Thursday, 31 December 2015

Lizard Head Colorado

Lizard Head is a very impressive mountain located in the San Juan mountain range near Telluride a vertical pillar, the result of heavy erosion leaving just the neck of an ancient volcano. Lizard Head Peak is 13,113 feet, stands spire-like on the eastern side of the Lizard Head Wilderness shadowed by 14,000-foot peaks, Mount Wilson and Wilson Peak. The summit of Lizard Head Peak, a 400-foot-tall tower of rotten rock, has been voted as one of Colorado's most dangerous and difficult climbs. The United States Congress designated the Lizard Head Wilderness in 1980, actually has a total of 41,459 acres. All of this wilderness is located in Colorado and is managed by the Forest Service.

However, Lizard Head Wilderness is a land of ragged mountain splendor, with beautiful cirque lakes, swift mountain streams that often plunge over dramatic waterfalls, and a spruce-fir forest opened by expanses of alpine vegetation. Moreover splendid golden aspen blanket the lower slopes in vast unbroken reaches every fall. Further, the Lizard Head trail traversing Black Face Mountain’s broad, panoramic ridge is not the shortest route to the base of Lizard Head peak but it is surely the most picturesque. Hence, the rock spire of Lizard Head looks like an old eroded volcanic plug but it is in fact composed of extrusive volcanic ash flows of Oligocene age resting on older sedimentary rocks of Eocene age.

Lizard Head is one of the most difficult summits in Colorado to climb the first ascent makes a memorable and harrowing tale a rottener mass of rock is inconceivable by Albert Ellingwood. The first known people to reach the top of the pinnacle were Albert Ellingwood and Barton Hoag who pioneered a route up the west face in 1920. In spite of the stern and daunting objective hazards, the first ascent team completed the climb and descent safely in a feat of mountaineering skill. The peak appearance has changed significantly due to a landslide in 1911. You may find several photographs of the peak before the landslide, which shows substantial change has done.

Therefore, the earlier photo shows a taller squared-off peak that would be more suggestive of a lizard's head. Therefore, it is extremely hard to leaves an indelible impression of Lizard Head peak. On average only 20 to 30 people scale the peak each year, which you can estimate the treacherous climb of Lizard Head peak. No doubt it’s look very impressive but to climb him a daunting task with special climbing capabilities. Hence be remember, climbing is an inherently dangerous activity and you should always climb within your ability after carefully judging the safety of the route.

Friday, 25 December 2015

The Sunset Crater Arizona

Sunset Crater Volcano is approximately one thousand years old, the last eruption took place sometime between about 1080 and 1150 AD. Sunset Crater, located in north-central Arizona, actually the youngest volcano found on the 130,000-square-mile at Colorado Plateau. The series of volcano eruption reshaped the nearby landscape, persistently changing the lives of human beings, plants and animals. It is named for its dazzlingly colored scoria deposits on the cone and only one of more than 550 vents of the vast San Francisco volcanic field. The Sunset main crater at the summit of the cone measures approximately 400 feet across, though the base of the cinder cone measures around one mile.  The yellow, red and pink colors of silica iron oxide and gypsum found around the volcano's summit. The eruption of Sunset Crater resulted in a strangely large amount of volcanic debris for a strombolian-style eruption and had a devastating effect on the flora, fauna and indigenous people living in the surrounding area.

These days Sunset Crater is the centerpiece of the 4.7-square-mile Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument, located only 15 miles to the northeast of Flagstaff, Arizona. It was established on May 26, 1930, through the action of President Herbert Hoover. Furthermore, almost 75% of the magma erupted at Sunset Crater erupted explosively as scoria, and half of the scoria fell very near its source and built Sunset Crater cinder cone, about half blanketed the region with ash and other small volcanic particles.

In the late 1920s, a Hollywood filmmaker planned to use Sunset Crater as film set and use dynamite to simulate an eruption, but local people resistance stopped the plan. Moreover, since 1970, tourists have been prohibited from walking on or to the top of the cinder cone. However, nowadays a self-guided, one-mile-long walking trail permits visitors to experience the volcano's gigantic size and the eruptive power that once existed here. The San Francisco Volcanic Field has not experienced volcanic activity for nearly 1,000 years, but researchers predict volcanic activity here is still possible and most likely further to the east of Sunset Crater. The natural beauty found around Sunset Crater shows its exclusive charm daily. Here, the ancient cinder cone is silhouetted against the orange and golden colors of a cool morning mountain sunrise.

Sunset Crater is the youngest volcano in the vast San Francisco Volcanic Field of northern Arizona. The first eruptions must have been spectacular, earthquakes rattled the ground. Sulfurous clouds of gas and ash blew high into the sky. Glowing-hot molten lava spilled over the ground and left jagged black basalt flows that look like they froze in place just last week. Well, if you’re adventure lover, then plan to hike the trail through the hot lava flow and cinders and you’ll likely discover intriguing, ruggedly dramatic geological features coexisting with twisted Ponderosa Pines and an astonishing array of wildlife. 

