Tuesday, April 28, 2015

A Second Visit to Stone Plus One

With a few exceptions, I always enjoy revisiting canyons. Actually, that applies to many places. It's utterly insane, I think, to just breeze through a location, merely glancing at the sights and feeling satisfied that you've experienced something when you really haven't. Then in a moment of supreme presumption, declare it's not necessary to come back.

Sometimes with canyons, you concentrate on all the safety issues involved and forget to just look around. Photography helps. Yes, I have to split my attention between being accident-free and on composition, which may not always be completely safe, but I'm also forced to appreciate my surroundings. Not such a bad thing.

That's probably why when my friends and I tackled the clumsily-named Stone Plus One Canyon (located above Tujunga Canyon in the San Gabriel Mountains), so much of it looked new to me. We had been there in March 2013 and returned last weekend for another run. Part of the newness was just the light. This time around, thick clouds hovered over us all day, and then around 3:00, the gray overcast sank so low, we were enveloped in a fine mist that gradually turned to rain. The canyon lost what little familiarity I felt for it. I like that. Plus, I was forced to take a fresh look for different views to photograph which can be a nice challenge, especially in a canyon like this that's so much of a tangle of brush choking the segments between rappels. I think I came back with simple, unassuming pictures; I didn't worry about getting anything spectacular. And I wouldn't have had the opportunity to do that had I not returned for another trip.

Burned out tree from the 2009 Station Fire.

The view from the first rappel toward Condor Peak (left of the scraggly tree).
Rich showing us webbing from an anchor that had been cut by some vandal.

Jerri checking to see if the end of the rope hit bottom on the first rappel.

Kevin, thinking about something.

Kevin on the first rappel.

Lichen on a log.

Annette trying to work the tangled rope free for Rich.

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