Trip Report
Dear Supertopo Diary (Sierra eastside)
Friday August 9, 2013 1:08pm

Dear Supertopo Diary,

Sometimes I just can’t believe how lucky I am – to be healthy, to have amazing friends and family, to have the time to travel, and to be able to go to such beautiful places so easily.

I am reminded of all these things because I just spent five beautiful days on the eastside of the Sierra. You know, dear diary, that it is my favorite place in the world. My heart feels completely at peace when I’m there.

Crowley Lake
Crowley Lake
Credit: phylp
crowley

I’ve been feeling severely “mountain-deprived” as I’ve been stuck at home for the past month painting like mad to get my 50 little pieces done for the Sanchez exhibit.

On this trip I got to spend the first three days climbing and hanging out with my supertopo-superfriend Daphne. I drove over first, in the Winnebago, and set up the cushy bivy in Lee Vining, at the pretty RV place overlooking Mono Lake.

Mono Lake
Mono Lake
Credit: phylp

Daphne got in a bit past midnight, bringing bags full of her “interesting” food, like kale chips, kambucha and turkey jerky.

We slept in a bit on Friday. D. was a bit tired, what with the late night drive and as she had done a long gym workout the previous day with her BFF, supertopo legend Jaybro. (He’s famous for his choice of toenail polish and his kinky penchant for wydo-masochism.) So we decided to head out to Al’s Garage, trying to avoid the obvious smoke from the Aspen fire that was obscuring the usually stunning Sierra Peaks.

Views from Dana plateau
Views from Dana plateau
Credit: phylp

We arrived at noon, just as the cliff was coming into the sun, but it was so hazy from the fire, and breezy, that the temps were fine.

We had a fun time, enjoying the rotten rock that adds that bit of spice to the routes there. I have to smile at Daphne, who generously tells me what a “great leader” I am whenever we climb together. It’s very sweet of her but I think we all know that a 5.10 sport route with bolts every 10 feet isn’t quite on a par with Ueli Steck. Frankly, I think my best lead of the day was up a 5.8 with rock the texture of cotton candy where I was pestered relentlessly by a few hornets, but managed to get to the anchors without getting bit.

hike to Summit Pass from Virginia Lakes
hike to Summit Pass from Virginia Lakes
Credit: phylp

By 5 o’clock we were ravenous, so we headed home to a hot shower and a relaxing dinner. I had my tasty Taqueria Estrella Manteca burrito, while very politely refusing Daphne’s generous offers to share her food. I didn’t offer to share my burrito. Friendship only goes so far. Then we watched an episode of “Monk” together, laughing in perfect unison at the same silly dialogue; to wit:

Monk: “What radio station does he work at?”
Natalie: “99.9”
Monk: “So close!”
Daphne & Phyl: “Hahahahaha”

Day two dawned pretty smoky. We debated heading into the Meadows, but it was so packed with people there when I drove through that we opted for small obscure eastside cliffs for the day. We started off at Matrimony Wall. The guidebook says “one minute approach”, but we timed it and it was 45 seconds. After four lovely routes there, we headed a mile away to the “Triple Cracks” area, a new cliff for me. Here, the advertised one minute approach clocked in at 32 seconds. We spent the rest of the day top-roping cracks and enjoying the cute chipmunks. There is something so very satisfying about setting up a beautiful toprope anchor.

Sierra Bighorn
Sierra Bighorn
Credit: phylp

On Sunday, Daphne was in the mood for a multipitch route, and she had never been to Crystal Crag, so we just had to do the North Arete! D. was amazed at the pure white crystal blocks of a myriad of sizes scattered all around the approach. Then, as we were roping up at the base, D. saw a gorgeous pine marten!

base of the North Arete
base of the North Arete
Credit: phylp

The route was so lovely and I’ll never forget the look of bliss on her face as she travelled though the crystal band at the top. I know I have the exact same look on my face. The energy of that crystal is amazing. And the view of the Mammoth Lakes and Crystal Lake from the top is gorgeous.

View from Crystal Crag
View from Crystal Crag
Credit: phylp

I had a little cell signal on the top of the peak so I was able to text Michael, who was in transit to meet up with us, via Sonora Pass.

Sonora pass views
Sonora pass views
Credit: phylp

Sadly, Daphne had to leave Sunday night but Michael and I had two days of hiking. On Monday we did a great hike from Lundy Lake up to the old Lundy Mine and Oneida Lake.

