And sometimes, they have fun without climbing
What do Touchstone’s staffers and members do when they aren’t climbing, training for climbing or thinking about climbing? This past summer a lot of them were heading out on the John Muir Trail. Stretching 211 miles from Yosemite Valley through Kings Canyon and Sequoia national parks to Mount Whitney, the JMT takes hikers through some spectacular Sierra scenery.
“The members of Touchstone have done it all,” says retail manager Patti Phillips, “Everything from 6 days to 5 1/2 weeks, ultra-light to ultra-heavy, from start to finish, or in sections over time.”
In fact, Jacki Florine, wife of board member Hans Florine, holds the women’s solo-unsupported record for the trail: six days, six hours and 53 minutes on a trip in August and September of last year.
Phillips herself hit the trail this summer with Touchstone controller and co-founder Debra Melvin. They had taken a mini-trip last year around Glacier Point and decided it was time to make a longer visit.
“It was perfectly planned around the full moon, thanks to Debra,” says Phillips. And while the pair never did venture out into the night, “it was great not to use our headlamps on our early morning departures.”
They prepared for everything, including bears and rain. Fortunately, they encountered neither. It’s always hard to go at someone else’s pace, notes Melvin. She suspects that’s why they saw a lot of solo hikers along the trail. The Touchstone duo was well matched, however.
“If Patti was impatient waiting for me at the intersections, she hid it well!” Melvin says.
Labels: Hans Florine, touchstone, Yosemite