Stars, Strobes, and Spiders

I wanted to venture someplace new last weekend, so I asked my former-Gaucho friend Hunter to be our fearless leader/climbing guide for his old stomping grounds in Santa Barbara. After several long road-rage and reggae filled hours on the 5 freeway we finally found ourselves winding up the beautiful 5N12 with a car full of camera equipment, climbing gear, and Trader Joe's snacks (and by snacks I mean peanut butter pretzels and hard root beer). If people would only learn how to drive better in North County/Orange County/Los Angeles we may have been able to actually climb more on Saturday, but we did manage to make it to the Lizard's Mouth just in time for some spectacular sunset bouldering. Since the approach was fairly low key,  I brought my portable strobe along to play with when I wasn't climbing. We spent most of Saturday night around the Lizard's Mouth area making our way up fun and mellow sandstone problems while trying to avoid all the crane flies, centipedes, and spiders that kept trying to crash our climbing party. We ended the night by watching the moon rise above the clouds with a little bit of Led Zeppelin courtesy of Alexis and her guitar before crawling into our sleeping bags and snoring. Our Sunday started bright and early thanks to the local gun range and some early morning shotgun enthusiasts.  Not wanting to waste daylight, we made our way down to the Brickyard where I spent most of the day climbing and befriending lizards rather than photographing. It was a short but fun weekend with friends at one of the most beautiful crags I've had the pleasure of climbing at. 

A big 'Thank You' is owed to Hunter for showing us around his local college crag, and another major thanks to both Alexis and Hunter for agreeing to climb in the pitch dark so I could get the right long exposures. You guys rock.