Other good stuff in this issue of Sierra: "How not to die in the woods", a 100 mpg Prius mod, dumb questions asked by Yosemite tourists:
My favorite encounter came early one morning when I was working at the general store and three guys in my checkout line plopped three cases of Sierra Nevada Pale Ale on the counter. They weren't among our alcoholic regulars, and I thought it was odd they were buying beer so early. I asked if they were stocking up for a party that night. No, they replied. "We're going to be the first people to get drunk on top of Half Dome!"
These guys intended to carry a case of beer each on the 8.2-mile trail that culminates in a precipitous 400-foot climb assisted by metal cables. ("Since 1919," the National Park Service's Web site helpfully notes, "only a few people have fallen and even fewer have died.") They probably didn't need a case each: Drinking at 8,842 feet lowers even the sturdiest tippler's tolerance.
One of the Fresno Bee's front page stories today was about the Kings River Conservancy (and the local El Rio Reyes Conservation Trust -- more river trails at Reedley College!).
If you're going to be hiking, better get some of those funny looking shoes I talked about earlier, because you walk wrong.
Bonus: Krakauer's book and Penn's movie were probably wrong about Chris McCandless dying in the Alaskan bus -- interesting graph showing his BMI and that essentially he starved to death, and that he had identification and money. I've ordered the DVD.