Matterhorn Peak North Arête

I’m posting this two months after the trip. Gabe and I return to the north face of Matterhorn peak after an aborted attempt two weeks earlier. This time we hike in and bivouac at the little tarn on the approach, one of my favorite spots. The next day we rise early, climb the North Arete 5.7, and hike out – still making for a worthy day of effort. I did this route back in 2002. Though my memory of it didn’t feel reliable, it proved accurate. It’s not the easiest route to find, but is forgiving of errors. We stayed close to the supertopo line this time, but I think the wandering route my partner and I took in 2002 might be more fun.

Moonrise over twin peaks ridge

Gabe's bivy

Matterhorn bivy

Sunrise sawtooth ridge


Great weather in the Gorge

Our friend Mike and his family couldn’t have picked a better weekend for some climbing in Owen’s River Gorge outside Bishop, California. Unusually warm sunny days provided perfect conditions.

Piñons campsite

Canyon view from elblow room

Canyon moonrise

Lower gorge entrance

River crossing

Hiking out

Our routes: Phoenix 5.7, Iceberg 5.9, PD Time 5.7, Pet Trackers 5.10a, Quail Trail p1 5.10a, Nice Jugs 5.9, Hole in the Wall 5.9, Warning: Laser Beam 5.8, Watch for Rocks 5.8, Boating Prohibited 5.10a, Warning Signs 5.10d

Thanksrunning, Thanksclimbing

For better or worse, the weather in the Alabama Hills near Lone Pine, California is even warmer than it was at Thanksgiving last year. Will climbing with warm sun on our skin here become a tradition? Gabe joins us this year and seems amenable. With a stop at Benton Hot Springs on the way down, we have a very pleasant long weekend of soaking, running, and climbing.

Lone pine morning glow

tent sunrise

Gabe climbs Nice Face

Snuggly tent morning

Our routes: Werner’s Werthers 5.8, Kit Kat 5.10a, Sweet Spot 5.10a, Pure Cane 5.8,Sugar Daddy 5.10b, What a Face 5.9, Death of a Cowboy 5.7, The quick and the dead 5.7, Muffy 5.8, Spot 5.8+, Senior Daredevil 5.9, Trevor’s Crack 5.9

Still warm in the Gorge

Gabe, Ann, and I found sun and fun in Owen’s River Gorge outside Bishop, California this weekend. Camping in the high piñons wasn’t always toasty warm, but the sun on the rock was perfection. I almost felt naughty sneaking in such a nice weekend in the middle of November.

Climbing at Attila the Hun Wall

Our routes: Clip, Jr. 5.6, Helga’s Holiday 5.7, Hagar’n’hilti 5.9, PedXing 5.9, Sunstroke 5.9, Nice Jugs 5.9, Hole in the Wall 5.9

We sneak in two more rock days at Alabama Hills

Ann and I are not the only optimists to converge on the low elevation Alabama Hills on the promise of temperatures warm enough for climbing. Those of us who follow the sun are rewarded with slightly chilly to very pleasant conditions. It’s been almost ten years since our last trip here, and this holiday weekend stirs those memories into the new ones we’re making.

Routes: Tootsie Pop 5.6, Werner’s Werthers 5.8, Kit Kat 5.10a, Rock Candy 5.10d, Pure Cane 5.8, Sweet Spot 5.10a, Sugar Daddy 5.10b, Spur 5.7, Tall T 5.10b, Sand Trap 5.9, Sting of the Lash 5.10b, Man’s Country 5.9, Man in the Raw 5.8