Banner Peak and a family trip to Mammoth

I had two fun weekends stacked pretty closely - Kevin and I attempted Banner Peak the weekend of July 18th and Katherine, Alex, Kimy, and I went out to Mammoth to see Devil's Postpile and do some hiking in Tuolumne in early August. 

I documented these more extensively on Facebook, found here and here

Our base camp. We attempted Banner (peak on the right) via a Class 2 route that goes around the back. It wasn't too hard (though this "Class 2" had some vertical climbing and somewhat scary sections), but it was just way too long. I think the Class 3 that goes up from Ediza would be much more doable.

Our base camp. We attempted Banner (peak on the right) via a Class 2 route that goes around the back. It wasn't too hard (though this "Class 2" had some vertical climbing and somewhat scary sections), but it was just way too long. I think the Class 3 that goes up from Ediza would be much more doable.

Heading up the talus field. I really need a smaller pack.

Heading up the talus field. I really need a smaller pack.

Lake Catherine! Incredibly deep and blue.

Lake Catherine! Incredibly deep and blue.

Coming down the Class 2 snowfield, our new friend Chris is the photographer. After 5.5 hrs going up, with 1600 vertical ft to go, we decided we had to call it and go down. The 30% chance of thunderstorms was definitely a factor as well.

Coming down the Class 2 snowfield, our new friend Chris is the photographer. After 5.5 hrs going up, with 1600 vertical ft to go, we decided we had to call it and go down. The 30% chance of thunderstorms was definitely a factor as well.

Banner Peak and Thousand Island Lake. Gorgeous.

Banner Peak and Thousand Island Lake. Gorgeous.

A few weekends later it was hotels and eating out for a bit easier adventure. We still saw some awesome stuff, and Alex and I hiked Cloud's Rest from Tenaya Lake, which may be my favorite hike of all time.

Devil's Postpile, with Alex and Kimy.

Devil's Postpile, with Alex and Kimy.

They form these crazy Hexagons at the top.

They form these crazy Hexagons at the top.

Rainbow Falls is a short hike away, though it felt like it took forever for some reason.

Rainbow Falls is a short hike away, though it felt like it took forever for some reason.

We also saw the otherworldly tufas of Mono Lake. Really work the visit.

We also saw the otherworldly tufas of Mono Lake. Really work the visit.

I love the east side.

I love the east side.

Sunday Alex and I hiked Cloud's Rest, hitting the summit in 2:40 without breaking a sweat. It's probably my favorite hike. 

Sunday Alex and I hiked Cloud's Rest, hitting the summit in 2:40 without breaking a sweat. It's probably my favorite hike. 

Tuolumne and Mission Peak (Double Traverse)

The weekend before the July 4th holiday Andrew and I went to Tuolumne to do some multi-pitch climbing, and then on July 3rd I did the "double traverse" of Mission Peak, which is a hike I contrived that let me get in 5k ft of gain before 11am, with only a 25 min drive from home. Not bad.

The first climb we did was Northwest Books (5.6, 2 pitches) on Lembert Dome. This was an old school climb put up by Warren Harding. There's a cool lieback on the first pitch and then it just kind of meanders through not very difficult minor features.  The top was cool though - how the heck did that boulder get there???

The first climb we did was Northwest Books (5.6, 2 pitches) on Lembert Dome. This was an old school climb put up by Warren Harding. There's a cool lieback on the first pitch and then it just kind of meanders through not very difficult minor features. 

The top was cool though - how the heck did that boulder get there???

The view at the top is breathtaking - Cathedral is especially cool.

The view at the top is breathtaking - Cathedral is especially cool.

We spent most of the rest of the trip on Dozier Dome, which had excellent, straightforward climbing. Saturday we did Bull Dozier (5.7, 2 pitches), and Sunday we did Holdless Horror (5.7, 4 pitches, crack pictured above). Gillies led everything except one token pitch that I took - that very bottom section of the picture.

We spent most of the rest of the trip on Dozier Dome, which had excellent, straightforward climbing. Saturday we did Bull Dozier (5.7, 2 pitches), and Sunday we did Holdless Horror (5.7, 4 pitches, crack pictured above). Gillies led everything except one token pitch that I took - that very bottom section of the picture.

At the top of Dozier.

At the top of Dozier.

The descent off Dozier is insanely cool, in a sea of granite looking down on Tenaya Lake.

The descent off Dozier is insanely cool, in a sea of granite looking down on Tenaya Lake.

Big, imposing Medlicott Dome and the Bachar-Yerian (5.11 X?). 

Big, imposing Medlicott Dome and the Bachar-Yerian (5.11 X?). 

On Friday July 3rd I woke up at 6 and struck off for Mission Peak, which I first climbed from the Ohlone College entrance, then descended via the Stanford Ave entrance, tagged that, returned to the summit, and then the car. It was harder and hotter than I expected, then I realized a mile of vert and 13 miles of hiking in just over 4 hours is in fact a lot of hiking. 

I thought I might get lucky with cool temps at the start, but that only lasted for about 20 minutes, and was actually pretty humid. Still, clouds are always pretty in the Bay Area because they're so rare.

I thought I might get lucky with cool temps at the start, but that only lasted for about 20 minutes, and was actually pretty humid. Still, clouds are always pretty in the Bay Area because they're so rare.

This is around 830am. It's just crazy how popular this hike is, especially since it's pretty challenging.

This is around 830am. It's just crazy how popular this hike is, especially since it's pretty challenging.

