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norma r

Pinnacles Nat'l Monument, CA

i've had a lot of fun climbing in the last year in Joshua Tree, Tahquitz, New Jack, Point Dume, Echo and Red Rocks, but a most surprising and interesting place that i have been to of recent, is Pinnacles National Monument.  I'm writing this TR because i want you all to know what a sweet little gem of a Nat'l Momument we have in central California that is truly worth a visit.

i had seen the signs for it off Highway 101 near Salinas since my daughter moved to the Bay Area and it got me to wondering, though i never stopped.  In late April my friend, Patricia, invited me to join her and some friends there for camping and climbing.  it turns out it's big in sport climbing, has a little bit of trad climbing and some crazy beautiful hiking in the stunning volcanic rock formations.

we spent a day and a half climbing and a full day hiking an amazing loop trail that takes you all over the upper reaches of the park through caves, boulder hopping and exploring the pinnacles.  i called it, "Tom Sawyer's Island on Steroids!"  of special note is that the California Condor Restoration Project has released 30 condors there and if you are fortunate enough to see one of those creatures flying by it's spectacular!  the steep & narrow cliffs formed by the pinnacles make for constant up-drafts which are favored by the condors and turkey vultures.  it also makes for great nesting.  i had always thought of turkey vultures as ugly creatures with their nasty bald heads, but when you have 10 or more soaring silently right above your head they suddenly become beautiful.  i guess i would feel differently if i was crawling dehydrated on a desert floor, but in the beauty of PNM, 'dem birds were dern purdy.

anyhoo, here's some pix...

Driving through the beautiful central Calif hillsides once we exit Hwy 101


We're here!  Patricia couldn't wait to begin.


Pinnacles, pinnacles, pinnacles




Approaches were reasonably close


Michele on a 10a wall


Proper rope maintenance  Wink


The formations begged for some serious posing...
Patricia


Me


Patricia


Us


we chose a spot for lunch where the vultures flew endlessly above and before us as we watched in awe.  i wish my photos would do them justice.


we saw all kinds of wildlife...





and had all kinds of fun...




Peace...


and tranquility abound.


i swear she mooed... Y'all come back now, ya' here?


rest of my pix are here:
https://picasaweb.google.com/ryan.norma87/ClimbingPinnacles#
lilbitmo

Very, very nice Norma, thanks for sharing that  Very Happy
davantalus

Great pictures!  I like Mr. Vulture there.  Another area to go explore now!
Burchey

Looks like a blast, but there's no snow =(
HikeUp

Cool pictures!

The Pinnacles is a great place to hike and explore. I've only been in from the east entrance though - is the west side mostly climbing?
Elwood

Most excellent report and pictures! Looks like fun as well.
Ellen

Howdy Norma  Smile

Thanks for the wonderful trip report, pictures and captions  Cool

Miles of smiles,
Ellen
TracieB

Beautiful Norma!  Who knew...(not me!) Will have to add to the list of places to go when up in that area.  Thank you for sharing!
Taco

Very nice! Smile

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