Monday, February 3, 2014

Mopah Point, Umpah Point, and Turtle Mountains High Point

Although I've climbed several other peaks inbetween the last post and this one, these three peaks were definitely the most interesting.  Mopah and Umpah are two prominent volcanic pinnacles south of Needles, California with some technical rock climbing involved in the climb of Mopah, and depending on the route, Umpah had some class 3 and class 4 climbing as well.  The two combined made for a long day, and we came out in the dark.  
An odd decoration of the Mopah wilderness boundary.

Mopah in early morning light.  We set out at 6:30 a.m. to start this climb.

I'm stick in the tight crack at the top of this chute.  Kyle is laughing because I'm stuck.  His turn came next!
Between this and the summit was an awkward Class 3-4 wall that had a significant amount of exposure.  If one fell, it would be disastrous.  Coming down, we all roped up, see below.

I'm preparing to descend the Class 3 to 4 wall, below me is nothing but space.  We all roped up for this section, although I know people who have down climbed it un-aided.  A mistake could be deadly here, though.

Mopah from the valley between Mopah and Umpah.

I stayed over to climb the Turtle Mountains High Point the next day.

I'm starting off towards the Turtle Mountains High Point.  Although I'm past the wilderness boundary here, where car travel is closed, I saw evidence of people driving out on this road for another three to four miles illegally.

This wash had many large cat prints in it.  

Mopah and Umpah from the west.

The summit cairn on Turtle Mountain.

Castle Rocks from Turtle.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

The End of Cycling - For Me

If you've read this blog from time to time, you've probably noticed that the latest entries haven't been about cycling.  I finally have to admit that my injuries are not ever going to get better as they pertain to cycling.  I'm having to face the fact that after over 40 years of daily cycling are pretty much over.  It's a hard thing to wrap my head around.  Sure, mountain climbing, and walk/running are filling the void, but still, I have these wonderful bikes hanging in the garage that are crying to be ridden, and I just can't.  So here I am.  I'm undecided whether or not to close down this blog entirely, or just simply change the focus and hope I pick up new readers.  But from here on, let there not be any mistake, it's not about cycling any more.  I'm going to have to mourn this, and then move on.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Stepladder Mountains High Point and Chemehuevi Peak 12-7 and 12-8-13

We head out for Stepladder under threatening skies.

The peak arises abruptly from the desert floor.  Getting there involves about 17 miles of dirt road, the last five of which are seriously eroded, then a hike across the desert floor.  All told it's a 9.5 mile hike and climb off trail.
Kyle on one of the upper ledges we took to reach the summit.

A dramatic summit block, very small and exposed.

The views from the summit were expansive.  This is looking generally south west.

On the way down.  The rain passed us far to the north.

Dramatic skies across the desert shortly before sundown.  We came out in the dark.

Rraine and I camped in the outback Saturday night, then drove across the valley to the start of the Chemehuevi climb on Sunday.

Flowers in December?

Chemehuevi is the prominent peak to the left.

A Teddy Bear Cholla forest!  Watch where you step.

We worked out way up the canyon on the left, then left it to climb right up the granite face.

It was cold and windy.

The register was in this tube.

Yesterday morning's LVMC party, which we later met for Stepladder.

"Lake" Havasu

The Happy Wanderers!
The mountain was covered with cat's claw acacia, a particularly nasty desert plant that will rip one's clothes and skin to ribbons.

Cervelo R3

Cervelo R3
Better Than Being In Love