A natural elevation of the earth’s surface rising more or less abruptly to a summit, and attaining an altitude greater than that of a hill, usually greater than 2000 feet (610 meters). Don’t expect to find a map or to drop into a San Jose to lead you to the goods, Valle’s had to keep his bounty under the radar to satisfy the landowners and keep the masses from schralping it. There is an exception however; you can explore the unique landscape of Costa Rica on Valle’s trails with the man himself by contacting Whistler-based guiding company Big Mountain Adventures who offer downhill and all-mountain trips exclusively with Valle.

Somewhere I’ve seen (can’t find right now) some nice time-lapse videos of central/northern European train stations showin that the platforms are completely empty of people (and trains) for about 11 minutes out of every 15, then get populated as the connecting buses arrive and people walk in from cafes/shops/etc just before the train shows up. If things are predicable this works just as well every half hour, and could work in places like Mountain View, even off-peak.mountain

If you plan to hike this as the shorter 3.6-mile version, turn right and head south; otherwise, turn north and descend on the AT. After a half mile of descent down some switchbacks, I came to a very small clearing with a view north to Bear Den and Scott Mountains in Shenandoah.

There is a sense of profound reverence as you gaze out at the view, knowing that the only people to see it have climbed the very mountain you stand on. Your own goals will feel the same way – the fact that you have worked for them gives them deeper meaning, makes them worth the effort.mountain

While it’s not as grand, this view is remarkable in that Mt. Marshall and the Peak, which are far away in the north district, are still visible from here. When he left the building for the last time he was rolled out the west front door. I skipped that detour to shorten the hike and cut back on the elevation gain; however, I have included in this post a description of a half-mile detour down the AT to a view of Bear Den and Scott Mountain. Zero upon a view (sunrise, river, farms, or forest), you wish to present through your mountain landscape drawing. Take a minute to give some consideration to your most recent mountain climbing experience. It’s for good reason, it’s one of the best places to mountain bike on the planet. It was finally time to take advantage of the extra weight and inflate our rafts.mountain