Friday, July 30, 2010

Zion National Park

I don't have time to write much about it right now, but I'll upload just a few photos so you can see a little bit of my adventure to Zion National Park. We had planned on hiking the Narrows from the top down, camping half way down, but due to a high potential for flash flooding and a flash flood watch, we decided to not spend the night in the canyon.

This is the Zion Narrows. This photo is looking downstream from where Orderville Canyon enters the Virgin River.

This was the deepest pool we had to go through.

Angels Landing was absolutely amazing. There were chains for you to grab onto most of the way up the back of this ridge.

Great view from the top. This is me and my friend that went with me.

Sunday, July 25, 2010


So, Last week I decided to go up to Pfeifferhorn. I guess it is also known as Little Hatterhorn. I really enjoyed doing this peak. My plan was to go up and be back for breakfast. I managed to get back about 9:30.

It started off with my alarm going of at 4:45. I don't remember if I heard it or not but about 5:00 my wife nudged me and let me know that the alarm had gone off. So I got up and out the door. I had my CamelBak already packed because I knew I wanted to take pictured up there.

I got to the White Pine trail head up Little Cottonwood Canyon about 5:30 and jumped right out on the trail. It was still pretty dark, so I had my head lamp with me. Over the first mile the trail is pretty wide and climbs slowly but steadily about 500 feet. At one mile there is a split in the trail. The trail to the left goes up to White Pine Lake. The trail to the right crosses the river and then up to Red Pine. I took the trail that leads up to Red Pine. The trail gets a bit steeper here and climbs another thousand feet over the course of 1.6 miles. There is another trail that splits off to the west. It heads over into the next little valley named Maybird Gulch. I stayed on the trail though another two thirds of a mile up to Red Pine Lake. I saw a lot of people camping around the lake. On the far side of the lake I talked with a guy that was taking down his tent.

Looking up from here I could not see the top of Pfeifferhorn. There is a false peak that hangs out in front of the main one elevation 10897. The elevation of the lake is 9680. I followed a faint trail up above Red Pine lake to a ridge above the Upper Red Pine Lakes. I followed that ridge to the west and up to that unnamed 10897 peak. I could see Pfiefferhorn from there. It was a pretty short hike up from there but it was really steep over lots of big rocks. I had to scramble in several places. I stopped even trying to run at Red Pine lake because the "trail" got way to steep with too many rocks and too many ways to break and ankle.

I got to the top of Pfeifferhorn (elevation 11326) about 7:30, so it took about two hours to get up. I am pretty sure it is five miles up and five miles down. So overall from a running perspective this was really slow, but I also climbed about 4000 feet. I think it is actually a little less than that. My map does not mark the elevation of the trail head, but it is somewhere between the 7600 and 7700 contour lines. I guess that makes it more like 3500 feet of elevation gain.

I took several pictures from the top. I took a few on the way up and down too, so I'll let you see them here. I scrambled back down the two miles or so to Red Pine Lake. Then I ran the about three miles from there back to the trail head.

This is about two and a half or three miles up the trail where it splits over to Maybird Gulch. It is blurry because it was still a bit dark and the camera held its shutter open for too long for my hands to handle.

This is a ridge to the east of where I was climbing. I was headed up to the right of this picture.

This is me up at the same spot as this last one, but in the background you can see where I was climbing up.

This on is a view from the top looking to the west. You can see Salt Lake Valley down there and even the great Salt Lake if you look hard enough.

This is also from the top I just turned slightly to the south. You can see Utah Valley and Utah lake.

Here is a great view of Box Elder Peak and part of Timp.

Here is a great view of Timp.

Here is a struggling flower at the top.

Here I am with Pfeifferhorn right behind me. This was on my way back down.

And this last one is of Red Pine lake from above. You can see the trail that goes around the right side of the lake.

