A trailblazing trailblazer is heading back to the mountains.
For the last few years, Mark Blyth has been leading a small, self-taught group of volunteers to hike through the Sierra Nevada.
In the past, Blythes guides have climbed the peaks of El Capitan and Yosemite and traversed rugged terrain in the mountains of central California.
Blytthes latest adventure is his first foray into the wilds of Yosemite.
Blyth was able to complete his hike in just over a week.
“We’ve done the whole trip in two weeks.
I’m on the front foot on my feet all the way through.
And I’m actually enjoying it,” he said.
Blytthe is one of many trekkers who are using Google maps to help them track their footsteps and map their route.
“You can’t do that in any other way,” said Blyts guide, Brian Johnson.
“We don’t have any GPS units.
We don’t even have GPS.
We can’t even track a vehicle on the trail.”
The trailblazers aim to show hikers and climbers that a small group of people can make the trek through the mountains and reach remote places.
The trail is popular and people flock to it because it offers great solitude and beauty.
But a lot of hikers and climbers are not happy about the new technology.
“It’s not a good idea for the public to have GPS, especially for a trail like this that is so rugged, and so rugged in places,” said Jeff Meehan, an outdoor climber from the Sacramento area.
He said the trail is also a dangerous path because of the high amount of climbers who use it.
“You have the potential for injuries and deaths,” Meehn said.
“And, I mean, that is one thing that is going to happen,” Blyths guide said.
Meehan said he has been using Google Maps to track his climb.
He has found his way around over 700 miles of trails on his own and has gotten more than 100 deaths on his way.
Meehans experience led him to make the choice to become a trail guide.
“I wanted to be able to help people to see that there is hope, that there are places where they can be safe,” he explained.
With Google Maps, Bleyth has found a way to help hikers and other trail users by showing them where they are and where they need to be in order to reach their destination.
When the group was first starting out, they did not have GPS in their hands.
But the technology was coming online, and they started using it to map the mountains to find their way.
“Google Maps was a huge help,” Johnson said.
“I mean, we were just looking at it and thinking, ‘Oh my God, this is cool.'”
Johnson said they have found more than 300 locations where the group has camped and they have made their way to several major mountain ranges.
A couple years ago, Bleys guide said he was in Yosemite with a friend and he heard a helicopter buzzing over the mountains, but he did not think much of it.
But one day, he heard that a group of hikers were coming down the trail and they had set up camp in the shade and he knew they needed to make it to their destination.
“So, I said, ‘This is what I’m going to do.
We’re going to camp at that spot, right?’
So we’re walking over there,” Bleythes guide said, laughing.
They made it to the spot and there was a helicopter circling overhead.
And there was this guy on a horse.
He was a guy named Mark Bleyta.
“He was walking like he was riding a pony,” Blesse said.
They were the first people that he saw on a hike, and he said they were all very kind and welcoming.
But they were so full of themselves and had their whole life ahead of them, that they weren’t ready to leave the trail.
“We were not ready to be lost, but we were ready to go to a destination,” Bllth said.
Bleyth and Johnson are not alone in trying to track hikers and climbing out of the mountains with Google Maps.
The group is also on the lookout for more hikers who want to get off the trail in order for the technology to be useful.
Some hikers have been using a GPS tracking device to help make their way around Yosemite and other places.
And others have been looking at maps to find places they want to camp.
However, most of the time, people are looking for something different.
This week, a group called Trail Blazer and I used Google Maps in order of our last visit to the Sierra.
We were on a 4,000-foot trail that