Thursday, 13 August 2009

Hiking on the Oregon Coast

Penelope and I hiked the Pacific Crest trail north out of Cannon Beach OR. The trail winds up from Ecola State Park over Tillamook Head and then over a high point of 1130 ft. and then down into Seaside OR. We hiked a bit more than four miles, a bit past the high point; rather than loosing all that elevation only to have to regain it again on the way back, we turned around and walked back to Ecola State Park the way we'd come. We'd hoped to find a camping spot with a view of the Pacific, or even a path down to the beach. We carried a small tent, sleeping bags, some food, water and a stove; but the approved camping area was in dark dank forest far from the open views. We'd hoped to find a more suitable (if illegal) site further north but did not. Somehow I relished the thought of a night of illegal camping; subversive activity.

Coming from the arid Rocky Mountain west, the dripping dense forests of the Oregon coast seem more foreign than they might have fifteen years ago when we lived in Ithaca. The trail follows the crest of the cliff face which drops off 800 ft and more to the ocean below but the thickness of the growth only very rarely affords even a partial glimpse of the ocean beyond. It felt odd to us to be so close to the edge of such a precipice and to never have a view beyond. Climbing to the rim, only yards from the trail for much of its length here, the drop off was staggering in that it is near vertical and yet is thick with lush overgrowth; ferns, alders and other plants I do not know, and there were even huge Sitka spruce clinging to that absurdly vegetated cliff.

Beyond Tillamook Head we heard a colony of seals frantically barking far below, we never saw them. I could not help but think that one of the great white sharks recently sighted just a mile north in Seaside had stirred the seals into such frenzy.

Monday, 10 August 2009

City of Rocks II

Before we left the next day Jasper, Penelope and I hiked up a rocky hill east of the Twin Sisters and Jasper and I climbed up to the rocky summit. The photos below are of Jasper on the summit of that hill.

Penelope in the sagebrush near camp.

Sunday, 9 August 2009

City of Rocks

On our way to Portland OR we stopped in City of Rocks, ID for a day. We pulled in late at night and had some trouble finding a camp site. In the light of the full moon we found one and set up camp. We woke up the next morning to discover we were camped under the Twin Sisters formations. The photo above shows the tents nestled behind a rock in the sagebrush.

Tom climbed up to the base of the formation to check out the routes. We later discovered this formation is closed to climbing to preserve the view for tourists exploring the California Trial who might be offended by climbers. Outrageous as far as I am concerned.

We did some climbs on Bath Rock. We started with a few lines easier lines on the front to get warmed up. The photo below shows Jasper climbing the Cowgirl Route (5.5).

We moved around to the back in the afternoon and Tom started off by leading Colossus (5.10C) [picture below]. I tried leading a bolted face route (5.8/5.9) to the left of Private Idaho (5.9) which I backed off of a bit more than half way up. Tom completed it so we could all try it on a top-rope. He then put a rope on the corner/crack route Private Idaho. Clea did all three routes, Jasper and I did the face and Private Idaho which was a bear.

It turned out out be a fun day of climbing in an area I first climbed in 17 years ago with David Pearson.

Thursday, 6 August 2009


Taken with a hand held Canon G9 through a Swarovski CTC-30X75.

Wednesday, 5 August 2009

Flying in the Front Range

Garrett took my Dad and I flying. We flew out of Fort Collins/Loveland airport. We headed north over Fort Collins and then West toward Red Feather Lakes and Halligan Reservoir. We turned back south over Gray Rock and the Poudre River Canyon. We got some nice aerial views of Gray Rock. The video shows our landing back at Fort Collins/Loveland.