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184 triplogs

May 25 2019
sbkelley
avatar

 Guides 6
 Routes 11
 Photos 1,377
 Triplogs 184

35 male
 Joined Mar 29 2007
 Reno, NV
Rim to RimNorthwest, AZ
Northwest, AZ
Hiking avatar May 25 2019
sbkelley
Hiking44.50 Miles 11,000 AEG
Hiking44.50 Miles   19 Hrs   7 Mns   2.33 mph
11,000 ft AEG
 no routes
Partners partners
cmatheez
desertchild
After we got back through the Box on the return hike, almost everyone else in our crew at some point asked me (incredulously) why I was doing this again. It was a fair question. Nobody's legs could be classified as feeling 'great' - or even 'good' - anymore. Dave and Shawn, visiting from Colorado, had shattered their daily hiking mileage records before we had even gotten back to Cottonwood, and we were nowhere near a point where anyone would consider us close to being done. But here I was again, nearly four years later, doing an R2R2R. It was tough (again), but it felt great to disconnect from work and a hectic semester and just hike. It was just what the doctor ordered. SK-NK-BA again.

Definitely a different experience when you have a group of 8 (and 7 that do the whole thing - one hopped on a shuttle back to the South Rim once we got to the North Kaibab TH), and everyone stays pretty close together. Last time it was just me and Eric, and we moved quickly and efficiently. We moved quickly again, but the 'efficiently' is much harder to accomplish at rest stops with a larger group that's laughing and talking and enjoying the day. As you should. The time at these rest stops does add up over the course of a day, though we only really had one where the break was probably a bit long (North Rim). No complaints, though, this was a fun group, I had nowhere to be and nothing on my calendar (for once!), and I wasn't at work. Most of all, though, it was so great to see the Canyon again, and even better to see it with good friends. We got ridiculously lucky (again) with the weather: highs in the mid 80s at Phantom Ranch on Memorial Day weekend should not be expected, but it sure made things nicer for someone now living in a place where it now snows in the winter.

Just like last time, the body felt great climbing up N. Kaibab and Bright Angel, and less than great between Phantom and Cottonwood both ways. Go figure. Sam was a ball of positive energy all day, Chris kept an easy-going attitude and steady pace, Taylor was a machine all day, JD and Bill couldn't stop talking about how pretty the canyon was, Dave had a blast checking off a lifelong bucket list item, and Shawn even smiled. It happens sometimes.

The next day, I heard at least four of them say that we should do it again. Remember that when you're going back through the Box on the way home, guys. Two is enough for me...that is, unless Lilah wants to go someday.
_____________________
2 archives
Jul 20 2018
sbkelley
avatar

 Guides 6
 Routes 11
 Photos 1,377
 Triplogs 184

35 male
 Joined Mar 29 2007
 Reno, NV
Mount Williamson 14,389Sierra Nevada, CA
Sierra Nevada, CA
Backpack avatar Jul 20 2018
sbkelley
Backpack30.50 Miles 10,759 AEG
Backpack30.50 Miles
10,759 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked linked
Partners partners
chumley
desertchild
Mount Williamson had been on my radar for some time. Driving down Highway 395, it's impossible to miss. Sure, Whitney is taller, but this one always just looked more fun - and stately! I also knew that there was a popular sense of dread around this one, largely because of its approach on the Shepherds Pass Trail. It's rare to find a 14er to climb that asks you to cover 10,000'+ of gain by its standard route - and that includes some scrambling (albeit brief). Suffice it to say, the allure became stronger the more I read about it.

I also realized how much more fun one of these efforts is when you get the right crew together. And we really did have a great group for this one. In the end, I convinced (suckered) Chumley, Taylor, Sam, and also my friend and trusty big mountain partner Shawn from Colorado to join. He invited his fellow Denver(-ite?) Joe, who'd climbed Orizaba with us this past January. I never thought 5 others would be down for this 3 day adventure, but there we were, permits in hand and packs up on Friday morning ready to go.

