Mountain Monday

Avid climber and backpacker Meggan Wenbourne kicks off the work week by carrying over the stoke from her weekend adventures in the mountains.

Mountain Monday: Halloween in the Hills

Mountain Monday: Halloween in the Hills

Adventures on All Hallows’ Eve By Meggan Wenbourne A dragon ascends the cliffs in Joshua Tree. As the years go on, I find myself losing the holiday sparkle and flair that I once felt when I was younger. Halloween is one of those holidays for me and I find myself making every excuse in the book to not participate. I loathed the idea of being caught outside in clothing that is not appropriate for the weather conditions with people I did not know … until I started climbing. Climbing really has been a lifestyle change for me beyond the normal smelly shoes, short fingernails and language of arm motions type of life most people think of when they the think of a textbook climber. I have found myself looking forward to the holidays again because it usually means longer chunks of time off work to go play somewhere outside...
Mountain Monday: Tahoe Basin Adventures

Mountain Monday: Tahoe Basin Adventures

Altitude training is not something to be rushed, but with new techniques and know-how, it can be sped up By Meggan Wenbourne A view of Cascade Lake from my run up to Maggie’s Peak. This last week I spent a majority of my time in the Tahoe Basin climbing, running and hiking with new friends from all over the world. With strong cups of coffee in our bellies and bluebird skies above, we found ourselves working hard every day against altitude and steep faces with smiles and kind-hearted banter. The objective was simple: expose ourselves to training for high altitude ascents. Sounds simple enough, right? Wrong. I live at sea level and I felt it … a lot. With the use of some of the best equipment on the market and the training regiments of some of the fastest speed ascensionists in the world, we learned that there is...
Mountain Monday: Quick Chat About Safety

Mountain Monday: Quick Chat About Safety

When you take off into the mountains, sometimes bad things can happen – be prepared! By Meggan Wenbourne A photo from one of my skills classes, learning how to build multi-point anchors- yet another way to be prepared! A friend’s recent experience in the mountains has reminded me that going out into the wilderness, even if it is just for a weekend warrior trip to get some climbing in, can turn into a life or death situation in a split second. Sometimes the only option you may have is to depend on the trained skills you and the people around you have received to lessen the severity of the situation until alternative help arrives. That being said, I am a firm believer in being prepared for all types of situations and I work hard to make sure I always have a plan. I’m the type of person who always has...
Mountain Monday: Beneath the Shade of the Big Trees

Mountain Monday: Beneath the Shade of the Big Trees

Hiking through the sempervirens and swimming in the Stan By Meggan Wenbourne Could it be Abraham Lincoln? Many Sempervirens have been named throughout the park. Sometimes all you really need is a trip to the mountains to swim in fresh water. I am biased, I much prefer fresh water to salt water. I like being able to open my eyes underwater and enjoy seeing shorelines covered in trees. There is something special about swimming up high in the mountains in the summertime and this weekend was no exception. My partner and I found ourselves up in the mid-elevation Sierra playing in reservoirs and floating in the Stanislaus River. With ospreys circling overhead and little fish nipping at our toes, we were in complete heaven and could have stayed for a few more weeks. 😉 To me, this area has always held a special place in my heart. It is...
Mountain Monday: Trinity River Adventure

Mountain Monday: Trinity River Adventure

A weekend on the river moves time only as fast as its current By Meggan Wenbourne Yours truly, descending Hell Hole (Serendipity Snapshots). A couple weeks back, my partner and I found ourselves driving through the night from Santa Cruz to Big Flat in the Shasta-Trinity National Forest. With an alpine arrival (ha, I just made that up) of 0230, it was all we could do to actually find our sleeping bags, let alone crawl into them along the banks of the Trinity River. Four hours later we were up and looking forward to a day on the river. This particular section of river is a Class III river with five or six rapids of that class and a handful of other awesome rapids within a six mile distance. Several companies guide on this section of river and coexist with one another quite nicely each season. With one hard shell...
Mountain Monday: The Inaugural Broken Arrow Skyrace

