Friday, July 31, 2009

George Cannon compared to Hugh Crow

This is a continuation of a series of blog posts on Captain George Cannon. The initial post contains a list of all posts on Captain Cannon.

Memoirs of Captain Hugh Crow:

Aside from John Newton, the author of the hymn, Amazing Grace, the most well known Slave boat captain is probably Captain Hugh Crow. Hugh Crow directed his executors to publish his memoirs and spent the last several years of his life collecting material. The memoirs were published under the very lengthy name of Memoirs of the Late Captain Hugh Crow of Liverpool, Comprising a Narrative of his Life, Together with Descriptive Sketches of the Western Coast of Africa, Particularly of Bonny, the Manners and Customs of the Inhabitants, the Production of the Soil, and the Trade of the Country, to which are added Anecdotes and Observations Illustrative of the Negro Character. The memoirs were originally published in 1830 and were republished in 1970 by Frank Cass and Company Limited, of London.

A picture of Hugh Crow follows:

There are many amazing parallels between Hugh Crow and what we know of George Cannon’s lives, from when and where they were born and raised, to when and where they were involved in sailing and the slave trade. I think reading Hugh Crow’s memoirs is one of the best windows into understanding Captain George Cannon’s world. In this post, I will set forth some of the parallels.

Birth and First Known Sailing Voyage:

Hugh Crow was born in 1765 in Ramsey, Isle of Man. George Cannon was born one year later, in 1766, in Peel, Isle of Man. Ramsey is on the northeast coast and Peel is on the southwest coast (the Isle of Man is only 32 miles long, so the distance between the two cities is very small). Both have good harbors and are fishing towns.

George Cannon’s first West Indies voyage as a sailor was in 1779, at the age of 13, when he went from Liverpool to Jamaica and back. Hugh Crow’s first West Indies voyage was three years later, in 1782, at the age of 17, when he went from Liverpool to Barbados, Antigua and St. Martins and then back to Liverpool.

First Slave Ship Voyage:

George Cannon’s first voyage on a ship involved in the slave trade left Liverpool in April 1790. The ship visited Lisbon on the way to Anomabu and Cape Coast Castle on the Gold Coast of Africa, then delivered the slaves to Falmouth, Jamaica. Hugh Crow’s first slave voyage left Liverpool in October 1790, just six months after Cannon’s, visited Rotterdam on the way to Anomabu, the same African destination as Cannon, then Lagos, Benin and New Calabar in Africa. The slaves were delivered to Dominica in the West Indies.

Capture by a French Privateer:

Hugh Crow was on a ship captured by the French ship Robuste, a privateer, in July 1794, near the Isle of Guernsey. He was taken as a prisoner of war to France. George Cannon was also on a ship captured by a French privateer, the Scipio, in 1796 while on the Middle Passage (taking slaves from Africa to the West Indies). George’s ship was recaptured by an English ship and he was taken to the Isle of St. Kitt’s in the West Indies.

First Voyage as Captain of a Slave Ship:

One of the most amazing parallels is when they both first captained slaves ships. The circumstances are almost mirror images of each other.

George Cannon’s ship, the Iris, left Liverpool with a crew of 40 men on June 8, 1798 (George was actually the first mate and became captain later when the captain died in Africa). Hugh Crow’s ship, the Will, left Liverpool with a crew of 46 men on July 30, 1798, less than two months later. Both ships were intended to go to Angola for slaves and both ended up in Bonny in Africa. Cannon’s ship had two deaths in Africa, including the captain. Crow’s ship had three deaths. Cannon’s ship delivered 414 slaves to Kingston, Jamaica, arriving on November 4, 1798. Crow’s ship delivered 420 slaves to Kingston, Jamaica, arriving on December 29, 1798, less than two months later. While in Jamaica, Cannon had 7 crew members die, 16 were impressed by the Royal Navy, and 9 deserted. While in Jamaica, Crow had 10 crew members die, 15 were impressed by the Royal Navy and 6 deserted. Cannon added no new crew members before leaving Jamaica on February 12, 1799. He arrived in Liverpool on April 12, 1799 with 6 crew (I assume the ship was not carrying any significant cargo, which was not uncommon). Crow added 13 crew members before leaving Jamaica on February 14, 1799, just two days after Cannon. He arrived in Liverpool on April 9, 1799, three days before Cannon, with a crew of 23.

Certainly Cannon and Crow knew each other. It is likely that they met and interacted in both Bonny and Kingston on this voyage.

