Friday, November 28, 2014

Navajo Mountain DPS & Goosenecks State Park

What:
   Navajo Mountain (10,346')
When: November 28th, 2014
Where: Utah
Who: Matthew Hengst, Kristen Lindbergh, Jen Blackie
Pictures: [Matt]
GPS Track: [Map]

Navajo Mountain is a peak on the Sierra Club Desert Peak Section list of 99 peaks stretching from Mexico to Utah.  It has the distinction of being very far away and the only peak on the list you can drive up.

Sound awesome?  Well that's not all!  It's located on Navajo land and depending who you ask climbing it is either forbidden or just discouraged.  See the Summitpost page for Navajo for details.

Despite this DPS hasn't seen fit to de-list the peak (despite doing so for Kino, Ajo, and Maturango all of which I've also done and have far less access issues) so I figured it was worth a shot and started calling around.

After getting transferred umpteen times the best answer I was given was "Not everyone likes you up there and you can't leave the road but if you stick to that you should be fine"  I was also able to contact someone through Peakbagger who had just been up there and said he'd had no issues.

So day 2 of the 2014 Turktacular found us driving across Navajo land towards a very big mountain...

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Mollies Nipple & Thanksgiving Dinner

What:
   Mollies Nipple (7,271')
When: November 27th, 2014
Where: Utah / Arizona Border
Who: Matthew Hengst, Kristen Lindbergh, Jen Blackie
Pictures: [Matt]
GPS Track: [Map]

Thanksgiving time and once again the plan was to escape civilization and go someplace awesome for the annual Turktacular trip.

This year we decided to head toward Monument Valley out in the Utah/Arizona border area and fill in the other days with Mollies Nipple, Navajo Mountain, Valley of the Gods, and finishing up in White Pockets.  Mostly due to having seen cool pictures of these places or liking the names.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Mount Izaak Walton Northeast Ridge via McGee Creek

What:
  Mount Izaak Walton (12,077')
When: June 13th to 15th, 2014
Where: Sierra Nevada, North of Bishop
Who: Matthew Hengst, Jen Blackie, Kristen Lindbergh
Pictures: [Matt]
GPS Track: [Map]

A combination of factors had delayed the initial Sierra trip of the season but finally it was time for a peakbagging weekend at altitude.  With a job switch imminent I needed to take advantage of whatever vacation time I could manage so we planned a last minute 3 day up McGee Creek to get Mount Izaak Walton via the northeast ridge which Secor at least described as a "good" 3rd class route.


Sunday, May 18, 2014

Picacho del Diablo In Baja Mexico

What:
  Picacho del Diablo (10,154')
When: May 16th to 17th, 2014
Where: Baja, Mexico
Who: Matthew Hengst, Jen Blackie, Gracia Delavida, Kristen Lindbergh, Neal Robbins
Pictures: [Matt]
GPS Track: [Map]

The last Mexico trip had been on the memorable side if slightly traumatic for all parties.  We'd hit both Pescadores and Pico Risco over two days and due to a variety of factors ended up with only about 4 hours of sleep for the entire weekend by the time we arrived back in OC at 5 am Monday morning.

But this was going to be different!  Since Picacho del Diablo (aka Big Picacho of the Sierra Club Desert Peaks Section) was located a fair way down Baja we were looking at 4 days with two of those taken up just be driving surrounding a two day backpack.

And yes of course any visit into Mexico or even just into the border region has some inherent risk.  But never fear!  We had a plan B.  (For Blondie)  (As in needs of the many > survival of the Blondie)

 

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Pico Risco Mexican DPS Peak From Guadalupe Canyon Hot Springs

What:
  Pico Risco (4,987')
When: January 12th, 2014
Where: Mexico
Who: Matthew Hengst, Jack Kieffer, Jen Blackie, Gracia Delavida, Kristen Lindbergh, Neal Robbins
Pictures: [Matt]
GPS Track: [Map]
Mexican GPS Maps:  [Harlan]

After yesterdays extremely long day and somewhat disappointing peak behind a dump we were enjoying the Guadalupe Canyon Hot Springs much better.

While we didn't get up until late and we only had 4 or 5 hours of sleep it had certainly been worth it.

