2) it gives pretty accurate difficulty grading, and time recommendations;
Now back to the topic -- keep those Inyo updates coming!
Yea, except for his estimate for Bridge Mountain......claiming 6 hours roundtrip. That is literally impossible, we were moving-we got close to the summit, but never reached it because we ran out of daylight and had to bail at the start of the final 5th class pitch, and ended up taking 11-12 hours roundtrip. This mountain had extremely sketchy sections, like random flimsy bushes for anchors and questionable terrain and very specific route selections (straying off intended route leads to inevitable cliffs). I'm of the general impression that there is a 30% likelihood of death when doing Zion peaks. GPS and preferably track is necessary if you plan to be hiking out after dark.
One of my more memorable hikes was doing Keynot from the Saline Valley floor as a dayhike-requiring 10,000 ft. of gain and mostly off trail. The Inyo canyons are also very remote and wild, some of my most memorable and adventurous outdoor excursions to date, especially McElvoy canyon. In general, Inyo range is one of my favorites.
On the topic of the Inyo's: We still haven't determined if there is any snow on them yet. Because if there is, that would greatly alleviate the whole water burden issue thingee.
Ah-Rick's injury. It's such a shame, because I keep thinking it could have been avoided. Basically, after I briefly investigated the slope which he ended up falling on; I backed off of it because I had a bad feeling about it and started traversing right to find an alternate drop in for gunsight canyon, staying on higher ground. I was already on my way when Rick called me back-at the last second he spotted a tree anchor that was on that same slope that I had not liked and had already turned away from. Well, that same slope ended up completely collapsing under his feet which was escalated by the huge boulder breaking loose. I also keep thinking if this could have possibly been avoided if he had immediately clipped into the webbing around the tree(naturally one would do this, because the terrain was so freakish, questionable, and significantly exposed), since to get to the rappel rings, it required stepping down 2 feet and grabbing hold of that large boulder as a hand hold, which then broke loose and crushed his ankle.