Monday, May 16, 2011

Scoping, Bushwacking, Recon Efforts to Rapp the Lion Head - May 16, 2011

For years, I have been eying a prominent rock-face in South Mountain park, just south of Phoenix. It's nearby one of my go-to trail-running routes that I frequent and until this year, I definitely did not have the skill set to thoroughly explore it. Now that I'm fairly at ease out on the rope, I feel like my wish-list of places to explore just scaled itself up by orders and orders of magnitude. Ah man, I love it!


Saturday, May 14, 2011

Spelunking in a Lava Tube and Prusiking in the Pines - May 14, 2011

With a late start at heading up north on a Saturday, Krystal and I exercised our Humphreys contingency plan. We still headed up to Flagstaff, but instead of bagging the peak, we opted to explore the Lava River Cave and hang out in the Coconino backcountry for the afternoon.

The Lava River Cave (officially "Lave River Cave" as suggested by the signage below), is apparently a old underground lava flow that cooled on its upper, lower and side walls allowing what was left in the center flow through it, leaving nearly a mile-long void. It's amazingly pristine in how well it formed, almost resembling a half-tube volume shape of a New York subway.

We donned our flashlights, gloves and jackets and crawled into the void... along with 80-thousand other people it seemed :-/ Quite the popular attraction, I guess...