Oneida Lake
Oneida Lake
Credit: phylp

The old mining artifacts were pretty cool and the scenery is gorgeous.

along the trail
along the trail
Credit: phylp

After the hike we were pretty hungry so we went down to Mammoth for half-price happy hour at Whiskey Creek. On the way home, we stopped in for a quick visit with Cragman and his lovely family. We spoke of many things, but ended up on the topic of the Forum, as our spouses’ eyes glazed over from boredom.

On Tuesday, M and I attempted to summit Dunderberg. What a beautiful choss pile that is! But after 5 days of exercise, my body finally said no and we turned around about 2/3 of the way up when the dark clouds started building and the wind began whipping.

me, exhausted
me, exhausted
Credit: phylp

Well that’s all for this entry, dear Supertopo Diary. Good night.

Night, McGee Creek area
Night, McGee Creek area
Credit: phylp

  Trip Report Views: 2,869
phylp
About the Author
phylp will climb anything (as long as it's not wide), anywhere (as long as she can get a hot shower at the end of the day), anytime (as long as it's not too hot or too cold).

Comments
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Comment on this Trip Report
Brandon-

climber
The Granite State.
  Aug 9, 2013 - 01:15pm PT
I really like this TR. thanks!
survival

Big Wall climber
Terrapin Station
  Aug 9, 2013 - 01:17pm PT
Woooo Hoooo!
Ron Anderson

Trad climber
Relic MilkEye and grandpoobah of HBRKRNH
  Aug 9, 2013 - 01:18pm PT
Beautiful Stuff PhylP!! Unique in style an impression!


that "hike from the pass to virginia lakes",, INCREDIBLE!
FRUMY

Trad climber
Bishop,CA
  Aug 9, 2013 - 01:20pm PT
Cool thanks for the trip report.
murcy

Gym climber
sanfrancisco
  Aug 9, 2013 - 01:26pm PT
Yay!! Sounds like you all had loads of fun, and thanks for including the cool interspersed artwork.
goatboy smellz

climber
लघिमा
  Aug 9, 2013 - 01:33pm PT
Thanks for the colors in this sometimes reckless in and out black and white world.
Inner City

Trad climber
East Bay
  Aug 9, 2013 - 01:58pm PT
A very enjoyable TR. Thanks for the nice artwork and good thoughts.
RyanD

climber
Squamish
  Aug 9, 2013 - 04:19pm PT
This is awesome Phyl!

Your paintings are amazing! Life is really so simple on the eastside. After reading that I closed my eyes & took a deep breath. For a minute I was looking down on the lakes basin with the smell of pine trees intoxicating my nostrils, even though I am sitting in my office. For me that means you nailed it, thanks!
mooser

Trad climber
seattle
  Aug 9, 2013 - 04:24pm PT
I resonate deeply with your feelings about the east side! Unique and enjoyable TR. Thanks!
Spider Savage

Mountain climber
The shaggy fringe of Los Angeles
  Aug 9, 2013 - 04:24pm PT
Like.
Cragman

Trad climber
June Lake, California....via the Damascus Road
  Aug 9, 2013 - 05:12pm PT
phylp....where is this "east side" of which you speak....it sounds amazing!

: )







Wonderful to have you and Michael stop in.....thanks for the treats too! Cush says....WOOF! : )

We look forward to your return to this here paradise.
Your artwork captures the place perfectly!
JEleazarian

Trad climber
Fresno CA
  Aug 9, 2013 - 04:49pm PT
Bump for a very cool TR.

John
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
  Aug 9, 2013 - 04:56pm PT
Nice trip! Love the tagline at the end, too - reminds me of the old days (same as the new days). :-)
SCseagoat

Trad climber
Santa Cruz
  Aug 9, 2013 - 05:07pm PT
Yeah Phyl, you are so talented in so many dimensions. Thanks for posting so much of your art work. BEAUTIFUL....Absolutely,

Susan
HighTraverse

Trad climber
Bay Area
  Aug 9, 2013 - 06:44pm PT
Nicely done!

Oddly enough I had a notion to "climb" Dunderberg last Saturday but after 10 days out, decided instead to head for home. Oh, and the East Side smoke was a factor.
phylp

Trad climber
Millbrae, CA
Author's Reply  Aug 9, 2013 - 07:09pm PT
Comments to TRs = one of the most fun things about the forum. Thanks for all the kind words!

@Ron A: whatever of my stuff doesn't sell at this gallery show is getting given away, so if that one doesn't go, it's yours, Ron. I'll let you know early October. It is one of my favorites!

