Caves & Trees

Hi PoppaBob,

Last week Kira and I had a fun weekend in the beautiful Santa Cruz mountains.

With our friends Kate and Lee, we headed up to the UCSC campus-wonderland for some adventure… I am amazed that anyone graduates from this school…

2015 John in Hell Hole Cave Santa Cruz

Right off the highway were two caves and a number of tree houses.
As a warm up we scouted out a cave. It was spacious and would be fun for any visitors to explore. There was another cave across the road that was far more ‘intricate’ with tiny passages about the width of me with my arms folded up to my shoulders and turns and boulders. In about 15′ I looked back and had to concentrate to remember where I had come from. Though Kira and I have trained within the realm of cave rescue, we are fairly confident that some caves are not meat to get hurt in. Fortunately, all was safe with us.

2015 Empire Cave

After our warm up underground, we skipped up the path to the tree-houses that someone engineered 80′ in the red woods. I have not yet pulled the plans from the County to see who stamped the drawings, but will follow up as soon as I find out.

Because Kira and I are enthusiastic with rescue systems and Kate and Lee are avid sport climbers, we rigged a fancy fall-protection system so we could climb freely, mostly without trepidation. However, after we arrived at the platform, we were greeted by a 15 y/o gromit-climber who got up the tree in about two minutes without any ropes. Intimidated by the massive risk, we were quite impressed by their hobbit feet and climbing prowess. Because they had no ropes, however, they had to climb back down while WE enjoyed the privilege of rappelling.

2015 Tree Climbing John Rappels

Home safe and sound, we’re confident we could take any visitors up with us, so come on out to Santa Cruz!

Check out our Caves & Trees Video!

Massages in Yosemite

The massages were Great, they made sleeping on rocks and pine cones all the more bearable.

Just before the winter snap in Sierras, we enjoyed our breakfast on the nearly dry river, hiked through the hills with the descending deer around, and practiced our rope skills on a plainly unclimbable boulder.

Protected Bouldering in Yosemite

This weekend we enjoyed a nice short car camping trip in Wawona with Tripp, Karen and Kira. We (the girls) enjoyed a river swim and rope swing, and we (all) walked many miles of trail throughout the Mariposa Grove, hearing a tree fall at 15:37 while on the park boundary trail, 2013-05-11. We made and cooked pizzas in celebration of the end of Andrew’s proclaimed Pizza Week  and then spent some time setting protection for a few very-very short climbs. These climbs included two boulders (5.8) (with protection) @ 37.57887, -119.67930 and an attempt to climb Jacob’s Ladder (5.10c) in the valley – though found it to be beyond our skill-set.

Yosemite Valley Climbing - Jacobs Ladder