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.

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.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Mineral King, Timber Gap, Pinto Lake, Peak 10,021' (Originally Mineral Peak) WTC Experience Trip

July 9th & 10th, 2016
Ranger Point (10,021')
[Pics] [Map]

"Come join us for an easy two day backpack to Mineral Peak in Mineral King.  We'll hike in, camp by a lake, do a fun peak with a great view, and be out early."

Sounds great doesn't it?  It was enough to get a full permit of 15 people out with Garry McCoppin and I bright and early Saturday morning in early July.  It unfortunately would not be the trip we'd actually lead since a permit snafu left us with no option but to hike up and over Timber Gap adding an extra thousand feet and quite a few miles.

But hey, as the bumper sticker reads "Attitude is the difference between an ordeal and an adventure"  (Not tacked on the end there is "At least in hindsight")

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Cherry Lake To Lake Eleanor via Main Jack and Falls Canyon Climbing Sachse Monument and Chittenden Peak

July 1st to 5th, 2016
Sachse Monument (9,405')
Chittenden Peak (9,685')
[Pics] [Map]

Jen, Kristen, and I originally tried to do this loop for the 2015 Memorial Day Massacre figuring the low altitude made it a good fit for an early season high mileage peakbag.  We were corrected by a combination of a snowstorm and dangerously high water crossings which caused us to turn around during the second day of a planned five.

Having now successfully done the loop I'd strongly recommend not trying it that early and in fact even later than the 4th of July would probably be ideal.

For me this summer the 4th of July weekend was the only real option for doing a 5 day trip so I decided to go for it.  It would be the longest trip by a fair margin that I'd done since knee surgery last November but had a fair amount of wiggle room so we could adjust the trip as needed.

Stats ended up being 75 miles and 11,270 ft gain doing just two of the optional peaks but seeing a lot of really spectacular terrain in an area that a lot of us LA area based folks don't often go to.

Also this trip was notable for having the worse mosquitoes I think I've ever encountered in the Sierra.  And these weren't just your average isolated hoard but lasted for days in numbers that basically just had to be endured.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Waucoba Mountain from the East Along Saline Valley Road

June 26th, 2016
Waucoba Mountain (11,123')
[Pics] [Map]

Waucoba Mountain is a peak in the Whites that I've made plans to climb in the past but never actually did.  It's relatively short, relatively easy, relatively accessible, and all around not very distinct.  The best thing to recommend it is it's a decent shorter day and a good workout that pairs well with doing White Mountain.

After climbing White Mountain the day before this was the last remaining DPS peak I needed in the area so it was time to get it checked off sore knees and hot weather or not.


Saturday, June 25, 2016

White Mountain: The California 14er You Could Technically Drive Up

June 25th, 2016
White Mountain Peak (14,2246')
[Pics] [Map]

This was a free weekend between a buttkicker 3 day backpack to Tehipite Dome and a planned 5 day trip near Sonora Pass over the 4th of July.  I was tempted to stay home on account of aching knees but in the end it seemed like a good opportunity to pick up two of the stranglers I had left on the Sierra Club Desert Peak Section list ahead of my planned December glow in the dark list finish.

White Mountain is the highpoint of the Whites and one of 11 peaks above 14,000 ft in California which makes it a popular peak to visit.

It's also the easiest.  While Mount Whitney has a trail all the way to the top White takes it one step further and has a drivable jeep road all the way to the summit.  The only thing preventing this from being the other other DPS drive up other than Navajo Mountain is the gated research station along the way.  This turns it into a 15 mile and 3400 ft of gain round trip stroll.