Neo Dharma Bums Climb Matterhorn


Apr 13, 2017
Current Location
New York, New York

So I just climbed Mount Matterhorn in the Sierras (California, USA).

If you haven't read Jack Kerouac but you hang around stp, you should probably check him out. His most popular book On The Road described the life of a traveling bum of the Beat Generation following WWII. In the 40s & 50s, Kerouac frequently drove, hitched, and/or hopped freight trains in a grand triangle, arcing from New York to the San Francisco to Mexico--around & around North America. In 1958, he published The Dharma Bums.

Earlier this year, I took off for my first cross-country trip by car. After spending much time in the SE deserts of the US (including a week in Slab City in June), I hiked out to the High Sierra in Sequoia National Park for the first time. En-route to Berkeley, I met up with a friend who lent me his copy of Kerouac's Dharma Bums. I poured through the pages of Kerouac's stream-of-thought writings describing his time bumming around Skid Row in San Francisco and life tramping around in Berkeley back in the 50s -- as I was doing the same ~60 years later.

I was planning on hiking with my friend in Yosemite, but it ended up being closed due to fire. Instead, we decided to go to the Hoover Wilderness just outside Bridgeport to retrace Kerouac's steps as described in Dharma Bums.

The summit could be made in a day hike, but we ended up doing a big circle that took 4 days (3 nights). On our last day, we summited Matterhorn in the morning. I recommend this climb for any of my fellow stp bums looking for nirvana in the mountains <3


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