@Clint: Hahaha! you know, I think back to that trip to COR with you and Nancy where I flew into SLC and rented that little RV to drive up and meet you - my first EVER RV trip. I think that snow flurry we had planted the seed of how nice the RV was, and may have pushed me over to the dark side!
locker

climber
STFU n00b!!!
  Aug 9, 2013 - 07:23pm PT

I really like those!!!...

Very nice!!!...

and good read!!!...

;-)


10b4me

climber
  Aug 9, 2013 - 08:31pm PT
TFPU. Your paintings are really nice.
johntp

Trad climber
socal
  Aug 9, 2013 - 09:25pm PT
that it is my favorite place in the world. My heart feels completely at peace when I’m there.

Know what you mean. Thanks for the TR
Cosmiccragsman

Trad climber
AKA Dwain, from Apple Valley, Ca. and Vegas!
  Aug 9, 2013 - 10:00pm PT
It's Awesome to have a Friend like Daphne
to be able to share the beauty and climbing with!

Great TR, Phylp!
Nate D

climber
San Francisco
  Aug 10, 2013 - 12:04am PT
Great stuff!
Daphne

Trad climber
Northern California
  Aug 10, 2013 - 01:25am PT
Great trip with a great friend who IS a great climber as well as a stellar person.

Wish I'd been quick enough to take a photo of the pine marten-- he was SO beautiful.

Credit: Daphne
Crystal Crag
Crystal Crag
Credit: Daphne

Oh, and I am still laughing out loud at Monk memories.
NutAgain!

Trad climber
South Pasadena, CA
  Aug 10, 2013 - 02:01am PT
Livin' the good life East Side... thanks for sharing!

Cool artwork too. When I just look at one, I think "that's nice" for a moment and move on. But there seems to be some additive effect of seeing them in aggregate, they grow on me more and seem like they need a big wall to share, to look at all at once and appreciate in a big broad-reaching diaspora.
JOEY.F

Gym climber
It's not rocket surgery
  Aug 10, 2013 - 03:31am PT
Cool beans love the art who knew phyl... That Daph at the gym will wear one out relentless...
Jaybro

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
  Aug 10, 2013 - 05:03am PT
Vey nice,a great trip shared well!
I love our paintings!
I'm sprawled out supine @8500 in vedauwoo a belly full of sushiliatw ing to the breeze through the ponderosa and all I can think of is the wonder of the east side.

Thanks Phyl! You too Daph!
Charlie D.

Trad climber
Western Slope, Tahoe Sierra
  Aug 10, 2013 - 09:48am PT
phylp, great TR and beautiful work. What medium almost looks like pastels? Very solid, let us know where and when you show your work.

Charlie D.
T Hocking

Trad climber
Redding, Ca
  Aug 10, 2013 - 10:29am PT
EXCELLENT!!!
Tad
nita

Social climber
chica de chico, I don't claim to be a daisy.
  Aug 10, 2013 - 11:55am PT
Miss Phylp,...WOW, Beautiful art!!....Loved this t r.

Where is the Sanchez exhibit going to be at? Do you make any of these pictures into postcards?...
beautiful.....



(-;




Ezra Ellis

Trad climber
North wet, and Da souf
  Aug 10, 2013 - 02:21pm PT
Nice. I don't share my food neither, that was a great line :)
phylp

Trad climber
Millbrae, CA
Author's Reply  Aug 10, 2013 - 08:48pm PT
@Charlie - acrylic on MDF panels; they provide the panels to the participating artists. The jury process was to submit a theme and three examples of work that would be typical of what you would do for the show. Then, after they give you the panels on a specific day, the clock starts, and it's 50 works in 50 days.

@NutAgain:
here you go

All 50
All 50
Credit: phylp


5th Annual 50/50 show
Sanchez Art Center
1220-B Linda Mar BLVD
Pacifica, CA

August 23-Sept 29, 2013
Gallery hours:
Opening Friday 8/23 6-7:30 PM ticked preview
Public opening 8/23 7:30 - 9 PM

Otherwise Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays 1-5 PM
Tami

Social climber
Canada
  Aug 10, 2013 - 09:34pm PT
Wow, wow, wow and wow.
melski

Trad climber
bytheriver
  Aug 11, 2013 - 08:53pm PT
This forum rocks,,,I;t keeps me coming back for more,,,,
SteveW

Trad climber
The state of confusion
  Aug 11, 2013 - 11:21pm PT

I just hope one day I get to climb with Phyl!

