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California’s premier mountaineering school and guide service – Bishop, CA

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Mt. Owen aka Moria in New Zealand

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Mt. Owen 10 Mt. Owen 8 Mt. Owen-9 Mt. Owen-3 Mt. Owen-2 Mt. Owen-5 Mt. Owen-1Mt. Owen aka Moria in New Zealand

Mt Owen aka Moria Jan. 2013
Owen is the high point of Kahurangi National Park and also had a moment of fleeting fame as one of the settings for Lord of the Rings. Even has a summit dragon.
More importantly it has a wonderful new hut and spectacular limestone karst terrain and is about an hour from my sisters home in Motueka.
About 3-4 hours for the roadhead to the Granity Pass Hut. I got there under clear skies and since you do not want to miss any such opportunities in NZ I headed on up the peak. The route follows rolling tussock covered hills and then into eroded rock with flat slabs and deep slots. Someone went missing here a few weeks ago and has still not been found. From the top views are from one side of the South Island to the other with clear blue skies, but within 30 minutes of getting back to the hut rain set in and has not stopped yet. But a big part of NZ tramping is walking in the dripping forest amidst the sound of bellbirds and tuis. Just got to learn to love it.

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Written by SP Parker

January 15, 2013 at 6:26 pm

Posted in Hiking

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We have been working with Rock Creek Pack Station to set up the JMT in stages as a pack supported trip. This allows people who want to do the JMT but do not want the heavy packs to spread the journey out over four years and to have a relaxed memorable vacation along the way.

This year our first section was from a start at Kearsarge to a finish at Onion Valley. Along were Geoff Snyder, Donna Smith, Mardi Swords, Martha Moore, Phil Moore and SP as hiking guide. We also had a full time cook Andy and packers Mark and Terri.

The trip started with some ran and thunderstorm activity that nearly shut us down on ourWhitney climb, but we hung out in the tent as lightening lit the summit up and hail hit the tent.But it cleared enough to give us time to get up and down. Climbing Whitney had been cook Andy’s goal since Day I. So in cowboy boots, cowboy hat, leather canteen and a slicker he headed tot he top getting lots of stares from REI equipped hikers. But we all made it in near record time.

From Whitney on we had great weather, fantastic scenery and thanks to Andy fantastic food.

This is the trip for anyone who wants a really relaxing holiday.

Next years section is from Onion Valley to Bishop Pass.

Written by SP Parker

September 3, 2012 at 2:08 pm

Posted in Hiking, Whitney

Hiking with Pack Stock. The JT Part I; Cottonwood to Onion Valley.

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We have been working with Rock Creek Pack Station to set up the JMT in stages as a pack supported trip. This allows people who want to do the JMT but do not want the heavy packs to spread the journey out over four years and to have a relaxed memorable vacation along the way.

This year our first section was from a start at Kearsarge to a finish at Onion Valley. Along were Geoff Snyder, Donna Smith, Mardi Swords, Martha Moore, Phil Moore and SP as hiking guide. We also had a full time cook Andy and packers Mark and Terri.

The trip started with some ran and thunderstorm activity that nearly shut us down on ourWhitney climb, but we hung out in the tent as lightening lit the summit up and hail hit the tent.But it cleared enough to give us time to get up and down. Climbing Whitney had been cook Andy’s goal since Day I. So in cowboy boots, cowboy hat, leather canteen and a slicker he headed tot he top getting lots of stares from REI equipped hikers. But we all made it in near record time.

From Whitney on we had great weather, fantastic scenery and thanks to Andy fantastic food.

This is the trip for anyone who wants a really relaxing holiday.

Next years section is from Onion Valley to Bishop Pass.

 

Written by SP Parker

September 3, 2012 at 2:03 pm

Posted in Hiking, Whitney

White Mountains Hike 6.11

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The White Mountains of California are truly fantastic. This unique range became wilderness only two years ago. It is high alpine desert and this year was marked by a profusion of flowers with fragrant phlox scenting the air. This year we had only one client, Robyn from Monaco (she hiked the JMT with us last year) but three guides, SP, Luke and Ryan.We start slowly up Cottonwood Creek. This is totally unexpected oasis of trees and meadows at above 10,000 feet on the crest of the range. We camped here one night and then stopped to visit friend Dori at Barcroft Station where she cooks (she even came over in the evening with fresh chocolate chip cookies). From there we camped on a wide open flat below White Mountain Peak.

Next day took us up to 14,000 on White Mountain Peak, along a tricky 3rd class rock section (but only 1/4 mile of it and on to the wide open spaces of the crest. Hiking along above 13,000 feet we saw a mama bighorn sheep and her lamb, both totally unconcerned about us. We camped at Cabin and Birch Creeks where the streams start 100 yards apart and then one flows east and one west.

Next day took us over more fantastic meadows in Chiadovich Flats and down Indian Creek to our pick up with beer, watermelon and the drive back to Bishop.

This is true wilderness and everyone should do this hike! It is simply the best and we cannot rave enough about it.

Written by SP Parker

July 29, 2011 at 3:06 am

Posted in Hiking

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