouse we geared up in full body harnesses and climbing helmets. As we waited to leave, we could hear the rain pounding the metal roof. It was really coming down and sounded as though we were under a waterfall.

03
Mar
2011
jloomis

Kalalau Trail to Hanakapi'ai Falls, Kauai

Hanakapi'ai Falls

On Tuesday the sun was shining and we were up early (5 AM) securing hiking permits for our June Half Dome hike in Yosemite. This was our second day on vacation with my parents and grandpa. Since we had an early start, we decided it would be a great day to hike to Hanakapi'ai Falls on the beautiful Hawaiian island of Kauai. The 8-mile round-trip hike starts at the end of highway 560 on the Northern part of Kauai. The trail becomes dangerous and nearly impassable during heavy rains, so the sunny weather worked in our favor.

23
Feb
2011
jloomis

Black Diamond Raven Ice Axe Review

Product Rating: 
5
Black Diamond Raven Ice Axe

Features:

The Black Diamond Raven Ice Axe is a traditional mountaineering piolet. It's offered in lengths from 55 cm to 90 cm. The shaft is built from lightweight yet strong and durable aircraft grade aluminum alloy. The stainless steel head is designed for years of dependable use.

21
Feb
2011
jloomis

Climbing Mount Hood to Crater Rock

Mount Hood, Oregon

I finally had a free day Sunday with okay weather for a solo climb up Mount Hood to Crater Rock. This was my first trip to this elevation on Mount Hood and my plan wasn't to climb all the way to the summit. I am saving that for a future trip. Mount Hood is Oregon's tallest peak at 11,239 feet elevation. It's known as Wy'east to the Multnomah Tribe. The route I took is known as the South Side Route and starts from the historic Timberline Lodge. It is about 6 miles to Crater Rock and back with an elevation gain of 4,000 feet.

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