The first mile of the trail stays in the canyon, and is a bit overgrown. It got me worried about the switchbacks above I knew were to come, and the condition of the trail there. Those worries evaporated, though, the moment we left the 4th creek crossing and started up the hill. The Shepherds Pass Trail is in great shape, and it felt like we were cruising up to the Symmes Creak saddle. Everyone felt great after that first 2700' push, and there was even excited chatter there among the group about maybe pushing above our planned Anvil Camp. The drop to water near Mahogany Flat and the abrupt restart quelled that chatter, and we were all happy and ready to see camp, especially since minutes after everything was set up, the sky opened up. A gentle but annoying rain full most of the afternoon. Anvil really is about the only shady, tree-covered spot on the route, so it makes sense to take advantage of it.

Up for an alpine start and on the trail at 4 a.m. under nice conditions, we strung out a bit as everyone settled into their pace. The nice trail helped progress up to Shepherds Pass, where we enjoyed sunrise. Regrouping after some scree-slogging, we enjoyed some relative flat as we all eyed the route up Tyndall en route to the Williamson Bowl. I'm always struck by the contrast of the slope on the Sierra Crest: rugged and sharp to the east, gentler to the west, at least from what I've seen so far. Williamson Bowl was great from a scenery standpoint, but you have to carefully pick your way through the boulders. Again, I'd heard a lot of belly-aching about this stretch prior to the trip, but honestly, it's not bad. The boulders are mostly solid, and it's generally clear where to go. At the base of the gully, Chums and Joe couldn't contain their excitement and busted up, while the other four of us settled into a nice pace and steadily made our way up. We nervously watched the clouds start to build near 8 am (what is this - Colorado???), but knew we'd be able to get up and down before the light show started.

Sam and Shawn pulled ahead of Tay and I a bit as we neared the much-talked-about chimney. We watched them - well, Shawn - start up the wrong way, but eventually get into the crack system and make his way up. Tay and I followed behind, and we popped out to an amazing view of the summit plateau and the Owens Valley, greeted by the already-summited Chumley, who had eschewed his summit beer for a photo op and was hauling it back to camp. We passed Joe coming down as we headed up, and had sweet summit success with cloud views. Last of the top 10 US 14ers done for Shawn and I! The weather made it so we couldn't stay long, and down the chute we went. Shawn and Sam moved ahead again, but waited for Tay and I at a prime lakeside lunch/nap spot. The rains chased away our laziness and made us leave Williamson Bowl with some urgency as we watched Mt. Williamson get enveloped in dark clouds. Good timing on our part. The trip back to our temporary Anvil home was smooth and everyone was all smiles around camp. Jack and Captain were passed around and it was great to see everyone laughing and smiling after the big day. Sure, there were some expletives hurled my way throughout the day, but what's a good trip without that?

The way home on the final day was fast, and the weekend was over before we knew it. The climb back up the Symmes Saddle wasn't too bad, but good thing we started early as hiding from the sun isn't easy there. We even had a well-timed 9L cameo at the saddle! It was great to see him and hike the last few miles back together. Joe went back up to get Tyndall that morning, so didn't join our hike out or parking lot celebration. The AZ group took off to start their long drive home after a good amount of hanging out, and Joe was only about 45 minutes behind from when they left. For the three of us, it was back to Reno, cold beers, and thoughts of what to do next, although we had to dodge some pretty impressive thunderstorms on the way home. Thanks to all of you guys for making it happen - great trip!
_____________________
Nov 11 2017
sbkelley
avatar

 Guides 6
 Routes 11
 Photos 1,377
 Triplogs 184

35 male
 Joined Mar 29 2007
 Reno, NV
Mount DavidsonReno, NV
Reno, NV
Hiking avatar Nov 11 2017
sbkelley
Hiking4.60 Miles 1,746 AEG
Hiking4.60 Miles   2 Hrs   20 Mns   1.97 mph
1,746 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Exploration and hiking time has been a little hard to come by in our new digs early on, but found a good one this weekend. I see the Virginia Range on my drive/bike ride to campus each day, and finally struck out to see what they had to offer. With Tanya and Lilah flying into Reno/Tahoe at noon, I knew Rincon and I could knock this out and pick them up on the way home. It was no trouble finding the start, and the route wastes no time in climbing. Car thermometer said 40 degrees at the start, but with the sun and the hill, it was shorts and t-shirt weather in no time. Slogged away until the ascent eased up, and it was easy and scenic walking from there. Nice views in all directions from up top, and since windless days seem to be rare around here, we stayed a bit and soaked it in. I'm still trying to learn the landmarks and summits in the region, of which there are no shortage. Instead of re-tracing our steps on the way back, went up and over Ophir Hill and down the steep road back to town. A few minutes from reaching the car, an air-raid siren went off, followed by cheering and a marching band - Virginia City was celebrating Veterans Day with a parade! Well, that could sure throw off an airport pickup off with closed roads and all, but not to fear, the route turned right near the car, so we descended and watched it for a bit before heading back to Reno/Tahoe. Can't say I've ever ended a hike like that before. Going to have to come back and check out Virginia City some more: some shades of Jerome and Bisbee there.
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Jun 24 2017
sbkelley
avatar

