Castle Rock Big Bear: …a walk For Wendy

I had went back home to Lake Arrowhead to be with my Wife and other Family who had spent about 6 weeks with her Sister in her final days.

Wendy had Lost Her battle with cancer and we all got together to celebrate this true Guardian Angels life…

The day After the service, My wife was on a flight back to Texas and since I drove out I would be here a few more days…the San Bernardinos were glorious and I could amost hear Wendy say, go hiking you Love that stuff as clear as My Wife when she said it the day before…to myself,I said, this is for Wendy and Im gonna go big as time allows.

It hit me Big Bear,on the way up I can drop in on My ol running buddy Jim Hess a forest Service Ledged and then head to Big Bear and do one of the chutes of the Arctic Circle these chutes are pretty gnarly chutes of snow ice and rock that climb off the Highway going to Big Bear

I made it to Jims House but he and his wife were not home…Damn it I adore them both…on to Big Bear and the chutes I saw so muchheading up so many great memories here and a few close calls

Snow Valley where when I had the first Sims Snowboard in the San Bernardinos but with a little help from local Ski patrol we could walk half the day up and “bootleg” one run down to a waiting car Where we would make our get away only to walk back up our broken trail for one more run before the lights went on for the night sesh.

Across from SV is the Cabin a Buddy Jim Lyons once had on a 100 year FS Lease featured in my “Cabin Mistake” post

The snow was coming down real light and the sky had broken clouds at different levels I stopped at Lake view point but knew I could not capture the beauty with my phone cam so I just took that all in.I was literally  moved to tears I miss those Mountains so much…

The first chute turnout on the downhill lane was crawling with sledders and though they only used about 40 or 50 yards of the chute I couldnt park due to the hap hazard flatlanderedness nor could I stand the thought of wading through thier littering, snotting carcasses with my old timey Alpine kit…I kept driving towards the chute below Butler’s peak but the same scene of snow ticks were en-massed…

CASTLE ROCK! sez I that where I’ll go.

I crossed the dam and gave thanks as I hit the curves snaking through the boulders…Jim Lyons runs a Swiss 6 wheel off road service and I looked it up maybe ill check up on him.I spent about 400 hours or more doing followups on San Gorgonio with Jim and a chap named Pete Liapez who is a Mountain beast and knows more about the Natives that lived here than science since they once told Pete The San Bernardino county museum knows everything about the Yuhaviatam  (Serrano ) and did not need his help…dicks

We did followups on San Gorgonio after the search for Jarred Negrette was called off we looked it all the weird stuff from reports from a Psychic,wild man,survivalist (cringe),cult chanting you name it this was in 92 and Jim Got the boot after he reported a pentagram was found layed out in rocks He was also the local news Man who featured yours truley on the local TV show demonstrating  various Survival and Woodcraft skills…the County Sherriff demanded who ever said that shit is fired theres now devil worship in my forrest…but there was a big ass pentagram cause we found it and thats odd considering how big that intial search was…we’ll cover that later

Notes:Gave Jim a call, left message and headed to Castle Rock

Got a spot in theturnout aka Castle Rock trail head

From the road it looked like a load of snow and that meant I aint gonna f### around basic pack ice ax and crampons

There is a trick to crossing roads dressed like a extra in the Eiger Sanction it is the same as crossing a road dressed like a down aircrew member behind enemy lines…its pretty cool thats all im gonna say

Crossed the line of communication, I mean road, and shot up a gulley to the cover of some boulders and I was winded lol Big Bear is up there and it was a good burn ofthe lung and once thats over you just take your time

On with the “manclaws”…

To be continued


Long time no blog how about some catchup?

Well it seems a lot of my blog on another site has disapeared so since this is here I hope to assemble in no real order some of the highs and lows of the last few years.As Luke the Drifter once said we’re all still livin’ so evra’thangs OK

Im not much of a writer so try to follow along.

It seems the last time I checked in was around the Otzi build up and Expedition.this was to be my 50th birthday trio of a lifetime that quickly turned for the worst on day one at Whitney portal when a blizzard,hail,rain,sleet,blizzard,freeze shut down the attempt.

I had started out of the Whitney portal with three others in support. myself, wearing the gear found with Otzi the Ice Man.

