I was invited to do one of the hardest backpacking trips in the lower 48: The Caribou Scramble is 26 miles with a massive 13k elevation gain. However it was kind of hard figuring out the actual route so we misidentified and embarked on this Caribou Figure Eight that even Summit Post suggested. Combining it with a class three Caribou rim traverse our trip was still a respectable 22 mile, 7k elevation gain trip with a warm (rare) alpine lake swim and plenty of granite scrambles.
Keeping in pattern with a climbing trip every weekend I signed on to go to Lover’s Leap in South Lake Tahoe where huge rocks charge up from the surrounds just off I-50. The area is very popular due to its easy trad multi-pitch routes and relatively short drive from the SF Bay Area. I wound up leading a couple really great climbs, having an unexpected fantastic evening with friends and a surprise single strange rappel adventure. I was able to route find pretty well with just Mountain Project, but the guide book everyone else had would have saved me some time.
A few weekends back I decided to go on a climbing trip with a bunch of people I didn’t know via a very active meet up group Get Your Climb On. What could go wrong? Actually, everything went right and I climbed the hardest sport route I’d ever done outside and met a ton of really great people I just clicked with. It was an amazing time. I couldn’t find a great guide book for North Tahoe (still waiting on this one), but there is one specifically on Big Chief which would have been helpful.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.