Talus is a full-body workout

posted Apr 18, 2016, 5:26 PM by Paul Wagner
When we go off trail, the challenges are two-fold:  finding our way to the next destination, and finding our way through the next fifty feet.
M climbing through the talus blocks©http://backpackthesierra.com

It's that latter part that can get really complicated.  On a map, it may look just fine, but when you get there, it's whole different matter.  And the thing that makes us most concerned is talus--big chunks of rocks in a pile.  You have to climb up, around, over and through these rocks, and it's a ton of work.  You end up using your hands, feet, knees, butt, and just about anything else that might help you keep moving through the pile of huge rocks.

Here's a photo of M as she worked through the talus in the upper reaches of the Mono Creek drainage.  Note the size of those rocks that she is climbing around.  And while those rocks may be big, they are not necessarily stable.  If one shifts underneath you as you are walking, it can make things pretty darn exciting.

Just one of the reasons that off-trail travel is almost always slower, a lot slower, than walking on a trail. 

And it's why we always find ourselves pretty darned tired after an hour of this.  Now if you could only develop a work-out program based on climbing through talus...