 Guides 6
 Routes 11
 Photos 1,377
 Triplogs 184

35 male
 Joined Mar 29 2007
 Reno, NV
Eagle Mountain - Minnesota HighpointNortheast, MN
Northeast, MN
Hiking avatar Jun 24 2017
sbkelley
Hiking6.75 Miles 811 AEG
Hiking6.75 Miles   3 Hrs      2.25 mph
811 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
This was a part of a 3 state highpoint blitz, but the only one that involved any form of hiking that I'm not embarrassed to claim. After crossing the bridge that separates the Yoopers from the Trolls, we set our sights on Mount Arvon (Michigan), followed by Timms Hill (Wisconsin), but the aggregate hiking distance on those was about 1 mile and 200 feet...but, all told, what a scenic area! Given that we're pulling up roots and moving back west again in August (Reno, here we come!), it was time to get these highpoints done and see the northern sights while we're still here. Eagle Mountain is a good one.

Driving from Duluth along the North Shore of Lake Superior is worth the hassle of getting to Eagle Mountain alone, and views of waterfalls near the road and bluffs looking out over the Greatest of Lakes will tempt you to pull the car over again and again and take pictures. The forecast for our day on Eagle was a good chance of showers, but I've gotten a bit more used to hiking in the rain since moving to the Midwest. Despite the cool temps and moderate rain, the state bird greeted us within seconds of leaving the vehicle. No worries, came armed with long sleeve and good repellent.

The trail itself is a nice stroll through the forest, rolling up and down through the first two miles of a mixture of hardwoods and pines. The boardwalks and bridges through the bogs are great, as slowing down leaves you vulnerable to the waiting mosquito swarms (I'm exaggerating a little - they weren't terrible). Whale Lake is a scenic spot, and we saw some backcountry campers set up on the other side of the lake. Heading up the trail to the top of Minnesota, we encountered only four other people, and had the top to ourselves. Nice! The views of the surroundings are great. Maybe it's just because I've been mountain-starved living out here, but it sure felt good to see some substantive topographical changes.

This would be an area worth exploring by canoe or kayak if you have a few days to spare - check it out!
_____________________
Sep 04 2016
sbkelley
avatar

 Guides 6
 Routes 11
 Photos 1,377
 Triplogs 184

35 male
 Joined Mar 29 2007
 Reno, NV
Black Mesa - Oklahoma HighpointPanhandle, OK
Panhandle, OK
Hiking avatar Sep 04 2016
sbkelley
Hiking8.45 Miles 724 AEG
Hiking8.45 Miles   2 Hrs   46 Mns   3.52 mph
724 ft AEG      22 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
This isn't one of those places that I would have made a special trip to go see, but definitely glad to have seen it while driving across the country moving the last of our stuff from Tempe to Ann Arbor. And I'm not passing up a new, convenient state highpoint when the opportunity is there! Leaving northern New Mexico and entering the plains had me wondering what kind of hike this would be, but the area around Kenton is actually surprisingly pretty and worth exploring. There were plenty of people at the trailhead, and many of them seemed to be staying within the first mile or two, exploring the high desert flora. Temps were in the low 90s with a strong wind, and that felt just great to me! This is definitely a trail that you can fly along, and your blood will get pumping climbing the mesa between miles 2 and 3, but we were on top before we knew it. Nice little stop along the way before the worst part of the drive: Kansas.
Culture
Culture
Cadastral Survey Marker
_____________________
Jul 24 2016
sbkelley
avatar

