Thursday, November 29, 2012

Old Pictures

I wanted to post the pictures below before they are lost for eternity.  Description of each scene is given after the image.

Tornado near Throckmorton, TX on April 7, 2002.  Probably my best storm chase ever.

Developing stage of the Throckmorton, TX tornado.

Mature stage of the Throckmorton, TX tornado.  Note the massive clear slot on the left/foreground wrapping cyclonically around the low-level mesocyclone.

Tornado near LaGrange, WY on June 5, 2009.  I was much too close to this tornado, and my wind shield paid the price when softball size hail started to fall shortly after this picture was taken.

Wall cloud which preceded the LaGrange, WY tornado.

My first tornado observed, from May 16, 1999 near Pacific Junction, IA.

Old building in northwestern KS.

Sunset in northeastern CO.

Slot canyon in Tent Rocks, NM.

Sangre de Cristo mountains, CO.

Chimney Rock, NEB.

Morning light in Rocky Mountain National Park, CO.

Emerald Lake, Rocky Mountain National Park, CO.

Supercell thunderstorm over the Nebraska Panhandle.

Spring flowers in Lincoln, NEB.

Weak tornado in southern KS on April 24, 2007.

Allen Fieldhouse, Lawrence, KS.

Daley Plaza, Dallas, TX.

El Capitan viewed from Guadalupe Peak, TX.

Outflow dominant wall cloud associated with a supercell in Western NEB.

Allen Fieldhouse, Lawrence, KS.

Estes Park, CO.

Approaching Granite Pass in Rocky Mountain National Park, CO.

Supercell thunderstorm in northeastern CO.

Developing supercell in central OK.

Rotating wall cloud in southern KS.

Approaching Buena Vista, CO.

View of Glacier Gorge and Longs Peak, CO.

Wheeler Peak, NM.

Sunset in southeastern SD.

Monday, November 05, 2012

Trad Climbing Practice at Twin Rocks Mountain

Cindy McCloskey and myself hiked to the base of Twin Rocks Mountain in order to practice building anchors and placing pro on class 4 granite slabs on November 4th.  Temperatures were mild, the wind was calm, and the base of our climb was exposed to warm sunshine through early afternoon.  We set up a two point anchor, using a Black Diamond #10 hex inside a crack for point number one, and a sling around a rounded rock horn for point number two.  A 6mm prusik cord connected the two anchors, and we tied in to the anchor at a master point created by an overhand knot.  We then spent the next three hours ascending various class 4 routes, placing nuts, hexs, and cams into the cracks we encountered along the way.  I climbed up 60 feet of slabs and topped out onto a large boulder, which was captured in the picture below where I am waving.  I also put a sling around a boulder located at the top of our primary practice route, and used that anchor to abseil back down to the base of the cliff.  After Cindy abseiled down after one particular ascent, I pulled the rope through the top anchor, and then it came back down the route and collected by my feet.  As this occurred, the rope dislodged a softball size rock that came racing down the cliff.  I just stood there, watching this rock approach with increasing speed, but couldn't decide which way to move.  Stupidly, I took off my helmet before pulling the rope through.  But luckily, the rock missed my head, and more importantly, I learned an important lesson...don't take off your helmet when pulling the rope down!  Otherwise...what a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon, and the practice session will pay off in the future when we climb harder routes in the Wichitas and Rockies.