Monday, August 6, 2012

Kwaaymii Point - Granite Mountain

This group of photos was taken on top of Mt. Granite. It's about 15 miles from the spot where we camp in our RV whenever we have the chance. This particular spot though, is not used for camping.

It's used for hang gliding.

Not always successfully, I'm sorry to say. Yep, the drop off beyond this ledge is VERY steep and over a mile to the bottom.



These plaques are dedicated to some of the hang gliders who have died here.  As evidenced by my wife's hair, there is a crazy updraft here. That's why the spot of so well known (and very radical).

Please enlarge this photo. A little over half way up the photo, a little to the left of center, there is a little white shiny dome. When I say we going up to our favorite mountain ridge, that is where we go. Just a tiny bit past the dome is a green area of pine trees. That is where we camp whenever possible.  The dome is actually part of the California Wolf Center. More on that wonderful place in a later post.




Part of the Pacific Crest Trail. Mexico to Canada...

It's not much more than a rut in the dirt here, but this trail is almost 3000 miles long.  You can see it in the middle of the bottom of the photo and then cutting across the peak towards the top.

I've never done the whole trail (and probably never will), but I always like to do little bits of it whenever I have the chance. I thought this was a cool looking rock formation, along the way.

This is where the trail goes around the top of the peak (two photos ago).

The trail in the upper right of this photo is where the part in the above led to.  Towards the bottom, on the right had edge you can see the trail that led me up the next rise.


Here's a closer look at the part in the upper right in the last photo. The drop off (of several thousand feet) starts about two feet to the left of the trail. Although I'm not that fond of heights, this is serious rattle snake country and I was much more worried about them.

I got a little carried away and didn't want to stop hiking. My wife and daughter were wondering what the heck happened to me and were a little bit worried. When it cools off a bit later in the year, we're probably going to hike from here back to our campground as the PCT passes pretty close to it.

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54 comments:

Shelly said...

What breathtaking pictures! My stomach knotted up some at the thought of that mile drop off, though...

Brenda's Arizona said...

Wow, what a lovely photo essay! Please take us along your journey again. This is great, Pat!

becca said...

what an amazing place to visit simply breath taking

dot said...

I'd stay the heck out of that place. Not only am I scared of height but also SNAKES. lol. You go Pat!

Powdered Toast Man said...

It must be a bitch for those rattlesnakes to hike that trail.

mshatch said...

Wow, what a cool place to hike - altho the heights and the snakes are a shuddery. Awesome pics.

Sharon Wagner said...

When I looked at your post today it gave me a flash back of a dream I had last night. I went up to the edge of a cliff or mountain unaware of the 3,000 or more sheer drop off. I'm glad you and your camera had another safe hike!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Amazing shots! Scary there are so many markers for hang gliders who died. Think I'll keep my feet firmly on the earth.

TexWisGirl said...

spectacular views!

Sylvia K said...

Awesome captures for the day, Pat, and what a gorgeous place! The view of the mountain in your seventh shot is stunning and breathtaking! It is sad indeed how many markers there are for the hang gliders who died! Thanks for sharing the beauty!!

Budd said...

great shots. so, no hangliding for you that day?

KarenG said...

Even if I wanted to jump off a cliff with a pair of wings strapped to my arms, those gravestone markers would discourage me. But hiking would be nice.

Sally in WA said...

Gorgeous place to camp, Pat. I'm with you on the rattlers...I'd be more worried about them than the dropoff. I am not fond of heights myself.

Ms. A said...

I KNOW I couldn't do it! I'll just enjoy your photos and be envious of your energy.

John McElveen said...

Thanks Pat, Once again I'm with ya- right there in my Jeep! Great series!

J

Jimmy said...

WOW is all I can say, amazing pictures Pat, I can just imagine being there is even more breathtaking than the shots.

Belle said...

I enjoyed this post so much. Thanks.

Brian said...

Amazing photos Pat! Gee, that is a long way down!

TheChieftess said...

You are quite the traveler Pat!!!

Baby Sister said...

There sure have been a lot of deaths up there, but it so beautiful I can see why people are drawn to it!!

Chuck said...

Man that is awesome scenery Pat. I could not walk that trail so close to that drop...give me the snake, well maybe not that either. The country there is pretty breathtaking, I can see why you go so often. Your pictures say it all.

