Saturday, April 25, 2015

Advanced Mountaineering Program (AMP11) - Class 2 Belay Skills

April 25th, 2015
[Pics]

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
[Pics]

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.

*sigh*

Sunday, April 12, 2015

South Fork (of the Kaweah River) Trail, Garfield Sequoia Grove, and A Snowy Camp

April 11th & 12th, 2015
[Pics] [GPS]

This was another precious open weekend between the end of WTC and the start of the Spring AMP course and I was itching to get out to the Sierra.  (Also the 2015 Memorial Day Massacre is coming quickly!)

Last weekends 3 day trip to Domelands had been fun but it's a fairly arid area particularly this year.  So this weekend we looked at the westside.

The nominal goal of this weekend was to grab Quinn Mountain from the South Fork of the Kaweah River trailhead.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Early Season Windswept Domelands Trek

April 4th & 5th, 2015
[Pics] [GPS]

We have a grand plan in the works for this years Memorial Day Massacre and so that calls for some warm-up trips.

Normally I'd be hoping for some snow climbs this time of year but the record breaking sad state of the snow pack and reports of people bailing off rotten snow higher up made me look further south.  Unfortunately the lack of open roads leading to the trailheads this time of year means you have to get a bit creative (or head over Olancha / Haiwee Pass yet again)

We originally eyed doing a trek through Golden Trout heading up the Kern river covering the area between Junction Meadow and Hockett but we couldn't make the mileage work for the three days we had available.

Instead we looked a bit further south to Domelands.  There are 3 SPS peaks down there all of which I've done before but it's a neat under appreciated area if slightly hard to access early season due to Cherry Hill Road not being cleared.  You can access it from the north via Kennedy Meadows or the east from the Chimney Creek Road area but the later requires crossing the Kern.  When I did that a few years back to get Rockhouse it made for quite the adventurous swim.

This time we came in from Kennedy Meadows on the Mahogany Creek Trail planning to do a big loop. So we were going to do some decent mileage getting into the meadows but on the plus side we weren't going to have to deal with the crowds of hunters that had made the trip to get Taylor & Siretta somewhat nerve-wracking.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

After Work Newport Harbor Pizza Paddle

[Pictures] [Map]

Last year Kristen and I bought an inflatable tandem kayak and started paddling around Newport Harbor some evenings after work.  We found it's ideal since the water is usually smooth, boat traffic is limited, and there's plenty of light from the shore to be able to see.  Soon we were going enough that we upgraded to sea kayaks along with Jen.

We'd been going semi regularly until WTC hit in January and things got busy.  With class ending last week we've all been excited to get back on the water.

We kept the inflatables as loaner boats and after sending out invites and this time we ended up with 14 people in for a Pizza Paddle.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Fish Lake Valley Hot Well

FCoTM: [Pictures] [Map]

Updated:  We went back a second time when retrying Dubois and I've since updated this

Fish Lake Valley Hot Well is a easily accessible hot spring located near the eastern trailhead for the DPS Peak Mount Dubois.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

McCoy Mountain (4th Annual Mustache Mosey Day 2)

April 18th, 2015
McCoy Mountain (2,828')
[Pics] [GPS]

Yesterday's climb of Big Maria HP and the subsequent festivities had left us possibly a bit hung over and certainly low on sleep.  Still, we had a plan and another peak in our sights so with the exception of a few friends with other plans most of us saddled up and headed west along the 10.

I picked McCoy Mountain pretty much at random looking at interesting ranges in the area that I haven't been up yet.

I couldn't find any beta on routes so I picked a few likely looking routes and figured we'd play it by ear.