Friday, July 31, 2015

Noname Basin

I was able to get out and guide a little bit at the end of June.  Tim has been coming out for years and we always have a great time.  As he had done last year, he was bringing along 3 friend so I brought along Bill.  The plan always starts out big.  Like we are going to climb everything in the area in 2 days big.  Usually it might get pared down a little bit, but this year it go pared down a bunch.  Luckily it was still and great trip.  We hiked up Noname Basin and set up camp at around 10,900'.  Just before dark Rodger yells, "a marmot stole my boot!" Sure enough.  We spent the next thirty minutes searching the area with headlamps until Bill finally spotted it halfway down Marmot hole.  Luckily it was still functional.
Looking up Noname toward Knife Point and Jagged
The next morning we hiked up to Jagged Pass and decided to change plans and climb Leviathan instead of Jagged.  Then ontop of Leviathan, we decided we might as well climb Vallecito Peak too.
Although we bailed on our primary objective of Jagged, we still got two great peaks and had a great time.  Jared had been struggling with blisters since day one, so on day three I took him out while everyone else climbed Knife Point.
Short break before the last mile to camp.
As usual, it's hard to have a bad trip in the mountains when you are with great people!

Popes Nose

This spring was rough.  There were too many planned climbing trips that got cancelled last minute because of weather to count.  So when there was a weather window I did everything I could to make sure I got out.  Ryan and I were originally going to hike in and climb Grand Gulch Spire but the forecast was for 100+ degree days in the desert.  So instead, we decided on a more alpine objective.  We left the trail head for the Popes Nose in the late afternoon.  We made good time and 13 miles later were at our little campsite just before dark.  It was fun to hike past Flag Mountain Falls again.  The last time I had been up that direction was when Eric and I climbed it in the spring of 2014.
Ryan following low on the route.
The next morning we got an early start and started up the Central Buttress.  We were climbing the last pitch to the summit when the sun finally swung around and started to cook the Central Buttress.
Ryan leading.
Luckily the heinous descent gully turned out to be pretty mellow.  By the time we got back to Flint creek the icy waters from the night before had transformed into nothing more than refreshing.
Crossing Flint Creek
The last few miles of the hike out were nothing short of brutal.  Between 26 miles of hiking and 1000' of climbing our feet were beat!  Flip flops have never felt better!


Amanda had a break from PA(Physician's Assistant) school in the end of May and we were able to get away to SoCal for a bit.  Before I showed up, she spent the weekend at a festival called 'Lightning in a Bottle', and then picked me up at LAX when I flew in.  The Brandewie Family drove down from  Three Rivers and camped with us at a campground in Malibu State Park.  It was great fun to see how fast Owen and Maya are growing up!  And as always it was great to hangout with Koren and Brad.
Maya, Owen, Koren, Brad
Amanda and I were able to go climbing for a couple hours, and go to a museum called the Getty Villa.
 Brad, Amanda and I went out one morning on the Pacific to fish for Rock Fish.  Since we we didn't have a freezer, Amanda and I gave most of our fish to Brad to take home.  We did keep a little that we fried up on our camp stove that night.  Delicious!

 Amanda got to go surfing a few days and obviously had a great time.  (Side note, she had bought an old board a couple years ago that she didn't love.  Recently however she upgraded by trading her board for something that will work better for her.  I'm excited for her to get out and try it!)

After Malibu we drove down to Costa Mesa and stayed at a friends house.  Amanda got to surf again, we did some road riding, and took some long walks on the beach.  On the Drive back to Phoenix we detoured down to San Diego to visit Stephanie, Hannah, Louise, and Max.  It had been way too long since seeing them!
The real highlight of the trip though, was getting to hang out with Amanda.  Hopefully in another year that'll be way more common!