Second Voyage as Captain of a Slave Ship:

The parallels for their second voyages as captains are not as great, but there are still enough to make comparison worthwhile.

Both captained the same ship as on their previous voyage: Cannon the Iris and Crow the Will. Cannon left Liverpool on July 5, 1799 with a crew of 44. Crow left Liverpool 20 days later, on July 25, 1799, with a crew of 42. Cannon went to Angola in Africa for slaves and arrived in Kingston, Jamaica on August 6, 1800 with 409 slaves on board. Crow went to Bonny in Africa for slaves and arrived in Kingston, Jamaica on March 7, 1800, 5 months earlier than Cannon, with 405 slaves on board. Cannon had 10 crew deaths and 3 desertions. Crow had 6 crew deaths and 4 desertions. Crow left Jamaica for England on May 19, 1800, well before Cannon arrived in Jamaica. Cannon’s ship was not seaworthy and was condemned in Jamaica. He had to catch another ship to get back to England.

Because of the amazing similarities, Captain Crow’s life truly is a window into the life of Captain Cannon.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Red Diamond Rattlesnake

The Red Diamond Rattlesnake is only found in a small part of Southern California and then down through the Baja Peninsula of Mexico. They are closely related to the Western Diamondback Rattlesnake and have the same distinctive "coontail" (black and white stripes on the tail before the rattle) and diamond markings, but have a reddish color and don't get quite as long. They also are much less aggressive than the Western Diamondback Rattlesnake. The biggest rattlesnake I've seen in the wild was an approximate five and a half foot Red Diamond behind our home in Live Oak Canyon. I found it early one morning on a walk. I killed it and brought it home to skin and eat. Note the 13 rattles below.

It was big enough that it was quite meaty. We baked it in the oven, covered in foil at 350 degrees for an hour, then for 10 minutes uncovered.

On March 31, 1993, Judy was out of town and I took Rachael, Sam and Andrew out to Whitewater Canyon snake hunting. We found a small Red Diamond near the top of the canyon. We brought it home for the weekend and Rachael named it "White Fang" after a Walt Disney movie that was out at the time. White Fang was a fun addition to our kitchen for a few days until Judy got home and then we returned him to Whitewater Canyon Monday evening for Family Home Evening.

In July 1994, our friend, Mark Richey, found a Red Diamond near his mailbox. I went over and collected it, took a few pictures, and let it go in Live Oak Canyon.

I found the Red Diamond below in the middle of South Lane near our home one evening while I was driving home. I sent Judy home for a bucket and broom and caught and released it in Live Oak Canyon.

We have had other Red Diamonds locally, including one in our neighbors yard which we caught and released in the canyon. My friend, Jim Sullivan, and I caught a Red Diamond near the top of Whitewater Canyon in May 2005 and I have had it as a pet since (it lives in the garage). Red, as he is effectionately called, shed his skin today. Each time he sheds he adds a new rattle. This picture was taken today.

Red is now over 3 1/2 feet long and eats a large rat about every two or three weeks. I took pictures of him eating a rat several months ago. The blood you see in the pictures is from the rat which I killed before putting in the terrarium. The snake always starts with the head.

Then their jaws have to open up to allow them to stretch wide enough to get around the large rat body.

It takes a good 20 minutes or longer for Red to eat a large rat and while he does he is quite vulnerable.

Note that the skin stretches so much that it loses most of its color.

By eating head first, the legs lie flat against the body while it is being swallowed.

The rat has all but disappeared, except for the tail.

The bulk of the body starts to migrate down the length of the snake.

The head has almost returned to normal.

This picture was taken a day or two later. The bulge of the rat is clearly visible in his body.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Barbequed Rabbit

Judy has been in a clean out the freezer mode, so Sunday I thawed and cooked some rabbit. I have had several rabbit dishes in restaurants that I've loved. I've also cooked whole rabbit from Gerrards several times and I've eaten several wild rabbits that I've shot, including several on our honeymoon that we shot near Bear Lake in Utah (the first and last time I got Judy to go hunting with me).

This rabbit was already conventiently cut into pieces.

To get the full natural taste, I merely put some olive oil and salt on the rabbit pieces and put them in my barbeque.

