Climbing Third Pillar of Dana and Fairview Dome in/near Yosemite

July 18, 2016
South side of the Third Pillar of Dana

South side of the Third Pillar of Dana

My more experienced climbing friend of mine was more than happy to head off to Yosemite to climb these five star classics. A five hour drive with stop to provision at the last good grocery store in Oakdale and we were in the park. Luck was also on our side Friday when we arrived to the full first come first serve campground of Porcupine Flat around 7pm and snagged a campsite that was paid for, but was empty including the bear box. Another unexpected treat was sharing this campsite with two girls from San Francisco who had day hiked Half Dome and were backpacking around the area. A friendship around dinner and a nightly fire that grew out of sharing the essentials: water, spicy carrots, candy bars, beer and wood. Finally, all our beta on these routes were from the Super Topo Tuolumne Free Climbs book.

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Birthday Blitz: River crossings and alpine lakes onto Mt. Baldwin

June 28, 2016
Thoughtful Birthday decorations on my hammock.

While checking out the sunrise over mildred lake my friends decorated my hammock

The plan was to go hike to Dorthy lakes for a three day backpacking trip for my birthday. Hoping to summit either Mt. Baldwin (12,615′) and possibly Red Slate Mountain (13,123′) depending on whichever looked more fun. However, high streams, lots of snow and unexpected Class 3 kept us from summits but still enjoying the beautiful scenery with lots of birthday shenanigans.

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Eat, Sleep, Rave, Repeat at EDC Las Vegas

June 20, 2016
Things getting fun at the Circuit Grounds stage.

Things getting fun at the Circuit Grounds stage.

I just got back from the largest electronic music festival in North America, Electric Daisy Carnival (EDC) Las Vegas which starts at sunset and ends at sunrise. I’ve been to smaller shows, regional Insomniac events like Beyond Wonderland and also large festivals like Burning Man (which isn’t really a music festival, but EDM is a big part). It was an expensive trip, but ultimately really worth it and a fantastic experience in terms of atmosphere, culture, stages and artists.

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Climbing Auburn Cliffs (Quarry)

June 12, 2016

Looking out from Horseshoe Canyon towards the Memorial Wall (Left, by outhouse)

Outdoor rock climbing is my summer project this year and I’m trying to get out to do it as much as possible. So far this summer I’ve done my first sport lead, trad lead and multi-pitch. I’ve gained knowledge from going with more experienced friends, started leading at the gym, read the Climbing Anchors book about building anchors / placing protection and taken an anchors class from an instructor. This has given me the confidence to go out on my own and lead to acquire more experience. Asking around about good sport climbing areas near the bay brought me out to Auburn Cliffs (Quarry) a short distance northeast from Sacramento.

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Trail Report: Mt Shasta Casaval Traverse

May 17, 2016
Casaval Ridge

Casaval Ridge from 11,700 ft

I had been training all year for a difficult climb up Sargent’s Ridge when the trip fell through a couple weekends back so when I had an opportunity at another ridge route I jumped at it. In all the trip was a bit of an adventure with encountering a lighting storm while on the mountain, sustained wind for the whole climb, going solo for part of it and not being able to see when my glasses iced over on a steep section. I’m calling this write up the Casaval Traverse since I deviated off Casaval Ridge around 12,500 ft and topped out at the West Face instead of doing the Catwalk.

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Trail Report: Cone Peak Loop – Big Sur

April 26, 2016
coastal view

…three miles in this is just the start of what you’ll see. You only get more!

Want to see the real Big Sur? The wilderness where mountains dive dramatically into the ocean? A mountain range hidden from Highway 1? Cone peak (5155 ft) is a great route for you. It is one of the most diverse trips I’ve been on with vast ocean-stretching views, lush redwoods, green waterfalls, wildflower-laden hillsides and a rocky (cone) peak topped with an old fire lookout.

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Trail Report: Spring Summit Attempt of Lassen Peak

April 20, 2016
View from 10,000 ft on Lassen Peak. Shasta in the upper left and Chaos Craigs in center.

View from 10,000 ft on Lassen Peak. Shasta in the upper left and Chaos Craigs in center-left.

Lassen Volcanic National Park is one of the snowiest places in California and also one of the least visited national parks despite its rich geology and beauty. Around mid-April it was one of few lower elevation peaks with enough snow for a full snow mountaineering accent. The other peaks we had considered near Convict Lake (Laurel and Morrison) now nearly bare.

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How to (Not) Climb Round Top, or: The Importance of Good Research

April 3, 2016


“We think we took a wrong turn a quarter of a mile back.”

Guest post by Matthew Adjemian

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Becoming Bilingual @ Coursera

March 16, 2016

Photo under CC by Tsahi Levent-Levi

Halfway through my HCI degree I “saw the light” and moved from a flip phone to an Apple iPhone in 2010 despite being notoriously cheap. The following year I wrote my first iOS app for the device. Since then I’ve worked at Apple in the iOS division for two and a half years, watched every Apple keynote, been developing in Swift pre-1.0 and worked on Coursera’s iOS app while releasing another iOS app on the side…

So why have I been working on Android in Java for the last nine months?

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Best of the Bay: Training Hikes

March 6, 2016

Looking towards Mt. Tyndall (14,026′) on way to summit Mt. Williamson (14,380′)

Need to keep fit for a big backpacking trip or mountain climb? Maybe eye’ing a Shasta summit? The best way to train for such trips is to spend more time in nature and pack a heavy bag (30-40lbs). Stay away from the business of Mission Peak and use these go-to hikes for building up confidence, strength and endurance. Click this link for map of each route.

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