Monday, May 4, 2009

Sandstone Peak via the Mishe Mokwa Trail

So last Saturday, May 2nd, Patrick and I climbed Sandstone Peak -- at 3,111 feet it is the highest point in the Santa Monica Mountains -- without oxygen or sherpas.

Along the way we took a detour to check out Echo Cliffs, the rock climbing destination, as well as Exchange Peak.

Here's Patrick at the trailhead, getting pumped. Sandstone Peak is in the background.

Here's Thomas in front of the peak:

Patrick inspects a mysterious green spiky ball on a plant:

A view of some of the scenery:

We seen a pretty purple flower:

Another view of the countryside:

"Look, some natural beauty!"

The key to successful hiking: a smart hat:

Patrick finds a yucca in bloom:

Thomas looks fat with Echo Cliffs in background:

Neon pink plants?! Quaaaa?

Access to Echo Cliffs in down a steep, dried-out waterfall:

Still descending the waterfall:

Patrick in front of Echo Cliffs:

Thomas in front of the cliffs. I later climbed (halfway) one of the big cracks behind me:

View from inside the crack. Patrick is on the rock below. He used this opportunity to try to eat the expedition's entire supply of oranges (1 orange), but I got down quickly enough to get a little of it:

It was way easier going down the dried-out waterfall.

Thomas has a breakdown on the way up the waterfall, and consoles himself in the only way he knows how, with food:

I broke the rock in half with a well-placed judo chop:

In the split rock crack:

Patrick take a breather in his usual manner:

On the way up to Exchange Peak, found this cool outcropping:

On the way up to Exchange Peak. That's the Pacific Ocean in the background.

The ground went up instead of sideways here:

Glad I didn't go with my original idea of wearing soccer cleats:

Earning the beautiful view:

The view from the top of Exchange Peak. The ocean again!

Patrick signs the guest book at the peak:

Thomas channels the gargoyles of Notre Dame on the descent.

Yeah, we can get up that...right?

Getting down is no fun, though:

Patrick practices his hero pose at the top an anonymous, pointy peak:

The same peak from farther away:

The summit at last! Photo op at the top of Sandstone Peak (aka Mt. Allen):

View of Lake Sherwood from the peak:

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