 Guides 6
 Routes 11
 Photos 1,377
 Triplogs 184

35 male
 Joined Mar 29 2007
 Reno, NV
Tramway Trail #32Payson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Hiking avatar Jul 24 2016
sbkelley
Hiking4.70 Miles 1,061 AEG
Hiking4.70 Miles   4 Hrs   10 Mns   1.13 mph
1,061 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Tanya's dissertation was done and defended (with minor revisions!) on Monday, and Lilah has now grown big enough to fit in her baby backpack, so it was time to finally get the family out on a good hike together. And what better place to do that than West Clear Creek. I parked the CR-V where 81E meets 693, and the road was fine to that point. A couple rough spots where there's been some recent mud, but nothing it couldn't handle. Then we started road walking (yes!!!) down towards Tramway Trail. The first couple miles were warm and breezy, and the descent was getting a little toasty, which is perfect for jumping into that creek. Rincon led the way into the water, and we found a nice shallow spot to let Lilah sit down and enjoy it too. She had a good time watching all the minnows swim around us. We lazed around for a couple hours, taking turns swimming and waiting for the sun to get lower. I shouldered the baby and Tanya shouldered the water and food and out we went. The ascent was much nicer, due to some clouds and more shade. Great day out!
_____________________
1 archive
Jul 02 2016
sbkelley
avatar

 Guides 6
 Routes 11
 Photos 1,377
 Triplogs 184

35 male
 Joined Mar 29 2007
 Reno, NV
Little Four PeaksPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Jul 02 2016
sbkelley
Hiking2.00 Miles 785 AEG
Hiking2.00 Miles   1 Hour   5 Mns   2.14 mph
785 ft AEG      9 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Went out for a quick hike this afternoon/evening and this one was a perfect fit. A little warm in the sun at first, but as the shadows got longer, it got much nicer. Had a nice breeze up higher to keep the evap going and keep the gnats away too. Loved the views of the Ridgeline, Weavers Needle, and First Water Canyon from here. Hit Peak 2980' first, then explored the Little Four Peaks.

I realized afterward (and after reading the description a little more closely) that Peak 2980 isn't technically part of the "Little Four Peaks," so I stopped after three of the rockier, fun ones after hitting 2890', thinking I'd done 4. I saw another little outcropping to the south, pretty close to the 3rd (the highest of them) and looked to be of similar terrain to what I'd just done. Fun scrambling getting to where I got though. So cool being up there near sunset. Headed back home and hit the car just as the sun was going down.
_____________________
Jun 05 2016
sbkelley
avatar

 Guides 6
 Routes 11
 Photos 1,377
 Triplogs 184

35 male
 Joined Mar 29 2007
 Reno, NV
Gavilan PeakPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Jun 05 2016
sbkelley
Hiking0.82 Miles 750 AEG
Hiking0.82 Miles   1 Hour   15 Mns   0.66 mph
750 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Short but sweet. Got to the foot of the mountain a few minutes after sunrise. Even with today's forecasted high temperature of well over 110, the mornings are still pretty pleasant this time of year. Throw in the constant breeze, and it was actually quite comfortable the whole way up!

The use trail was pretty easy to follow up to the saddle on the west ridge route. My friend Adam and I elected to take the direct scrambling route to the summit from there. Good solid holds, pretty straight-forward route finding, but there is some exposure. Fun stuff, it was over all too soon as you top out before you know it. The scramble is totally optional: there's a route/"trail" that skirts the cliffs on the left side when facing uphill from the saddle, and puts you right at the top. We took it on the way down to make a semi-loop. Walked over to the east peak after topping out to survey the area. Great morning, a few balloons out enjoying the day too. Down before the furnace turned on.
Named place
Named place
Daisy Mountain
_____________________
May 21 2016
sbkelley
avatar

 Guides 6
 Routes 11
 Photos 1,377
 Triplogs 184

35 male
 Joined Mar 29 2007
 Reno, NV
Telescope Peak from Shorty's WellDeath Valley, CA
Death Valley, CA
Hiking avatar May 21 2016
sbkelley
Hiking21.68 Miles 11,601 AEG
Hiking21.68 Miles   11 Hrs   50 Mns   1.83 mph
11,601 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners partners
BiFrost
desert_boonie
joebartels
JuanJaimeiii
To say this one was sweet would be an understatement. Telescope Peak and I have a history...

