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MailTribune.com
  • Overnight in the Outback

    Sierra Club backpacking trips in Southern Oregon, Northern California can be easy or hard — it's your choice
  • An old-timer and a young buck from the local Sierra Club chapter are teaming up this summer to lead a series of overnight backpacking trips into the Southern Oregon and Northern California outback.
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    • If you go
      Friday-Sunday, Aug. 17-19: Buck Lake and Devil's Punchbowl in the Siskiyou Wilderness. Group will take a 1.8-mile hike to set up a base camp Friday evening at Buck Lake. The next day offers a nine-...
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      If you go
      Friday-Sunday, Aug. 17-19: Buck Lake and Devil's Punchbowl in the Siskiyou Wilderness. Group will take a 1.8-mile hike to set up a base camp Friday evening at Buck Lake. The next day offers a nine-mile, round-trip hike with a 1,650-foot elevation gain. Devil's Punchbowl is a glacier-cut cirque with walls 1,500 feet high. Group is limited to eight people due to campsite availability at Buck Lake. To reserve a spot or for more information, email Noah Volz at noah@rhythmofhealing.com.

      Saturday-Monday, Sept. 1-3: Sky Lakes Wilderness trip. Group will use the Cold Springs trailhead off Highway 140, about four miles after Lake of the Woods. The hike in will be a flat five miles to Margurette Lake. The following day, folks can fish and explore the many lakes in the area or take an 11-mile hike with 2,541 feet of climbing to Devils Peak, mostly on the Pacific Crest Trail. Space is limited to 16. Noah Volz and Al Collinet will lead separate groups. To reserve a spot and for more information, email Volz at noah@rhythmofhealing.com or Collinet at dewbobal@frontier.com.
  • An old-timer and a young buck from the local Sierra Club chapter are teaming up this summer to lead a series of overnight backpacking trips into the Southern Oregon and Northern California outback.
    Al Collinet, a 69-year-old Brookings resident, has led two groups this summer, one to Towhead Lake in the Red Buttes Wilderness the weekend of July 13 and one to Mount Eddy the last weekend in July.
    From Aug. 17 to 19, 33-year-old Noah Volz will lead a group of backpackers on a trek to Buck Lake and Devil's Punchbowl in the Siskiyou Wilderness. Then the two men will team up in early September to lead a trip into the Sky Lakes Wilderness.
    "For the last couple of years, they've been trying to get some new blood in there," says Volz, a vegetarian, yoga-practicing massage therapist with ayurvedic leanings who moved to Oregon from Colorado six years ago.
    Most of the Sierra Club's Rogue Group hike leaders are in their 70s, and many of the people who sign up for the group's hikes tend to be older adults, but Volz represents a new generation of backwoods enthusiasts.
    Volz, who started leading overnight trips for the club two years ago, backpacks about 100 to 200 miles each summer. He'll pick a different region to focus on each year, and then do as many trips into the area as his schedule allows so he can get a good sense of what the area offers.
    Last year, his focus was the Siskiyou Wilderness. This year, he's been keying in on the Trinity Alps and Marble Mountains in Northern California.
    Collinet has been leading overnight backpacking trips for the local Sierra Club since 2006, and the lifelong Boy Scout leads numerous day hikes in Curry County for a hiking group dubbed the Muscle Busters.
    He doesn't intend to hang up his hiking sticks any time soon, but he admits he has days that are harder than they used to be.
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