Kennedy Mountain via Lewis Creek After the Rough Fire

July 30th & 31st, 2016
Kennedy Mountain (11,433')
[Pics] [Map]

This was originally going to be a rest weekend between big trips but with my post surgery knee doing fairly well I couldn't resist running out of town again.  So on short notice Jen and I decided to head back to Roads End and grab Kennedy Mountain.

We'd been out this way last year and seen an early part of the Rough Fire just starting off in the distance.  Though we were never in danger of the fire reaching us we had an unfortunate amount of smoke blocking the views though Harrington was a fun enough scramble to make up for that.  Then due to two of us coming down sick the last morning we'd skipped Kennedy but consoled ourselves with the fact we'd get to camp at Frypan Meadow again when we came back.  It's a nice enough campsite that was something to look forward to.

Then the area burned during the latter part of the Rough Fire.  We were anxious to see if Frypan was completely gone.

Newport Harbor Pizza Paddle - July 2016

July 27th, 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.  For notifications on when we're doing the next one see our facebook group Pizza Paddle Associates.

San Joaquin & Two Teats From Yost Lake Trail WTC Experience Trip

July 23rd & 24th, 2016
San Joaquin Mountain (11,549')
Two Teats (11,352')
Day 1: 3.1 miles, 1,600' Day 2: 12.2 miles, 3,800'
[Pics] [Map]

So there's a peak in the Sierra called Two Teats.  And like any peak with an entertainly juvenile name (Mollie's Nipple, ManlyWhipple, ect ect) I'm always game.

Two Teats is normally done in conjunction with the SPS peak San Joaquin as a dayhike from Minaret Vista.  From there it's about 6 miles each way and there's a trail.  I've eyed it before when I was in the area but that always seemed a bit on the pedestrian side vs the other options around there.

Then came the day I was looking for a reasonable 2 day backpack involving a peak suitable to be a WTC Experience Trip.  I wanted wilderness, low -ish mileage, preferably camping by a lake, and a peak with a great view.  And as it turns out they made the area behind June Mountain a wilderness area (Owens River Headwaters Wilderness) a few years ago and the trailhead from June Lake is extremely  low utilization making it almost perfect for an experience trip.

So I listed it and after getting the melon themed happy hour and a few descriptive terms thrown out by the lovely and wonderful WTC outings chair it was on.

Charleston Peak & Mummy Mountain DPS Peaks Above Las Vegas

July 16th, 2016
Charleston Peak (11,916')
Mummy Mountain (11,529')
[Pics] [Map]

This was going to be a weekend spent at home catching up after spending the last few running around in the mountains but I couldn't take it.  Two days after getting home from Mineral King and managing some semblance of catching up on sleep I was ready to get out again.

Charleston Peak and Mummy Mountain are two peaks on the Sierra Club Desert Peaks Section list located just north of Vegas.  I've eyed them for years and even attempted them once (on New Years 2012 which turned that into just Griffith Peak) but either conditions were not promising or I ended up making other plans.

But now with less than 10 DPS peaks left before Decembers planned Glow In The Dark DPS List Finish #1 they suddenly seemed a lot more appealing.

Mineral King, Timber Gap, Pinto Lake, Peak 10,021' (Originally Mineral Peak) WTC Experience Trip

July 9th & 10th, 2016
Ranger Point (10,021')
[Pics] [Map]

"Come join us for an easy two day backpack to Mineral Peak in Mineral King.  We'll hike in, camp by a lake, do a fun peak with a great view, and be out early."

Sounds great doesn't it?  It was enough to get a full permit of 15 people out with Garry McCoppin and I bright and early Saturday morning in early July.  It unfortunately would not be the trip we'd actually lead since a permit snafu left us with no option but to hike up and over Timber Gap adding an extra thousand feet and quite a few miles.

But hey, as the bumper sticker reads "Attitude is the difference between an ordeal and an adventure"  (Not tacked on the end there is "At least in hindsight")

Cherry Lake To Lake Eleanor Loop via Main Jack and Falls Canyon

July 1st to 5th, 2016
Sachse Monument (9,405')
Chittenden Peak (9,685')
[Pics] [Map]

Jen, Kristen, and I originally tried to do this loop for the 2015 Memorial Day Massacre figuring the low altitude made it a good fit for an early season high mileage peakbag.  We were corrected by a combination of a snowstorm and dangerously high water crossings which caused us to turn around during the second day of a planned five.

Having now successfully done the loop I'd strongly recommend not trying it that early and in fact even later than the 4th of July would probably be ideal.

For me this summer the 4th of July weekend was the only real option for doing a 5 day trip so I decided to go for it.  It would be the longest trip by a fair margin that I'd done since knee surgery last November but had a fair amount of wiggle room so we could adjust the trip as needed.

Stats ended up being 75 miles and 11,270 ft gain doing just two of the optional peaks but seeing a lot of really spectacular terrain in an area that a lot of us LA area based folks don't often go to.

Also this trip was notable for having the worse mosquitoes I think I've ever encountered in the Sierra.  And these weren't just your average isolated hoard but lasted for days in numbers that basically just had to be endured.