Nov 2008: made it as far as the Panamint Ridge/Telescope Peak Trail and had to abort directly to Mahogany Flats
May 2014: high temps (forecasted lows in the valley near 90) cancelled the trip
Oct 2015: the infamous flood and closure of Badwater Road led to this
Apr/May 2016: snowstorm cancelled the trip

May 2016: Mr. 90s Movie Quote Machine, West Side Road Karl, and I left Shorty's Well at 4:10 a.m. with the nearly full moon lighting up Death Valley. No headlamps required. Very windy the night before, and still a little breezy when we left. J-cubed left about a half hour behind us. Sun's first rays hit us about 5 miles in, but inside the canyon, we were largely in shade again, and even in the sun, temps were pleasant. Really, they were all day.

We all regroup at the spring which has strong flow and ponder the fun about to begin. Up the headwall to the north, which is quite steep at first, then relents a bit before the east-west ridge. I gamely keep up with J-cubed until the east-west ridge (or, more accurately, they kindly hike with me at my pace). Ken, Karl, and I team up for the remainder and we fall into a great group pace: time and elevation pass quickly. Once on the rolling ridgeline, you get to catch your breath and you enter the pines. Nice through here. Enjoy it, because the stretch between 7600' and 9800' is a special treat. Words cannot describe the joy one feels when finally encountering that trail.

On any other day, the final stretch of the Telescope Peak Trail would have been a piece of cake. The previous 10,000' of elevation gain, culminating in the headwall of fun, made sure today was not going to be that kind of day. Eventually, we rounded the false peak and saw sweet success. Karl, Kathy, Ken, and I had the summit to ourselves, and that view is absolutely ridiculous from the summit. See it sometime if you can: the Telescope Peak Trail is a fine way to see it without the headwall. Stayed on the pleasant top for awhile and made our way to Mahogany Camp where friends, food, and gear awaited. Karl and Kathy bagged Bennett and Rogers on the way home but Ken and I beelined it back to camp.

Thanks to the crew for teaming up for this madness - great day. None of this, though, would have happened without the help of Pam and Kathy, and a HUGE thank you for your support! :app:
_____________________
1 archive
May 13 2016
sbkelley
avatar

 Guides 6
 Routes 11
 Photos 1,377
 Triplogs 184

35 male
 Joined Mar 29 2007
 Reno, NV
Cabin Loop - Mogollon RimPayson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Hiking avatar May 13 2016
sbkelley
Hiking14.50 Miles 1,887 AEG
Hiking14.50 Miles   6 Hrs   15 Mns   2.32 mph
1,887 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Great area, and nice to finally see part of the Cabin Loop. Thanks to Kyle for setting this up, especially recommending that we head down Barbershop Canyon, which was scenic the whole way. Just some deadfall here and there to navigate, and the dogs were having a great time. The little climbs in and out of the canyons were enough to get the blood pumping, and I really like the area after the climb out of Dane Canyon. Spruce/fir forest hiking was pleasant, and the pups enjoyed the shade, green grass, and constant water. Good day
_____________________
Apr 24 2016
sbkelley
avatar

 Guides 6
 Routes 11
 Photos 1,377
 Triplogs 184

35 male
 Joined Mar 29 2007
 Reno, NV
Rim to Utah Flats and Back, AZ 
Rim to Utah Flats and Back, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Apr 24 2016
sbkelley
Hiking21.10 Miles 6,200 AEG
Hiking21.10 Miles   12 Hrs      1.76 mph
6,200 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I recently accepted a job offer from the University of Michigan that starts this September, and given the upcoming temperatures, I knew my window to get a good Canyon hike in before departing was narrow. And there was no way I was leaving without seeing it again! I babysat Friday and Saturday morning while Tanya got some time to herself, and we switched roles Saturday afternoon and I headed up to the canyon with my friend Taylor. Camped near Tusayan and woke up early Sunday. Left the car near the BA Trail, and shuttled over to the SK trailhead, starting at 6:15 am and not a soul in sight. That was a welcome treat! Was quiet on the trail the whole way down, and we tanked up water at Phantom. Up Utah Flats one more time to about the 4200' level, where we found a nice lunch spot above the slickrock. The cactus blooms, yellow and pink, were everywhere. It was great seeing all the temples again in this more relaxed setting and I toasted to them each for the good times over the past couple years.

