Sunday, May 8, 2016

Lloyd Meadow to Sagebrush Gulch Post Knee Surgery Two Day

May 7th & 8th
[Pics] [Map]

Trip season at last!

The first and last parts of the year I dedicate a decent amount of time to volunteering with the Sierra Club Wilderness Travel Course and Advanced Mountaineering Program.  These are both amazing programs and I really enjoy all the new people I get to meet every year.

However they do keep me in town and out of the mountains a little more than I need to stay sane so when Spring AMP wraps up I'm always gunning to get out of town and start climbing.

This year AMP wrapped on May 1st so this was the first chance to really get out.  And it was also my first "real" backpack since having a microfracture on my right knee last November.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Advanced Mountaineering Program (AMP13) - Spring 2016


The Sierra Club Advanced Mountaineering Program or AMP was started in 2009 by Dan Richter and Pat McKusky to teach basic and advanced mountaineering skills with the goal of promoting safe climbing and train a new generation of club leadership. While it's primarily targeted to WTC graduates and Sierra Club leaders anyone is welcome. It's run twice a year in the spring and fall and staffed by an array of hard working volunteers.

This post covers the Spring 2016 AMP class. More posts about AMP can be found here. More information on AMP and instructions on how to sign up can be found here.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Sheep Hole Mountain DPS

April 24th, 2016
Sheep Hole Mountains HP (4,613')
[Pics] [Map]

This was a long weekend.

The AMP13 rappel day was Saturday and the setup requires waking up painfully early to meet up with Jack, get to Chatsworth, and set up 6 separate rappel stations complete with separate belay anchors.  By the time the students show up around 8 I'd already been up 5 hours.  Actually teaching the course was a ball like always and I managed to stay coherent through the post class meal.

Needless to say by the time I got home I pretty much showered and passed out immediately.  Only to wake up at 3 am, quickly throw together a daypack, and then drive out to meet John Slagle and Mark Butski at a local carpool point so we could drive 3 hours to Sheep Hole Mountain north of 29 Palms.

Fortunately John was up for doing the driving.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Clipper Mountain Near Essex

March 26th, 2016
Clipper Mountain (4,593')
[Pics] [Map]

This was the first "real" hike I'd been on since Knee Surgery 2015.
Prior to this I had done a snow travel outing with my WTC group and a number of short local hikes but I was anxious to get back out.  The last 6 months of being laid up had taken a toll on my sanity.

I picked this peak almost at random while looking around on Peakbagger.  I'm getting low on DPS peaks I need and I really wanted a two day desert trip with a car camp in between.

Clipper is just south of the infamous Edgar and Mitchell Peaks and Providence Benchmark nearby looked to make a decent pairing with it.

As I posted on Facebook that morning:
"Middle of nowhere, parked in an abandoned dump, about to do a long slog for a seldom visited bump of no particular significance. All is right with the world. -ish"

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Newport Harbor Pizza Paddle - March 2016

March 3rd, 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.

This should be the last one for a while that will happen in the dark due to daylight savings time. .All of the regulars except for Kristen, Jen, and myself were tied up elsewhere but we had 7 folks join us for the first time including students from this year and last years WTC class and our favorite former WTC bus driver.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Newport Harbor Pizza Paddle - January 2016

January 13th, 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.

If you'd like to join us just ask. We sometimes have loaner boats available and while admittedly some of us do bite most of us have had our shots.

This was our first pizza paddle since my knee surgery back on November 5th but hopefully we'll be doing them again regularly now. We're currently in that time of year where it's dark even when we arrive at the beach.  This actually has it's advantages as the water in the harbor is usually smoother after dark and there is plenty of ambient light from all the surrounding houses but I do miss the sunsets we get other times of the year.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Benton Hot Springs - Bungalow Cabin

Yet another hot spring posts since that's about all I'm able to do for another month or so due to Knee Surgery 2015.

During the stay at Conway House on Halloween the caretaker recommended the Bungalow Cabin as being even more private with an even better view of the mountains so that's what we went for this time.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

2015 Newport Harbor Christmas Light Parade Slightly Soggy Edition

Each year Newport throws a Christmas Light Boat Parade for a few nights around the holidays.  Boats get decked out with lights and decorations and cruise around the harbor while the unwashed and slightly tipsy holiday masses watch from the shore.

I'd seen before but the crowds and general pain getting in and out of the area meant I usually either went towards the end or would do something different like the year I joined a bicycle tour of the parade.  Then last year we'd been paddling out in the harbor after work and I had the brilliant idea of going out to see the parade from our kayaks.  

We all had a blast and found it far less terrifying than we'd imagined to paddle along with the parade so we promptly made plans to do it again this year.

This year we tried to make it so even more people could come switching it to a Saturday and advertising it far in advance.  But after my knee surgery put my own attendance in jeopardy and a storm came in we ended up with 5 hearty souls unloading boats after dark in the rain...

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Knee Surgery 2015: Post Op Weeks 5 & 6


This is part of a series of entries covering my fall back in 2011, surgery in 2015, and my recovery immediately afterwards. If you came here directly the rest of the entries can be found here.

The 6 week post op visit was another milestone with the doctor clearing me to finally start bending past 90 degrees (which is a bigger deal than you'd think if you haven't had this sort of surgery...)

Knee Surgery 2015: What It Cost (So Far)

See below the break for a running total of the costs associated with the procedure.