The line for the pole, which apparently everyone uses as their "outdoor pic" for online dating. Who knew. I'd guess it was at least an hour long.

The line for the pole, which apparently everyone uses as their "outdoor pic" for online dating. Who knew. I'd guess it was at least an hour long.

Mission Peak from the Stanford Ave entrance. Climbed and descended once, time to go back up!

Mission Peak from the Stanford Ave entrance. Climbed and descended once, time to go back up!

The line the second time, this just before 11am. I do have to admit, the setting is pretty cool with the dramatic ridge drop off.

The line the second time, this just before 11am. I do have to admit, the setting is pretty cool with the dramatic ridge drop off.

This guy carried a life-size cross all the way up, which I thought was pretty cool. I made some jokes about "The Messiah Workout Plan" and "hey, everybody's got something to bear, right?" They laughed, possibly genuinely, and told me God Bless.

This guy carried a life-size cross all the way up, which I thought was pretty cool. I made some jokes about "The Messiah Workout Plan" and "hey, everybody's got something to bear, right?" They laughed, possibly genuinely, and told me God Bless.

Diablo on the descent, which I mostly had to myself. That was nice.

Diablo on the descent, which I mostly had to myself. That was nice.

Pinnacles and Lover's Leap, June 2015

Andy flew in from New York on his week off from med school. We were supposed to tackle Banner Peak in the Eastern Sierra but the weather had us settle for hiking Pinnacles, climbing at Castle Rock, and summiting Mission Peak. We made do.

The Pinnacles. This is a great moderate hike.

The Pinnacles. This is a great moderate hike.

Andy on the High Peaks Trail. This is one of the best parts.

Andy on the High Peaks Trail. This is one of the best parts.

A big rock, not too far from the sweet talus caves.

A big rock, not too far from the sweet talus caves.

We climbed Mission Peak another day and randomly saw... this awesome Peacock. Sorry for the potato quality, blame the digital zoom. We also saw a Bobcat up close, but no pictures unfortunately.

We climbed Mission Peak another day and randomly saw... this awesome Peacock. Sorry for the potato quality, blame the digital zoom. We also saw a Bobcat up close, but no pictures unfortunately.

The following weekend Ethan and I went to Lover's to practice some trad work on the nice and easy Knapsack Crack (5.5, three pitches). We swung leads and climbed it twice so each of us led every pitch. I was happy with how we did for the most part but damn was it hot. Also trad is still scary sometimes, even on 5.5, where falling is not a good idea.

Ethan follows my lead on the first pitch. 

Ethan follows my lead on the first pitch. 

Ethan battles the crux of the route. All of a sudden it gets steep, blank, and weirdly offwidth. 

Ethan battles the crux of the route. All of a sudden it gets steep, blank, and weirdly offwidth. 

Ethan does after-climbing relaxing the right way... sort of.

Ethan does after-climbing relaxing the right way... sort of.

Sunday we headed to Phantom Spires with our new friend (and ropegun) Pete. It was a cool place, but way too hot. Those rocks are not small... they're almost two full pitches of climbing.

Sunday we headed to Phantom Spires with our new friend (and ropegun) Pete. It was a cool place, but way too hot. Those rocks are not small... they're almost two full pitches of climbing.

Pete gets wild on the knobs of Over Easy (5.7). When in doubt, bat hang. 

Pete gets wild on the knobs of Over Easy (5.7). When in doubt, bat hang. 

A more comprehensive look at Over Easy. A cool, varied climb. I thought it was hard.

A more comprehensive look at Over Easy. A cool, varied climb. I thought it was hard.

Overall a great couple trips. I'll have to get back to Tahoe when there's a bit less sun.

Climbing at Mount Diablo, May 2015

Kevin, Ethan and I went to Diablo in the afternoon for some climbing. We did Chouinard Crack (5.9+) and Amazing Face (5.10a). The weather was great and there were very few crowds. I managed to (toprope) send the Chouinard on try 2, and Kevin pioneered the butt-feet lieback at the top of that pitch.

Kevin tosses the rope down on Amazing Face, with the summit of Diablo in the background.

Kevin tosses the rope down on Amazing Face, with the summit of Diablo in the background.

Ethan nears the top of Amazing Face.

Ethan nears the top of Amazing Face.

Yosemite Climbing April 2015

Andrew and I headed to the Valley, and I led my first pitch of Yosemite granite! It was on Munginella (5.6) and it was a blast. Andrew led the final two pitches, and afterwards we toproped Highway Star (5.10) which is a great, educational climb. 

  Andrew following my lead on pitch 1 of Munginella. A lot of it is 4th class, but there are some good liebacks and even some crack moves in there. Good times.

 

Andrew following my lead on pitch 1 of Munginella. A lot of it is 4th class, but there are some good liebacks and even some crack moves in there. Good times.

  Andrew leads off the second pitch. The bottom isn't bad, but the end of the pitch is an awkward lieback to traverse with a roof in your way. The third pitch was also led by Andrew, steep but nothing too tricky, mostly 5.6 lieback. Lost Arrow Spire is in the right of the picture.

 

Andrew leads off the second pitch. The bottom isn't bad, but the end of the pitch is an awkward lieback to traverse with a roof in your way. The third pitch was also led by Andrew, steep but nothing too tricky, mostly 5.6 lieback. Lost Arrow Spire is in the right of the picture.

  The climb ends with some good views.

 

The climb ends with some good views.