Sunday, August 9, 2009

Snowboarding below Roundtop, Mokelumne Wilderness

You might be wondering how to properly celebrate the arrival of El Nino, which promises to deliver us a good snow season. Well, here's my answer - and this is fresh Californian footage from Saturday, August 8, 2009.

Here is Jim, shredding the sweet corn ...

... and here is my wet butt, sorry 'bout that.

Our own private island of snow doesn't allow for steep or lengthy runs, but it is fun.

Yay, I'm riding an imaginary frozen wave.

Jim's turn.

We hike a little higher and enjoy the view.

Then, each of us picks another snowfield. Here's mine - riding slightly softer snow after discovering that just below the exit of the Crescent Moon Couloir it's a little too firm for me.

Here's Jim - riding the bat-shaped snowfield that we had seen from below.

Life could be so much worse.

Oops! Are we running out of snow?

A crazy "hey this was fun" picture concludes our session.

The warmer evening light touches Roundtop.

The marmot comments: "You crazy guys! It's August - your skis and snowboards are supposed to collect dust in a dark corner!"

If someone else comments that skiing or riding can't be had in August ...

... we may just pretend we came for the wildflowers ...

... or the view of Roundtop ...

... or this beautiful dead tree ...

... or to swim in Frog Lake.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Ragged Peak, Young Lakes, and Conness

Another catchup post: Pictures from a trip with Arturo to Ragged Peak, Young Lakes, and Mt. Conness. Start at the Dog Lake trailhead in Yosemite National Park. A little uphill section, then this unnamed lake behind Lambert Dome.

Dog Lake.

The top of Ragged Peak lives up to its name.

Ragged Peak.

Evening view. Conness to the left, Ragged Peak to the right.

Conness in the evening light.

Perhaps this is how Monet learned about impressionism.

Arturo's tent.

More evening reflections.

Ragged Peak and the moon.

We've gained some elevation and look back at the lake and Ragged Peak.

The stairs on the way to the summit of Conness. The perspective is a little exotic, admittedly ...

We made it.

View from the top of Mt. Conness.

Arturo sitting above the Conness Glacier.

Wildflowers and Yosemite Peaks as we hike back towards the car.

Looking towards Mt. Dana.

Awesome trip - this landscape was truly spectacular.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Sonora Peak, Stanislaus Peak, and Black Hawk Mountain

I'm behind with posting pictures; the last few weeks have been like drinking from the fire hose. To catch up, some pictures from the most recent adventure - a hiking / camping trip with Arturo, Bill, and Peter to Black Hawk Mountain.

Pedestrians may be content with Black Hawk Mountain as a weekend destination. We start out on Saturday by day-hiking Sonora Peak. Nice view from the top.

Then, Stanislaus Peak. As we summit, a nearby cloud expresses its anger in a thundery, rumbling voice, so we keep it brief.

Natural bridge near our lunch spot below Stanislaus Peak.

Back to the car and to Kennedy Meadow, from which we depart with full packs. Free rides, but not for us.

Smoke from a fire creating silky light.

Hiking along Relief Reservoir.

Evening light. DEET recommended.


Next morning, on our way to Black Hawk Mountain.

Bill, Arturo, and Peter navigating.


More granite.



Lunch at the summit, and reading in the registers which go back to the 70s.

Summit view from Black Hawk Mountain.

Bill recording the accomplishment of climbing the peak without supplemental oxygen.

Summit picture.

It would be all downhill from the summit - but there is snow, so the descent is way fun!

Snowboards might have added elegance to our lines, but traveling light requires compromises.

Over the granite to the camp and from there to Kennedy Meadow and home.

What a fun trip - thanks a ton for dragging me along, guys!