March 1, 2012
My old "Wilderness Experience" pack lasted for several trips thru several continents, but new pack techology has really added some comfort since my first pack was made. The pack l use now is an Osprey /Aether 85. If you travel internationally with a pack then l suggest you take a huge ripstop nylon stuffsack to put the whole pack into before checking it on planes. Always sinch straps to prevent conveyer belts from attracting them and destroying your pack. l learnt that the hard way when l left Australia at 19 years of age.
Lots of down to earth folk meet on the slopes with a shared love for the peace and tranquility of nature. One can't beat sleeping under the stars at 10,000 feet after a day of hiking in god's country. It's a spiritual experience, that all must witness in this precious human life. I love cooking on an open fire, by alpine lakes with no mosquitos, lurking grissly's and a hot chocolate before snuggling into a well lofted sleeping bag and my down jacket stuffed into a clean silk t-shirt for a pillow.
I'd say intermediate, since 5-7 day trips under 13,000 ft is hardly advanced, without ever using crampons or other technical gear. Walked for a month in Nepal , away from the buzz of civilization, that was breathtakingly beautiful.
I loved the Gila, out of Willow ck to the middle fork of the Gila. Also up the west fork from the Cliff dwellings. Then too, the Jemez & Pecos wilderness, Truchas peaks etc. Hiking just around the Sandias is great and easy to access. I love canyon and creek hikes when its hot and water is running.
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Now that l 've replaced my worn gear of 32 yrs, it's time for another adventure. I've backpacked in Australia, Europe, Himalayas, Sierra's CA, Rocky's CO, WY, MT & NM has as much magic in the wild as many of these terrific destinations.