Rita said...

Breathtakingly beautiful. Your wife is a braver woman then me. My fear of heights would never allow me to peek over that edge.

Lynda R Young said...

Wow, the big vista shots are particularly awesome. And I love that first trail photo too.

Icy BC said...

Beautiful view, and looks very rugged! The hang gliding spot is scary to see with tombstones and all.

Your wife is brave to look down like that..I would be standing way back after seeing those grave markers..

Stewart M said...

Splendid looking place. The wolf centre sounds good - we need predators in our ecosystems!

Cheers - Stewart M

Al Penwasser said...

What cool-looking photos. While it looks thrilling, hang gliding is something I'd never do. Like bungee jumping, rock climbing, and going to a biker bar and kicking over all the Harleys I can see.

Clarissa Draper said...

It's scary that so many people have died. However, I can see the draw, it's beautiful.

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

Wow -- that is a breath-taking (and hair-raising) view there! Just amazing. However, it definitely does NOT make me want to try hanggliding. Yikes! I'd think the people going up there for that purpsoe would definitely have second thoughts --but I guess they already know their sport is dangerous.

Ginnymo said...

What awesome photos and views!

Rawknrobyn.blogspot.com said...

What a shame that that exquisite spot is marred by so many deaths. These pictures are truly breathtaking. No wonder you didn't want to stop hiking, Pat.

xoRobyn

Wayne (Woody), whatever said...

You tell a great story with these photos. Fabulous!

Pam :) said...

The mountainous terrain is inspiring to see but it must be hard to hike in the summer heat.
Great series of shots here, Pat. Thanks for sharing.

Leovi said...

Yes, very nice pictures, excellent framing and beautiful colors, I like that blue sky, I would definitely like to visit this beautiful place. Greetings.

Steadfast Ahoy! said...

Did you hear me scream? I came upon a slithery serpent two days ago on the path from the garage to the cottage!!! I HATE SNAKES!!!! Love your photos, Pat.
Rosemary

Bossy Betty said...

You get no compliments from me today, you bad man! You put that song in my head and it WON'T GO AWAY!!!!

Bossy Betty said...

You get no compliments from me today, you bad man! You put that song in my head and it WON'T GO AWAY!!!!

Island Rambles Blog said...

you really end up in some wild and interesting places....that must be a very dangerous place to hang glide....thanks for the trip!

missing moments said...

Awesome views! I think our base jumper son would love that mile drop!

Nat said...

Gorgeous photos, Pat... I love all the details you pointed out and feel like we know a bit more about where you like to hang out some days :-)

Quite sobering to see all those plaques of those who didn't quite manage to soar with the eagles but now do so with the angels...

Anthony J. Langford said...

Looks like a great spot. Sad about the hanggliders though.

Yet, makes me think its time I did some more camping. Been too long.

Living In Williamsburg Virginia said...

Great shots. Love the panoramic, particularly when enlarged. Think we will pass on the hang gliding though.

Darryl and Ruth :)

Stickup Artist said...

What thrilling vistas! Absolutely breathtaking! You are inspiring me to replace my broken tent poles, stop being such a baby about the heat, and to get back out there!

Laura Delegal - Leroy Photography said...

Took my breath away--the view is breathtaking (and dangerous).

Pat Tillett said...

Shelly - Thanks! No way, I'm hanging over that edge!

Brenda - Thanks Brenda! No trip this month. It's cooler at home than any place we might go!

becca - thanks becca! It was pretty cool.

dot - You certainly need to keep your wits about you. Not only is it a scary place, it's really desolate also.

PTM - I think they hire a rickshaw...

mshatch - Thanks! It is a great place, pretty darn hot there right now though.

Sharon - That's interesting because I also have dreams about high places. I don't like them! As for the camera, I should probably be carrying more water and a smaller camera. Not gonna happen though...

Alex - Thanks Alex! What's even more scary, is that when you see a hang glider there, they are usually alone. I've never seen more than a couple of people here at any time.

TexWisGirl - They sure are! It's a great area. More so, when it isn't summer though...

Pat Tillett said...

Sylvia - Thanks Sylvia! It is kind of sad. I believe others have died there as well, but there are no markers for them. Not very many people hand glide there at all.