Grudgingly got back up, made it back down to Phantom by about 1:00 and soaked in the creek while Taylor fixed a blister. Then it was Bright Angel time. Always nothing but good times and laughter hiking up this at the end of the day. Maybe some curse words from behind me from time to time, but they were said while smiling. Had to be. Passed a few people blasting Beyonce on their phones near 3-mile. That clearly will pump anyone up....Before we knew it, we had topped out on the rim at 6:15, almost 12 hours on the dot from departure, and back to Tempe by 11:30. For someone that hadn't even yet done rim-to-river and back, Taylor absolutely cruised through this hike. Great day, and will just have to come back and see the Canyon again sometime
_____________________
Apr 17 2016
sbkelley
avatar

 Guides 6
 Routes 11
 Photos 1,377
 Triplogs 184

35 male
 Joined Mar 29 2007
 Reno, NV
Baldy Mountain - AKA Francis RogersPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Apr 17 2016
sbkelley
Hiking3.30 Miles 960 AEG
Hiking3.30 Miles   1 Hour   10 Mns   2.83 mph
960 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Short and enjoyable afternoon getaway. Nice breezy day and clear skies. The trail fades in and out, but it's always clear where to go
_____________________
Mar 08 2016
sbkelley
avatar

 Guides 6
 Routes 11
 Photos 1,377
 Triplogs 184

35 male
 Joined Mar 29 2007
 Reno, NV
Mount Ajo PeakSouthwest, AZ
Southwest, AZ
Hiking avatar Mar 08 2016
sbkelley
Hiking9.00 Miles 2,800 AEG
Hiking9.00 Miles   5 Hrs   20 Mns   1.69 mph
2,800 ft AEG
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Had a couple visitors from Denver come into town, and it's always nice to showcase this part of the state in the spring. Cloudy and a little breezy, but a nice hike in the afternoon. The long traverse on the upper ridge took awhile, but the route is easy to follow and the views are great. Good stuff
Named place
Named place
Bull Pasture Diaz Peak Mount Ajo
_____________________
Feb 27 2016
sbkelley
avatar

 Guides 6
 Routes 11
 Photos 1,377
 Triplogs 184

35 male
 Joined Mar 29 2007
 Reno, NV
Brahma TempleNorthwest, AZ
Northwest, AZ
Backpack avatar Feb 27 2016
sbkelley
Backpack29.00 Miles 10,700 AEG
Backpack29.00 Miles
10,700 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Partners partners
neurolizer
I would imagine that doing this in February isn't always going to work out, but given how dry the last month was, we had an opening. The group was Eric, Richard, and myself, and we did this as a 2 day/1 night trip. It was on the warm side throughout, but I'm not at all going to complain about heat given the volume of May and June triplogs for this one. There was no snow on the crux pitches, and we only encountered snow on the summit plateau of Brahma. And we used it to fill up our water supplies - a welcome gift!

We started down the Kaibab on Friday at midday, and there was very minimal snow and ice for the first couple hundred feet. Nothing after that. Down to Phantom, and up the Clear Creek trail in the comfortably warm sun. We got to Sumner wash, then hiked up the base of the Redwall break, finding a place to bed down for the night. The Hilton, it was not, but there was enough room for the three of us to throw down tarps and sleeping bags on flat spots. A quiet night, aside from the kangaroo rat jumping on my face at one point.

Up at first light, we quickly made our way to the Redwall climb. I'm saddened to report that Mr. T no longer points the way. The cairn shown in the photos that others have posted is still there, but I thought about what he would have wanted us to do and went right. The Redwall moves passed pretty easily, as did the Supai obstacles above. That long gentle arm coming off Zoroaster is truly an amazing place. The traverse beneath the Supai is a virtual highway, and soon it was time for the three crux pitches, or as I started calling them, the "Three Peppers." First one is an Anaheim, especially with the fixed rope. Not bad. Then a bell pepper on the friction climb right beneath the Jalapeno (the crux). That one packs some spice! Eric practically walked up, but Richard and I had to think about it for a couple minutes each. We didn't use the fixed black rope/orange webbing on the way up, but certainly did on the way down.