Mountain Monday: The Inaugural Broken Arrow Skyrace

See that mountain top? Run to it. By Meggan Wenbourne The starting point of the Vertical K. I recently found myself at Squaw Valley Ski Resort outside of Lake Tahoe, California for a good ol’ fashioned footrace up the mountainside. This would mark my first race at elevation and having now completed it, I do not think it is going to be my last. This race series is the type of event you would expect to see in states like Colorado and Wyoming. However, with the increasing popularity of trail running in the Sierra, the Broken Arrow Race Series made an incredible debut in this mountain community and seems to have been very well received. Arriving at the village at Squaw, we were suddenly surrounded by giant mountains with snow still on their summits. With a rainstorm the morning of my race, I felt my confidence level dropping and felt...
Mountain Monday: Always Bring a Bike

Mountain Monday: Always Bring a Bike

Golden opportunities in Yosemite Valley via two wheels By Meggan Wenbourne A token meadow shot of Half Dome overseeing the crowded weekend (Meggan Wenbourne). This last weekend I went to Yosemite. The Yosemite. Arguably the climbing capitol of the world. It would be the second time in my life that I would travel to the valley floor without my sights set on climbing. Traveling solo, I was on a mission for some good old fashioned hiking and exploration. The waterfalls were gushing like fire hydrants. This was a weekend where the Merced River was flooding its banks, where waterfalls that had not run in years were running and where mosquitoes were taking on new territories. My usual tactics with climbing in the valley consist of finding a place to camp and using my car to transport between climbing destinations for my stay. I had never brought a bike into...
Mountain Monday: Pining for Summertime

Mountain Monday: Pining for Summertime

Gearing up for a season of rocks in high and low places By Meggan Wenbourne It looks so beautiful, but my patience is running low … I’m ready for some summertime fun. Last weekend found me in San Luis Obispo, hiking up a giant hill. Although in hindsight, it wasn’t that big, I do remember thinking how much harder this hill would be if we were at elevation, instead of just a little over sea level. With summer just around the corner, it is no wonder I am worried about elevationn… summer time means summer climb time, which means all those places with snow will soon be melted and exposed. This in turn means hiking is going to take on a bit more of a difficulty factor since I live at sea level if I want to get up to those beautiful stones up high. To all my snow-loving...
Monday Monday: There’s Gold in Those Hills!

Monday Monday: There’s Gold in Those Hills!

A trip to the foothills for some much needed river R&R By Meggan Wenbourne Lots of pristine water flowing this time of year – so thankful! What a weekend spent in the beautiful foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains. With the largely celebrated holiday weekend, coupled with spring break for many schools, we were expecting horrible traffic and less time than we wanted playing in the hills. Boy, were we wrong or at least, lucky. We started our adventures in Coloma along the American River and ended them at the Confluence of the American River outside of Auburn, California. With nothing but perfect weather and only a few puffy clouds in the distance, it was a much needed weekend spent adventuring with old friends and playing in the mountains. It’s a little intimidating (at least for me) to go solo mountain biking in an area in which I am...
Mountain Monday: Up in Birdland

Mountain Monday: Up in Birdland

Finding yourself above the birds and the helicopters, you’re on top of the world By Meggan Wenbourne A look at Pine Creek Canyon. Spectrum wall (where our climb was located) is on the lefthand side of the formation. We had an hour approach, on mixed terrain and a five pitch, 750’ climb as our objective for the day. My body has not seen this kind of exertion or that kind of air under my feet in quite some time. We are in Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area – not far past the California border into Nevada – and have our eyes set on Birdland, a 5.7+ rated 6 pitch climb (although the last pitch is “fragile and runout”… eww) in Pine Creek Canyon. The clouds have moved in ever so slightly and although the approach leaves us both a bit sweaty, the climbing temperatures prove to be...
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