Monday, July 19, 2010

California Dreaming

When we were in Red Rocks two months ago we were at a bit of a crossroads on where to go next. We could head east up into Utah and Colorado, or continue west up through California. It was plain to see that four and a half months was not long enough to visit all the destinations on our tick list. It would have to be one or the other. In the end we decided to head up through California. I'm sure Utah and Colorado hold some equally amazing destinations, but California has been pretty incredible. Between Joshua Tree, Bishop, Yosemite, Tahoe and the coast we spent almost two months climbing there.

After leaving Tahoe, we headed back to the coast. One of the few non-climbing destinations on our list was Redwoods National Park.

In Humbolt Redwoods State Park we stopped to tour around a bit, learning all about these incredible trees. The loggers used to call the dead limbs hanging hundreds of feet in the air Widowmakers, for somewhat obvious reasons. So, as we moved north to Redwood National Park, to find a site for the night, it was with a little trepidation that we set up our tent with these looming above us.

Incidentally, never believe the 'Campground Full' signs. Twice we've come to a 'full' campground and managed to still snag a site for the night.

Redwoods are also surprising good for climbing. We managed to make it quite a ways up several. Some of the bark is full of holds, although we came to the conclusion that ice climbing gear would probably be the best way to tackle these beasts.

Our last climbing stop before leaving was Lost Rocks. We heard about this bouldering destination, on the beaches of Northern California, from a cool group of guys we climbed with in Bishop. There's not much info about the place online, except how to get there, but that's all you need. Days spent there are incredibly fun and relaxing. There are no grades, no need for crashpads, just some awesome boulders on the beach.

The approach makes you feel like you are entering a different world. The path is barely discernable in spots as you make your way through thick (thick!) brush that rises above your head. So much different than the sparsly vegetated regions we've been in over the last few months.

Here's a rare glimpse of the beach from the approach trail.

Then you emerge into an awesome pebble beach with boulders stretching in either destination. Here's me at the end of a cool 30 foot lip traverse.

Kristal on one of several cool problems on this overhanging face.

It was pretty foggy for the most part, but the sky did clear up a bit in the afternoon. The boulder Kristal is on below was full of really nice problems, with enough height to make them exciting.

The water was quite rough while we were there too.

Lost Rocks was an awesome end to our California experience, and the furthest west we would go. After that we began heading east for the long trip back home. Next up, somewhere in Idaho.

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