Thursday, December 17, 2009

Kev's Kristmas

OK - I made updates to my Christmas list, and I was pretty good this year, so I'm hoping it'll be a very good year for presents! So once again, here is the link to check out my favorite gift choices for Christmas 2009. Hurry, time is running out, so break out that credit card, and happy shopping!!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

December Hike in Nightmare Gulch

Was out today with a few friends to hike Nightmare Gulch in Red Rock Canyon State park, about 40 miles north of Mojave. It was a great day to be outside in the sun! We saw no other hikers, which is not surprising since this hike isn't in any guidebooks.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thanksgiving Day Hike

Climbed Mission Peak this morning with hiking friends, and we were treated to one of those awesome fall views of the San Fernando Valley and Greater LA. We could see Catalina Island, 65 miles away. Click on the photo to view the labelled higher-res photo taken from the summit.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

November in Death Valley

Just spent three days in DV with my old buddy Steve. Camped at Furnace Creek CG and did 5 different hikes in the park. Weather was perfect for midday canyon hikes. Here's a shot of Steve and me at Badwater, and I also posted a 4mb video here.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Worst Fight Scene Ever

Ran across this YouTube video today, shot at Vasquez Rocks in 1967. It sucks more than anything has ever sucked before.
It's interesting to see how denuded the ground was then, compared to now.
Click on the pic to watch the video on YouTube.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Club Night Hike in the Mojave

The October hike was to Saddleback Butte SP, in the big empty area of the map east of Lancaster. We had a group of 7 hikers, and I took this shot of a Joshua Tree with the little crossroads of Pearblossom in the distance.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Hiking Club on Santa Cruz Island

Another great weekend trip to the Channel Islands. Here's a late afternoon shot I took overlooking Potato Harbor. On Sunday a couple of us climbed 1500' Montanon Ridge for a view over the fog toward the California mainland. Here's a summit video.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Angeles NF Fire

This photo from the LA Times pretty much tells it all. Nearly half of the acreage of the Angeles National Forest in the San Gabriel range is now lost to the Station Fire. You can see a burn map here. Most every local hike I've posted photos on is within the fire's footprint. Though the higher elevation peaks like Mt Baden-Powell have not burned, this arson-caused fire is now the largest fire in LA County history.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Hiking Club in the Central Sierras

Our August event was a three-day trip to the Mammoth Lakes area. About 20 hikers attended, and we hiked in Yosemite's Tuolumne Meadows and the adjacent wilderness areas. A video of our dayhike on the Mammoth Crest is here.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Mt Baden-Powell Pano

On Mt Baden-Powell last weekend, a guy named Leroy did this pano and sent me a copy. It's a pdf best viewed at 100% scale.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

On Mt Gould

On a July 4 outing to climb 13000' Mt Gould in Sequoia - Kings Canyon NP. The summit pinnacle is about 3' square. See more slides here, and check out the vid here (3.7mb).

Sunday, June 21, 2009

On Mt Gleason

On an evening hike on the PCT to the Mt Gleason summit, mountain fog materialized and started spilling over to the desert side. This is only the 2nd time I've actually been up by it when it happens, but it's sort of hypnotic to watch. Watch the video (no sound) and see...

Monday, June 8, 2009

June Club Hike

A pic from the June hike in the San Gabriels, in Bear Canyon, one of my local faves.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

It Must Be May

This Southern Pacific Rattler was spotted today in the shade of a big log by some of our hiking club members. Its behavior was the same as most every other I've seen, which is to stay still and imitate the background rather than pop off and cause a fuss. These snakes are really active in May, we almost always see them on our May club hikes.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

May 9 on Mt Baden-Powell

Climbed the mountain today with hiking buddy Mark, and it was a great day. Here's the view of the Antelope Valley from the north face, near the summit. The top several hundred feet or so was still under snow, which actually is part of the reason to go during this season. Also the summit was weirdly swarming with ladybugs, a kajillion of em, flying around, landing on you, bumping into your head (VIDEO, no sound). On the drive home I got this great snapshot of Iron Mountain and the East Fork from Inspiration Point. The East Fork is the deepest gorge in southern California, even deeper than Grand Canyon.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Climbing Iron Mountain

8000' Iron Mountain (MAP) isn't the tallest peak in the San Gabriels, but the guidebook calls it the toughest dayhike in the range. Its elevation, remoteness, low trailhead elevation, rollercoaster ridgeline route, steepness, and lack of a summit trail combine to make it tough. So on Friday with hiking compadre Nina we tried this 6000' climb. It's a 15-mile day that took 13 hours.
These guys posted some funny reviews of the Iron Mountain experience.
The 2000' trailhead is in the East Fork of the San Gabriel River. The first 2500' or so ascends the southwest ridge. This ridge has 8 or 10 bumps on it, so you keep ascending and then losing elevation, sometimes a lot, so you probably end up climbing an extra 1000' or so on this hike on top of the 6000 feet of climb. The ridgeline is covered in brushy chaparral, not impenetrable but hot and exposed. At mile 5 it gets more unfriendly, climbing the remaining 3400 feet in 2.5 miles with no real trail. The grade in places probably exceeds 3000fpm, easily fitting into the category of 'scrambling'. The summit view (video) is probably among the best in the range. The tricky descent took the same time as the ascent - 6 hours. We returned to the trailhead at 9pm, the final two miles with headlamps.
While it tops out at just 8000' elevation, in some ways this climb rivals the Mt Whitney mountaineers' route in difficulty.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

April Club Hike

Hiking Club was out again this weekend, on a ten mile loop hike in Santa Anita Canyon. SAC is one of the more historic canyons of the San Gabriel front, with several backcountry camps and dozens of pretty little weekend cabins, all accessible only on foot. The canyon also has many waterfalls. Here's our group photo in front of 50' Sturtevant Falls.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Hike In Griffith Park

Today the weather in LA was perfect for a hike in Griffith Park. Here's a shot of the observatory from the top of Mt Hollywood.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Inspiration Point

Should have been named Perspiration Point, since it is a very steep hike to get there. But this historic pavillion is 2700' above Altadena. (Here's a short video.) People came up here in the 1920's, during the days of the backcountry inns, by a mule powered railway. I read about it after my hike, but I guess a guy built a railway from the nearby Mt Lowe Tavern, behind the lookout, and to keep the dust down, the mule pushed the cart. Here is a photo from the 1920's.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

March Club Hike

Hiking Club was climbing peaks in the San Gabriels this weekend. Here's a photo of me on Mt Disappointment, with a thick marine layer covering the LA Basin. It looks like an ocean of cotton....

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Walking in LA

Hiking Club was in downtown LA again this weekend. This year we picked the LA Conservancy's art deco buildings walking tour, and again had a great time looking at buildings that thousands of people hurry past every day. This is the Eastern Columbia Building, a magnificent 1930 building of turquoise, green, and gold. A good time was had by all.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

At Vasquez Rocks

One of my local favorites for winter hiking is Vasquez Rocks County Park. The best time of year to visit is now, when the rain greens everything up and creates lots of little pools and waterfalls.

Sunday, February 8, 2009


Old fans might remember the 2006 GC trip and this old guy we met at Phantom Ranch, who went by the trail name, 'Maverick'. You can reread my commentary next to this photo in the triplog. He subsequently has become a hiking celebrity of sorts. Then there's the recent news story from Grand Canyon Village of his death.