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Sunday, October 24, 2010

Alabama Hills Camp and Climb

 We set up camp well after midnight. Those without a FWC found other sleeping arrangements.

Early the next morning the sun's rays hit the eastern slopes of Mount Whitney.
I went on a walk to scout some climbing routes and spotted a familiar vehicle camping to the east.
We drove over to the Corridors set up a belay and started climbing.
Braden leads a class 5.9 route named "Senior Daredevil" as Clark keeps his belay.
He tops out and sets up a top rope for the rest of us.
Erik ties in next and scales the face. All of us find it hard to believe that this is his first time on rock.
Jo Ann is next.
photo by Jan Johnson I try the 5.6 "Trevor's Crack" but come up short. Braden and Erik climb the crack with ease and make me feel like the 57 year old man that that I am.
Braden taking photos before dinner.
 Early the next morning Jan and I hear odd noises outside the camper. I track the noises to a couple of sleeping bags about 100 feet away from our camp.
Early morning at Camp Two.

photo by Braden Roseborough  Jan and Bill in Mobius Arch.
photo by Braden Roseborough  High country veterans Clark and Jo Ann gaze into the Sierra Nevada and discuss climbing Lone Pine Peak.
photo by Jan Johnson  Erik,  Bill, Braden and Mobius by Braden Roseborough  Driving south on the 395.
Spotted this Lenticular stack near Mojave.
Closer look.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Saddleback Butte SP

 Entrance to the park with the peak in the background.
Fresh and eager the Explorers prepare for their hike.
 Two miles and 1000 feet of gain to the summit.
 Many of the hikers reached the summit before me.
50 people reached the summit of the peak.
 Sunset over the Antelope Valley.
 Approaching camp.
 My flashlight illuminates a rattlesnake found near one of our camps.
Investigating the mysteries of Jiffy Pop.
Sunrise over Saddleback Butte and the FWC.
 One last view of the butte before heading for home.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Monache Meadows - Inyo NF - "dark ominous clouds above us unleashed their fury"

The start of the road into Monache Meadow. I drove in here for the first time back in the early 80's.
Looks like it took a lot of work to open the road this summer.
Olancha Peak in the distance.
Entering the main meadow.
Crossing the Kern River.
Headed for Monache Creek.
 Near Monache Creek.
Cabins on the east side of Monache Meadow.
Driving back to the Kern River with Monache Mountain in the sunshine.
Beautiful day for reflections.
Kern River in foreground, Olancha Peak in background.
 The obligatory river crossing video.
Driving through Monache Meadow headed for the river camps.
Fording the Kern to visit a location that I had camped at more than 20 years before.
Camp One - relaxing at 8000 feet.
The next morning we walked north along the river to the dam.
Jan stayed with the FWC and watched as a bird snatched a fish out of the river.
photo by Ron Pinkerton
Driving back across the Kern.
 Ron fords the Kern.
Ron drives over the ridge back to the meadow and heads for home.
Camp Two - overlooking Monache Meadow.
Late in the afternoon I heard the pounding of hooves and looked up to see three horses and riders moving fast trying to reach camp before the dark ominous clouds above us unleashed their fury.
Friends returning to Kennedy Meadows after driving in for an afternoon visit.
The next morning: 6:45 AM, 22 degrees and frost covers the meadow.
Our camp nestled among the pines and clouds breaking over the summit of Olancha Peak.
A shallow part of the river froze in the night.
Leaving camp and headed for home.
Jan spots some interesting fungus.

My guess is Gymnopilus sapineus.
Then Jan observes dripping sap.
She takes an interest and I take a photograph.
A closer look.
On this trip we encountered below freezing temperatures, rain, hail and a bit of snow.
Winter is coming to the Sierra Nevada.