Thursday, June 19, 2008

1 week until Mt. Shasta!

Well, I have one more week until  Cary and I embark on our 4 day mountaineering class/climb up Mt. Shasta.  We will be driving up Wednesday camping out that night and starting up the mountain Thursday morning.  This is  a 4 day mountaineering course that focuses on mountaineering skills such as using crampons, ice axes, snow anchors, belaying, glacier travel, alpine climbing, etc.  I think the plan is to climb to base camp (north side glaciers) and for 2 days learn these specific skills for our alpine summit bid Sat or Sun.  We should return to the base of the mountain Sunday afternoon.

I am really excited about this, however,  I have been sick the past three days and I hope that I can recover before we leave.  I haven't exercised in 4 days and don't think I will for the next few days until I feel 100% again.  During this time I have been trying to get alot of rest.  That being said I picked up the book "3 Cups of Tea" recommended by my mom and melis.  It is about  a mountaineer who attempts to climb K2 and gets lost coming down.  He stumbles upon a village that has no educational facilities.  He (Greg Mortenson) falls in love with the people of this small village (Korphe) and builds a school for them.  The book continues with Mortenson's journey to build schools for needy villages.  This particularly caught my attention right away since it combines my passion for climbing mountains and education.  I am half way through it right now and love it.  This is helping me pass the time while trying to rest and get well.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Mt. San Jacinto

On Sunday my buddy Cary and I took the ariel tram up to Round Valley and hiked up to San Jacinto Peak. This is the easiest route to the top, however, still quite a work out for me. It was a beautiful day, the sun was out and there was even a little snow on the trail as well. Down in Palm Springs it was 102 degrees out but up on the mountain (8400 feet high) it was a nice 70 degrees. Cary and I look forward to doing some snow camping up there in the winter time. It should be perfect for snow shoeing, photography and camping as well. The view at the top was spectacular. I think my favorite part was looking down of the windmill farms just off hwy 10.

Next time I do this hike I will start from Idyllwild and trek to the summit in a day or maybe turn it into a backpack trip. It is about 15 miles round trip with 4-6 thousand feet elevation gain. We ran into a few people doing it as a 1 night trip and they said it was awesome.

The tram costs 21 dollars for a round trip ticket. It took about 10 minutes to get up the mountain (8400 feet). Tram runs every half hour. There is a general store and restaurant at the top for food if need be.

Trip info:
  • Start 8:30 (reached summit @ 12, took a 15minute break)
  • End 2:30
  • Elevation start 8400
  • Elevation Summit 10800
  • 11 Miles (round trip)

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Funny video

This video was made by one of my animation students. In it it depicts me and him in class. This just cracks me up. I was very impressed.