Thanks for sharing!!!!
Jaybro

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
  Aug 11, 2013 - 11:40pm PT
You'll be glad you did, Steve!
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
  Aug 12, 2013 - 04:07am PT
Yay! and Yay!  both art and diary entry.  You're an original, Phylyp.
Yay! and Yay! both art and diary entry. You're an original, Phylyp.
Credit: Chronicle pink
Rankin

Social climber
Greensboro, North Carolina
  Aug 12, 2013 - 08:52am PT
Super cool. TFPU.
SCseagoat

Trad climber
Santa Cruz
  Aug 12, 2013 - 12:58pm PT
PHYL, PHYL, PHYL
Your stunning artwork is filled with the same beauty and strength as your climbing!
What a wonderful talent you have...and you are so gracious!
Will definitely make it to the gallery. Wish I could be there for the opening.
Susan

phylp

Trad climber
Millbrae, CA
Author's Reply  Aug 12, 2013 - 01:34pm PT
Once again, thank you all from my heart for the encouraging words about the art work. As I said to my friends on the "Art thread with images, please", as an amateur artist, sometimes I struggle with the idea of "wasting" my time with painting. It's so self-indulgent and what does amateur art give back to the world - kind of like climbing, eh? I could be spending that time doing volunteer work or even working at the Walmart and making some actual money!

But when I see people's comments that the paintings stirred their love and memories for the eastside, and that they found some beauty in them, I feel like, OK, just follow your bliss and keep painting. And keep climbing. And keep supporting the good Taco vibe with trip reports!

Love, Phyl
josan

Boulder climber
Chapel Hill, North Carolina
  Aug 12, 2013 - 08:44pm PT
There is nothing quite so like bliss than the Eastern Sierra... NO THING!!! Here I sit in the juicy North Carolina Pines - knowing the power and energy of the Eastern Sierra... my spiritual homeland - the place where I breathe... the place of sage and clear morning air... of smiles and a sense of peace. Even tho I love these Carolina Pines and my life here - my heart-home is close to Bishop - close to the Buttermilk - close to my heart-friends.
Just thought I would leave this note in the sand...
grin
Jo
SteveW

Trad climber
The state of confusion
  Aug 12, 2013 - 11:11pm PT

Phyl
You consider yourself an amateur artist?
NOT SO!!!!
Peter Haan

Trad climber
Santa Cruz, CA
  Aug 12, 2013 - 11:15pm PT
I like your work Phylp! Thanks!
pvalchev

Social climber
Truckee, CA
  Aug 13, 2013 - 05:14pm PT
Fantastically written, thank you for sharing your artwork!
Ron Anderson

Trad climber
Relic MilkEye and grandpoobah of HBRKRNH
  Aug 13, 2013 - 05:19pm PT
Phyls style is AWESOME in my humble opinion. So few colours used to make the scene transpire- impressionistic -with abstract tones of color-

and the subject alignment /composition all VERY tatsteful. We have some cool aritists in this forum...Thanks again for the views and i hope you sell them all for $$$$ they are worth! Phylp!

And the TR was COOL TOO!
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
  Aug 13, 2013 - 10:14pm PT
Love the "diary" storytelling device!

Anything which grounds these internet presentations more firmly in the context of the familiar is a good thing in my book.

Regarding the paintings, I like your colorist approach as an interpretive element in exposing the emotional content derived from encountering the region. While the Eastside is in no way lacking in drama and may well be typified as exuding the dramatic, the subtle foreground elements of high desert and their juxtaposition with the heights are often difficult to explore with straightforward representational means.

I know, I could have just said *like*, but thought I'd share this somewhat overblown art speak perspective anyhow.
neebee

Social climber
calif/texas
  Oct 1, 2013 - 05:14pm PT
hey there phylp!! i finaly GOT to see this ...thanks so much
for the like... .wow, it would make a nice quilt, all printed out, :)


it makes me want to try more shape art, i love so many kinds,
but right now, i am this other 'mode' and take 'side trails'
on the 'sly', :))


please, know, you are NEVER wasting your time!!!

and your trails with friends, when you DO GO are even great
'enhanced' as you have 'creative' avenue free, and are ready to
move in the other 'ave' with the friends and 'hands on type' nature-time!


this is wonderful to see all this...



ps:
wow, so fun to know you know our family-friend jack menendez, his dad was such a great mentor to kids in our area... :)
Vitaliy M.

Mountain climber
San Francisco
  Oct 2, 2013 - 05:01pm PT
Love the colors, thank you for posting!
Powder

Trad climber
the Flower Box
  Oct 3, 2013 - 02:52pm PT
This is so neat!!!!! : D

Thanks for sharing. *^_^*
skitch

climber
East of Heaven
  Oct 3, 2013 - 03:00pm PT
http://www.inyocounty.us/jobs/

If you like it so much you should move here!
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