Sunday, September 30, 2012

Super quick update/stall

So I am now in Santa Barbara, I'll begin a course with Boojum doing sea kayaking, local ecology, hiking and a day of challenge course initiatives with a group of 11th graders from a Waldorf school which sounds pretty cool (the group and the school that is).

I have spent the last few weeks in Yosemite climbing and hiking as I think I mentioned in the last post. Basically, it was awesome to climb on such pristine granite, get back in to climbing shape and meet oodles of awesome folks, make new friends and make plans with said friends to meet up in Utah in a month or so.

This is more or less a stalling post to let you guys know I'm alive but that I haven't had time to truly formulate a fantastic post idea or go over all the pictures and videos that have been taken in the past month. Furthermore I'm plum tuckered out and ready for bed time after hanging out in the hot tub. Man camping is rough!

Is there anything any of you readers would like to hear about or see in the upcoming post(s)?

Any feedback on things you'd like to see or have seen and want more of is whole heartedly welcomed and would be appreciated!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Backpacking with some chilluns in Sequoia

So after leaving Tuolumne I met up with Skyeler, Kayla and a whole bunch of other Boojum instructors in Sequoia for an eight day course (five days with the kids). There I had the privilege of going on a two day scouting/trip prep backpack with my Co-leader Jakob who was awesome to work with the whole time. This trip consisted of about 10miles from Rowell Meadows to Big Meadow Campground with about 2-3 miles covered per day with the kids and a lay over day at Weaver Lake to summit Shell Mountain and do some lessons and have a bit of personal time.

Once the kids got there we did some inventories of what they'd brought, get to know you ice breakers and a bow drill/camp fire time. The next morning we packed up and headed out. The first day was the slowest hiking day with some unbalanced and heavy packs, we averaged about 1/2 mph. Upon our arrival to our first campground we ate lunch, picked some wild gooseberries and blue berries that were in season and played some games and were rained on during dinner which Jakob and I agreed added a little character to the trip.

The Group

The next day we played games through the morning before heading out just after lunch to our next site in a wooded ravine that was bordered by a talus field of bright white granite boulders. Not a terrible site, especially with it being a few minutes walk from a bubbling mountain stream. That night I led an astronomy lesson, regurgitating much of what I learned during staff training, I was pleased that I remembered as much as I did!

Just showing off on a giant stump

The next morning I woke up and packed up early so the kids could hike to a special breakfast burrito stand in the Jennie Lakes Wilderness that was occasionally manned by a Boojie (an excuse to unload extra beans and rice from the previous night's meal). A nice chance for some alone time away from the hub bub of 10 8th graders and to catch up on Anna Karenina. From there we kicked it at Weaver with Geology lessons, talks with rangers (informative, not punitive), games, swimming, summiting of Shell Mountain and general schloobing.

A marmot that kept the kids occupied for a solid 1/2 hour

The view from the summit of Shell, with King's Canyon in the distance.

The last day we woke up early (5:15am) and cruised back to the campground for derig and departure. After the kids were gone the staff loaded up and went to a post-course meal on Boojum before heading up to Yosemite.

Stay tuned to the start of, and depending on rest days/free time the end of my Yosemite climbing, swimming and hiking adventures.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Kickin' it in Tuolumne

Well, after leaving Anza and staff training I made a quick stop over in LA to visit with my aunt, uncle and grandfather before heading up north. After visiting, getting my life mildly organized, showering, doing laundry and figuring out they best way to get to Yosemite I set off up the 395. I made only one slight detour, perhaps a personal best and a few quick stops to pick up a hitch hiker and to look through some tubes pointed at Mt. Whitney in Lone pine and to check out the Mobil in Lee Vining. That gas station was perhaps more impressive than I thought it would be, I was half way tempted to drop the 20 bucks for their seared mahi mahi steak.

After arriving in Tuolumne I went for a short (~7mile) hike up to Cathedral lakes to enjoy a beer chilled in the alpine waters while watching the sun drift below the horizon. After realizing that my hunger couldn't be avoided any longer I cruised back to the van for some sort of delicious meal, not sure what it was, but I'm sure I went to flavor country. From there I went to the campground for the night.

I woke up early the next morning for a quick jaunt up Cathedral peak, first to summit of the day, heck ya! After a quick snack and nap on the summit I went down to Budd lake for a refreshing and cleansing dip. Not too shabby. After getting back to the car for lunch and eating I set off for the Meadows for some afternoon reading and relaxation.
Summit shot on Cathedral Peak

Afternoon view in Tuolumne

The next day after talking with a nice couple I caught the 2nd shuttle down to Tenaya lake and then hiked up to and climbed Dozier Dome, I was considering doing a second route but the descent was a bit rough on the ole knees so I finished off the morning with a nine mile toodle back up to the meadows where I gorged myself and spent another afternoon relaxing and reading.

On top of Dozier Dome looking out over Lake Tenaya

After being rudely awoken by rain in the wee hours of the morning I shifted to the van as I had been sleeping next to the road in a perhaps less than legitimate manner and had not set up a tent. Shortly after rousing myself I had an invigorating conversation with a ranger, though fear not my charm won out and no ticket was issued! After the officer left I proceeded down to Sequoia and King's Canyon NP for my Boojum course. That story is to follow.

Quick Update more to follow

Hey all,

Currently in Yosemite Valley hanging out at Camp 4 trying to find a climbing partner (this is certainly not helping). Just got done with a backpacking course leading a trip of 8th graders through the Jennie Lakes Wilderness in Sequoia/Kings Canyon NP for about 9 days which was  a blast!

After leaving the course I headed North to Yosemite with Kayla, Skyeler, Maddy, Gabe, Aaron and Jakob (all instructors/friends that also lead the course). We managed to kick it the first night in a free Boojum site before moseying on and checking out Mariposa Grove, higher cathedral peak, the rather dry mirror lake and schloobing in the river. Unfortunately last night they were removed by the Park Service for mooching too much, luckily they didn't share the same fate as the fellow in the next site over that was arrested shortly there after for an outstanding warrant for a DUI. It was rather sad to see those fine folks leave and I am once more rollin' solo.

The hand is mostly healed up, perhaps a little tendon restrengthening is in order but there has been relatively little scarring and it's more or less hunky dory to climb on for those that may have been wondering.

Next update I'll provide more stories and perhaps even a few pictures!