Heading out to the Eastern Sierras was bittersweet for me, my good friend and climbing mentor is moving to Bend, Oregon in less than a month. While I'm excited for his transition, and looking forward to a host when I visit the Pacific Northwest, I am sad to see him go. We got the gang together for one last California climb.
In typical dirt bagging fashion, we left Los Angeles late Friday night and arrived in Lone Pine around 1am. Just west of the town center is 30,000 acres of public land known as the Alabama Hills Recreation Area. Our accommodations on this BLM land include pulling off side of any random road and either sleeping in the car or an air mattress right outside it. Luckily the wind was low in the high desert and the temperatures were moderate, especially considering spring hasn't yet arrived.
The rounded contours of the Alabamas form a sharp contrast between the glacially chiseled ridges of the Sierra Nevada. This leads the viewer to believe the Alabama's are almost antique in nature. Actually, both geologic features were the result of uplifting that occurred 100 million years ago. The hills have been subject to a type of erosion known as chemical weathering. When the hills were still covered with soil, percolating water rounded the granite blocks and sculpted the outstanding formations you see today.
To celebrate the departed we aimed specifically on climbing atop spires and pillars in the "Bama Hills,” here the evidence, bon voyage!!
Gabriel Lacktman is not only an avid outdoorsmen and talented climber, but also an artist/graphic designer who helps Parks Project create cool tees, right on Gabriel, yew!