When finished we ate them without any further embelishment. Rabbit has a wonderful, mild taste and when not overcooked, it is remarkably tender. It was very good and increased my resolve to have some more rabbit in different kinds of dishes.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

PCT: Rock Creek to Crabtree Meadow and Mount Guyot

I have done the stretch of the Pacific Crest Trail from the Rock Creek Trail to Crabtree Meadow, 7.3 total miles, on two different occasions: first on August 12, 1993 and then on July 30 and 31, 2008. The first trip was part of a larger backpacking trip where we did White Mountain, Mount Langley, Mount Muir and Mount Whitney. The second trip was part of a Redlands Stake Mount Whitney High Adventure Trip where we did Mount Langley, spent time in the Miter Basin, including a hike to Sky-Blue Lake, and then to Mount Whitney.

On both trips we spent the night at Soldier Lake after doing Mount Langley. On the 1993 trip, we went from Soldier Lake to Crabtree Meadow where we camped the next night for our hike to Mount Whitney. Rick DeLong and I also did a side trip to climb Mount Guyot, which is just off the PCT. On the 2008 trip, we went in the afternoon from Soldier Lake to Rock Creek, a short trip, to camp in preparation for our hike the next day to Guitar Lake, in preparation for Whitney. However, on the 2008 trip, I had altitude sickness and decided to hike out early. I woke up about 2:00 a.m. at Rock Creek and, with Andrew, backpacked all the way out to Whitney Portal that day, over Trail Crest, bypassing Mount Whitney.

I keep track of my mileage on the PCT and have aspirations of completing the entire trail. One issue that arises is whether you have to do every inch of the trail to say you have done it, or if slight detours are okay. The issue arises in two segments of the PCT here. First, I have not done the 4.9 miles of the PCT between the first Rock Creek turnoff (toward Soldier Lake) and the second Rock Creek turnoff (coming from Soldier Lake) because the side trip to Soldier Lake, although longer, is more scenic and offers better camping. Second, at Crabtree Meadow, there is a spot where the PCT goes left to meet up with the JMT, or goes right to meet up with the JMT again, as part of a Mount Whitney side trip. Most people doing the PCT take the Mount Whitney side-trip and skip the short section of the PCT that is cut-off by following the JMT back to the PCT (.6 or .7 tenths of a mile). I asked this question of my nephew, Rick DeLong, who is currently doing the entire PCT. He said his feeling, and that of most thru-hikers, is that excursions that skip portions of the route are okay, so long as you are still hiking through the same general area. I guess under that interpretation, I could be considered as having done the above two segments of the PCT even though I have not actually hiked those exact sections of the trail.

On the 2008 trip, not far past the junction of the Rock Creek Trail and the PCT, we stopped to camp at a beautiful spot near Rock Creek and a large waterfall. Most of the boys arrived before we did and found wonderful fishing, unlike what they had found at the Cottonwood Lakes and Soldier Lake. They made up for their prior frustrations, catching about 19 fish. Andrew had prepared ahead for this event, packing in olive oil and a mixture of spices, including a heavy amount of garlic and sun-dried tomatoes. Using my frying pan, Andrew cooked fish for the entire camp. And it was wonderful. People who did not like fish tried it and liked it. I had altitude sickness, but tried it and liked it and was able to keep it down. It was probably the best trail meal I've ever had. Below, I hold the pan while Andrew stirs the ingredients around in the pan.

The same scene, seen from a little further back.

In 1993, we camped at Soldier Lake and our destination that night was Crabtree Meadow, with Mount Whitney the next day. Before reaching Mount Guyot, we crossed Rock Creek, at 9,480 feet, and began a long switchbacking, uphill climb out of the Rock Creek Drainage. In 1.5 miles we crossed Guyot Creek, at 10,350 feet, and then continued switchbacking up, until shortly before the pass, at 10,920 feet, about an additional 1 mile further, Rick DeLong and I headed toward Mount Guyot, following its ridge. Below, Mt. Guyot, viewed as we trudged up the switchbacks.
The picture of Mt. Guyot below, taken after we climbed it, was taken from Guyot Flat and shows the ridge, to the left, we used to climb to the summit.

We climbed an additional 1,400 feet to the 12,300 foot summit, much of it boulder hopping. I took the picture below with a 300 mm lense. It shows Rick DeLong on one of the summit rocks with Mount Whitney in the background. The relatively horizontal line in the picture is Mt. Hitchcock, which is in between Mount Guyot and Mount Whitney.

Below, a more panoramic view of the same picture. Mount Whitney is the peak furthest to the left. Mount Muir is the pointed peak in the center of the picture.

Mount Guyot was great for getting a sense of the layout of the country. Mount Kaweah, below, was on the other side of the Kern River Drainage.

The Kern River Drainage is below.

Below is the Rock Creek Drainage. Following the drainage, at the top of the picture, the trail up to Army Pass would follow the canyon up to the left, as would the trail up to the Miter Basin.
After climbing Guyot, about a 3 mile round trip, Rick and I hiked back down to the pass, where we met Mark and Joe Richey, David Kenison, Brian Lehnhof and Peter Walker. We continued on down to Guyot Flat. Then with a little more ascent, we begin a descent with views of Crabtree Meadows and Mount Whitney. Below, Joe Richey, with Mount Whitney in the background.

3.5 miles from the pass near Mount Guyot, we crossed Whitney Creek near Crabtree Meadow. The PCT went left for .8 miles to a junction with the John Muir Trail. However, because we were doing Mount Whitney, we continued on the right fork for 1.1 miles to a different junction with the John Muir Trail at 10,640 feet and then another .1 miles or so, near the Crabtree Ranger Station where we camped for the night.

In 2008, when Andrew and I left Rock Creek after 2:00 a.m., we were hiking in the dark until just about the time we were descending with Crabtree Meadow and Mount Whitney in the background. I felt horrible going up the pass near Mount Guyot and eventually had Andrew lead so that I could follow him without having to think about it. I was grateful to have Andrew with me. I'm not sure I had enough juice to make it out on my own. I think I might have just layed down. As we got to the campsites, right before the ford of Whitney Creek, we took a break and then passed Pete Nelson and Craig Wright. They were with a different group and had summited Whitney the day before. It was extremely cold and I was shivering badly. They registered their concerns about my being able to continue on, but we thanked them and continued for what turned out for me to be a very long and hard hike the rest of the way up the backside of Mount Whitney.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Mount Langley

Mount Langley, at 14,027 feet, is the ninth highest peak in California. It is the first fourteener (peak 14,000 feet or taller) I climbed. I have been to the top of it three time, using three different routes. I will give a summary of each of the three different trips.

Via New Army Pass (August 11, 1993):

Monday, August 9, 1993, I slept at Horeshoe Meadow with my brother, Matt, my brother-in-law, David Kenison, and my nephew, Rick DeLong. This was my first experience in the Sierras. I was awoken Tuesday morning about 5:00 a.m. by a bear going through the garbage cans. Dave and I left about 6:30 a.m. to drive my car, a Subaru station wagon, to Whitney Portal, about 33 miles away. From Whitney Portal, we hitchhiked 10 miles down to the Horeshoe Meadow Road where we were picked up by Mark Richey on his way to Horeshoe Meadow in his van.

Mark was scoutmaster of Troop 331 in Redlands and had some scouts, as well as a number of his family members. This was the beginning of one of my favorite outdoor outings ever. Below, our group starting out Tuesday morning from Horseshoe Meadow on the Cottonwood Lakes Trail. Joe Richey (Mark's father), Rick DeLong, Dave (a friend of Joe), Mark Richey, Dave Kenison, Brad Martinsen, James Richey and Dave Richey (Mark's brothers), me, Peter Walker, Brian Lehnhof, Kirk Thompson, Jeremiah Brice and Matt Cannon.

I recall Jeremiah Brice lying down on the trail, about a hundred yards in, saying he couldn't go any further. The shock of the initial weight of the pack. He got back up and was ultimately one of the strongest hikers. Rick DeLong entering the John Muir Wilderness. This year, 16 years later, Rick is doing a thru-hike of the Pacific Crest Trail. As I write this, Rick has just finished the entire State of California and is in to Oregon.

Below, Rick crossing Cottonwood Creek. The large group eventually settled into sub-groups of hikers walking at a similar pace. Rick was my hiking companion for much of the trip in to New Army Pass. My brother, Matt, at Cottonwood Lake #1 with Mount Langley behind him.

The only difference between the New Army Pass route to Langley and the Army Pass route is a few miles, each going up a separate pass very close to each other. New Army Pass, at about 12,160 feet, is about 300 feet higher than Army Pass. However, the trail over it is maintained and it tends to be free of snow earlier in the year than Army Pass. It is also a little bit longer. Below, Long Lake with New Army Pass visible to the upper left. High Lake, not visible, is located in the depression in the upper center. Mark Richey and his group camped at Long Lake Tuesday night. They did not intend to do Langley, but were focusing on Mount Whitney.

My group, including Dave, Matt and Rick, camped at the top of New Army Pass. Below, Dave sitting at New Army Pass, with High Lake, Long Lake and a couple of Cottonwood Lakes visible behind him.

Rick and Matt at the top of New Army Pass with Mount Langley visible behind them. Our route the next day followed the bottom of the top ridge

We settled in for a cold sleep Tuesday night as the wind was howling.

From New Army Pass, you go down 300 feet to the saddle where Army Pass is, then follow an obvious trail to the Langley summit block. From there, tracks go all over the place. There is a small ridge of rocks that has to be climbed to get to the summit. The route with the least exposure is to address the ridge by hitting it straight on, staying to the left as you get to the summit block. On this trip, we stayed under the ridge, hiking up the loose rock and sand. As you get higher, the ridge gets higher and steeper until you reach a canyon on the other side. From there, we went up the summit blocks, an easy class 3 climb, with some exposure, but less than the ridge leading up to that point.

From there, you walk until you find the high point. The view is spectacular. Mount Whitney is visible as the high point in the center of the picture below.

Dave, Matt and Rick at the summit.

The beautiful treeless Miter Basin is visible as well. Following my third trip to Langley, last year, we visited Sky-Blue Lake which is left of center in the picture below.

On our way back down the mountain, headed toward Soldier Lake, we followed a different route, aiming for the easiest ridge rock at the bottom of the summit block. We got a beautiful view of the Cottonwood Lakes below.
Dave and Rick, barely visible in the center of the picture, among the jumble of rocks on the way down.

Via Cottonwood Pass and the Pacific Crest Trail (August 3, 2007):

Permits over Cottonwood Pass are generally easier to obtain than permits into the Cottonwood Lakes (for New Army or Army Passes). Cottonwood Pass is also easier than New Army and Army Passes. Below, Steve Mapes, Craig Wright, Brent Wright, Ryan Richey, Mark Richey and myself at the Cottonwood Pass Trailhead in August 2007. The trailheads are only about a mile apart.

Below, the Horeshoe Meadows are visible as we get close to Cottonwood Pass.

At the top of Cottonwood Pass (11,160 feet), 2.9 miles from the Cottonwood Pass Trailhead in Horseshoe Meadow, you connect with the Pacific Crest Trail. In .6 miles, at 11,225 feet, you come to the short side-trail for Chicken Spring Lake. Here we took a rest break. This is the only sure water until the stream down the other side of Army Pass, just east of Soldier Lake.

I had been to Chicken Spring Lake one time before, in August 1997, with Sam and Andrew. We had just climbed Mount Whitney from Whitney Portal and were going to do Mount Langley via this route. When we arrived at Chicken Spring Lake and were setting up camp, I realized I had forgotten my contact lense case and solution. So we had to re-pack and get back out to the trailhead that evening, in the dark, and decided to go home. See Chicken Spring Lake, below.

The route from Chicken Spring Lake on is quite sandy and can be tiring. However, it is also relatively level. On this trip, we caught a significant afternoon thundershower which cooled things off and the moisture firmed up the loose sand and actually made it easier for us to hike. Steve Mapes, below, in his rain gear.

After 4.5 miles on the Pacific Crest Trail, we came to a junction. To the left, the PCT continued on to Rock Creek. We took the right fork, which continued on to Soldier Lake and the Army Pass Trail (from the backside). While at the trail fork, we encountered two rangers assisting an injured hiker who was having a difficult time walking. They moved lower into a meadow below us where a helicopter flew in to pick up the hiker. Brent and Ryan followed them to the meadow to get a closer look at the helicopter. The ranger indicated that the helicopter is a $3,000 ride. About that same time, I heard what I thought was the bellowing of a bear. It turned out to be Steve, heaving up the contents of his stomach. We camped that night at Army Creek, just short of Soldier Lake.

The next morning, August 3, 2007, we set out on the trail to the backside of Army Pass. It follows a steady trail up a canyon, then switchbacks up a ridge. Below, looking back down the trail up toward Army Pass, near the beginning.

Because of his altitude sickness, Steve continued on over Army Pass to the Cottonwood Lakes below. At the saddle at the top of Army Pass, Craig, Brent, Mark, Ryan and I followed the trail up to Mount Langley. We followed the same route to the summit I took 14 years earlier. The Cottonwood Lakes are visible below. These pictures were taken by Mark. I didn't have a camera with me.

Ryan below the top ridge. You can see that the ridge at this point is much more difficult than if attempted earlier on or later.

The picture below was taken at the edge of the canyon where we went up the class 3 summit blocks. Mark has a real fear of heights. As I got on the final boulder climb, I recommended that he not attempt it. I had forgotten that there was some exposure there. Ryan stayed with him. They were rewarded by seeing a bighorn sheep nearby.

They took a picture of me at the top of the boulders, barely visible in the center. This is not the summit. The summit is still a further hike, but up easy rock.

A closer up picture of me on the boulders. I was very happy to see Craig and Brent emerge from the boulders and we summited. Unfortunately, I don't have a picture of us there.

A picture Mark took on the way back down, near the edge of the mountain over the Cottonwood Lakes. The Owens Valley is visible in the distance.

Ryan at the top of Army Pass with a Cottonwood Lake below him.

We had talked to some hikers who came up Army Pass and they indicated it was very doable. The Army Pass Trail is not maintained. But most of the snow was gone and other than a short section of trail that has been wiped out by a rock slide (which we were easily able to negotiate around), it was a nice trail to the bottom, much easier than the New Army Pass Trail. Below, reflection in one of the Cottonwood Lakes.

That evening, we camped on the small strip of land between lakes 4 and 5 and then headed out to the Cottonwood Lakes Trailhead the next morning. Ryan and Mark pose on a boulder with Langley behind them.

Ryan follows the trail through the trees.

This route is longer than both New Army and Army Passes, but is a nice alternative if permits are not available for the Cottonwood Lakes or if you want to do a round trip that is covering the same ground. I hiked from the Cottonwood Lakes Trailhead to the Cottonwood Pass Trailhead to get the car. It was not too bad of a hike.

Via Old Army Pass (July 29, 2008):

The next year I helped to plan a Redlands Stake High Adventure backpacking trip to Mount Whitney. We had five groups going to Mount Whitney from different directions. Mark Richey was assigned the group to go in over New Army Pass that would then go around the backside of Mount Whitney and out Whitney Portal. Then Mark had some medical problems and decided he could not do it and I took over the leadership of the New Army Pass group. At the last minute, Mark decided he could do it and accompanied us. So he was with me on each of my three Mount Langley trips, although he chose not to summit the mountain. His son Ryan was also with us and did summit on this trip.

We had 16 people, one too many for our permit. So I obtained a separate permit for myself. We decided to do Old Army Pass, instead of New Army Pass, as we'd found that the snow conditions were good and it was passable. It was a shorter and easier route to the saddle. Some of the group wanted to do Mount Langley, and some of the group decided to hike directly to Soldier Lake. I led the group up Langley and Mark and Dave Haimsen led the group over to Soldier Lake. Because of the separate permit, I camped at the top of Army Pass while the rest of the group camped at Cottonwood Lake #5. My yellow bivvy bag below.

The morning of July 29, 2008, at the top of Army Pass, we met and decided who was going to go up Langley and who was going to continue on to Soldier Lake. Those doing Langley would do a cross-country trip down to upper Soldier Lake and then down to Lower Soldier Lake where we would reconnect late that afternoon.

Below, Josh Zollinger and Ryan Richey watch while I hike to catch up to them. These pictures were taken by my son, Andrew, who was able to join us for the trip.

Below, Big Whitney Meadow is seen in the distance. The Pacific Crest Trail from Cottonwood Pass follows a route around the mountain above Big Whitney Meadow. Later, after summiting Langley, we went down the canyon to the right to Upper Soldier Lake. This trip, we went directly up the ridge rather than following the trail below the ridge. This is a much better route for anyone afraid of heights as the exposure is much reduced. In some respects it is a more difficult hike, because there is much more boulder hopping, whereas the other route is just boulders at the very end.

Andrew Palmer at the summit of Langley, looking over the edge.

Andrew and I at the summit of Langley. It was wonderful to have him on the trip. Unfortunately, I can't access the cd of pictures taken by other people to show the rest of the group at the summit, which included Jeff Newton, Greg Newton, Ryan Richey, Josh Zollinger, Andrew Palmer and Brian Hartman.

I think the view from Mount Langley is as nice as that from Whitney. In some respects I like this hike more as there are many fewer people doing it, while Whitney can be a traffic jam. It also is a little less straight-forward, because the trail at the end is one you make yourself. It is a wonderful destination.