November 18, 2013

Mount Whitney Ice Climbing

Winter is coming, despite all the excellent and sunny rock climbing and bouldering to be done in The Eastern Sierra right now. Boy Scout Falls are usually the first climbable water ice around here. Indeed this year they were already freezing over in early October.

Dale contemplates the goods. Photo by Aaron Richards.
It was easy to persuade Aaron and Dale to hike in and swing some tools. We warmed up with a few laps on the main falls and finished the day with a fun mixed pitch above and to the right of the main flow.

November 12, 2013

Steck-Salathe Video

Mark and Janelle Smiley are on a mission. They're trying to climb all of the routes from the book Fifty Classic Climbs of North America by Steve Roper and Allen Steck. Part of their project is to make a short video of each route.

Jed belays while I enter the most infamous pitch of the route, "The Narrows". Photo by Mark Smiley.
Jed and I were lucky enough to get to be their film crew for The Steck-Salathe route on Sentinel Rock in Yosemite Valley. This basically entailed me climbing the route as quick as I could, so as to keep Jed ahead of Janelle and Mark and in good positions from which to shoot video. I climbed this route for the first time a few years ago, and it was a pleasure to get on it again. See the cool movie Mark and Janelle made by clicking here.

November 5, 2013


Every year I take a big chunk of time off in the fall. By early October the summer climbing season has come to a close in the High Sierra and work and play have slowed down. This coincides with a particularly nice time of year to climb in desert destinations like Red Rocks, Zion, the Moab area, and Indian Creek. This time off usually encompasses October and quite a bit of November, and I spend it enjoying some of the desert's finest rock climbs. So, taking a page from classic rock radio, I call my fall vacation "Rocktober".

Just like the more extended dirtbag climbing trips I've taken in days gone by, the two best parts of Rocktober are the climbing itself, and the people I get to climb and hang out with. Every fall it's a mixed bag of folks I already know and new friends. This year was no exception. Jed came along for his first Rocktober and wrote a neat little thing about the people.

For now I'm back in California, holed up at The Hopping Rabbit Farm near Yosemite and enjoying the dregs of Rocktober. Soon I'll be back in the Eastern Sierra for late fall and winter sport climbing, bouldering, ice climbing, hot tubbing, alpine climbing, skiing, movie watching, and all the other fun stuff we get to do in the Mammoth area.