Saturday, April 25, 2009

Castle Rock: April 2009

We were planning a quick trip to Yosemite, but a late Spring storm was delivering rain and snow. Quick regroup and we decided to head up to Castle Rock. These trips start with a power smoothie. The boy is a pro at these.

At the parking lot - weather is perfect.

A nice stroll down to the WaterFall Route, brutal trudge back up the trail to check out Chewtooth and the California Ridge. Relax in the sun for a little bit then decide to head to Castle Rock and the boulders.

John cranks one of he warm ups on the main Magoo boulder

Anisa is next

Gymboy John doesn't like the little crimpers

I have no comment about this photo

Steve fires "Mr Magoo" (and some other good problems of course)

It was a ton of fun

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Spring Skiing: Sugar Bowl in April

Last day of Spring Break. Kitty was studying so John and I zipped over to Truckee (zipped is not the right word. 8 hours because of horrendous traffic through the Bay area and Sacramento) Thursday night and hit the slopes at Sugar Bowl first thing in the morning.

Top of Pioneer Trail

The boy is getting good on his board! I'm still pathetic on my skis. But, it was fun and I didn't break anything.

Santa Cruz heritage showing

It was "60's" day at the kid's school. The gal didn't look any different than usual!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Ano Nuevo stroll

April 8 - Spring Break Week for the kids. Kitty and I headed up to walk to the Ano Nuevo headland to take a look at (and sniff of) the elephant seals.

There is a good history here about an almost-extinct population of elephant seals that has made an incredible comeback.

Always lots of birds as this is a nice meadow/wetland/scrub habitat. We saw some. I like the photo of the blackbird - it had just dropped off the fence and had not yet opened its wings.

Poppies, wild strawberries, Indian paintbrush

Then, the famous wild elephant seals. All the big bulls are off to Alaska, mostly 1st-year pups and females.

The docents knew alot and were very nice and informative

A little goofball pup.

The old home for the lighthouse keeper family is still out on the island. Now occupied by sea lions and birds.

Took all these photos with a Nikon D90 + Nikkor 70-300 VR

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Yosemite April 09

Kitty and I decided to zip over to the Valley Sunday night and squeeze in a day of climbing before a late spring storm came through. Rolled into the Wawona about 10pm. The new climbing-mobile worked great. 48mpg from Santa Cruz to the Valley. Quick warm up at the Swan Slab boulders.

Then off to do Munginella. Last time I was there was 1978 with Frances. Heard it had gotten cleaned up since then.

The approach

Looking up at the first pitch of Munge

First pitch was nice! Little bit of face climbing, some hand-sized crack and some liebacking. We ran out to the third tree to be able to do the route in two pitches.

There is a great view of the Lost Arrow Spire from the route. Second pitch was also nice. Up a corner, a couple of spicy moves getting out from under a roof, then up a steep dihedral. The 4th class downclimb was a running stream, but someone kindly has added some bolts with rings for rapping off the last bit. We did that.

Next stop, El Cap meadows and a hike up to the base of The Capitan. Right at the base of the Nose is a little 80' finger crack called Pine Line. There was a party of two on it -- you can see the leader lower right on the left photo).

Up we go. This is a very thin intermittent crack! If not for the face holds and ledges on either side it would be considerably harder than 5.7. Very nice.

Kitty cranking Pine Line

Walking back to the car, we saw a mother bear and her cub. Lighting was perfect for beautiful shots of the Southwest Face of el Cap and Middle Rock plus the Cathedral Spires.