Sunday, October 30, 2016

Spooky Times in the Alabama Hills

Halloween weekend in the Sierra's appropriately enough had a second major storm pass though. Myself, having a serious addiction to climbing decided to go out anyway. The Alabama Hills near Lone Pine had a (lower) chance of rain and snow than most climbing areas in California, so that's where we decided to go.

Halloween in the stormy desert. Spooky.
We met up with Beau and his wife Kate for a relaxing, awesome weekend of sport climbing. Beau and Kate are hot-shot navy pilots that live in Lemore. In addition to being badass navy folk, they are super friendly, and probably some of the nicest people I have met and as a bonus they very stoked on climbing.  
Now that is a recipe for fun.

Teresa and I camped out on Friday ourselves at Tuttle Creek, and had a leisurely morning waiting for Beau and Kate to arrive.

 I love Lone Pine, it was so nice to hang around, drinking coffee, and drinking in the beautiful views of the Whitney Group.

Lone Pine Peak: View from my tent

More mountain views. Whiney group shrouded in clouds
Once Beau and Kate arrived, we cruised into the hills and the fun began. I was so busy climbing, I really did not take enough pictures. The weather was perfect, sunny and warm. Over the course of the day we did about 9 sport climbs. 

Even though Beau and Kate are new to the sport, their enthusiasm more than makes up for any lack of experience. Beau was leading, Kate was hopping on TR, never giving up. Both of them are going to be good climbers, and they are going to get good soon. It was really nice to climb with such friendly enthusiastic climbers. One of the things I love about the sport is the amazing people I get to meet from all walks of life.

Beau and Kate - lunch break in their taco.
Tese on lunch break. All smiles today. 
We climbed at 3 crags on Saturday. Although the rock is not the best, the Alabama Hills really have a special place in my heart. I love the desert, the views of Mt. Whitney, and the many moderate sport climbs. Its really one of my favourite places in California. 

Beau on lead in the Hills

Beau - Crushing it.
After a day of satisfying climbing, we had a indulgent meal at the Mt Whitney restaurant. Mmmm.... 

Hi Penny!
The storm started to crest the Sierras and the wind picked up in the evening. We had a nice fire, then off to bed!

Sunday we woke to some fierce wind, and a nasty looking storm system descending into the Owens valley. So beautiful. We get so used to sunny skies, that a big storm is a refreshing change of scenery. We packed up, and headed to town for breakfast. Luxury!

Morning storm system

Kate cuddles Penny


After a tasty meal, despite the storm, we headed over to Shark Fin to try and squeeze in another climb before the rain arrives. Such pysch! 

Walking into the Shark's fin

Racking up.
Leading the fin was a bit wild with the roaring wind, maybe 20 mph? A bit spooky, perfect for Halloween weekend. 

Beau heads up the fin

Windy! Look at that rope!

Kate crushing the arete in the wind

After climbing the fin, we rain started coming down, so it was time to head home.  A great weekend! It was terrific fun climbing with Beau and Kate. Teresa and I are looking forward to more adventures with them in the future.

Goodbye Shark's fin. Until next time!

1 comment:

  1. Absolutely wonderful trip, thanks again Cory!!