Budd - Thanks Budd! Nope, not there, not anywhere...

Karen - I'm with you Karen. NO WAY!

Sally - I'm not fond of either! Thanks Sally. That is our favorite place to park our RV. Especially during the winter because of the easy access down the mountain to Anza-Borrego.

Ms A. - HA! I WISH I had energy. thanks!

John - Thanks John! Something about a jeep makes you want (and allows you) to do and see different things and places.

Jimmy - Thanks Jimmy! You are right. Many times a photo just doesn't give show us the scale of a place.

Belle - Hi Belle! You are welcome and right back at you!

Brian - Thanks Brian! A LONG ways down...

Pat Tillett said...

The Chieftess - If we're home more than about 10 days, we start getting the itch. One of the nice things about this great state of ours, is that you don't have to go far to see amazing things. As you well know!

Amanda - Yep! But no matter how beautiful it is, I'm not jumping of any cliff!

Chuck - It sure is Chuck. I don't like either of them, but I'll take the narrow trail if given the choice. Thanks my friend!

Rita - Unlike me, my wife has no problem at all with heights. Thanks!

Lynda - thanks so much! I appreciate it!

Icy BC - Rugged and beautiful. That's why we like that area so much. My wife doesn't seem to have any concerns at all with heights. Thanks!

Stewart - Wild wolves are extinct in our huge state. The wolf center is is breeding several types of wolves and I think there is going to be a re-introduction sometime soon. I'll do a post on the place sometime soon.

Al - Thanks Al! I'm with you! Not me, not ever... Funny comment!

Clarissa - Hi Clarissa! Yep, I can see the draw also. However, now enough to jump off of a perfectly good mountain!

Pat Tillett said...

Sallie - HA! You are right about that! You are so right, they know it's dangerous, but the trade off for how amazing it is, makes it worthwhile for them.

Ginnymo - Thanks so much Ginny!

Robyn - If I knew then, what I know now, I would have hiked the whole 2900 miles of that trail by now.

Woody - Thanks! We have a good time.

Pam - Yeah! It's much too hot there during the summer. We still get out there though, but we try to use some common sense about what we do. Thanks Pam.

Leovi - Thanks Leovi! One beautiful place, among a million...

Rosemary - I think I did hear you! I'm not terrified of snakes, I have a healthy respect for them. Okay, not terrified, but afraid, yes...

Betty - Sorry about that! what song? LOL...

Island Rambles - We do our best! My pleasure and thanks to you also.

Pat Tillett said...

missing moments - Just reading that gave me the chills! thanks!

Nat - thanks so much Nat! I agree, it was pretty somber! It must feel amazing to actually soar there.

Anthony - It's always nice to get out of town. We try to do it a couple of times a month.

Darryl and Ruth - Thanks! I'll pass on it also!

Stickup Artist - I don't blame you for avoiding the heat. We have cut down on how much time we're out and about during the summer these days. Thanks!

Laura - It took my breath away also. I'm stuck between being terrified and wanted to jump off. I know that sounds strange...

Magia da Inês said...

°º♡
°.¸♡
º° ♫♡彡° ·.
Lindas paisagens naturais.
Boa semana!
Beijinhos.
Brasil
•.¸¸°♡彡°¸¸.•

John McElveen said...

I don't know what it was- but when I shot it--It shore turned Charlie loose!

Great series Bro!

J

Liz said...

Wow!! What beautiful scenery, Pat! Such rugged but beautiful countryside. Shame about the hang gliders but I can see why they are drawn to it.

Carly said...

I love hiking, and would love to check this place out.

Anna said...

Kwaaymii Point is indeed beautiful, thank you for the photos. However, please know that the memorial markers are NOT hang glider pilots! Many people have placed markers there because their loved ones enjoyed that spot or for other personal reasons. Only one pilot has died there, sadly because of carelessness. Pilots regularly fly there and elsewhere safely--the sport is safe if approached with respect and responsibility.

Pat Tillett said...

Anna - Thanks for comment and information. I've also been told by "hang glider pilots" that although all of the memorials are not related to hang gliding, some of them are. One, some, or none, it doesn't matter to me, I just think it's a beautiful place and I go there frequently. I wasn't trying to infer anything about hang glider pilots.