I hope you enjoyed looking at these photos and hearing about my adventures going up the Pfeifferhorn.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Butler Fork Trailhead

So this was the same trail head I used a couple of days ago. I went right up to the top of Circle All Peak again only a little faster. It was 29:30 to the top of it. I passed a few people on the way up too. The trail is much busier on a Saturday morning than any other day of the week. There were probably ten cars at the trail head. The other day there was only two. Today I also slept in a little bit and didn't get up to the trail head until about 7:30.

After reaching the top of Circle All peak, I came back down to the main trail and headed up about a third of a mile to where the trail splits. If I had gone left, I would have headed over to Mill A Basin. I took the trail to the right though and headed over towards Dog Lake. This was a three mile section of trail that was relatively flat. Overall I probably lost two to three hundred feet of elevation, if even that. The only part that was annoying was that the sun was right in my face and it was pretty hard to see the trail. I really should have had my running hat today, it would have made the run much easier.

Along this stretch of trail I found a pretty feather sitting on a bush. It was about two inches long and a really pretty orange color. I picked it up and brought it back with me because I figured the kids would like seeing the pretty feather.

I met up with the main trail just about a third of a mile before Dog Lake. If I had known that it was so close, I probably would have made the little jog over just to see the lake. I didn't know it was so close though, so I just turned right and headed back down the trail. This section was pretty good to run on, there were no bushes growing over the trail and no stinging neddle. I don't know how much elevation I lost but it was quite a bit. The trail was not too steep for the most part. This section was 1.7 miles. Then I met up the trail again that I was on earlier. It was just a half mile from the trail head. Overall it took me an hour and thirty minutes. Not bad, but not great. That three mile section I expected to be faster, but since the sun was in my face and a lot of the trail was grown over with shrubs, it made it pretty hard to keep a good pace going.

So for times we have
.5 miles 8:00
1.0 miles 18:26
.2 Miles 3:02
.2 miles 2:07
.3 miles 3:13
3.0 miles 33:58
1.7 miles 16:43
.5 miles 4:31
total 7.4 miles 1:30:00

Sorry no pictures this time. I didn't take the camera.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Running Again, Circle All Peak

I've been going up into the mountains quite a bit lately and I figured maybe I could keep track of where I've been and stuff. So here on this first post of this series, I'll tell you about Circle All Peak. I guess it is not really a true peak because it does not stick up far enough from the surounding land. It is more of just a prominence. There is a ridge that comes down and it goes up to a small peak. The elevation according to my map is 8707 feet and the trail head elevation is 7210. So that is about a 1500 foot elevation gain.

I've been getting up and leaving the house by six in order to do these short little runs up the trails before heading off to work. this one was the shortest I've done so far. I got to the trailhead about 6:15. The trailhead I think is called Butler Fork. It is located about 8 miles up Big Cottonwood Canyon. The trail starts out following a small creek. After about a half a mile the trail splits. If I went to the right (northeast) I would have gone up to Dog Lake, which I've done before, but not this time. I took the trail to the left (west) that goes up to Mill A Basin. There were a lot of plants that were wet from the morning dew that hung over the trail. I got a little bit wet from that. There was even quite a bit of stinging neddle, which I managed to avoid most of. I got stung a couple of times, but I'm sure the sweat helped keep it from stinging too much.

After another mile from the split in the trail I reached a ridge. The main trail goes of the the right (northwest) and heads over to Mill A Basin. Maybe I'll go up that way next time. I took the little trail to the left that went up to the top of Circle All Peak. It was only about another quarter of a mile from the main trail, so in all I figure it was about 1.7 miles up. It was a really nice view from the top. It was definately not the tallest in the area, but it was still a nice little run. Coming down was slower than I wanted because of all the plants over the trail that made it hard to see any rocks or anything. After I passed the Dog Lake split the trail was more open and easier to run down. Overall it took me 33:22 to go up and 18:50 to come down, 52:12 total time. Not great running times but I was taking it pretty easy. Normally I see wildlife up the trails. The animals like the mornings before people get up there. But this morning I didn't see anything. I don't think I even say any squirls. Oh well.

Maybe soon I'll write about Doughnut falls, or desolation lake, or running Pfeifferhorn, that was a fun one and I actually took pictures going up and down that one.