I had worked for months on the build of the the gear with many in support through donations and well wishes all was going great permits were aquired travel was covered and I arived safe to my beloved San Bernardinos to stay a few days at around 6000 feet before heading to the portal.

Before the three chaps showed, I had some time to go over gear thin and pad where needed and I dont think I sat still for be blunt the weather was shit! Rain,sleet, snow break then start all over.I had set a tarp up almost seconds after arival since I could feel no break in site.

I tried to ajust what I would need to complete the climb with all of the iconic Otzi gear plus the gear needed to get up and more importantly down a 14,496 foot Mountain

I had learn a ton about this time and one thing I found was Otzi was not traveling in a blizzard depicted in the recreations, but fare weather.

the find complex tells me that, and,growing up in the Mountains tells me that.the stuff he was wearing was about as blizzard worthy as a pentalton and a pair of levi’s. then more than ever people could read more about the environment that most of us “mods” ever will…

Much of the gear also has seemed to get like all or at most archeological finds get deemed ceremonial but my untrained scientific mind saw basic Survival gear and some raw material…

Back to my blizzard I cant belive this we have a 3 day window and thats it no hanging around no waiting for good weather and absolutely no way of going with just the basic Otzi gear and clothes the first call was the boots. I would not be able to wear the straight up Otzi copies I had worked so hard on

As we geared up I was getting pretty discouraged that we would never get out of the parking lot…

I know the people back then would of layed up and not moved in a blizzard

We moved on after some last minute changes of boots and gaitor as well as down bag and jacket stuffed in the goathide pack in this switching I left my water bottle.

The bladder I had in the pack was the back up and buried so the good Man TJ let me use one of his extras hasty start all my check list and pre climb list soaked and runny the plan is not going as planned…everyting right as close as I could get to the Bear Hat,the flint knife,the unfinished bow and arrows all the bits dual purpose to be used on the climb a life boat plan of where to go and what to eat how to use all the bits for shelter all the tasks,make fire carry coal the offering at the altitude of the find in Otzal Alps

The flag for the Summit the people that supported the whole dream… the people

All that and more, and though Ive had the Summit twice this third dream may not happen

That might be the Most amazing thing about Mountains

More on this after I get some pics uo of some more recent scrambles

On Scout! Otzi Styled Gear


P1060232 (1)



That others may S’more

Got a cool last assignment today the property was gonna have a S’more session at one of the fire pits and needed some sticks.They had some one footers thats way to short for Mallow roasting…with the use of Musk-oxen mind pwer I suggested I went and Got some Propper Sticks(Waved hand) My Boss said Hey why don’t you go and fetch some proper sticks…I said That’s a grand Idea…
And mounted my trusty EZGO!

Weather Freezy, sleety,I soaked from the days work
Thermos Check
WSK Beck Check
The thought I was going out of the normal AO was invigorating…

Got to one of the lakes and did a quick check of the area…
Found a stove part and a Trident Pitch fork…One less thing More on that later…

I gather the good straight’ns and after a little 90* scrape with the Beck all little knots and nubs removed I used a cheap stainless rapala bait knife I carry to sharpen the points actual since I usedthe Beck all day on some pretty nasty woods and hadn’t had a chance to clean’er up…

I used Red Bud suckers for some and the Larger were willow with a couple of tip arrangements…they should work fine for the guest It was quick work but I will be doing more Im sure of the little perks of the on coming summer as well(Musk-Oxen mind power has administered a sleeper thought of -ghosty voice- how about a singing cowboy,camfire presentation, naturalist, survival instructor dude…with a beard at the fire for the guest…More on that as well soon lol

Heres the way I left them for the Rec People to find tomorrow…The gust are gonna realy like the Hiking sticks as well lol more on that later

The old foreground UNSAT…
Willow De-LUX and budget model Redbud Version .01

Enjoy your Mallows and S’Mores folks
Your pal the Yodel’n Woodsman

I have not posted her in Quite awhile been on the Go! and heres some of the spots

A Dream in the works
Years ago, I came up with something I would like to do when I Turn 50 I am about a Year out and I have mentioned it many times here
Here it is I intend to climb Mount Whitney the Year of My 50th Birthday in Otzi styled Gear

I will make most of the Equipment/clothing and build in essential safety and assemble a small team I have contacted a few people that would have interest and am looking for ideas on the Documentation

