We’re exhausted from moving ourselves and prepping the new Reno Collective location, and we feel the need for a play day. It starts off a little chilly, feeling like a fall day despite the nice patch of mountain pride blooming along the approach trail. Mike joins us with both his son and his dad, so we have three generations of craggers on the rock.
Sun, 26 May 2013
Sun, 12 May 2013
Ann and I meet Wes in Truckee, hoping for cooler temperatures at Big Chief. It’s just about right, even climbing in the sun. The blooming bitterbrush smells like cinnamon and a breeze ruffles the ponderosas. Climbing season is definitely open!
Sat, 11 May 2013
Most of our first trip to the Phantom Spires is spent thrashing through the steep underbrush between crags, exploring the area and climbing a few routes before we return to our campsite. It’s a great place, but surprisingly already pretty hot. Luckily there’s always a few routes in the shade.
Sun, 21 Apr 2013
It’s almost spooky how few people are climbing in the gorge this weekend. We do meet a nice couple taking some time off before starting grad school, and there are others, but not the crowds we were ready for. It’s warm, nice for tent camping and overall unwinding in addition to endless sport climbing. Although I did lead a crack on gear this time – a Gorge first for me!
The gorge is full of life in the spring: stinging nettles sprawling, bees buzzing, vulture vying, lizards lounging, and mice mingling. Climbers clambering are just a sideshow.
Routes: Alfred Hitchcrack 5.8, Fine Dining 5.7+ (ann TR), Don’t Kid, Minibike 5.9, Phoenix 5.7, Snapping Pussy Doll 5.10a, It’s the Gaaazzz 5.8, Giveaway 5.9, China Doll 5.8+, Heart of the Sun 5.9, Tsing Dao 5.10b, Child of Light 5.9
Mon, 01 Apr 2013
Luckily for Wes, Ann, and I the weather forecasts were fabulously wrong and we enjoy a weekend full of warm sunny sport climbing at Owen’s River gorge. It’s been ten years since I’ve climbed here, but it feels great to kick off the season with some of my old favorites. Memory is not perfect, though, as I find when I start up my last route thinking it will be a little challenging, and find it impossible for me and have to bail off. New memories
Routes: Crotalusley Challenged 5.6, Cinderella 5.9, Pet Trackers 5.10a, P.D. Time 5.7, Iceberg II 5.9, Babushka 5.8, Crowd Pleaser 5.9, Humbly, Mumbly, Jumbly 5.10b, Nirvana 5.10a, Clip Jr 5.6, Unknown 5.7, Step Right Up 5.8, Trundle of Joy 5.12b (bailed, thought it was a 10b!)
Sun, 24 Mar 2013
We’re hoping it will be warm enough to climb outside today, and it’s perfect! The river rock is a little busy but mellow enough, and it feels great to climb a bit outside. Wes comes along with Ann and I for a few blissful routes.
Sat, 16 Mar 2013
I’ve been wanting to experience Lassen Volcanic National Park in the winter ever since I hiked through in the summer of ’96 on the Pacific Crest Trail. It does not disappoint – it’s a spectacular place when snowbound.
We start by discovering that the fresh water tank in our camper no longer holds water. When we try to fill it, it just runs out the other side. We sadly pile in water bottles instead.
Ann, Gabe, and I drive up in the camper to the visitor center where highway 89 ends in the snow and make camp.
On Saturday morning Gabe and I head for Lassen Peak while Ann plans a snowshoe outing. We both pass the Sulfur Works geothermal area on our route.
We make a snow camp at Lake Helen, then start climbing in earnest.
It soon gets too steep for skis and we boot up the last six or seven hundred feet. The wind is gusty on the ridge, but not terrible.
At the summit the wind is stronger, and steals Gabe’s favorite hat. We retreat back to a sheltered area for a snack.
Just as we prepare to descend the wind starts blasting. We can’t hear each other, and I can barely hang onto my snowboard. It takes a false start and some traversing over crust to find decent snow, but then we feast on corn.
Back at basecamp I can’t resist going up for just a little more before we settle in for a windy night.
Luckily Gabe has built up the tent well and our shelter holds for the night. I stay reasonably warm, and don’t want to venture out into the wind again in the morning. Soon after the sun rises, though, the wind stops and the temperature shoots up again. We have an easy return trip with plenty of time for one more corn run before Ann rejoins us to pack up. She’s been up in the high country herself near Diller and Diamond peaks.
Sun, 10 Mar 2013
The terrain east of Castle peak has always intrigued me with its ruggedness and complexity. Today I join Gabe, Mike, and Kim to explore and ski some of it. The snowmobile access ensures that there are plenty of visitors, but the featured landscape hides plenty of treats for everyone. Our timing is fortunate and we enjoy three square meals of powder, pudding, and corn.
Sat, 09 Mar 2013
All five of us present have tried and failed to climb Tule Peak in the past, so it is with particular relish that we now join forces and do the job right. Given proper respect, good companions, and decent weather, it’s a fun outing!
Sun, 24 Feb 2013
On our way back from a family funeral in Ripon we decide to sample some of the California central valley outdoors on our way home. I choose “training hill” outside Auburn, which looks like it gets some good elevation in quickly. The American river is an amazing deep azure here. There is green grass and big oak trees – feels like a foreign country to me now! I manage the whole loop barefoot, spring must be here!