Sunday, October 23, 2016

Bikepacking Dayton to Fish Springs. Time to get FAT!

Click any photo for a larger version

Oct 2016 - Just an overnighter but seriously fun. I'd only just learned about Eldorado canyon a few days prior, good cause to spend some time with google earth putting a route together. After Eldorado canyon the obvious route is Sunrise Pass road, (SPR), but I didn't really want to ride SPR all the way back down to pavement and ride pavement home. Let's say it together...BORING! So I planned a route using the extensive and unmarked back roads and trails  between SPR and my home in Fish Springs. Turned out really well and I had a fast downhill on SPR to an unmarked dirt turnoff. Several other unmarked turns brought me out to pavement just a half mile from the house. PERFECT!

The first day was planned as a rather late start because the ride was relatively short and I didn't want to pull into camp too early. Joannie dropped me off about noon and after packing my bike, I leisurely rode up the Eldorado Canyon rd with lot's of breaks for pictures and exploring the area. Eldorado Canyon is rather spectacular with running water and geology that appears to range from volcanics to sandstone. A few moto's and ATV's were my intermittant companions as I made my way up canyon. A delightful and surprisingly warm night was spent atop a ridgeline well off SPR with views back to Virginia City to the north and deeper into the Pine Nut range to the south.  The only problem was, I forgot the beer.

Eldorado Canyon "road"

The final day navigating all the unmarked roads was of course no issue with GPS. I was expecting a pretty dull ride but it was actually quite nice riding through the edge of the Pine Nut and Juniper forest to the more open desert near Fish Springs. I made a long stop to watch and photograph the local herd of wild horses. I initially only saw three and then as they became more uneasy with my presence the herd of probably around 20 head came over the rise and trotted off the to the NE. Later I came upon the second herd, numbering about the same, closer to my home. They commonly visit our house and help with the lawn mowing. Then on the final half mile paved segment a roadie caught me and he was curious about my adventure. We chatted briefly as my turnoff was only a short distance ahead. I pulled up on the porch, went in, cracked a beer and called it a day. This ride could easily be done as a day trip...if you wanted to.

Fast run down SPR

Friday, October 7, 2016

It must be Leap year

Lovers Leap East Wall

I've climbed at Lovers Leap more in the last 10 days than I have in the last 10 years. The early October weather is perfect and the crowds are gone. After Corrugation Corner with Scott, I went back with Jeff to East Crack located just left (climber's left) of Bear's Reach on the East Wall. A quality route, but not as nice as Corrugation Corner.

It feels really good to be knocking some of the rust off my climbing.

The route follows the crack through the double roof in the lower center of photo

Jeff coming up first pitch

First pitch

Jeff arriving at the belay atop second pitch. I wasn't able to get any pictures of him climbing from the belay.

I stopped and set a belay just below the top so I could get shots of Jeff coming up the final pitch.

Then a few days later, unexpectedly, my friend Randy from Alaska called and had some days to kill. So on one of them we went and climbed Pop Bottle. Pretty easy climb with the exception of one or two moves on the first pitch. But once you found the magic hold it wasn't bad.

Leading P1

Randy coming up P1

Randy coming up P2

Almost at P2 belay

Leading P3. Photo by Randy

Randy coming up P3

The Leap delivers again!