Some thoughts would be collage film or doco class??? But have no idea on where to look…It may just be whatever cams we/ I can get…

I think this would happen in the spring to beat the crowds and I will have to look into all the permits soon as the spots fill fast The peak season is august but I want some snowfields
I climbed the Mountain twice and this will be the third once with buddys in California and the Second as a Guide with two SERE Specialist as a Continuation training

This would be a less rushed go taking advantage of several camps on the way up as always there my be a point where it is called but that’s how it works.
The gear will be a fun project and as mentioned I will keep it authentic but not blow off safety

I saw a re enactment of a science group re trace the routes of the Voyagers of old they made the canoes paddles clothing and flotation was added to vest and some containers to pad the risk of what they were doing

It will be done in all respects to the Man who lost his life so many years ago and other than that there is no real reason other than submersing in the Adventure of a time long past
I am in the Process of acquiring skins and scraps and to be honest My budget is Zero at this point and is still just paper and in my grape as far as the plan
Food will be traditional as possible as well as the carry methods but again I WILL have a “Life boat” plan

Whitney is not the Most technical Mountain but its is a place dear to my Heart and being the Highest point in the Contiguous USA its not to scoffed
At this point I am Sharing this thought I will add here any gear I have started or any ideas on the changes I will make such as fire kit and alternate choices Such as I may use flint and steel as opposed to pyrites quarts and fungus

It will not be a exact reenactment but I will keep as true to the time as possible and use what I have as far as Material
Anyway there it is God willing and the Crick don’t rise that’s what I want to do I hope to see this snowball grow and when it stops I will have a report on this Adventure

More here…

Just the pics

and of course still knocking out classic educational non zombie BS tactowizbang knifesturbator edge geometry string bracelet will save your life but true to life Survival and Bushcraft mini epics


See ya soon

2013 in review

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 4,900 times in 2013. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 4 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Operational Extras Checking in

TrackertoothIts been a long Time Since I have Posted Not Sure if its Cause Ive been So Busy or just that Im Just not computer savy enough to do this easy
I have been real active on Bushcraft USA and that is my Main Camp lots of Great folks and the Bush class and The Tracker Action is a Blast.
More on the Tracker Pack Soon but if you want a peek at what it is all about Go to BCUSA and sighn up Its in my opinion the best on the Web Its a huge blend of Wilderness Goodness
Heres a few Pics some old some New Dont give up on me LOL Theres lots of good stuff in the works Check out My you Tube I am keeping up the Vids There
Thanks and Take care






Happy New Year

Happy New Year The Best to you all Have fun be safe


In my short time of sharing thoughts and views on how I use a blade its seem the more you run into the same old “what is better” and” what sucks” and “what you should use” “what they really use”  “if you use that you must this” and it goes on and on…
I was think today of how many times as a Kid cutting my teeth in this stuff, that the People I learned from the manuals and books I scoured when showing or explaining how to do something would say “OK Get your knife and cut here” or “use your knife or a Sharp edge to cut like this” “with your knife cut a small slit making sure not to cut the stitching and remove the shroud line” what ever it was there was not a lot of thought on what kind it was,Yes there were recommendations on what you may want to look at or purchase but it was not a sport in itself as it is today.
The other thing is the “what would be you only tool if you had to pick one” cult…Good God! if it ever Comes down to that there better be a lot of money involved its just not very realistic and it just seems that the folks asking that type of question have very limited knowledge of blades and their use not to mention the basic idea of Improvising a simple cutting tool or utilizing other means to break and cut stuff in the Woods or in the back yard
The Means to use a edge and even more the ability to improvise a edge and a well rounded first hand experience is Key here not the spouting of quotes from blogs and table top reviews.
Find something use it find out the limits and zero in to something that works for what you do or dream about doing the key here is USE There is to much talk.
I have been lucky to grow up around Users and doers and in my short time on the Internet have met a whole bunch of like minded folk that let the blade whatever that may be do the talking they practice and accomplish task with out to much gabbing about the molecular structure of the edge.
I Love the Quote” it aint the Arrow its the Indian” and it seems to be exactly what I was thinking during this whole rant and it could have saved me a tlot of hunt and pecking
anyway dont get to uptight about what it is getting out and using it is what its all about find out what works for you and have fun
More later

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