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home : sports & recreation October 19, 2017

10/3/2006 12:11:00 PM
Madeleine Landis returns from 470-mile trek
Madeleine Landis at Carson Pass in California. photo provided
Madeleine Landis at Carson Pass in California. photo provided
By Conrad Weiler

She's back!

Madeleine Landis has returned from her 470-mile trek starting at Donner Summit and finishing at Cottonwood Pass in California. Starting last July 1, her trip took 49 days - plus some rest days at Ebbet Pass, Lake Tahoe and a massage at Mammoth Lakes.

"The first three weeks had fantastic flowers up to my knees to walk through," said Landis. "Mosquitos were pretty bad, but I covered with clothing and a head net. You could drink through the head net but eating - you had to lift it and ward off mosquitos."

Landis was joined for stretches of her hike by her husband and friends who kept her resupplied. She also encountered new folks.

"I met some really neat people along the trail, including a woman hiking from Mexico to Canada (1,900 miles)," she said. "Two men, ages 70 and 72, were the oldest hikers I met. You could hear one of them yodeling while moving up the trail."

The one stone hut along the trail at Muir Pass (11,955 feet) offered her a surprise.

"Two young guys had carried beer and hot dogs up the 4,000-foot ascent to celebrate at the top," she said. "They each carried 60-80 pound packs to get there."

Landis climbed Mt. Whitney, the highest point (14,495 feet) in the Continental U.S.

"This was a 15-mile, nine-hour, round trip from the West - 4,000 feet up and 4,000 feet down. I was surprised at the top with a glider floating overhead."

Landis told The Nugget she wanted to do the Mt. Whitney climb since her father had pioneered an eastern route to the top in the 1930s.

An average day for her covered about 10 miles along the trail.

"The first three weeks were easier than the second half of my trek," she said. "I encountered patches of snow each day during this first part and picked up only two blisters during this part of my trip. The second half was more remote and rugged."

She traversed 10 major passes in 19 days.

"This averaged 3,000 feet up and 3,000 feet down for each pass. Forrester Pass (13,200 feet) was a rugged and beautiful one," she said.

Landis carried a 26-35 pound pack load, depending on the amount of water supplies she carried. A tiny backpacking stove met her cooking needs, and a tarp provided sleeping shelter.

"The weather was good, and I slept out most days. My highest camping was at 11,300 feet," she said.

Madeleine carried a small Nikon 5600 digital camera to record her trip.

"I plan to put together a slide show and share my experiences with others," she said.

Asked if she would do it again, Landis answered, "Yes, I'd do it again. I'd take more layover days to enjoy the scenery, meditate and just enjoy the area. I'd travel lighter and carry no extra food."

Reader Comments

Posted: Wednesday, October 18, 2006
Article comment by: Teresa Haines

WhooOh!, So glad to hear from you Mad. Thanks for sending your adventures. You look beautiful in the picture too. CONGRATULATIONS at age 50, what a way to go ! XO Teresa

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