Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Grand Canyon

I was going through some of my old photos, and found these from my first trip here in USA, to Grand Canyon and Las Vegas.

It was a 3 day trip, and actually it was mostly driving, but the cold misty weather in Grand Canyon south rim, great vistas would never fade from my memory....!

And some paintings that resemble old native paintings,

Then we headed to Vegas, well now I think going there is just a waste of time, still, i'd say it's a different experience, if I were to spend some money, I'd rather be backpacking than getting wasted in Vegas.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Dried Fruits for Backpacking.

Finding the proper food to carry when you are backpacking is one of the hardest things for me. I can say I still haven't found the optimum meal that I would like to carry when hiking. Specially when hiking in high altitudes, the appetite is so low that you don't feel like eating anything. For that problem, one solution I found is a mix of dried fruit. They have different tastes, easy to pack, eat and produce no waste. The first time I tried that was when Omar did a pretty big mix of dries fruit. Going along his path, today I bought 45$ worth dried fruit and packed them after mixing. I thought I would share this information with everybody who are eager to find the best food when you hit the trail. Here are some information an their energy vs weight values.

Weight (per bag) : ~900g
Calories (per bag): ~3.25Kcal !!!!!!!

Total price : 45.03$
Total Weight : 4.651Kg
Total calories : 16.4KCal

Calories per gram : 3.51

Calories per gram for a Sneakers bar: 4.7

Eventhough the chocalate bar has a little more calories per gram, it is not something you can eat more than one at a time; however, fruits, with a good mix can be replaced by a total meal of 3KCals.

The spreadsheet with all the information here.

A very good link collection on backpacking food here.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Summer Break 09

Ok, considering the fact that It's been a while since I last hiked, and that this is the second week of the summer vacation, I think it's about time I plan my next hiking trip. I was going to go alone, and then was joined by Hakim and Fred, then by Omar and his brother and yesterday, by Andrew. So now it's a full blown backpacking trip of 6 people, and better yet, we are going to summit 3 peaks over 12500ft....!!! So here's the planning info,

Getting there:

from LA, 5->14->395 then Old plant road right before Lee Vining (320mi)
from SF, 80(or 13)->580->205->120 and the same as above (240mi)

final coordinates,
lat=37.8804756313, lon=-119.156441542

We are going to leave around 3.00~3.30 from the valley, pick up the wilderness permits from Lone pines or Lee Vining ranger station, and head to the Walker Lake camp-grounds. It's about 5mi from the highway and at about 7800ft (1000ft higher than the highway) We will get there around 9~10pm, and Omar and his brother will be there.

Walker lake (http://www.panoramio.com/photo/1075989)


First day is going to be the toughest. We have to hike around 8mi to get to the place we are going to camp. Starting from ~7800ft to the highest point ~11500ft. If we start early in the morning, we will be able to pass Lower Sardine Lake(9900ft - 4mi) before noon, and get to the Parker pass (11100ft - 7mi) around 3~4pm. Then we'll have enough time to find a nice camp-ground and acclimatize to the high elevation playing Hakim's mini guitar...:D

The next day is the main day, we are going to leave the tents and summit Parker peak (12858ft) There's a lot of switch backs and it's not going to be easy. Then continue to the Kiop peak (12962ft) and sign in the names on the register (hopefully we can find one) Then try the Kuna, which is the 3rd highest peak in Yosemite and the highest we are going to get, at 13002ft. Then we can head back to the camp, and if feeling adventurous, can come down on a different route.

Kuna Peak

The next day is just hiking back down; however, if we feel full of energy, -this is my surprise hike- we can summit mt Gibbs (12774ft) on the way out.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Stoney point...!!!

Me being a little bit too stupid..!

I wanted to start bouldering for a long time, and finally, H agreed to join me. No climbing shoes, no crash pads, only a small chalk bag from REI. Yeah, everything else were too expensive. So I joined with H around 3.00pm, and started streaching....!! We tried a couple of small and easy climbs, and then I went on to climb the easy route (NW corner) of 'Boulder 1' boulder. It was sucessful, eventhough the shoes were really slippery..!

Then, being a little bit too adventurous, I wanted to try the moderate route to the top (started a little southwards to the boot flake route), and that was my last climb without a sore knee and a bleeding lip...!!!

(check 2.00 on the video)

well i did a one more climb up another rock, but the knee started hurting, and we had to turn back. However, the punctured lip and this video will be a nice memory for a longtime...!

The video below is not the best video you wanna watch CAREFUL!!!!!!!

This video is not the best video you wanna watch CAREFUL!!!!!!!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Trying Mt Langley, June 2009

Planning, Blaming, and Readying

After seeing the photos of the last hike, trying clouds rest in a snowstorm, most of my friends fell in love with backpacking....!!! Since more than 10 people wanted to go, I planned a trip to Yosemite, and to a hike setting up a base camp near tuolumne meadows..! But alas, by the weekend before the trip, there were only 2 people left..! Still I wanted to go, until another one of those ******s said he cant come and threatened me not to go..! (yeah threatened... :P) And thus shorened my 4 day yosemite trip to a 2 night trip to horseshoe meadows..!
Me and Ash left SF Valley @ around 2.00pm in our rented PT cruiser. The drive was a pleasent one, and we reached Lone Pines ranger station right before it closes. The drive up the horseshoe meadow rd. was an awesome one with Ash trying to slow me down and me singing along with DCFC (yeah I love them)...! We reached the Cottonwood Lakes trailhead parking around 7.15pm and packed our things. Luckily or Unluckyly, Ash's backpack was small, and I had to pack the extra weight of the tent and the food (bear canister)

Day 1, Hiking in the dark.

