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: Red Rocks, Polka Dots and Pink Ropes

Mountain Monday: Red Rocks, Polka Dots and Pink Ropes

Is there any better option than the desert in February? There is something incredible about polka dots in nature. It stops me in my tracks every time! In the chilly “winter” season here at my home base on the central coast, I find myself pining for warm weather and dry terra firma. It’s as if the colder weather turns me more and more into a bear – my body slows down, I stock up on some ell-bees and my motivation to get out there and go wanes ever so slightly. Well, my psyche level turned to an eleven on the psyche meter when I headed just over the California border into Nevada to the Red Rock Canyon Conservation Area near Vegas for the long weekend and finally got to climb those one-of-a-kind, beautiful desert rocks. I came prepared for hellacious traffic with Justin Timberlake and three different books (luckily...
Mountain Monday: Ode to Banff Mountain Film Festival

Mountain Monday: Ode to Banff Mountain Film Festival

Beloved adventure film festival returns to California By Meggan Wenbourne Oh Banff Mountain Film Festival, how I look forward to you every year. I find myself counting down the days to when we meet again. There really is nothing like you, you make all our hearts race with adrenaline. I’m so grateful for your stories and adventures, please be my friend. ~Meggan Okay, so I am not a poet, but I can tell you what is quite poetic – the Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour 2016 that graced us with its presence for its California debut this past weekend. With nothing but incredible beauty, outrageous stories and amazing adventures, the Banff Tour did not disappoint. With three full nights of films, ranging from daring kayaking and canoeing to high mountains of rock and snow, to the depths of our hearts for one special dog, Banff played with our heart...
Mountain Monday: Climb Time in Joshua Tree

Mountain Monday: Climb Time in Joshua Tree

A little desert time to soothe the soul By Meggan Wenbourne Intersection Rock right off Park Blvd with classic routes and character-building moves. With a new year upon us and a ton of moisture in the forecast, it is no wonder people are flocking to the desert. One destination to be experienced this time of year, if you can deal with the potential for sub-freezing temperatures, is Joshua Tree. In particular, Joshua Tree National Park for an endless supply of car to crag climbing. I have to say I am a huge fan of five minute approaches and Joshua Tree National Park (JTNP) is chock-full of them. Not only are the approaches short and sweet, but the rock is incredible. You’ll find nothing but incredible formations for as far as the eye can see once inside the park borders. Imagine if giants made stacks of rocks all over the...
Mountain Monday: Caps on the Mountain Tops

Mountain Monday: Caps on the Mountain Tops

The mountains are no longer bare of snow – it appears winter is on its way! By Meggan Wenbourne Still not a whole lot of snow, but it is a start! Well, it appears winter is in fact coming our way! On my most recent visit to the Sierra, I found nothing but beautiful snowcapped mountains and icy roads near and far. With more storms on the way, it would appear Mother Nature has decided to finally give up some of the precipitation the Golden State so desperately needs. It was a weekend full of crisp, cold mornings and frost on the trees. The smell of wood stoves burning was so prominent and left an eerie haze through the meadows. This time of year is my favorite though; I love fall. I love the turning of the trees and the cold mornings where you want to grab a hot...
Mountain Monday: Magic Land

Mountain Monday: Magic Land

Communities still in need after wildfires By Meggan Wenbourne The fire line in the distance and the firebreak for Murphys in the foreground. There’s something to be said about a world after a forest fire. My hometown of Murphys, located in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada, was fortunately spared in mid-September’s Butte Fire, but had been in prep mode, ready to evacuate if the fire turned its direction. This last weekend was my first time back in the area since the blaze ripped through the surrounding towns and ridgelines and it was an eye opening experience to say the least. With fire breaks cut throughout the properties on the outskirts of town, the actual fire line could be seen in the distance with nothing left behind it but open space and blackness. We found ourselves tromping around the hills and hidden nooks and crannies of this sweet little...
Mountain Monday: The Critters of the Night

Mountain Monday: The Critters of the Night

When Mother Nature’s critters get the best of you By Meggan Wenbourne Who knew a beautiful high country lake would have so many critters just waiting for us to turn in for the night?! In the late summer/early fall months, the high country is such a special place to camp, hike and explore. Blue bird skies with the occasional threat of a summer storm, have presented nothing but splendor and joy for me ever since I was a little girl.   I used to love being on the lookout for bears with my dad and would thrive on knowing there was a whole other world outside my tent fly at night. For whatever reason, I felt invincible in my tent. Times have changed. In my old age, I have discovered that I have turned into a bit more of a chicken than I would like to admit.   Tents do not...
Mountain Monday: Beyond Roped Adventures

Mountain Monday: Beyond Roped Adventures

This just in: there’s plenty to do in the mountains besides climbing them By Meggan Wenbourne An autumn sunset over Lake Tahoe – winning! 2015 has been an interesting year for climbers and injuries. It seems everyone I have spoken to recently has had some sort of setback for the season, myself included. It happens to the best of us and sometimes at no fault of our own.   Until very recently, I was very mopey about not being able to climb the way I was accustomed to climbing, which resembled something like anytime I had free time. When a person is recovering, that is not really feasible anymore and so sometimes you mope about it.    I was able to speak with an old friend who is also coming back from an injury who brought up the fact that there is so much to do in the mountains besides climbing...
Mountain Monday: Last Hurrah

Mountain Monday: Last Hurrah

Summer’s ending, we think. What does that mean for your climbing adventures? By Meggan Wenbourne A recent trip to Yosemite, just to play a little as the seasons begin to change… note, there’s some yellow in the trees! We all, in California at least, have experienced a near equivalent to a three year summer season. We have had one of, if not, the worst droughts on record and as a result we have had a seemingly endless dry climbing season. Toasty, dry rock has been had by all for an outrageous amount of time, but sources say, that’s all about to change. With the impending El Niño, we Californians are batten down the hatches at this point in hopes for a long drink for our thirsty state. With talk of destructive amounts of water to come, people are in prep mode here in mid-October already. With all that in...
Mountain Monday: The Dirtbaggers of the World

Mountain Monday: The Dirtbaggers of the World

Home sweet home … adventure style By Meggan Wenbourne Stop in at any local climbing gym or at the nearest crag and you’re guaranteed to discover more than one person who has made a home out of the back of his or her vehicle. Truck life is something I have become fascinated with over the past few years and as a result I am constantly on the lookout for new designs and ways of making a life fit in a pickup bed. It’s a known fact that climbers and many other outdoor enthusiasts will do everything in their power to save whatever money they make and travel with it instead of paying rent for a place they barely inhabit. Although to some it may sound bizarre, this sort of lifestyle is no longer as uncommon as you might think, especially in the world of climbers. This nomadic lifestyle has...
Mountain Monday: Meru to You!

Mountain Monday: Meru to You!

When you’re denied the summit and you still go back for more By Meggan Wenbourne As many of you have probably heard (if you haven’t, that’s okay – now you have), there is an incredible film sweeping the nation right now. Named after its glorious mountain subject, Meru is an unforgettable documentary about the struggle three climbers endure to make their near-impossible dream a reality. The mountain and expedition as a whole prove to provide nothing but death-defying challenges and outrageous tests of mental strength and physical ability from start to finish. Conrad Anker, Jimmy Chin and Renan Ozturk embark on this expedition as a trio all from different walks of life and all wanting the summit for different reasons. With a collage of factors motivating their journey, we follow the team through life on and off the mountain as they harness their strengths, overcome unthinkable obstacles and live...
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