Sunday, November 13, 2016

Cerro Pinacate Mexican DPS Peak, Campout, and Lava Caves

November 12th & 13th, 2016
Cerro del Pinacate (3,937')
Carnegie Peak (3,707')
[Pics] [Map]
4.09 miles 1900' in via the DPS route + Carnegie
6.74 miles, 1289' up and 3865' down out via the road


Cerro Pinacate is one of the 4 Sierra Club Desert Peak Section peaks down in Mexico and one of the final three I needed to complete the list.

Normally it makes sense to combine this peak with a few in southern Arizona.  Ajo, Kino, and Baboquivari kind of naturally combine since they're roughly in the same area.  Except as this point I've done all of those twice (minus Kino which I've only done once) leaving Pinacate a very long distance orphan.

Red arrow points to Pincate

I'd actually attempted this peak before only to be turned back at the park gate for a very vaguely worded "security concern"  Having seen friends be let it before and after that I always wondered what was going on and this time when Jen called to verify we could get in she mentioned we'd been turned back.  Apparently that was the only time they'd ever shut it down and that was because they found some illegal radio towers and had kept out everyone for a season until it was resolved.

So here I was several years later still needing the peak and under the gun to get it before my December list finish.  With Jack Kieffer completely out of vacation days that limited our options for trying to do more than one peak so we settled on making it a party.  Come join us for a 400 mile drive, a campfire and overnight in Mexico, and a 6 mile hike (according to the DPS guide) followed by another 400 -ish mile drive.  We made plans for a festive happy hour and soon had 7 us signed up.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Canyon Point DPS From Cottonwood Canyon

October 6th, 2016
Canyon Point (5,890')
[Pics] [Map] [MapWPanamint]
5 miles, 3100', 3-4 hours (according to the DPS guide)

After climbing Panamint Butte from the west the day before our expectations had been lowered a bit.  Canyon Point seemed a little more promising due to the fact we'd be approaching via a canyon instead of just going up a ridge.

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Panamint Butte DPS From Panamint Valley Big Four Mine

November 5th, 2016
Panamint Butte (6,584')
[Pics] [Map] [MapWCanyon]
7.1 miles, 4300', 11 hours

AKA a desert crap heap that really shouldn't be on the list when there's so much better stuff out there.

This and Canyon Point are some of the last few peaks I need to finish the Sierra Club Desert Peak Section List.  I've toyed with doing them a few different ways (there's a 4wd car shuttle loop option is apparently spectacular) but it was finally time to just get them done.  And with AMP just finishing I was ready for a good old fashioned desert car camp.

We decided to do Panamint Butte from the west climbing up from Panamint Valley at the Big Four Mine since the route up from Towne Pass was almost twice the distance and likely a bit much to be biting off at this point in my recovery.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Newport Harbor Pizza Paddle - August 2016

About once a month a group of us get together and paddle Newport Harbor after work. We launch from the beach at the Newport Aquatic Center and paddle over to Pizza Nova in the main harbor in a combination of kayaks and SUPs. There we dock our boats, partake in feast of pizza and beer, and then paddling back to the cars. We do this all year round and in pretty much all conditions. Light, dark, rain, and the dead of SoCal winter where you're tempted to put a sweater on with your flip flops. 

You can find writeups of other pizza paddles here.  For notifications on when we're doing the next one see our facebook group Pizza Paddle Associates.

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Humphreys Peak (DPS) Arizona State Highpoint

August 7th, 2016
Humphreys Peak (12,633')
[Pics] [Map]

This was the second peak on a long haul DPS road trip to eastern Nevada and northern Arizona to pick up Wheeler and Humphreys.  See the writeup for Wheeler the previous day for how we got here.

I'd been by Humphreys before during a Turktacular but weather prevented us from attempting the summit.  Now that is was summer time it looked to be a pleasant half day hike before we had to haul back home to Orange County.

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Wheeler Peak Nevada In Great Basin National Park

August 6th, 2016
Wheeler Peak (13,063')
[Pics] [Map]

I've been close to finishing the Sierra Club Desert Peak Section list for the last few years but only recently got serious about finishing it off.

