Wednesday, November 28, 2012

11-24-2012 Supercloud Canyon

I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to work off some of the excess Thanksgiving calories this weekend in a canyon. Located in the Angeles National Forest, cut into Mount Disappointment is a shady, pleasant canyon dubbed Supercloud Canyon by Christopher Brennen. I met up with with my fellow canyon-mates at the Switzer Trailhead along the Angeles Crest Highway. This trip requires a car shuttle; so we left a car on the side of the road near our exit point, then we managed to fit six more people into my truck and we drove up just past the Red Box Ranger Station to start our hike.

The approach to the drop-in point is an easy 45 minute walk up a gated Forest Service road to a use-trail that takes you to a steepish scree slope. Dropping into the canyon was a simple affair. The scars of the Station Fire are still visible on the larger trees.

Debris Dam

After maybe a 10 minute walk we came to the first rappel. Like the previous two canyons I've done, this one has been bolted since Brennen last updated his beta. After inspecting the webbing and bolts, we proceeded to rap on down.

Getting ready for the first rap

After the first rappel things proceeded quickly. The next station was just a short walk down canyon. We had a couple of ropes, so we were able to rig the next rap as soon as a couple people got down. And that's how it went. The two rappels that weren't bolted were rigged to solid tree anchors, so, no worries there.

 Fireman's belay at the first rappel

 Solid natural anchor for the third rap

A nice fallen tree anchor for the last rap

Looking up at the last rappel

There was a trickle of water at the last waterfall. It was just enough to keep the moss moist, my feet did not get wet. After the last rappel it's a bit of a walk to the highway. There's a decent trail with a bit of rock hopping here and there. There were a few pools of water along the way. There are the remains of a concrete structure just past a debris dam. We got a little mixed up trying to find the use trail back to the cars but after a few backtracks we figured it out.

Did somebody live here at one time? Maybe it was related to the nearby debris dams?

 After crossing a little log bridge be ready to turn left down this use-trail.

This was a fun little canyon. I really enjoyed the company of my fellow canyoneers. I hope we can meet up and do another canyon soon.
A view of Los Angeles from the Angeles Crest Highway

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

11-11-2012 Stoney Point Park

Over the last year, I've attended a couple of canyoneering classes at Stoney Point Park in Chatsworth. This park has long been a training ground for climbers preparing for grand adventures, as well as being a place for locals to get in a few boulders after work. It's popular because there are a million different challenges in the sandstone boulders that are scattered about the small park. You can practice in a natural environment without putting yourself at too much risk of catastrophic injury. Ventura icon, founder of Patagonia, and Black Diamond Equipment, Yvon Chouinard practiced at Stoney Point in preparation for his famous ascents in Yosemite back in the 1960’s. Some of Chouinard's partners, like legendary climbers Royal Robbins (who also founded a outdoors equipment company), and Bob Kamps, along with many others have honed their skills at Stoney Point.

One of many house sized boulders

Our classes have always started underneath this centurys old oak dubbed, "The Tree of Knowledge"