Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Upper Mount Scott - Rock Climbing

Stephen Tremaine, Ethan Hulme, and myself top-ropped several routes on Upper Mount Scott September 19th. The first route, Atomic Knee Drop (5.6) started off with a wide crack that led to a small roof.  The roof was the crux of the route, and this was followed by a lower angled but smaller crack that led to the finish.  The second route we did was Pile Driver (5.6).  I considered this the easiest route we attempted.  You basically lieback up a flaked slab for 15 feet.  This leads to an easy traverse over to the end of Spinning Back Kick.  The climbing is slightly harder at this point to the finish, but still easy.  The final route was Spinning Back Kick (5.6).  The first 20 feet up a black water streak are the crux of the route.  Guide books rate this as 5.6, but it felt harder than that to me due to the lack of holds on a nearly vertical wall.  Once past the crux, the route becomes much easier.  Ethan also climbed the blank vertical wall that resides between Atomic Knee Drop and Pile Driver...he is a more advanced climber than myself, and I did not attempt that route.

Setting up the top rope.
Stephen tackling the first section of Atomic Knee Drop.
Ethan approaching the crux of Atomic Knee Drop.
Ethan pulling past the small roof on Atomic Knee Drop.
Lieback on Pile Driver.
Ethan going up the left side of the water streak on Spinning Back Kick.
Stephen going up the right side of the water streak on Spinning Back Kick.
Ethan climbing on blank granite in between Atomic Knee Drop and Pile Driver.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Arches National Park

I had a great lunch at Peace Tree Cafe in Moab, Utah (which, by the way, I highly recommend checking out if you are in town) on August 30th and then drove out to Arches National Park.  This park is definitely full of iconic foreground shots, whereas Canyonlands National Park is characterized by large horizons.  I didn't have time to do Arches justice, this was more of a reconnaissance mission for future trips.  I pulled off at a few turnouts, such as Park Avenue, and then headed for Delicate Arch.  The 1.5 mile hike to Delicate Arch should have been a cinch...but, afternoon heating was at its peak, so the hike was hellishly hot.  After an hour, I reached my destination.  The setting was somewhat surreal, truly a photographers dream.  I must come back at sunrise or sunset sometime in the near future.  After arriving back at the trailhead, I was too dehydrated to attempt hiking to any other destinations in the park...but, it will all be waiting there for me, just like it has been for the last million'ish years.

Park Avenue.
Park Avenue.
Park Avenue.
Park Avenue.
Delicate Arch.
Delicate Arch.
Delicate Arch.
Delicate Arch.

Oklahoma City After Dark.

A few pictures of Oklahoma City after dark on September 10th.

Looking north on Robinson Ave. across the I-40 bridge.
Sky Dance Bridge.
Sky Dance Bridge.
I-40 looking west from Sky Dance Bridge.
Myriad Botanical Gardens and skyline.
Oklahoma City skyline.
Oklahoma state capital.

Biking Along the River With Two Names

I brought a point-and-shoot along for a bike ride along the Oklahoma (also known as the North Canadian) River Trail.  The pictures presented below are from the south side of the river.  The trail is 7 miles long, starting between Portland and Meridian Avenues, and ending immediately west of the southbound I-35 bridge.  The ride is easy, flat, paved, and features scenic views of downtown Oklahoma City.

Riding eastbound beneath Interstate 44.
Local wildlife at Wiley Post Park.
The end of the trail with Interstate 35 in the background.
Boathouse District and downtown Oklahoma City.
Westward view toward Interstate 44.

Wednesday, September 04, 2013

Monument Valley

I spent a couple of hours on August 27th hanging out near the UT/AZ border hoping for wild atmospheric colors as the sun set behind Monument Valley.  The sunset wasn't all that spectacular, but it was still hard to take a bad picture when working with this kind of landscape (see below).