Sunday, April 29, 2012

Valley of the Moon, Climbing meet up

Headed out to the Valley of the Moon again for some climbing. As I made my way up the hill, I ran into two people hiking up. I gave them a ride and found out they were part of a rock climbing "meet up". They had about 12 people already up at Patina wall climbing. After parking at the top of the pass, we kicked over to join them.

Crowded belay area
Two climbers on Patina wall

All the meet up crew made for a pretty crowded climbing area. The good part was they were better climbers than myself, so I could climb top rope after they led. I only managed to re send tech 9, after about half the group left to climb at leaning tower.

On the hike back to the parking, I passed a boulder than needed to be climbed. I found two climbs on it.
Crack on the back of the boulder


Wednesday, April 25, 2012

SUP La Jolla, San Diego, CA

I hit the open seas for the first time on my SUP. There were 2 foot waves, and they were surprisingly easy to paddle out through. The board punched through the breaks with ease. The white wash wasn't as unstable as I expected.

Jeff and I paddled for about an hour and a bit over 2 miles.

The sea caves look a lot better from the water level. Some of the caves would have been more inviting if I was in a kayak and not on my SUP. I am not willing to risk dings in my board. Unfortunately there was nowhere to cliff jump in La Jolla, at least not without risking a $890.00 fine. Next time I will bring a mask to swim around.

When we got back to La Jolla Shores Park, we surfed the waves for a bit. I defiantly prefer surfing on a stand up to a long board. The perspective is just better. Jeff even managed to get a video of us both on the same wave. Not my best ride of the day.


Monday, April 23, 2012

Jumping Sunset Cliffs, San Diego, CA

Spent part of the weekend getting back to the Lele Kawa roots. Jeff did the leg work and located the place to go.

Based on some videos we found, we made our way to the location. Once at the cave, we scouted the area. It looked safe enough, and our depth stick measured about 20 feet over the water with about 12 feet of water. The water was pretty cold so there wasn't any in water scouting.

Once you hit the water for the first time and got over the shock of the cold it wasn't bad. We both made a few jumps.


Saturday, April 14, 2012

Kayaking Luxembourg/German border

I'm gearing up to paddle in the Great Valley regatta for the second time next month and I realized I never wrote anything on either of my two kayaking trips down the Sure river in Luxembourg.

This was one of the more fun things I did while in Luxembourg. It was my first trip out of the Capital, and I repeated it again in May just before I left. In Dillingen we rented kayaks from "Outdoor freizeit"  and paddled down the Sure River to the town of Echternach, Luxembourg's oldest city.

There aren't any rapids so it is just a leisurely paddle down the river.

August trip
Launching point
Everyone else getting into the water

May trip

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Hawaii Cliff Jumping project

This is a new project I'm working on.

I am trying to compile all the places in Hawaii mostly Oahu that you can jump from into water. I have been kicking this plan around for a while, but wasn't sure how to present it. I am working on it now because I finally know how to make maps in google and because of this failed Kickstarter project I read about. Maybe someday I will try to turn it into a book.

I plan to keep working on this until everything I know is on this map, color coded by height.

View Lele Kawa  Cliff jumping in a larger map

Check back for updates


Friday, April 6, 2012

Sharing Niagara Falls

This is a post I have been sitting on for a while. Due to a stolen camera, I only recently got all the photos.

I had the opportunity to share the place I grew up with my girlfriend from overseas. This was my first time really sharing Niagara Falls with a true outsider. Growing up in Buffalo it doesn't take long for Niagara Falls to loose its wonder. By the time I left Buffalo, I had likely been to or near the Falls about 100 times.

For my girlfriend I planned to hit all the highlights, especially the ones with a bit of adventure. For her this was really out of her element. She is from the desert and isn't much for outdoor adventures.

We started off with visiting the Three Sisters Islands above the falls. This is a pleasant little hike that takes you out into the river just over the falls. It offers a pretty unique experience.

After little hike, we made our way over to the Cave of the Winds. Despite living so close to the Falls for most of my life, I had never done the Cave of the Winds. This made for a good warm up for the rest of the days adventures. Again it has a pretty amazing view. You are standing at the base of the falls and just being overcome by the mist and the wind the falling water creates, yet the water flowing under the boardwalk is flowing rather calmly.

Hurricane Deck
Next on the hit list was the Maid of the Mist. This was the first boat she had ever been on.

The last main adventure of the day was the Whirlpool Jetboat. If your counting this makes it the second boat my girlfriend had ever been on in her life. The ride starts with a 360 degree spin. My girlfriends face when they made the spin was pretty priceless. She suddenly realized is was on a ride she was not prepared for. This jet boat is a pretty wild ride. It plunges you through two different sets of class IV rapids, in addition to giving you a front seat view of some Class Vs. We made about 4 passes through the Class IV Devils Hole rapids. After the first pass, my girlfriend started to relax a little and enjoy herself. The captain did a good job of working the gas to insure the boat was swamped in every rapid.


Monday, April 2, 2012

Red Rock Rendezvous

This turned out to be one of the best experiences I've ever had. If you ever get the chance to go you should.

For just over $100.00 you get two nights of camping, 10 hours of open bar (pouring New Belgium beer and Cliff family wines), dinner, breakfast, classes from some of the worlds best climber, a great atmosphere and a bunch of free stuff from the different vendors.

We arrived Friday afternoon and after checking in set up our tents. Then it was down to the vendors and bar. Most of the vendors were having contest of one sort or another, with awesome prizes. Beer in hand, I headed over to the slack lines of the Yoga Slackers. Their set up was looser than I an used to, but I still managed to walk the line. As the night went on we played some giant Jenga at the New Belgium tent. I lost the second game due to some high winds, and was punished with a small spiderman costume and wig until the next game finished.

Saturday morning I was up at 6, as is my nature. I was able to grab some coffee before sitting to watch the sun come up over the hills. After that is was down to the slack lines again while I waited for my afternoon Self Rescues class. After some advice from one of the Yoga Slackers I was able to get the sitting to standing for the first time on the line.

I was slightly disappointed in my self rescue class. More than anything else it was a knot class. Since I am good with knots and many others are not, I did not get too much out of the class. Their were a handful of small bits that may some day prove useful.

By the time the class was over the bar was open again and dinner was being prepared. Spent some time talking with two local climbers over dinner, then it was time for the auction and the final contest. It was getting pretty cold and the wind was kicking up by this time. After all the contest were over there was a small dance party on stage.

The wind only continued to pick up until morning. There were gust of over 50mph. This did not go well for my ultralight backpacking tent, as some time around 2am one of the poles snapped. I was again up before sunrise, but less because I wanted to be this time. After a quick breakfast we packed the tents and gear up in the car before heading off to the days class.

Sunday's class was Intro to Traditional climbing with pro climber Rob Pizem. This class was a lot more useful. The main focus was placing protection and setting anchors for climbing. Rob held nothing back he fielded any question we sent his way. Also Rob's knowledge of gear was clearly evident, at a glance he knew exactly what piece would fit every crack. This is an ability I also want to gain some day, through experience.

Even saw some wild burros on the way back.

Such a fun weekend, other than my tent breaking, and not getting any climbing in between classes, I can't imagine things being any better. Next year I will take an extra day or two off work so I can put all the knowledge I get at the clinics into work.