Thursday, April 27, 2017

Tablelands Flowers

I went for a light ride in the Tablelands. Heard the flowers were nice there.

Boy were they!

Quite fragrant too. Glad I checked it out!

This was just a little east of the southern end of Fish Slough.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Kearsarge Peak

My buddy Dave had eyed a nice route on Kearsarge Peak and after checking it out on the maps I figured it was a good choice for getting to the summit.

We got an early start under a pretty sunrise.

First light on Independence Peak across the canyon.

We found nice booting up through this grove of Foxtail Pines.

A party of two had recently climbed the same route and their boot pack made for fast travel.

Dave heads up with his home town, Independence, behind him.

We experienced gusty winds and an occasional cloud rolling over.

 We found shelter from the wind here at this old miner's cabin site.

We left our skis at the cabin site and traversed the east ridge to the summit.

Dave took this one of me scrambling up to the summit.

And another of me sitting on the summit. The big block behind me sheltered us from the wind perfectly.

Meanwhile along the Sierra Crest, Dragon Peak sat in inhospitable weather.

Looking south up the Robinson Creek drainage.

Dave peruses the summit register.

Nice scenery along the ridge.

Back to the cabin site.

Dave enjoyed good skiing right from the top.

and the corn was even better down here.

Great skiing.


The snow was pretty thick here but still skied alright.

A view of our route from the valley. The cabin is right at the top and we skied diagonally down and left just below the sky line.

Another truly great day in the mountains! Thanks Dave.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Bishop Area Gravel

I had planned on skiing today, but the weather just wasn't cooperating so I rode the new gravel bike. First time out on this wheel/tire combo. WTB Nano 40s on HED Ardennes LT wheels with a Sunrace 11x40 cassette.

Cleaned, lubed, and ready to roll.

Thomson post, stem, and bars. Whiskey fork.

Purple sparkle explodes in the sun.

Paul mini-motos do the slowing.

In the wild above Bishop.

Went for a good long one. 

Canals around town that haven't held water in years are flowing.

 Rolled over to the base of the White Mountains at the Poleta Hills.

Then out into the valley.

Local ponds are full too.

Rode a nice sandy section that will be leg buster for the grinder this weekend.

The flowers near our house in Wilkerson are looking good.

But the flowers in the Poleta Hills are nothing short of amazing.

Great ride.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Cardinal Mountain

After a couple of weeks with a lot of time on the bike I was eager to get on skis again. I joined my friends Ben, Ann, and Chase for an exploratory tour up towards the north side of Cardinal Mountain.

From the Red Lake trail head it's about an hour hike to snow at around 7500'.

At 8500' there is a lot of snow!

Looking up at the ridges and buttresses of Split Mountain.

 Above 10200' the views open up nicely. The Northeast chutes of Cardinal are directly above Ben and Chase's heads.

We continued up to check on the North Couloirs.

This one did not appear to connect to the top, but the narrow "pinner" to the right looked like it probably did.

Looking north to the South Face of Split Mountain. Currently there is a lot of avalanche debris in there.

The impressive wall at the head of the canyon. The dark rock is old metamorphic rock known as a "roof pendant" sitting on top of younger granitic rock. More info here

The middle of the three couloirs is apparently the "North Couloir" in the guidebook. The left couloir ends up on the main ridge somewhat further from the summit. A large cornice guards the exit on that one.

Stunning scene.

We headed up this face east of the couloirs.  The skinning was difficult on firm snow. Ann and I lost motivation but Ben and Chase persevered.

The guys are just starting down in this pic. They're tiny dots on the right side near the shadows above the two rock islands.

They got into high winds and blowing snow on the ridge but found decent skiing for the most part on the descent.

Although it was getting late in the day and the snow had warmed quite a bit, the skiing was still good fun.

Olive boogies after her dad Ben!

End of the line.

Felt great to be on skis and up in the mountains again!

A heads up. There has been and will likely continue to be a lot of wet avalanche activity especially, but not limited to, sunny/warm slopes. Be aware. Be cautious.