Friday, April 21, 2017

April 1 Hiking Club at Malibu Creek State Park

Upper Malibu Creek

At the production location for MASH. With a replica signpost, and a rusty old ambulance behind us

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

The Famous Five go to Death Valley

With Nina in town, our campsites reserved, and four days, everything was set.
Day 1: On an evening hike in Mosaic Canyon
Japanese lanterns add cheer to our Furnace Creek campsite
Ubehebe Pk, left of center, and attendants (Mark Ammerman)
Day 2 was our longest day, 170 miles R/T to Racetrack Playa to climb Ubehebe Peak in the southern Last Chance Range. 54 of those miles are on the world's worst washboard. After a stop for a photo at Teakettle Junction we parked and began our 2000' climb. The route to the saddle on the right is on an old miners' trail, then we followed a CL2/3 use path to the summit.
TJ, with the snowcapped Inyo Range to the west. (Mark Ammerman)
A giant  dust devil swirling across the lakebed behind The Grandstand
On the miners' trail (Mark Ammerman)
Looking down on the playa from atop the ridgeline
On the summit, looking north
Heading back down (Mark Ammerman)
The Grandstand is a remnant outcrop surrounded by sediment from the surrounding mountains, forming a surreal island  in the middle of the Racetrack, and its most haunting feature. (Mark Ammerman)
(Mark Ammerman)
Views from the summit are pretty amazing, even by Death Valley standards. The Last Chance Range forms the divide between vast but utterly empty basins. 

We return to the valley as Ubehebe Peak's shadow crawls dramatically across the playa
We spent the other days doing other hikes, and we even found a waterfall in one canyon. But this hike was our favorite.