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Local backpackers to give free presentation on trekking to Mount Whitney

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If Mt. Whitney is on your 2014 backpacking destination wish list, you may be interested in REI Fresno's free seminar on multi-day trips to this iconic peak in the Sierra Nevada. Facilitated by Fresno locals Chris Casado and Mike Murphy, the presentation, titled A Trek Across the Sierra to Mt. Whitney and Beyond, will take place Tuesday, April 1, 2014 at 7:30 at REI Fresno.

Casado and Murphy are the cofounders of the Trans-Sierra Xtreme Challenge, a program that takes small groups of backpackers of all ages on 75-mile trips through the Sierra that culminate in ascents on Mt. Whitney (elevation 14,505 feet). More than 500 backpackers have taken guided trips with the program since its founding in 1983. Inspired by their own early trips across the Sierra Nevada and a passion for helping others realize similar achievements, they bring their experience to this seminar, which is aimed at encouraging others to seek a life-changing experience in nearby Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks.

The seminar will take place at the REI Fresno store located at 7810 N. Blackstone Ave. The presentation is free, but registration is required and space is limited. You can reserve a spot online, and you don't need to be an REI member to attend. For additional information, please call REI Fresno at (559) 261-4168.

Guided trips can be a great introduction to backpacking and backcountry travel. They reduce the amount of planning required and in many cases provide much of the basic gear required for safe travel in the wilderness. Novice and experience backpackers alike can enjoy group trips to new wilderness destinations. Fresno backpackers reap the benefits of living so close to the amazing wilderness of nearby national parks, which increases opportunities for high country trips of all kinds.

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