The Shiprock of New Mexico

Shiprock or “The Winged Rock” is a monadnock rising approximately 1,583 feet above the high-desert plain of the Navajo Nation in San Juan County, New Mexico, United States. It is located in the center of the Ancient Pueblo People, a prehistoric Native American culture often referred to as the Anasazi. It is the most noticeable landmark in northwestern New Mexico. Shiprock peak elevation is approximately 7,177 feet above sea level and it lies around 10.75 miles southwest of the town of Shiprock, which is named for the peak.

Well, the formation is four corners region and plays a significant role in Navajo religion mythology and tradition. Thus, Shiprock is composed of fractured volcanic breccia and black dikes of igneous rock called minette. It is the erosional leftover of the throat of a volcano, and the volcanic breccia formed in a diatreme. Moreover, shiprock is famous location for rock climbers and has been featured in several Hollywood movies and novels. It is also consider a heaven for photographer to take stunning photographs.  Furthermore "Shiprock" or Shiprock peak's has similarity to an enormous 19th-century clipper ship. Anglos first called the peak "The Needle", a name indicate that "Ship Rock" dates from the 1870s. The exposed rock probably was originally formed 2,500–3000 feet below the Earth's surface, and exposed after millions of years of erosion. 

Shiprock and the surrounding land have religious and historical significance to the Navajo people and has mentioned in numerous of their myths and legends. Navajo legends put the peak in a larger geographic context, and said to be either a medicine pouch or a bow carried by the "Goods of Value Mountain", a large mythic male figure comprising several mountain features throughout the region. Navajo legend has it that Bird Monsters nested on the peak and fed on human flesh. The peak is mentioned in stories from the Enemy Side Ceremony and the Navajo Mountain Chant, and is allied with the Bead Chant and the Naayee'ee Ceremony. The legend of the rock seems more likely to be a metaphor hinting of the site's magical power to lift the human soul above the problems of daily existence into an awareness of the Great Spirit.

Therefore, the first recorded ascent was in 1939, by a Sierra Club party including David Brower, Raffi Bedayn, Bestor Robinson and John Dyer. So, this was the first climb in the United States to use expansion bolts for protection. After that at least seven routes have been climbed on the peak, all of them of great technical difficulty. Moreover, the first ascent route is featured in the book Fifty Classic Climbs of North America; however, the idea of climbing Shiprock is offensive to numerous Navajo people; climbing has been illegal since 1970. 

In spite of this, rock climbers continue to see Shiprock as an interesting place to climb. Even more serious than the possible physical harm illegal climbs could pose is the religious damage done to the Navajo people by these non-Navajo visitors. The Monuments are sacred to the Navajo, and any human interaction is strictly off limits. Please abide by the humble religious requests of the Navajo people and do not climb the Monuments. Navajo law will be firmly enforced on this issue, Parks Department Manager Ray Russell also added.

Thursday, 24 December 2015

Licancabur, A Highly Symmetrical Stratovolcano Between Chile and Bolivia

Well, Licancabur is a highly symmetrical stratovolcano on the southernmost part of the border between Chile and Bolivia. But actually it is situated just southwest of Laguna Verde in Bolivia. The volcano takes over the landscape of the Salar de Atacama area. The lower 2/3 of the northeastern slope of the volcano belong to Bolivia, 5,400 meters from the foot at 4,360 meters, though the rest and biggest part, including the higher third of the northeastern slope, the crater and summit, belong to Chile.
The summit and the crater are located completely in Chile, slightly over one kilometer to the southwest of the international borders. It is about 400 meters wide and covers Licancabur Lake, which is 70 meters by 90 meters Crater Lake almost ice-covered round the year. This is one of the highest lakes in the world, and despite air temperatures which can drop to -30 °C, it harbors planktonic fauna. The Lake provides an extremely harsh environment, but still there is life (extremophiles, planktonic fauna).

Moreover, Licancabur's most recent volcanic activity formed extensive lava flows which spread six kilometer down the northwest and southwest flanks, with older lava flows reaching 15 kilometers and pyroclastic flow deposits as far as 12 kilometers from the peak. Moreover, archaeological evidence at the summit offers evidence of pre-Columbian ascents and proposes the importance of crater lakes in Inca culture. This also supports the absence of major eruptions over the past 500 to 1,000 years. 

It is believed that Incas may have used the mountain to preform sacrifices and ruins can still be found on the top. Though not the most technically challenging climb in the Andes, the sheer altitude and magnificence of this volcano make it a very advisable climb, particularly if you’re trying to acclimate to high altitudes. Make sure, when climbing Licancabur, you’ll be sleeping at approx. 14,500' and climbing more than 19,000'. The best season to climb is Dec till March, which is lit bit more wet season. The high antiplano is "high and dry" and the sun is intense and the nights can be cold. Hece, it is advice to put on lots of sunscreen every day and get ready for temps to cross 20's F for January, colder in their winter.