We hit the trail @ around 7.30pm, me with a cotton shirt and a winter jacket, and ash with 3 or 4 layers since he did not have space to carry all those in the backpak. We hiked in a decent pace even though after a little while I felt like we were on the wrong trail...! The trail was going downhill, and I thought it was supposed to go uphill...!
(ill finish the report later, here are some videos and pics)

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Yosemite, Summer break.

Ok guys, I thought I will put all the information needed here.

Leaving : Monday night 10.00pm will be better. No later than 1.00am Since some of us have exams we will have to go late at night. We will camp about 40mins from yosemite, near Mono Lake. It takes around 5-6hrs to get there. And we can wake a little late 9~10am, and get to Yosemite around 10~11am and start hiking right away.
Hiking plan: I have about 3 routes in my mind, I will put more info later, but that depends a lot on walk-in based wilderness permits. I would love to go straight to yosemite for that reason on tuesday, but I dont know if we will be in good shape if we did not sleep well; However, the first day of the hike is very easy. So think about it...!!
Leaving from Yosemite on Thursday evening....!
Hiking Gear :
  • Everyone needs a backpack. atleast 45L.
  • A sleeping bag. The temperature would be around 30-35F so get a sleeping bag rated 20-25F and be mindful how heavy they are. If you are going to be camping in the future, get one from REI (Reseda and Devonshire), they are expensive, but way better (Go for goose down, 600+ fill if you are going for a good one, synthetic is cheaper but, heavier and less insulation).
  • Sleeping pad. The first time I went, I thought sleeping pad is not neccesary and I DID pay the price. So i think its a good idea to get one, even the cheapest one in REI would work. Other places, check the weight and how to inflate the bag.
  • Hiking poles. We will be trying to summit atleast a 12k or a 13ker. So hiking poles will definitely help. And trust me and ask Omar, they make a BIG DIFFERENCE. Walmart has decent cheap ones for around 15$ (But only in the walmart in Van-Nuys, go all the way down on Roscoe)
  • Raingear : the weather forecast says there's a SLIGHT chance of rain/snow. so I would definitely get somthing for rain. And we might be hiking in a little snow (Alen and Ash dont worry VERY LITTLE) so DONT use running shoes, waterproof boots will be awesome, or maybe work boots when there's snow and running shoes when not.
  • Food, We will need for 3 days. I would usually take 1 extra meal. BUT AS LIGHT AS POSSIBLE. This site will give you an idea about what food you wanna take. but remember we have to carry all those in bear canisters (we will rent 1 and I will buy 1). THEY MUST FIT Inside no EXCEPTIONS.
  • http://www.adventurealan.com/food_general.htm
  • Tents, We can rent tents from REI. its not expensive. And I have a tent for 2 ppl. But if anyone is thinking to buy one, get a decent one. and I can come with you to REI, check the websites below and get a general idea (IF you are buying, go for a name brand, since getting ewt in the middle of the night in 25F is not worth it. Go for aluminium poles, with a rainfly/3000 tafta bottom, and be mindfull of the WEIGHT)
  • I Have a very small stove and we can get some extra fuel, so we can boil water and may be able burn some tortillas. So bring some coffee or HOT CHOCOLATE
  • Clothes, There might be rain, so be prepaired, can't take the slightest chance on that..! waterproof pants will be awesome. I usually take 2 pants(excluding my snowpants) 3 shirts (longsleaves) and a short. Get a pair or two wool socks. And I wear very thin nylon socks beneath my normal socks to get rid of blisters)
I love Ultralight, chack thses websites for more info. (But be mindful of the commercial and non-commercial ones)

and a lot more if you have time..!


We have three candidates,
  1. Mt Lyell : This is the hardest, and most fun one, Mt. Lyell is the highest in Yosemite, and the hike through lyell canyon is great too. We will have to hike around 10mi the first day., which is really not that hard. and then we can camp near the mount about 3-4 mi below the summit. Then we can try the Mt. Lyell the next day, and return on thursday. If we can do it, it will be the best ever. Getting a wilderness permit will be really hard though, since by the time we arrive, all the permits will be gone (Thats why I wanted to go straight to Yosemite, If we leave Here around 2am, and if you guys can get a sleep before.)
  2. Vogelsang HSC : this is the same as hiking Lyell, ~10mi, nice hike, but there will be less elevation gain since vogelsang mt is only ~12000 ft. And there's a High Sierra camp,where we might be able to buy food if open.
  3. Dana meadows to sardeine lakes, This is less hiking the first day, but at very high elevations, start from 9500 to 10500 we can try mt Gibbs, Kuna or Koip. And Kuna is a 13000er. Sardine lakes are awesome, If not covered in snow..!
Upload more info later...! gotta go to work..!

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Stoney point

Stoney point is one of the oldest Rock climbing, bouldering places in LA. I had been thinking to climb to the top of it for sometime, but time and having nobody to go with, kept me from it. But at last, I could make it to the top with Siraj.

Stoney point rocks from the entrance

Rock climbing

Me at the top.

The entrance