Monday, August 28, 2006

Truchas Take 3 - U.E. (unofficial event, Erika's not a member yet!)

Were not done with Truchas yet!
My wife Erika and I set out on a questionable-weather weekend because we got Gramps to watch the kids, to bag Truchas, again!

Erika has blister problems right from the start ;-( She was psyched but I guess those boots are OK for 2 milers with no backpack only... We took the usual long route up through Jacks creek, which was more like Jacks River after all this rain!

Weird Creatures: Paul found a cool Pterodactyl eggshell on the way up... and you thought Dino's were all gone.

(ok, it was actually half of the biggest puff-ball muchroom I have ever seen! There were more mushrooms in the forest after all of this rain than I have ever seen in ANY forest)

Wildelife: Along the hike we saw these elk, some deer, marmots and the usual cast of chipmunks squirrels and all the rest of the usual suspects.

Awsome Views: We made it to Jacks river and Camp 1 by 19:00 Friday evening planning to hike up to East Pecos Baldy lake early Saturday morning. Once there we'd setup camp and go fast-and-light up to the peak, to save Erika's feet the weight of a full pack on the attempt.

Camp 1 However, the mountain weather had other plans. We woke to steady rain and lost 3 hours waiting for it to stop, fooling around in the tent and cooking under the poncho-tarp.

The Assault: We arrived at the lake by noon, setup Camp 2 and headed off with questionable skies for the shortcut over the saddle to Trailriders wall. But alas here as you can see, the clouds moved in and a few loud claps of thunder and a wall of rain to the north sent us scrambling back down to camp 2. We did 90% of the work and were only 1.5 miles from the summit slopes! As luck would have it it cleared 2 hours after we got back ;-(

Lounging back at Camp 2: Well, summit fever didn't keep us from pulling the plug when we needed to... But the weather wasn't done with us yet! After a nice afternoon around the fire, we were chased into our tent at 21:00 by a WALL OF RAIN. Now I have been in a lot of weather in my time, but never, that much rain and lightning and thunder... My little (really really really small) tent really IS bulletproof! We awoke dry and with at least 3 hours of sleep... after a long night.

Mountain Beauty: Yup, as usual in the end, the beauty of the mountains, accessed by Human Powered Adventure, is reason enough to do it all over again.

Next, in September, my annual Angelfire to Taos Mt. Bike Death Ride !

Monday, August 14, 2006

Truchas Take Two

The A.A.S. was back to the best mountains in New Mexico, the Truchas. This time, the plan was a ridge run from base camp atop Quemado falls. Matt, Dan and Eric braved stinging hail stormes, munched plump, wild raspberries and dodged Smurf sized mushrooms on the way to our goal.
On Saturday we slogged up the grassy slopes of Middle Truchas (13,066) then continued on to Truchas (13,102).
With storm clouds rolling in, we pushed on towards North Truchas (13,024). A nice exciting ridge provided some fun 3rd class traversing until we reached the pass just below our final peak.
At that point, we realized the steep descent back to our camp was all we had energy left for. We stumbled down to the streams, ponds and meadows below and politely passed some high altitude grazing cows. Beef at 11,000 feet? Matt, who had spilled his mountain meal down his pants the night before (trying to keep warm while cooking...), seriously considered his chances of landing a steak dinner that night.
Back at camp, Dan and Eric wandered down the trail to find Quemado Falls. The rain fall in the area had the falls running at high volume. Very cool.
The rest of the trip was spent playing hack sack, debating ultra-lightweight backpacking strategies (waxing body hair... every ounce counts), napping and making new AAS laws. It was a very successful AAS outing.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Mt. Conness - Yosemite Nat'l Park

Another unofficial event from Lizrdboy... I spent birthday #33 in Tuolumne Meadows, climbing with friends. The goal was the West Ridge of Mt. Conness.

Yucky looking storms convinced us to forego the 12 pitch 5.6 route and instead we scrambled up the 3rd class ridge to the summit.

The storm met us at the summit with loud thunder claps, but Justin, made time for an Extreme Dew pose before we scurried down to the tents

At the safety of the tents, we watched the storm blow by.