Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Columns of the Giants with friends

On the way to Wanderlust I stopped off at the Columns of the Giants for some sport climbing with friends. There was a heavy rain before I got to Sonora Pass and the road was actually closed for a while to clear debris. The streams were still running hard and brown when I went over. We need the water, but it would be nice to get it in a less concentrated manner.

It was a nice surprise to see Ed Mank there along with Dawn, John, Ted, and Zuska. I only got to climb a bit before I had to head off to Wanderlust, but it was fun to get in a bit of steep sport climbing and see friends.

there was a lot of muddy water



Ted goes up while Ed comes down
a row of climber vehicles

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Church of Grundy July 4th weekend revival and backpacking teaser

Over the July 4th weekend I hosted a Church of Grundy Revival. Basically a bunch of YogaSlacker people visited and we set up slacklines and did acro at the park and climbed and hung out. It was a lot of fun and will probably happen again. Some people stayed on through Tuesday morning for more fun and play and then Tuesday evening I went backpacking with Willow and Jana. Peaks were climbed at midnight, passes were passed, beautiful blue lakes were jumped into, moonrises watched, wildflowers smelled... I will have to write proper trip reports for both of these events, but for now here are some teaser pics.

high hand to hand with Leah 

There was a lot of water line failure 

Ariel bases Rob like a boss

Ariel and Rob cook while Kathryn, Paul, and Leah chat and eat at the COG

Kathryn climbing at Iris Slab (the old tilt the camera trick)

Kathryn flying Paul

walking the line

YogaSlacker TT 2013 mini - reunion. Kathryn, Tom, Willow, and Leah

Willow boulders

For our hike we went in over Piute Pass, Snowtongue Col, down to Evolution Valley, up Goddard Canyon, past Davis Lake, through Evolution Basin, Darwin Bench, Lamarck Col and out. I have many pics to process, but here are a few to start. 

There was a search underway for a missing hiker who went in to climb Goddard. We saw a few searchers and lots of helicopters. Evidently he summited Goddard and fell on the descent and crawled down to Davis Lake w/ a broken leg. In the evening a helicopter landed almost next to him to drop off searchers and he managed to signal them by throwing rocks and waving something. The next day we saw a helicopter landing by Davis Lake as we went by on the other side.

Willow flying high bird in the back country

there were lots of wildflowers

cold blue lakes were jumped into (Davis Lake)

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

A busy few days in the Sierra...

I had a busy few days. Friday I hiked out of S. Lake up past Green Lake and on up to some point overlooking Chocolate Peak among other things.
looking down over Chocolate Peak among other things

Saturday I went backcountry over Piute Pass to the Humphreys Basin and camped by Desolation Lake (still mostly ice covered) with Laura and Matt. Matt's altitudinal woes had us hiking back Sunday instead of an early morning trip out to Four Gables and hiking out. I got a little headlamp bouldering in at the Happys that night with Julie.

happy hour fun

Mt Humphreys as the sun sets
camp below Mt Humphreys

Milky Way over the Glacier Divide
bird nest that Laura spotted hiking across the alpine tundra

Yosemite Toad - Laura's friend

Laura drops in on a big snow wave

Monday I hiked the lakes loop out of Glacier Lodge up the N Fork of Big Pine Creek with Julie - spectacular views. Monday night I bouldered at bro-night.

Julie in front of Second Lake and Temple Crag

Tuesday I rested - except for a little more late evening bouldering.

I'll post more pics and a proper trip report eventually - unless the summer gets crazy busy in which case maybe not.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Last gasp skiing trip teaser

They say there is no snow in the Sierra this year, Laura has been posting pics almost every weekend proving that wrong. For the most part it is above 10,000 feet, which means some effort is required to get to it.

We headed in from Virginia Lakes on Sat May 24. It wasn't long before we had to walk across snow fields and our walking shoes got pretty wet before we switched to skis and started skinning up over the pass and with a little bit of steep snow and rock scrambling and a bit of fun skiing to Summit Lake.

