Monday, May 30, 2016

Summer Begins - Memorial Day Weekend

Grading is over! The summer really starts! Hooray! Now for 3 months of relative freedom, no teaching and so many trips planned. Memorial Day weekend kicks it all off.

Saturday -- Doggy Dome! One of the less frequented crags in Shuteye ridge, I really did not want crowds, so we avoided the more popular venues.

I had tried to find this one before, but got lost in the bush. This time we went armed with a GPS, making the approach much easier, but still a bit of a bush-whack!

Teresa on the approach
After about 30 min the dome came into view, it looked fun, I was stoked! The routes are a full 60 meters long, very nice. Being Doggy Dome, it was appropriate that Penny came along

Doggy Dome. Amazing water runnels and a bad-ass crack

Doggy at Doggy Dome

We climbed a few routes. First I totally wussed out on a run-out 5.6, I was not mentally prepared for a 30 meter run out, so I down climbed a bailed off my last bit of pro. This is supposed to be a rest weekend, sheesh. Then over to a well protected 5.9, much better!

Teresa coming up the 5.9

On the way down.
Next tick a 5.8 off-width. I have not climbed a lot of wide cracks, so I was a bit nervous. I had 5 cams that fit the wide crack, so I walked them up the entire route. I'm getting used to doing that.

Hands to off-width.
The climbing was super fun, a bit gnarly, and I ended up with thrashed hands, blood all over the crack. Good times!

Ouch! Should have brought the tape!
The over to a 5.10c sport climb. Super technical, and delicate climbing. A bit of hang-dogging at the crux, then up the climb

That was fun
Great way to start the weekend. We woke Penny up from her snooze. Then hiked home. Off to Kings Canyon tomorrow.

Ready to go home sleepy head?
Day 2 - Sunday May 29

Teresa wanted to go for a hike, we wanted somewhere not so crowded, so we settled on Kings Canyon. The plan was to hike up the Don Cecil trail to summit Lookout Peak.  ~ 11-12 miles, 4,000' elevation gain, it would take us a few hours, but no the whole day. Perfect. 

That's the trail!
Its not a particularly exciting hike, but its fairly sustained uphill, and is in the forest, which is nice given how hot it is outside. The goes by a cascading waterfall.

Waterfall action
After a couple of hours we went off trail and headed up lookout peak, which is really a pile of rocks situated at ~8,000 feet. Finally the pay off for the hike, some pleasant views of Kings Canyon

We were on top of the peak, with its weirdo microwave towers.

Weirdo micorwave thingy

Bunner on the summit


Then backdown for some beers at the lodge. Best part of hiking in the National Parks

Day 3 - Monday May 30

Who am I going to climb with? Teresa wants to garden, Troy and Michael are working, Jared is off somewhere. So I e-mailed Brandon Nunez, a guys I had climbed with a long time ago. He was down. Brandon is relatively new to climbing so I choose a friendly, but fun objective -- Big Sleep.  Big Sleep is a 1000' tall slab with a couple of easy routes on it. 

Big Sleep. 1000' of slabby goodness
We blasted up afternoon nap (5.7). I have done the route a few times before, but I find these long moderate multi-pitch climbs to be so very relaxing. For me its like sitting on the beach, I feel fresh and rejuvenated after climbing one. Also it raises my stoke level for future, more difficult climbs!

Hey Brandon!

So fun and relaxing!
What a great weekend. Time to start planning the next one. Where to next?

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