Stanford North WTC Experience Trip Attempt with Too Much Snow

July 15th & 16th, 2017
Mount Stanford (Attempt) (12,838')
[Pics] [CalTopo] [Map]

Thanks to the heavy snow year regular backpacking trips to the Sierra had been pushed back a bit.  But here we were in the middle of July which is when I'd conservatively hoped the snow would be manageable and it was time to finally start climbing high!

This was also a Sierra Club I provisional for Gracia Plascencia.  I was here to eval which is why I was attempting this peak for a third time.

The first time I turned back 200 ft from the summit with some students who were really struggling and ended up not getting them back to the trailhead until midnight and not getting back to Orange County until 6 am.  The second time I made the summit only to be nailed by a rainstorm which proceeded to soak us for the entire 5 hour hike out.  Then there was this trip where the mosquitos were epic, we nearly lost someone during a stream crossing, and we couldn't summit due to a section of steep snow.

I'm really starting to think this area is just bad luck for me...

Adams Peak Furthest North of the Sierra Peaks List

July 4th, 2017
Adams Peak (8,197')
5.75 miles, 1800'
[Pics] [CalTopo] [Map]

This was the fifth and final day of our big 4th of July road trip where we visited Trinity Alps, Lassen Volcanic National Park, and Adams Peak which is the furthest north of the Sierra Peak Section list.  Writeups of the other days can be found here.


Adams is the green dot north of Reno and as you can see it's waaaay up there and kind of on it's own.  We'd originally planned to do several of the SPS peaks up here before deciding Trinity Alps and Lassen NP sounded a bit more exciting.  But this one being all by itself and not that long or challenging it made sense to grab it on the last day so it wasn't just all driving.

Lassen Peak From Bumpass Hell In Lassen Volcanic National Park

July 3rd, 2017
Lassen Peak (10,457')
6.5 miles, 2500'
[Pics] [CalTopo] [Map]

This was the fourth day of a big 4th of July road trip where we visited Trinity Alps, Lassen Volcanic National Park, and the furthest north of the Sierra Peak Section list.  Writeups of the other days can be found here.

After yesterdays climb of Brokeoff Mountain the plan for today was to get an early start and climb Lassen Peak and then relocating to get set up for Adams Peak the following day.

Brokeoff Mountain Lassen Volcanic National Park

July 2nd, 2017
Brokeoff Mountain (9,235')
Broke Off Mountain NW Summit (9,200')
7 miles, 2700'
[Pics] [CalTopo] [Map]

This was the third day of a big 4th of July road trip where we visited Trinity Alps, Lassen Volcanic National Park, and the furthest north of the Sierra Peak Section list.  Writeups of the other days can be found here.

After spending a really pleasant night near the top of the road leading to the Weaver Bally Fire Lookout we packed up in the morning and headed for Lassen.  (Fortunately driving down the dirt road in a passenger car was a lot easier than getting up it.)

Monument Peak & Weaver Bally In Trinity Alps

July 1st, 2017
Weaver Bally Lookout (6,988')
Weaver Bally (7,493')
Monument Peak (7,762')
[Pics] [CalTopo] [Map]

This was the second day of a longer 4th of July trip which visited Trinity Alps, Lassen Volcanic National Park, and the furthest north of the Sierra Peak Section list.  Writeups of the other days can be found here.

Today the main goal was Monument Peak in a nearby area of Trinity Alps.  And since it was an easier day we finally had a chance to catch up after two very long days with very little sleep.

Canyon Creek Trail Trinity Alps Sawtooth Attempt

June 30th, 2017
Sawtooth Mountain (Attempt) (5,700')
18 miles, 3,200'
[Pics] [CalTopo] [Map]

This years 4th of July trip was a 1680 mile loop visiting Trinity Alps, Lassen Volcanic National Park, and grabbing the furthest north of the Sierra Peaks Section list.


First off was Trinity Alps which is one of those areas I've heard of but had yet to visit and uur first day would be spent on an aggressive attempt to dayhike Sawtooth Peak.   The reports from rest of the trip can be found here.

