Sunday, November 21, 2010

Hiking Club at Death Valley NP

Our club met up again with the Honda Hiking Club, this year at Death Valley. We based at Furnace Creek and hiked for four days, including one day driving up to Racetrack Playa, where the rocks move around on the lake bed. I took this group photo along the way at Teakettle Junction (not to be confused with the website Teabagger Junction, or Dishwasher Junction, which is an entirely different kind of place just beyond the city limits of east Palmdale.)
The other days we hiked in Fall Canyon, Natural Bridge Canyon, Mosaic Canyon, and Golden Canyon.
Watch my video, or see Honda Hiking Club's photos here. I also visited the remote Racetrack Playa once before, in 2002.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Night Hike to Mission Peak

Hiking Club was out for a full moon hike to Mission Peak, in the Santa Susana range between the Santa Clarita and San Fernando Valleys. Click on the picture for a full resolution version, and you can compare it to the daytime view last Thanksgiving Day, here.

Saturday, October 9, 2010


On a hike to the Bridge to Nowhere, we watched kids bungee-jumping. Watch a video.

Friday, September 24, 2010

San Gabriels Bighorn Sheep

I've hiked in the San Gabriel range for 20 years now, but over the weekend I got my first sighting of some of the range's bighorn sheep. Hiking in the remote East Fork of the San Gabriel River last weekend, I scared up 5 of them in the bottom of the canyon. They fled to safety on the canyon wall above, and I got this photo of a curious ewe looking back at me.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Labor Day Backpacking Trip

Three of us packed up McGee Creek in John Muir Wilderness. We hiked over McGee Pass, climbed Red Slate Mountain (13,100') and camped three nights. One night got down to the 20's, which started the aspens to turn. Watch the movie.
McGee Creek is the valley above Crowley Lake, on the edge of the Long Valley Caldera (a supervolcano that erupted 760,000 years ago, displacing 150 cubic miles of earth and wrecking all the bowling alleys.)

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Hiking Club at Yosemite

The club spent four days at Yosemite this week, with hikes each day. On day 2 we climbed Half Dome, a nearly 20-mile dayhike with 4800' of gain. What a great day we had!
Here you can see the cable route up the granite dome, the final part of the climb. I also snapped this photo of a bear along the way.

Friday, August 20, 2010

August 14 Climbing Mt San Antonio

16 members of Hiking Club climbed Mt San Antonio aka Mt Baldy this weekend, as a conditioning hike for our Aug 23 hike up Half Dome. I took this shot of some of our hikers on the Devil's Backbone portion of the trail. Here is a video I took on the 10,000' summit, the highest in the San Gabriels.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Canyon Scramble / Sunken Treasure

This hike is our June favorite. We had a group of nine for a scramble down this local unnamed creek, which features a series of pouroffs and pools. Along the way, one of our hikers lost her sunglasses when plunging into this 10' deep pool from above (the slide behind). Always prepared, I dove down and Bob took my photo triumphantly returning to the surface with found beers instead. A good time was had by all.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Hiking Club at Devil's Punchbowl

18 of our club members showed up for a hike to the Devil's Chair yesterday. Weather was cool, we had lunch on the bank of Holcomb Creek, and we even saw a rattlesnake on the trail. A good time was had by all.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Backpacking in Sespe Wilderness

We had a foursome of Hiking Club members for this 30-mile Memorial Day weekend hike in Sespe Wilderness (in the coastal range of Ventura County). We camped at Willett Hot Springs for two nights, and hiked to Sespe Hot Springs on the middle day. On the hike back, we made good midday use of an awesome swimming hole in Sespe Creek. Here are a few photos.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Backpack Trip at Grand Canyon

Here are a few of my favorite photos from the recent Grand Canyon trip. This was a 5-day rim-to-rim-to-rim trip with hiking friend Nina on the SK-NK-BA route. And although the weather was unsettled, it was never hot, and it made the trip and the pictures all the more interesting. We even got snowed on twice. You can also view my 5Mb Quicktime video here.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Hiking Club in Santa Anita Canyon

Hiking Club's April outing was again to Santa Anita Canyon. We hiked the ten mile Mt Zion loop. This canyon was incidentally saved from the 2009 Station Fire by the enormous (and successful) firefighter efforts to save the Mt Wilson observatory. And the dozens of waterfalls there are now running strong from the ample precipitation this winter. Here's a photo of one of them.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Allison Mine / Iron Mountain Part 2

Readers here may remember the epic trudge up Iron Mountain last year. This year I joined my friend Nina again on another brutal 12-hour hike, this time to the Allison Mine on the slopes of Iron Mountain.
The hike to the Allison Mine is 15 miles round trip. 6 of the miles are on what at times can best be described as a treacherous game trail featuring steep slopes, yuccas and scratchy brush that really slow down the progress. In fact we saw a pair of hikers on their way up to the summit of Iron Mountain, and then we saw them again on the way down.
The Allison Mine operated for several decades by a father and his three sons, until the 1940's. What remains are several shafts and a stamp mill and other machinery in scenic Allison gulch at about the 4500' elevation. Click on the photo to watch the 2.7mb Quicktime video.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Night Hike

Hiking Club was out for a night hike to Echo Mountain this weekend. Here's a fun group shot that Tohru took with us sporting our glow-in-the-dark accessories, and one of Mark's photos here.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Hiking Club's 100th Hike

Starting out with 35 hikers from Fern Dell, we hiked a big 13-mile loop in Griffith Park (map, showing route marked in orange), visiting the Griffith Observatory, Mt Hollywood, Mt Lee and the Hollywood sign, Cahuenga Peak, and Bronson Cave before closing the loop. A great day it was, our 100th event since the club started hiking in spring 1997.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Santa Ynez Falls

I shot this photo today in Topanga SP, where the hills look like Ireland right now. That's Santa Monica Bay in the distance. It was a great day to be hiking in the sun, and Mark and I hiked to Santa Ynez Falls.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Hiking Club in LA

Hiking Club's February trip was to take the LA Conservancy's tour of the Angelino Heights 1880's Victorian homes. We even got to go inside a few, but photography wasn't allowed inside. This was, like the other tours we've taken, outstanding, and a good way to spend a Saturday.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Santa Clara River

After 5 days of rain, I was curious to look at the local stretch of the normally dry Santa Clara River today, and here's what it looked like. Looks like it flashed and ran bank to bank at some point in the last few days, but I got here too late to see it...

Sunday, January 10, 2010


Hiking in the local mountain park today I found the first poppies of the season in bloom. With weather in the upper 70's recently, these flowers were tricked into blooming early....