The Most Remote Arch in the Alabama Hills (Owens Valley Adventure, Part 2)
It’s Josh Cripps here. And I am out this morning, the Owens river here in the Owens Valley. Look at the light on those peaks. That is nice. This is not the reason that I’m actually out here this weekend. I’m headed to the Alabama Hills because there’s a specific arch that I want to go fine. Let’s back it up here and get on out.
Right? Well, we’re just getting ready to go here. Find this arch, but you can’t hike on an empty stomach. You gotta bring food with you. So today I’m preparing meal in a bag, in a bag. This is something that I learned how to make when I was hiking around in Peru, uh, six or seven years ago. And you basically just combine a bunch of grids stuff in a bag. I’ve got rice cooked chicken here, got to get that protein. If you want to grow up big and strong, like a Dwayne, the rock Johnson, you know how much protein that guy eats. It’s ridiculous. Fresh cut veggies here, which squeeze that lemon in there as well. Greek yogurt right here and fruit. They would always use Manet’s and tuna instead of Greek yogurt and chicken. Hey man, whatever floats your Peruvian boat, it’s good for me.
Salt garlic as well. Now you basically just stir that whole thing up. Let it cook inside of your backpack as you’re hiking all day. And then when it’s time to eat, boy, you just got the tastiest treat in the land. Everybody’s going to be jealous. They’ll be out there with their cliff bars. There’ll be out there with their bananas. Gimme a break. You’re going to bust out this lunch in a bag. People’s eyes are going to explode out of their heads and your taste buds are going to explode out of your mouth. Looks disgusting, tastes amazing. All right, let’s get going.
Now it is one fantastic day for Jason arches. It’s warm. The sun is out.
Chipmunks are chipping, and I’m going to head up over that way. See if I can find this thing last time I was here, I just stumbled across it. And honestly, I don’t really remember much about how to get there other than it’s up in those rocks, some plan. All right. So here’s everything that I’m going to be bringing with me today. I’ve got an ultra wide lens, got my Z seven, the 24 70 on there bringing the drone food and water course. And then even though I don’t really plan to shoot anything today for right now on this scouting mission, I’m bringing a tripod because as I remember this particular arts, it’s in quite a precarious position in terms of where you can actually shoot it from to get the view of lone pine peak through the opening. And so I’m going to bring my tripod just to see how to position it, to see if it’s possible to get in the right spot or not. So don’t really want to lug it, but gotta suck it up, bring it. I’m also bringing a lot of sand. That’s just falling into my backpack as I make this part of the video. And you know, that’s just to get stronger. It’s just extra fund carry a little more weight.
Right here. We’ve got the friend list of the cactus species that Joya. This one is soft, like a Teddy bear. So it’s called a Teddy bear, Julia. And so you can actually just, if you’re out in the desert, you can gather a bunch of these and lay them down in a bed and lay on it. And it is the best night sleep you will ever have. It’s so soft. No, I’m just kidding. These suck. If you even get within an inch of them, they somehow magnetically shoot out of the cactus and land inside of your skin and a thousand points of bitter pain. So avoid the joy. They’re beautiful, but man, they will.
Well, a couple of minutes walking across the Sandy scrub here and I’ve gotten to the base of the boulders announced starts the really fun part where we basically just get to scramble up Hill, try to locate, like I said earlier, I found this clue. This tree, last time I was up here, gigantic dead pine tree. That’s the big X marks the spot point for this adventure here. So I’m going to go ahead and just start clambering up these things, get to a high point and then see where that tree is. And from there, the arch will be within arms .
Well, I’ve topped out on the first little Ridge here and I feel good. It was really fun climb. I just enjoy being out, moving through terrain like this, but having gotten to the top here, I realized that I, I think I made a fatal miscalculation. Now that I’m up here, my memory is starting to come back to me a little bit more and I’m pretty sure that where the arches is not here at all, but way over on the next rise over there. So I think we’re going to head back down through a gully and back up, but before I had that way, this is a great spot with a great view and I’m starving. So I’m going to sit down and grab some light.
After scarfing down my lunch.
I decided that before I went charging off, down the gully and back up the neighboring Ridge, it would be prudent to at least see what was on top of the summit, just behind me. So I’ve just popped up to the top of the Hill here. And as I came around the corner, I spied right up there in the distance, a craggy tree. And I think it’s the tree it’s right over there where I thought I needed to go was way over that way. And now the tree is telling me that I actually need to go that way. So I’ve got these two things pulling me in two different directions. And if I guess the wrong one, that’s a whole lot of time spent chasing down a wild goose that I’m going to go that way, even though I’m not a hundred percent sure that’s the same tree or the right tree, or if there are a bunch of trees up here or not. But the likelihood of there being two craggy, gnarly old dead trees on top of two different pinnacles here in the Alabama Hills, to me seems fairly small. So that’s why I’m going to go this way over to that tree. Hopefully it’s the right one.
Now the wonderful thing about exploring, even if you don’t end up going the quote unquote right way, you always find something else. That’s really cool. I came down through this little narrow cleft of a Canyon and popped out around the corner here and look at this rock up here, but it’s like a blob of rock. It looks like a Play-Doh rock got extruded from the Play-Doh factory. So I’m going to go and I’m going to go check that arch out now because in my book, the book of arches, there’s no such thing as too many arches, all the pages at the back of the book they’re blank. So you can just write in more arches when you find them. And there’s an infinite number of blank pages. So you can’t have too many arches. That was a stretch. Oh, this guy cool. It is actually solid rock over here that has left out like a slinky to land on the rock over here with this massive opening here in the middle, you can fit at least half of an elephant in here and it looks like a grapple, a snout. So I don’t know if this one has a name. If anybody’s watching this video and you know the name of this arch, let me know, let me know down in the comments. I would love to know. Now this is a fantastic arch, but it’s not the arch that I’m looking for. I can see that tree right there. It’s only about 300 yards away. It’s so close. I can taste. It tastes like dirt.
Ah, it’s here. It’s right here. Just as cool as I remember, come take a look
Here. It is right behind me. Now. I also don’t know if this arts has a name, but I like to call it EG arch because of that beautiful rounded shape of the rock that it’s in. And from this side, it’s really cool and impressive. It sits in this broad plateau, the Sandy bench with all of these great Sage brushes and desert plants. And of course that cool tree and some whale shaped rocks, but what’s really neat about this. Arch is the view from behind it. Looking back this way from here, you look straight out on lone pine peak. It’s a fantastic Vista right through the arch fantastic alignment. It’s going to be great for sunrise and that’s exactly what I’ve been doing here today is trying to find this arch scouted for potential shoot at sunrise. So let’s get down to it.