Sunday, September 14, 2014

Fall Outdoor Weekend

With school now in full swing, our first Outdoor Weekend offered three escapes from the campus heat. During open pool sessions, it may have looked like every Webb student was in the water on campus, but the mix of day and boarding students on outings totaled almost 50. 

An experimental group hiked Potato Mountain by flashlight on Friday night; John Lawrence's Tuesday Chapel Talk on diving for lobsters inspired a Laguna Beach snorkeling day; and Huntington Beach called to most of us: to surf, swim, dig holes in the sand, or pass a ball without breaking a sweat. 

Friday Night Lights, of a kind: Potato Mtn. view of the Inland Empire
Fairplex / L.A. County Fair is upper right
the Summit Shot

night hike companion #1

night hike companion #2
Alyssa in the Laguna Beach water
Tylor, Michael, and Richard
What is Lawrence holding?
See Catch-Teach-and-Release videos below

Base Camp
Aaron, Ze, and Kevin
The Quick Family triangle
Romana rode her wave all the way to the sand! Tylor celebrates.
Happiness? A national-level water polo player with a day off. 
Skyler, Mark, and Raegan, and a few others
Dylan and Ray
Bartlett patroling 
What the wave sees
What the wave does...
Until Webb Surf Club's first trip

Saturday, May 31, 2014

VWS Senior Trip to Yosemite

The culmination of four years at VWS comes with a hike to Half Dome in Yosemite National Park.  This year's group of seniors sent over 30 young women to the peak.  This grueling 16-mile round trip hike is the perfect capstone to their Webb career, capturing the strain and strength it takes to get through four years at Webb. The team work and camaraderie required to reach the top are hallmarks of a Webb education.  Congratulations ladies!  Special thanks to Yo-Yo and Melissa for the pictures below.

The falls as you approach Half Dome

 El Cap and Half Dome from Yosemite Valley.  Click to enlarge.

 Melissa, Letitia, Anni, Hailey

 At the subdome, with the cables in the background.  You can see people working their way up the cables if you click to enlarge the photo.

 Melissa and Ms. Lantz at the sub-dome.
 Celebrating at the peak!

Melissa, Kates, and Katie

Coming down.

Friday, May 30, 2014

WSC Senior Trip to the Grand Canyon

For their senior trip, the WSC Class of 2014 hiked from the rim of the Grand Canyon to the Colorado River and back.  The class typically starts before sunrise to avoid being at the bottom during the hottest part of the day.  This year, temperatures were over 100 degrees in the canyon.  Thanks to Daniel, Alex, and Erik for the pictures below.  Click to enlarge any of these photos. 

WSC Class of 2014

The start of the hike at sunrise

Erik about to take flight

The descent

 Erik, John and Evan

John, Skyler and Spencer on the Colorado River

Daniel, Bulat, Mr. Caldwell, James and Devin

Class Advisors: Mr. Walker, Mr. Shin, Dr. Fitzgerald, Mr. Wishek, Mr. Maffris, Mr. Fidani

     From the south rim

Monday, May 19, 2014

Snorkeling at Laguna Beach

It's tough to get away in May with so much going on here on campus, but we managed to get to the ocean one last time this year for a snorkeling trip with Mr. Lawrence.  He took us to Aliso Beach near Laguna, where the waters were warming up and the snorkeling was once again fantastic.

 Jeainny holds a lobster that Mr. Lawrence caught.

 Johnathan diving

 Mr. Lawrence knows all the spots, and this rock next to the beach is a great jumping spot.  Here, Austin launches himself. And then I do.

Monday, May 12, 2014

San Gorgonio (Day 1: To High Creek Campsite)

This hike was awesome in the literal sense of the word: it inspired a sense of both reverence and fear.  The way to the peak was, once again, spectacular.  The forest path lined by centuries-old cedars and mottled with sunlight; the trail above tree line over slopes of rust, tan, and blue-gray; the gnarled junipers defying the elements.  And the wind -- the wind that reached roughly 80 miles per hour on the exposed ridgeline to the summit.  Hurricane force.  Forceful enough to knock every single one of us off our feet.  Strong enough to freeze the water in our water bottles even though it was 40 degrees.  Of all the 10,000 foot peaks I've climbed with Webb students, this was the most difficult.

It was a fitting way for six students to earn -- and I mean earn -- their 10,000 Foot Club medals. The students who made the peak on this hike -- who camped out in freezing temperatures, who climbed 5,500 feet over eight miles -- pushed themselves to their limits.  And they were suitably rewarded, not just with the scenery, but more importantly with the feeling of accomplishment and confidence that accompanies a grueling hike like this.  

As we were watching the sunset on San Gorgonio Saturday night, a phrase came to mind that seemed to capture the many trips we've taken there over the years: reliably magnificent. Just down the trail from the High Creek campsites, there's a spot overlooking the valley that seems to yield spectacular views no matter the weather.  See, for example, the footer at the bottom of this blog.  On this particular night, we watched as the clouds that covered the valley all the way back to Claremont made their way up through a rift in the mountains, obscuring and revealing the distant ridges as they explored the topography of the surrounding area. The students, too, lifted themselves above their surroundings, exploring their environment with an indomitable spirit.

Entering the San Gorgonio Wilderness Area

Flowers for Mother's Day

Ray always brings an appetite for fun, this time in the form of a frisbee.  Last time he went to San Gorgonio, he brought a stripped down skateboard to use as a snowboard.

Lauren, Chris and Dolly.  As the trail ascends, it passes through an old growth forest, accompanied by the burble of Vivian Creek.

Clearing the treeline now on the way to High Creek campsite

Once we set up our tents and ate a hearty dinner (Why does food always taste better outside?), we were treated to the sunset clouds rolling up the valley.

It's not too often that we get to sit with silence.  A group of us sat for about 45 minutes Saturday night watching the clouds.

Dolly found a nice perch to watch the show.

Sunset Saturday night.  For the hike to the summit, see the next post.