The traverses weren't in bad shape and the ground was soft, probably because of the recent snowmelt. The one before Brahma's final climb started to drag, and we were all ready to see that final Coconino climb. Pretty loose blocks in here (some of them large!), but the climbing isn't too hard. Summit was great, and we topped out about 4 hours after leaving camp. Return trip passed smoothly, and we were back at camp 7.5 hours after leaving. Nice. Warm hike out to Phantom, where we refilled water and talked with a guy who had climbed Zoroaster before. I was feeling great and moving well up until this point, but the wheels definitely came off the wagon heading up the Kaibab. But the wagon made it back up. Great climb, really happy to have gotten this one done!
Meteorology
Meteorology
Sunset
_____________________
Jan 30 2016
sbkelley
avatar

 Guides 6
 Routes 11
 Photos 1,377
 Triplogs 184

35 male
 Joined Mar 29 2007
 Reno, NV
Ballantine Trail #283Phoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Jan 30 2016
sbkelley
Hiking16.50 Miles 3,410 AEG
Hiking16.50 Miles   8 Hrs   50 Mns   2.11 mph
3,410 ft AEG   1 Hour    Break
 no routes
1st trip
Partners none no partners
Got an unexpected window to get out for a day, and took advantage! Made it all the way up to Rock Tank and a pretty substantial waterfall. In the shade, there was some ice on the rocks and even a couple frozen pools beneath the waterfall. The pools and polished rock at Rock Tank made the brush-bashing worth it: this is a very cool spot.

Lower section of the Ballantine in the boulders area is very scenic. Trail was a little faint past the dirt bike tracks, but not hard to follow. Made it to Boulder Flat and were all surprised to see a very strong flow there, which was the case all the way up Ballantine Canyon. The catclaw was as heinous as advertised here, and the manzanita up higher has definitely obscured parts of the track before Rock Tank. For the most part, though, you could tell where the trail went.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Ballantine Canyon Medium flow Medium flow
Good flow first encountered at the Corral, and was the case all the way until the trail left the creek bed. With this next storm coming, should be the case for awhile
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Dec 25 2015
sbkelley
avatar

 Guides 6
 Routes 11
 Photos 1,377
 Triplogs 184

35 male
 Joined Mar 29 2007
 Reno, NV
Pyramid Trail - South MountainPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Dec 25 2015
sbkelley
Hiking6.10 Miles 1,350 AEG
Hiking6.10 Miles   2 Hrs   10 Mns   2.82 mph
1,350 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Finally checked out this little gem - nice Christmas Day hike for both Rincon and myself. Plenty of people out on the lower part, but quiet, windy, and nice up high. Might have to add this hike the regular rotation!
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Oct 24 2015
sbkelley
avatar

 Guides 6
 Routes 11
 Photos 1,377
 Triplogs 184

35 male
 Joined Mar 29 2007
 Reno, NV
Cactus to CloudsBig Bear - Jacinto, CA
Big Bear - Jacinto, CA
Hiking avatar Oct 24 2015
sbkelley
Hiking19.74 Miles 10,800 AEG
Hiking19.74 Miles   9 Hrs   30 Mns   2.35 mph
10,800 ft AEG   1 Hour   5 Mns Break
 no routes
Partners partners
chumley
joebartels
JuanJaimeiii
A good day, but a tad bittersweet. Telescope Peak continues to prove elusive, but the power of water is something to behold in an area like Death Valley. After it became clear that hiking 18 miles to Shortys Well wasn't a great idea, we convened a meeting of the minds on the front porch of the Furnace Creek Inn. Part of what happened next was certainly my fault - upon kicking around ideas, I asked "how far away is Palm Springs?" Oops. Though my vote was officially for Mt Charleston (closer, and had done C2C a few times before), the coin said otherwise and off we went on what twisted and turned into a great adventure.

Some things I learned: that last 2,000' to the tram always is a party that leaves your legs feeling as special as always. I love the first few thousand feet of this trail and the sunrises that hit around 5,000': always will. Five Hour Energy gives you the antithesis of wings, despite what others will tell you, and the summit is great when there's no wind. Great group and good laughs along the way. Did I say I was retired from C2C? Huh.
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Sep 25 2015
sbkelley
avatar

