Newport Harbor Pizza Paddle - April 2015

April 30, 2015
[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 where we dock our boats, partake in pizza and beer, and then paddling back to the cars. We do this all year round and in pretty much all conditions. You can find writeups of other pizza paddles here.

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.

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.

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

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.

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.


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.

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.