Hockett Peak WTC Experience Trip

June 24th & 25th, 2017
Hockett Peak (8,552')
Day 1: 9.25 miles, 2000'
Day 2: 15.3 miles, 4200'
[Pics] [CalTopo] [Map]

Iiiiiiit's Sierra trip season!  Kind of!

Hockett isn't on any peak list I'm aware of it's just one of those out of the way named bumps that is just prominent enough to make it interesting.  I've been eyeing it for a few years but it was always an aggressive bonus peak on longer trips and never worked out.

So we decided to make a weekend out of it.  The Jerky / Lloyds Meadow trailhead is nice because it's a non quota trailhead that seems to open relatively early compared with some others in the area *and* the only major stream crossing has a bridge!  Perfect for an early season backpack.

The only downside is you need to get there before it gets to warm and we were pushing it here going in late June with forecasts going into the 90s thanks to a heat wave hitting California.  But we figured we could manage.

Crag USGS & Deer From Kennedy Meadows WTC Experience Trip

June 10th & 11th, 2017
Crag USGS (9,440')
Deer Mountain (9400ish)
Day 1: 14.7 miles, 4,800'
Day 2: 12.9 miles, 2,000'
[Pics] [Caltopo] [Map]

This trip was originally a two day to Kern Peak led by Garry McCoppin and Ross Doering.  That changed to Deer and Crag after the trailhead for Kern still wasn't opened a week before the trip.  And then when Garry needed a last minute replacement leader I jumped at the chance to get out from under the aftermath of moving the previous weekend.

I'd already been out this same trail just one month earlier scouting route options on Crag which was a bit of a bummer but on the other hand I already knew a really nice campsite and a pile of firewood that hasn't been used.  And as this trip was primarily intending as a Sierra Club Wilderness Travel Course experience trip we had a nice diverse group.

Friday night 13 of us drove for Kennedy Meadows and spent the night at the campground.

Memorial Day Massacre 2017 - Jerky Meadows Kern Backpack

May 27th & 28th, 2017
[Pics] [Caltopo] [Map]

Historically I try and go big on Memorial Day and do a Sierra backpack with an aggressive plan.  It is after all the first "free" long weekend of the year and I'm always raring to get into the Sierra after a long season of desert trips and teaching outdoor classes.

It's also early enough where weather and other factors make things difficult more often than not.

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. Jen and I were the only ones that completed most of the peaks after more limited water sources than anticipated.
2011 Williamson Turnaround - 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 but we day hiked Olancha as a consolation prize.
2012 Golden Trout - Some weather but highly successful. Lots of miles & peaks. Started with 3 people, ended with two, and drank the worse water I've ever had the mispleasure of forcing down.
2013 Courtright In A Kilt - Spectacular weather, lots of peaks, lots of miles. All in a kilt!  (That summit shot won me an award)
2014 Skip Year - Didn't happen due to the job switch and moving back full time from Boise.
2015 Kibbie Ridge - Snowstorm hit on day one and high river crossings made the loop impossible.  Scaled the plan back and later did the loop over the 4th of July 2016
2016 Durrwood Crossing & Rincon - Scaled back to three days due to work challenges and recovery from knee surgery.  Three day loop north of Isabella involving a rotting cable crossing, one peak, and so many foxtails we had to throw out multiple pairs of socks.  And an armed man in a cave looking for murder gold.

This year I was recovered from surgery but had to stick to only three days due to a combination of work and an the fact I had to move my home the following weekend.  Also a record snow was making trailhead access difficult unless we wanted to haul in more gear and do the snow.  Eventually we settled on a 50 mile ish loop starting at Jerky Meadows, crossing the Little Kern and the bridge, following the Kern north to the crossing and grab Tower and Overlook to the east, then swing west camping at Coyote Lakes (a bucket list thing) and grab Coyote and Angora on the way out.

Aggressive.  As usual.  And also as usual things didn't go quite to plan...

Newport Harbor Pizza Paddle - May 2017

May 18th, 2017
[Pics] [Map]

Once a month a group of us get together and paddle Newport Harbor after work. We launch from the beach next to 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. (Send me a message so I know you're not a spam bot!)

It's prime time for after work paddling right now since we get to launch in the light and it's warm enough even Kristen isn't wearing a jacket. And aside from a malfunctioning kayak everything went great!