 Guides 6
 Routes 11
 Photos 1,377
 Triplogs 184

35 male
 Joined Mar 29 2007
 Reno, NV
Humphreys via Inner BasinFlagstaff, AZ
Flagstaff, AZ
Hiking avatar Sep 25 2015
sbkelley
Hiking15.00 Miles 3,900 AEG
Hiking15.00 Miles
3,900 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Partners partners
chumley
Tough_Boots
The guys pretty much covered the day's highlights already, but it was great to at least get a taste of fall. Even though the majority of the grove was still green, the splashes of yellow were there and probably will be in peak form in a week or two. Plenty of golden leaves in the Lockett Meadow campsite, though. Nice trail up to the Waterline Road, and that stretch to the meadow is always steeper than you think! Rincon started getting a little tired after we topped out on Weatherford, and after seeing him start to tire even more after the first push up the summit, I decided to pull the plug on his summit bid. We went back to the saddle, where he slept on my lap for about 2 hours while I waited for Kyle and Sam to return. After a little rest out of the breeze, we started back, and Lily helped him finish in style, though, so no dog-carrying required :)

Great day, great group, and a much nicer use of a Friday than the usual routine.
foliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observation
Autumn Foliage Observation Moderate
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Sep 05 2015
sbkelley
avatar

 Guides 6
 Routes 11
 Photos 1,377
 Triplogs 184

35 male
 Joined Mar 29 2007
 Reno, NV
Thunderbolt PeakSierra Nevada, CA
Sierra Nevada, CA
Climbing avatar Sep 05 2015
sbkelley
Climbing22.70 Miles 7,870 AEG
Climbing22.70 Miles
7,870 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Partners partners
neurolizer
Thunderbolt Peak is one of the 14ers in California (out of 12? 15? Depends what you consider a separate "mountain" I guess...), but is definitely a great adventure. The trail from South Lake to Bishop Pass was jaw-dropping pretty. Lakes, valleys, creeks, dramatic granite faces, and even some fall colors! We followed the trail to Bishop Pass, then cut cross-country across Dusy Basin en-route to Palisade Basin. On the way in, we traversed low to Thunderbolt Pass. On the way out, we traversed high. If you're looking for the easier option, stay high - much quicker and easier route-finding!

Rock-hopped up to Thunderbolt Pass and dropped into Palisade Basin near a small lake, which became our chateau for 2 nights. Scenic when the smoke wasn't choking the skies. Woke up at 6 a.m. with a ringing headache and nausea, but took some Vitamin I and got some food down and felt better. Followed SW Chute #1. Route finding is very easy: follow the giant chute immediately to the east of Thunderbolt Pass. Had to traverse right around one chockstone, but other than that, just steady progress up the chute, turning right wherever a fork presented itself.

View from the Palisade crest was dramatic, and included a glacier! Class 3/4 moves with serious exposure brought us to the summit block. It's a short but airy 5.9 pitch. Eric led, and we had a couple back-up systems in place should he fall, but he didn't. I belayed him, then followed, getting up the nerve to stand up on the point! Richard, then Adam next. Not easy to delicately balance in the wind, but fun. Started feeling ill again, so decided to descend (Richard wanted to go down too) while Eric and Adam went over to Starlight. Smoke got bad that afternoon, and impacted everyone's breathing, but the mornings were generally good for that. Highly recommended climb!
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Aug 29 2015
sbkelley
avatar

 Guides 6
 Routes 11
 Photos 1,377
 Triplogs 184

35 male
 Joined Mar 29 2007
 Reno, NV
Pole Knoll Recreation AreaAlpine, AZ
Alpine, AZ
Hiking avatar Aug 29 2015
sbkelley
Hiking2.50 Miles 700 AEG
Hiking2.50 Miles   1 Hour   10 Mns   2.14 mph
700 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
The first of a 3-peak day in the far-flung reaches of the state, which Tanya and I had been talking about for awhile, and finally got around to doing. Some driving to get there, but what a great area!

We found 3 short hikes, and Tanya could choose from the ones she wanted. First up was Pole Knoll. We went south on FR 112 for about a mile to a pull-off on the east side of the road. Headed south towards the open, grassy western face of the Knoll and just made our way up. Very easy route-finding and never gets too steep. Found a fenceline at a western false summit, but followed the meadow beside it to the true top. Some HAZ names on top.

The White Mountains are incredibly green and lush right now, and we found out why. First lightning flash across the way at Sunrise Ski Area/Baldy area occurred at 9:37 a.m. I've spent some time in active areas during Monsoon Season, but that might be a record for earliest buildup + strike combo.
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average hiking speed 2.02 mph
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WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.

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