Thursday, September 20, 2012

Finding Boulder Creek Utah

Good map, relatively narrow canyon, & confidence was what we needed to find Boulder Creek via Escalante Canyon. Not really. Supportive water shoes are essential, especially when quicksand sucks your shoes off.
The first mile & half down from the confluence of Calf Creek & Escalante River ("The Bridge") the path was easy to follow until the turn-off to Phipps Canyon. We carved arrows in the sand to steer our way back. Then the trails became thready and vague. Chutes in the steep banks plunged us over and over into Escalante silty river as we tried to find the "camping" area at mile 5 from the Bridge.
We camped at who-knows-where and still were determined to find Boulder Creek the following day. After more bush-whacking and butt-sliding into the River, we noticed we were in clear, clean water. We wove our way into Boulder Creek! We tanked up with our water filters.
Steep stained walls curled tightly around Boulder Creek, forcing us to walk in the water between black spewed Volcanic rock. We were shocked to encounter two other hikers coming from Haymaker bench wading down Boulder Creek and hiking back up from further down Escalante River. Their 6 hour loop trek was a lot shorter than our 3 day tour to finding Boulder Creek.
We thought we could put-us-on-the-map on the way back to the Bridge but we never found those arrows in the sand. Instead, we found our next trek: a dry wash canyon where Bowington Arch resides. We'll find it.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Slip Sliding Jacob-Hamlin Arch

I didn't have the urge to climb on top of Jacob-Hamlin Arch but my son had to see Coyote Canyon from this monolith's vantage point. As he climbed down
(right side of pictured Jacob-Hamlin arch) a hand hold broke and he slid down the nose. Watch the slide caught via my iphone:
We had beautiful warm weather backpacking Coyote Canyon Easter week-end 2012.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Snowshoeing on Boulder Mountain Utah

Last Sunday, the day after we received a few inches of snow in Escalante, Utah, we ventured out to Boulder Mountain to snowshoe. The summit (almost 10,000') had grasses poking out of thin snow and we wondered if there was enough snow to snowshoe.
As the truck dropped down toward Torrey, Utah, the ground had more coverage of snow but no berms from snow plows. We strapped on our snowshoes and stepped into thigh-high snow!

Tell-taled avalanche warnings abounded: slabs of powdery snow broke off; spaces between snow layers when we dug holes, that "woomff" sound as clomped through fields; bottomless holes while poling; mounds of tall wind-blown snow to cross.
We kept close to trees and boulders but when on a mountain, you gotta go up. The snow continued to settled under our shoes but we wanted a work-out and up we went. No major slides only lots of snowballs that rolled down from our wakes.
It's snowing again but we'll wait until the snow settles (at least 24 hours) until we climb on Boulder Mountain again.