Thursday, August 27, 2015

August Newport Harbor Pizza Paddle

August 27th, 2015
[Pics] [Map]

Our monthly after work pizza and beer paddle in Newport Harbor.  Which this month just so happened to fall on an unusually strong tide.  Oops...

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Sunday, July 12, 2015

University Peak Up North Face and Down Kearsarge Lakes

July 11th & 12th, 2015
University Peak (13,589')
[Pics] [Map]

This was Jeff's Atijera's 3rd attempt at an M-Rock provisional after the first two (Senger & Hooper and Dragon, Kearsarge, & Gould) had both failed to gain the required Sierra Club approvals and ended up happening as very successful private trips.

This time the plan was to do University Peak out of Onion Valley backpacking in to Matlock Lake and then climbing University from Bench Lake / north face route.

Stats were on the very low end and the weather was forecast as 70 degrees and sunny.  All expecting a nice relaxing afternoon swimming and playing Cards Against Humanity.  The second day we'd start early, get back to camp at a reasonable time, and be out to the cars hours before sunset.

That was the plan anyway...

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Twin Peaks & Virginia Peak via Green Creek

June 19th to 21st, 2015
Twin Peaks (12,323')
Virginia Peak (12,001')
[Pics] [Map]

Twin and Virginia are two peaks accessible from the eastern side of the Sierra near Bridgeport

The planned outing to Tehepite and Spanish two weeks before had been canceled (again) due to weather and I was itching to get back up to altitude.

This had originally started as an official Sierra Club I rated trip Jen and I were planning to lead before we realized that keeping it 2nd class meant we had to drop down 1500 ft from one peak and them climb back up the other.  Then it morphed into a Sierra Club M trip led by Laurent and I which could do the 3rd class ridge traverse only to have that fall through.  And I just wanted to bloody get out and climb so the three of us decided to do it privately.

And at long last it looked like the weather was going to cooperate. So far this spring it seemed like storms kept hitting every weekend but this time beyond a little wind it was supposed to be clear and relatively warm!

Thursday, May 21, 2015

2015 Memorial Day Massacre: Kibbie Ridge Granite Waterslide Edition

May 21st to 25th 23rd, 2015
Kibbie Ridge
[Pics] [Map]

Memorial Day has become a tradition for me ever since a trip gone slightly wrong back in 2010.  It's a long weekend which happens at an annoying time of year where you can get into the Sierra but there's a good chance you'll face weather and less than ideal conditions.

Back in 2010 I planned a trip to Walker Pass to clean out a bunch of SPS/HPS peaks along the PCT.  What was intended to be a fairly approachable trip ended up being a bit harder due to heat, route finding on the infamous Spanish Needle, and a dried up water source.  Some extra miles and one dry camp later only Jen and I did the last few peaks while the rest of the group headed straight for the cars.  It was retroactively branded the Memorial Day Massacre.

When the following year came around we decided to do another butt kicker cleanout and despite some memorable weather events it's stuck around.

A brief summary of the Massacres so far
2010 Walker Pass - The trip that inspired the name.  Went at Chimney Creek to get a number of peaks and hike south to Walker Pass.  Only Jen and I completed all the peaks.
2011 Williamson Cleanout - Well, planned to be a Williamson are cleanout.  Went in on a bad forecast which proceeded to get worse.  Retreated from Shepherd Pass due to 100 mph winds to set up near Anvil only to have our tent ripped open by gusts.  Spent the night in a bush getting snowed on.  No peaks.
2012 Golden Trout - Some weather but highly successful.  Lots of miles & peaks.  Started with 3 and ended with 2.
2013 Courtright - Spectacular weather, lots of peaks, lots of miles.  And a kilt!
2014 Skip Year - Didn't happen due to the job switch and Boise move

Which brings us to 2015. Work has settled down and I was itching to get back into the Sierra after a fun desert trip season. After looking into a number options we settled on a loop out Cherry Lake on the west side just south of Sonora Pass. None of us had been in this particular area so we were all looking forward to seeing some new trails.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Advanced Mountaineering Program (AMP11) - Class 2 Belay Skills

April 25th, 2015

After the last few weekends in the Sierra and desert I'll now be local for a few weeks helping out with the Spring Sierra Club Advanced Mountaineering Program.

For more about what AMP is see here.

This is the second of four classes and the first one held outdoors.  Topics included belaying, basic climbing skills and signals, hip belays, anchored munter belays and munter mule tieoffs, fixed lines, and telepherique.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Advanced Mountaineering Program (AMP11) - Class 1 Basic Safety Systems

April 22nd, 2015

The first class is held indoors Wednesday night after work.  Unfortunately for those of us down in Orange County it's a bit of a drive but it only happens twice a year.

For more about what AMP is see here.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Mammoth Area Hot Springs - Crab Cooker (Is Too Damn Hot), Benton Hot Springs

April 12th, 2015

This was a quick stop at the tail end of a weekend spent climbing DPS peaks Dubois and Glass Mountain.  We'd really been looking forward to a hot soak after a long chilly weekend.

We stopped at Benton Hot Spring only to be told they were full up and that they were so busy that hourly soaks were hardly ever done.  We had a positive enough impression of the place we'll probably come back some other time with a reservation and stay the night.

The idea of a hot soak was appealing enough we went out the long way to visit the mammoth area hot springs near the 395.

Mount Glass DPS From The East

April 12th, 2015
[Pics] [Map]

Saturdays climb of Mount Dubois had been a little rough.

We'd planned to climb O'Harrel Canyon on a friends recommendation but instead settled for the DPS route which promised to be a bit shorter and put us in a position to possibly hit one of the hot springs in the are once we were done.

Unfortunately we picked the side of the mountain with an obnoxious amount of snow.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Mount Dubois DPS From The East

April 18th, 2015
[Pics] [Map]

This was our second time trying this peak.

We originally tried this plan a few weeks before only to have the whole weekend go slightly askew.  The Hot Well where we bivy'd was heavily occupied and disappointing, we had issues finding the right road into Dubois (hint, if there's a house/shack that appears to be reinforced with hay bales that's both not the right way to go and the shirtless tattoo'd owner really doesn't appreciate you being back there), and then we slashed a tire so bad we ended up stuck two miles below the actual trailhead.  We went for it anyway despite being slightly less than confident we could make it back to the pavement without popping another admittedly bald looking tire.  And then when we'd reached 10k we realized between the three of us we'd managed not to bring near enough food for the hike ahead.