Sunday, November 1, 2015

Adventures over the last few weeks

Two quick notes from the front!

Apparently some rock climbers are discouraged by moisture. The remains of the Caltech rock climbing team arrived at Yosemite National Park very early on Saturday, pitched camp, and dug in. Between then and leaving 30 hours later, the rain let up for a maximum of about five minutes. My partner C and I headed out on Saturday morning and hiked the Panorama Trail-4 Mile Trail loop, enjoying clouds, waterfalls, torrents of mud, lightning, views of the valley, wet-looking rodents, confused deer, thunder, and the odd looks I got wearing my trusty sandals. That evening we were entertained by some drunk Texans who (importantly) had a functional camp fire. The following night was continuous stormy - at times the lightning was frequent enough to read by - and thunderclaps sent sprays of leaves down onto my tent, which endured its first rain/endless torrential downpour with considerable stoicism. Sunday morning the face of Glacier Point had several waterfalls, we folded the tent (half covered in splashed mud) and took our Oatmeal a la Jetboil in the meadow below El Cap, to which at least four portaledges were still attached. We detoured via Nelder Grove, taking shelter from a downpour in a hollow under one of the larger Giant Sequoias that live there. I drive us home, learning to drive stick on the way.

Photos: https://picasaweb.google.com/105494084231616659850/YosemiteWithC

One week later:

Turns out finishing your PhD is a great way to find time to have more adventures. Last weekend C and I climbed Mt Baldy in an ultimately ill-fated attempt to get altitude sickness. Finger pulse oximeter in hand we climbed Devil's Backbone to the summit, ate our sandwiches, took photos. Unfortunately, our legs were too sore to run laps at the summit and depress the SpO2 enough to feel terrible. In a few weeks we'll try the same at San Jacinto, perhaps we'll have better luck. 

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