I have all the hard ones (most done twice over) and most of the ones that require a really long drive.  However there were two that I've been staring at on Peakbagger for a while now due to the distances involved.

One is Wheeler Peak In Nevada.  It's the second highest peak in the state and really should be the state highpoint considering that Boundary (the actual highpoint) puts you just down a ridge from a higher peak right over the border in CA.

The other is the Arizona state highpoint Humphreys Peak just north of Flagstaff.  Easy hike, long drive.

Since the peaks are in the 12,500-13,000 ft range they are a bit easier to do in the summer.  They are also a long haul from Orange County but it seemed logical to try and knock them off together.


It was going to be a long weekend...

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Kennedy Mountain via Lewis Creek After the Rough Fire

July 30th & 31st, 2016
Kennedy Mountain (11,433')
[Pics] [Map]

This was originally going to be a rest weekend between big trips but with my post surgery knee doing fairly well I couldn't resist running out of town again.  So on short notice Jen and I decided to head back to Roads End and grab Kennedy Mountain.

We'd been out this way last year and seen an early part of the Rough Fire just starting off in the distance.  Though we were never in danger of the fire reaching us we had an unfortunate amount of smoke blocking the views though Harrington was a fun enough scramble to make up for that.  Then due to two of us coming down sick the last morning we'd skipped Kennedy but consoled ourselves with the fact we'd get to camp at Frypan Meadow again when we came back.  It's a nice enough campsite that was something to look forward to.

Then the area burned during the latter part of the Rough Fire.  We were anxious to see if Frypan was completely gone.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Newport Harbor Pizza Paddle - July 2016

July 27th, 2016
[Pics] [Map]

About once a month a group of us get together and paddle Newport Harbor after work. We launch from the beach at the Newport Aquatic Center and paddle over to Pizza Nova in the main harbor in a combination of kayaks and SUPs. There we dock our boats, partake in feast of pizza and beer, and then paddling back to the cars. We do this all year round and in pretty much all conditions. Light, dark, rain, and the dead of SoCal winter where you're tempted to put a sweater on with your flip flops. 

You can find writeups of other pizza paddles here.  For notifications on when we're doing the next one see our facebook group Pizza Paddle Associates.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

San Joaquin & Two Teats From Yost Lake Trail WTC Experience Trip

July 23rd & 24th, 2016
San Joaquin Mountain (11,549')
Two Teats (11,352')
[Pics] [Map]

So there's a peak in the Sierra called Two Teats.  And like any peak with an entertainly juvenile name (Mollie's Nipple, ManlyWhipple, ect ect) I'm always game.

Two Teats is normally done in conjunction with the SPS peak San Joaquin as a dayhike from Minaret Vista.  From there it's about 6 miles each way and there's a trail.  I've eyed it before when I was in the area but that always seemed a bit on the pedestrian side vs the other options around there.

Then came the day I was looking for a reasonable 2 day backpack involving a peak suitable to be a WTC Experience Trip.  I wanted wilderness, low -ish mileage, preferably camping by a lake, and a peak with a great view.  And as it turns out they made the area behind June Mountain a wilderness area (Owens River Headwaters Wilderness) a few years ago and the trailhead from June Lake is extremely  low utilization making it almost perfect for an experience trip.

So I listed it and after getting the melon themed happy hour and a few descriptive terms thrown out by the lovely and wonderful WTC outings chair it was on.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Charleston Peak & Mummy Mountain DPS Peaks Above Las Vegas

July 16th, 2016
Charleston Peak (11,916')
Mummy Mountain (11,529')
[Pics] [Map]

This was going to be a weekend spent at home catching up after spending the last few running around in the mountains but I couldn't take it.  Two days after getting home from Mineral King and managing some semblance of catching up on sleep I was ready to get out again.

Charleston Peak and Mummy Mountain are two peaks on the Sierra Club Desert Peaks Section list located just north of Vegas.  I've eyed them for years and even attempted them once (on New Years 2012 which turned that into just Griffith Peak) but either conditions were not promising or I ended up making other plans.

But now with less than 10 DPS peaks left before Decembers planned Glow In The Dark DPS List Finish #1 they suddenly seemed a lot more appealing.