And now we had a much more scenic peak towering above us.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Cerro Pescadores Mexican DPS Peak

What:
  Cerro Pescadores (3,346')
When: January 11th, 2014
Where: Mexico!
Who: Matthew Hengst, Jack Kieffer, Jen Blackie, Gracia Delavida, Kristen Lindbergh, Neal Robbins, Mark Butski
Pictures: [Matt]
GPS Track: [Map]
Mexican GPS Maps:  [Harlan]

The Sierra Club Desert Peaks Section list has 4 peaks down in Mexico.  Due to the issues around the border the last few years these aren't done quite as much as the various peaks north of the border and as I completed more and more of the list I started to look at them more seriously.

I'd previously attempted Cerro del Pinacate during the last run up Baboquivari only to get turned around at the gate of the park due to "unspecified security concerns" that seemed rather oddly focused around the volcano itself.

With that peak apparently closed off (not to mention a long drive) there were still 3 others we could do and Jack, Gracia, and myself decided that would be a goal for the early part of 2014.  So we planned a two day for January to grab Cerro Pescadores and Pico Risco and a four day for May to get Picacho Del Diablo.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Crawling Around Chiricahua Crystal Cave In Arizona

What:
  Chiricahua Crystal Cave
When: December 27th, 2013
Where: Arizona / New Mexico Border
Who: Matthew Hengst, Jeff Atijera, Jen Blackie
Pictures: [Matt] [Jeff]
GPS Track: [Map]

Wheeeeeeee!  The previous day had been a mad dash flying back from Sacramento where I'd spent Christmas with my parents only to stay in Orange County just long enough to throw all my climbing gear into the jeep and take off east with Jeff and Jen reaching Tucson late that night.

A long long drive later we found ourselves driving down a slightly less remote dirt road that I generally prefer in order to find a quiet -ish place to bivy for the night.  We settled down amid the scattered debris and passed out.

The only reason we were camped this close to a major city was because the following morning we were picking up a key for Crystal Cave which would kick off 5 days, 3 caves, 2 5th class peaks, and a fair amount of driving.  Throw in a middle of nowhere speeding ticket, a technical peak bailout, and one skunk attack to the face while sleeping (yes skunk and yes to the FACE), and we were in for a suitably eventful few days.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Garmin 650 Followup Review

My initial look at the 650 was positive but I had a few concerns.  This follow-up is both to address those and share what I think the actual strengths and weaknesses of the device after having spent a few hundred miles hiking with the device.

I have the Oregon 650 but most of the items below apply to the entire 600 series.  The Oregon 600 has less memory, lacks a mediocre camera, and doesn’t come with the rechargeable battery pack the 650 gives you.  The Oregon 600t and Oregon 650t are the same as the base unit but include a chip with maps preloaded.  I opt for buying the Garmin 24k topo maps and loading them by hand since the chips only have 100k maps.

The Oregon 450 is an inferior unit and I wouldn’t recommend anyone get it.  The money you save isn’t worth how much slower the unit is moving around on maps and how frustrating the touch screen is.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

A Snowy Visit to Leviathan Cave in the Worthington Mountains

What:
  Leviathan Cave
When: December 14th, 2013
Where: Nowhere Nevada
Who: Matthew Hengst, Jack Kieffer, Rod Kieffer, Ron Campbell, Kristen Lindbergh
Pictures: [Matt] [Ron]
GPS Track: [Map]

While I spend a good portion of my time running up and down peaks I have a fascination with caves and mines that I don't get to exercise very often.

So when I happened across this trip report mentioning a rather neat cave requiring a 30 ft rappel / rope ascent sitting on the side of a 3rd/4th class peak in Nevada it was something I was eager to make happen.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Mount Tipton DPS

What:
  Mount Tipton (7,148')
When: December 2nd, 2013
Where: Near Kingman Arizona
Who: Matthew Hengst, Kristen Lindbergh
Pictures: [Matt]
GPS Track: [Map]

This was the 6th and final day of the 2013 Turktacular and rather than bum around Sedona for part of the day I wanted to grab a peak a little closer to home.

Tipton is in the northwestern corner of Arizona just north of Kingman but close enough to the California border where the drive home after was reasonable.  Also unlike many of the peaks on the DPS list there isn't anything obvious nearby to combine it with if you want to drive out there for the entire weekend.  (I've seen it listed with Spirit but I'd already done that with McCullough for last years Mustache Mosey)