Monthly Archives: March 2017

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

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