L2H Day 1 – Hell to High Water

Crossing Badwater - 282 feet below sea level
Crossing Badwater – 282 feet below sea level

 “The Badwater Basin is the bottom of Death Valley, a blinding and barren desert of chemicals and mud left behind by a dying lake. It is an intriguing and magnetic place, and one of the weirdest hiking grounds anywhere. Somewhere out there you’ll find small blue-green pools rimmed with shiny crystals, frozen rivers of salt, giant salt saucers, fields of sharp pinnacles creaking in the heat – landforms straight from the far side of Pluto.”
~from Michel Digonnet’s Hiking Death Valley

March 28, 2015
Badwater to Ridge above Hannupah Canyon
17.1 miles
Elevation gain 6000
With the help of friends and family, we had an amazing sunrise start from Badwater in Death Valley National Park. Last night we successfully cached water in 2 locations and dropped off a resupply box at the Panamint Resort Store.
We had fun crossing Death Valley through Badwater, but as soon as the sun was over head the heat was intense. We left with 3 liters of water, but soon wished we had carried 4. I do not do well in heat and the temps were close to 100.
The route left the valley and steadily climbed Hannapuh Canyon to a running stream, then straight up a very difficult and slippery slope to reach the ridge that leads up to Telescope Peak. To make it even more challenging and interesting we carried 6 liters of water up the incredibly steep slippery talus chute.
We are set to have another early start to get a head start on the heat. This was a pretty hefty first day of the season with a full pack.


  1. kate51982

    Wow! I’m so excited you’re doing this route; I’ve always found it interesting & super intimidating. Can’t wait to read the next post! Best of luck!

    • Well A Skirt in the Dirt hello. Hope you are out there doing something fun this spring break. Yes super intimidating.

      • Yes! I finally finished the little bits of Sections C & D that were remaining. I thought of you plugging through the desert and then up, up, UP while I complained to myself over a piddling 4,600′ climb. 😛 I’m glad you two made it all the way and that you’re still in one piece!

  2. Quite a contrast to your Scottish adventure. Your photography is awesome as usual. Have fun . Stay safe.

  3. Glad you are ok after your first very challenging day ! I just finished another Grand Canyon adventure and it was hot there too although not as hot as you are experiencing . You would have loved this hike ! ( Really !!

  4. so inspiring my friends…so blessed to have each other to do these amazing adventures…with love grasshopper

  5. Great pictures as usual. Looking forward to following along.


  6. Wow, that’s a ton of elevation gain! Stay safe in the heat. Heck of a way to start the year with a fullllll pack and the heat too!

  7. Amazing stuff! Take care out there, sounds like hard work!

  8. Teresa Skye

    We loved seeing you guys!! Our thoughts have been with you-we look across the valley and wonder how you’re doing. Stay safe!

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