Grey Butte reflected in the small melted part of Summit Lake

home sweet homes

We set up in a dryish spot and relaxed and ate delicious foods. Appetizers were flavored triscuits with brie and gouda and then bacon wrapped sirloin with bacon mashed potatos and pesto... (yes, this was a trip with Laura, so Moose Lodge hospitality was in full effect.

bacon wrapped steak with bacon mashed potatoes and pesto = YUM
The next day we skinned up a nice bowl and then higher on another slope and skied down. That was so much fun we did the bowl again. There were nice clouds making for interesting light. We took lots of pics.

Laura drops into the bowl

and continues to the creek

an epic fail attempt at a handstand w/ skis

That night dinner was my turn for dinner - I brought dehydrated curried lentils with sweet potato. Luckily we still had some crackers and brie and gouda too.

I tried to get some night pics when I woke up at midnight. I got a few, but I couldn't figure out the K3 cameras modes that I thought would help.

Memorial day we packed up and headed out. It was amazing how much less snow there was on the way out compared to hiking in. That meant hiking instead of skiing back from the pass, but it wasn't too bad. Then a stop at the Whoa Nellie Deli and on to the Tufa at Mono Lake to take pics. I got brought out the big lens and took a bunch of detail pics and pics of gulls and osprey.

osprey bringing a stick to the tufa top penthouse suite
same pic - cropped in even more

There will be more details and pics in a trip report eventually. I'll put the link here when it is done.

and here it is:

Sunday, May 18, 2014

New camera, new lens, pine creek climbing, poetry contest, tasty food, ultra marathon...

Some of those things in the title are me, others aren't.  But my loyal fan probably wants to know what all I've been up to. For starters I got a new K3 and Sigma 150-500mm lens.

You can read more about that and see some sample pics here:

I also went climbing in Pine Creek recently - lots of good rock up there, and some not so good rock raining down a few hundred yards up canyon from us.

Tai and a brace of Eriks in Pine Creek

Laura had a get together celebrating a number of things, and of course there were lots of tasty things to eat.

roasted garlic torte

Then we went to Spellbinder Books - for the awarding of the winners of the poetry competition. Years ago I used to rap Xanadu with my sister, and knowing the verses helped me win a poetry book.

Laura reads her poem
and shows off her award
Then off to the Mountain Light Gallery to for a new show opening with lots of fantastic images. Finally that night I biked out to Mill Pond park to talk to Julie who was volunteering at the end of the Bishop High Sierra Ultramarathon. We watched some of the last few people finish the 100K race.

Crossing the finish line after 17+ hours and 100K

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Lower Rock Creek Bike Ride

Today I investigated another part of my front yard, Lower Rock Creek. I biked up on mostly back roads past the Pleasant Valley Reservoir and then up the Lower Rock Creek Rd past Paradise and on up to where it meets Hwy 395 above 6,800 ft. Then I took the mountain biking trail down along the creek back to Paradise at about 5,000 ft, then down the road, up to Round Valley Rd, and back around to Bishop on more back roads. The first 2 parts of the trail was mostly rolling and fast downhill. The last segment had a lot more rocky bits and was harder than I was. I managed to clear most of it, but one rocky uphill and a few steep downhill parts caused me to walk it. I probably could have ridden a few more parts but I didn't know what was coming so I tried to be a little conservative. I did have one low speed crash when I tried to get back on my bike and it stopped and I went over the front (at about walking pace). oops. Parts of the Rock Creek Canyon were very scenic - sort of like a mini Owens River Gorge with huge ponderosa pine trees by the creek. I wasn't setting any speed records. The entire ride took a little over 6 hours. Now my legs and back side are tired.

this doesn't look much like paradise, but the view the other way was better

looking back from the road above Paradise

the top of the bike trail

Monday, April 28, 2014

Kathryn visits for a fun and busy weekend

Last weekend Kathryn took a break from the rigors of life in San Diego to visit. When she got here Friday I assured her that there really were mountains around, as they were shrouded in clouds. The next morning the Whites and Sierra Nevada were covered with fresh white snow. We had a busy schedule... Biking, Hiking up Tungsten Peak, Summit acro, slacklining, acro, bouldering, eating tasty vegan food, watching movies, rock climbing in the gorge, and lots of talking. Thanks for coming up Kathryn.

summit acro (Tungsten peak summit)
taking selfies




flexing/posing (making me look weak)
climbing at the Owens River Gorge
hiking out of the gorge

I put a bit more text and pics here: