Sunday, October 21, 2012

Horse Canyon

Last week I drove up Horse Canyon to escape the heat.  It's located north of Mojave, CA in the southern Sierra Mountains.  Here's a google map centered on the area.   The road is steep and rough in places (high clearance required) and leads up to the ridgeline where an old microwave tower station is situated.   Pine trees provide plenty of shade for several primitive camp sites.  The McIver 4x4 trail starts at the microwave towers and continues another 4 miles along the ridge to a dead-end.  The trail is maintained by the Gear Grinders 4x4 Club and is moderately challenging in places.   The most difficult sections have easier alternates around them.

I didn't take photos since this was a return visit.  This time I decided to record a short video of the descent back down the canyon.  If you're afraid of heights, then you probably should not look down while on this road.  The road's in great condition.  The only real danger is from falling rocks, washouts, or an earthquake.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Garmin fenix

I bought the new Garmin fenix watch.  I like it.  So far, I've only used it on a couple hikes.  This is a vast improvement over my other GPS receiver: Magellan SporTrak Topo.

There's only one feature the Magellan has, and the Garmin lacks, that I miss.  The Magellan has a pre-loaded topo map of the US.  That's a nice feature.  But to be honest, I never truly used that.  Over the years I found myself largely using the breadcrumb track, distance, and altitude features most, and the Garmin has those.

The Garmin is really easy to use.  The display pages seem to be well laid out.  I can even operate the buttons wearing gloves.  I've only used a small fraction of the features.  Hopefully I can remedy that on some upcoming hikes.

Getting the data off the device was easy.  I plugged it into the USB port on my mac and it mounted the device.  Then I simply dragged off the gpx files.  I used the GPS Visualizer web site to convert the gpx files to kml files.  Here are a few screencaps of one of my hikes on Nippletop in Zion NP.  You'll see from the tracks that I did not reach the summit.

The fenix is a bit bulky, and I scraped it a bit on the rocks.  I'll just have to be more careful.