A Travellerspoint blog

Yosemite - Again

Strenuous hiking on North Dome

Originally the plan was to do a pretty nice climb on North Dome....

long story short ... we didn't do do it.

Reminder for the future: If a books says: "The approach is a little bushwhacky" that means nothing else than:
It will really be bushwhacky and you have to at least double the estimated approach times!

In the end it was still a nice week end but not exactly what we were looking for when we came. Having that said, enjoy the pics!

Our really nice campsite:

Training area on our first day:
... No we didn't climb up El Capitan.

On top of North Dome (just before a really bushwhacky decent) and view from North Dome to Half Dome

Last day, some rock jumping:

Posted by sunsetsurfer 18:32 Archived in USA Comments (0)

Roadtrip: Las Vegas - Death Valley - Los Angeles

4 days, 3 persons, 2 cities, 1 national park = awesome trip!

It's time for another road trip!

This roadtrip was a really long one - about 1500 miles in total. Knowing about the distance in advance I managed to get a BMW 5 series for this trip:
Comfortable for driving - but driving is only affordable with US gasoline prices!

Our first stop was Las Vegas.

After picking up Malte's brother at the airport, we checked in our hotel Plaza which is Located in Las Vegas downtown:
Views from the Plaza by day and night.

During our stay we saw two really good shows in the evenings and used the rest of our time for visiting some of the well known hotels, eating (buffet @ Flamingo :-)) and of course gambling.
Unfortunately none of us won the jackpot.

Two of the newer (and most exclusive) hotels: Encore (2008) and Wynn (2005)

And two of the older one's: Treasure Island and Excalibur


After two long days (and nights) in Las Vegas, we continued our trip and visited the Death Valley National Park.
Before I've been there, I thought Death Valley is just hot and there is not much to see.

I was wrong:
First: It's a really impressive landscape.
Secondly: It's not hot, it's incredible hot! ( up to122 °F50 °C)

Dante's View:

Zabriskie Point:

Golden Canyon:

Artist's Drive & Palette:

Badwater (86m below sea level):

Finally, we made a last stop in Los Angeles.
After enjoying the great views from the Griffith Observatory, visiting some of the places we knew from our first trip and stopping in Santa Barbara for a short swim, we drove exhausted but happy all the way back to Mountain View on Monday.


Posted by sunsetsurfer 20:29 Comments (0)


Multi-pitch climbing on a very hot day

Since I am in the Bay Area, Malte and me have been in different climbing areas in the vicinity, especially in Castle Rock. The Bay Area itself offers only a view multi-pitch routes. For that reason we decided to travel a little bit further and check out the Pinnacles National Monument for our first multi-pitch route.
It was a really hot day and so we carried a lot of water with us (and yes we drank all of it).
The approach from the parking lot was a bit strenuous but some nice views let us forget the strains quickly.
We climbed the route The Costanoan which is leading to the top of a rock formation called The Citadel.

The Citadel:

"The Costanoan" is an easy (5.4 YDS, 4 UIAA) route, consists of four pitches and was therefore perfect for training our anchor setting and rope management techniques.

Pitch 2:

At the top:


Posted by sunsetsurfer 19:48 Comments (0)

4th of July - Independence Day

Redwood City - San Francisco - Forster City

Last Wednesday, I had a day off. The reason was, that it was 4th of July, also known as Independence Day.
As I wanted to see how Americans celebrate this day, I was in Redwood City to see a 4th of July parade.
To sum it up: many stars and stripes and we missed to bring our own chairs. I saw two or three rows of chairs almost everywhere along the parade route. Some people even had tents (for shade) or barbecues next to the street.

After the parade Malte and me went to San Francisco. There, we first checked out the climbing gym (its located close to Golden Gate Bridge, and from some climbing walls you have nice view over the Bay!) and then we visited Chinatown. In between we wanted to drive the famous Lombard street (has a steep one-block section that consists of eight tight hairpin turns) in my Mini. After there was a big traffic jam down Lombard Street, we decided to go down the next street (why using a street that has hairpin turn, if you can have the same much steeper straight downwards?).

To be honest, this was steepest street I ever drove, it really felt amazing. Back at home I did some research and found out that we drove the Filbert Street. According to Wikipedia one of the steepest streets in the Western Hemisphere.
Want to get an impression? Here are two Youtube videos:

I will definitely come back and drive that street again, it was really fun!

After searching for almost half an hour for a parking lot, we finally found one and visited Chinatown.

Unfortunately I forgot my camera, so I took only a few pics with my mobile:
Golden Gate Fortune Cookies (A fortune cookie factory!)

In the evening I was in Forster City, to see a 4th of July firework. Actually it felt like they set off one racket every 30 seconds.
A little more compact show would have been nicer, but I don't want to complain, see what happened in San Diego at the same time:

Now to have a positive ending, I bother you with one last video:

Watch in HD and enjoy!

Posted by sunsetsurfer 19:58 Archived in USA Comments (0)

Yosemite 2

Why didn't we stay for 2 days?


Actually, the plan for the second trip to Yosemite National Park was to stay there for two days and camp one night in the valley. Unfortunately this plan wasn't turned into practice and I - to say it in a positive way - was not quite innocent. For that reason we visited this great park just for one day again.

After two short stops at the Bridalveil Fall and the Tunnel View vista point we enjoyed a great hike along Taft Point and Sentinel Dome to Glacier Point.

Bridalveil Fall and Tunnel View

Taft Point - You should really have a good head for heights here!
Don't worry, in the photo it looks a little more dangerous than it was in reality...

Sentinel Dome
View to the Yosemite Falls

Glacier Point - Great views to Half Dome

Private Photos

Posted by sunsetsurfer 00:12 Archived in USA Comments (0)

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