Sunday, August 28, 2011

Misery Canyon, Zion NP

The 5 am wake up call came early Saturday morning and it took some motivation to leave the warm sleeping bag. Eventually we did stir with enough time to break down camp and drive from Duck Creek to Zion NP where we had plans to complete Misery Canyon. Our planned group of 7 had dwindled down to 3: Erik, myself, and Stephen. On our way down Stephen asked us, "Do your friends always bail on you?" I guess it just isn't easy to keep up with the Rasmussens.

The canyon took 8 1/2 hours for the three of us to complete.
2 Hours: Approach Hike
3 Hours: Technical Slot sections
1 Hour: Lunch and Swim in Parunuweap Canyon
2 1/2: Brutal Exit Hike in the heat of the day.

Highlights of the canyon included:
Watching the sun come up over Zion's sandstone cliffs
Walking up the steepest longest sand dune of all time
Seeing lots of wildlife
6 fun rappels
Our first rappel off of a dead man's anchor
Building our first anchor (Dead Man's)
Water slides into nice pools
The Indiana Jones swing
Great downclimbing
Wading through a pool with a dead creature with of undetermined species
Getting caught in quicksand
Seeing Stephen get so excited about canyoneering
The Powell Expedition commemorative plaque
Class 3 scramble to get out of Parunuweap
Not seeing anyone all day (We did see 3 backpackers at the very end)
Arriving at the car after 9 intense hours on our feet
Downing a Costa burrito in Cedar City on our drive home

Pretty amazing day, Erik probably said "This is a BLAST!" or "That canyon was a BLAST!" ten times throughout the day, and that makes me very happy!

Here's a map of our route:

And here is the elevation profile:

Cascade Falls & The Ice Cave, Dixie National Forest

It was absolutely necessary that we spent our final days before school starts down in Southern Utah somewhere. So we camped down at Duck Creek with the Grossarths in the Dixie National Forest. It was a great campground just a few miles away from Brianhead Ski Resort and Cedar Breaks. Being high in elevation, it was close to the great recreation of Southern Utah without the blistering heat in camp. Erik's nephew, Stephen, had just moved to Provo for his freshman year at the Y so he ditched freshman orientation and joined us for the fun. On Friday we had a pretty chill day relaxing in camp most of the day. In the afternoon though we did venture out to do a short hike and explore a cave.

We hiked to Cascade Falls, where an underground river spits out of the pink cliffs, cascades down hundreds of feet from the rim, and eventually meets up with the Virgin River and flows into the Narrows. It was a gorgeous hike with a lot or reward for only being 1 mile long. Off of the rim we could see all the way into Zion Nat'l Park on the horizon.

After the falls, we went to the Ice Cave. This was a childhood favorites of Kyle's that was apparently a little bit of a disappointment to him when he returned as an adult. But because he talked it down so much before we got there it turned out to be a lot cooler that we had expected. We took the opportunity to teach the group how to rappel and how to use their climbing gear we were going to be using the next day canyoneering in Zion.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Summer Hiking Recap

We had a fabulous Summer of hiking and adventure.  We both are really sad to start school next week where our days out in the mountains and canyons will be replaced by days in the classroom and lab.  But so is life! Education in so important! As we were looking back on our adventures this summer, I thought it may be a good opportunity to try a new project on iMovie.  So enjoy this simple slideshow reviewing our favorite hikes of the season.

And don't worry, the adventures don't end with the school year, still to come in the Fall of 2011:

Fat Man's Misery Canyon (Zion National Park)
Canyon and Wakeboarding adventures from Lake Powell
The St. George Marathon
The Pfiefferhorn Summit
Provo Halloween Half Marathon
Winter Adventures in the Grand Canyon

Get Excited!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Tibble Fork Trail, American Fork Canyon

We had a pretty tedious week because we moved into our fabulous new apartment.  All of the packing, cleaning, and moving was really getting to us.  Alan and Lyndee came up from Arizona with the truck to help us move and they were a huge help.  My mom also flew up on Friday to help.  By Friday we had all of our stuff moved into the new place and all of the cleaning done in the old place so we decided to reward ourselves by getting up into the mountains on Saturday to try out a new trail. My siblings weren't the most excited about the idea, Alan fought us tooth and nail the whole morning, but we knew he was just talk and that he would actually have an amazing time. They should have known when you come to stay with the Rasmussen's you should expect to go on at least one hike!

We started our hike from the Tibble Fork Reservoir up American Fork Canyon.  The trail goes all the way to Mill Canyon Peak, but our goal was just to make it 3 miles to the Ridge Trail and climb from there until we had good views of the backside of Mt. Timpanogos.  It was a really nice trail, with a lot of mountain bikers on it, we only saw 2 other hikers.  We had great views of Box Elder Peak and the Little Cottonwood Ridge most of the way. We ate lunch at the intersection with the ridge trail.  After we made it to the ridge trail we probably only had to hike another 15 minutes until we were high enough for 360 degree panoramas plus the view of the backside of Timp. 

Great 8 mile hike, we all ended up having a really fun time.  We want to come back in the winter to snowshoe to the top of Mill Canyon Peak.  I have included the link to the hike description if anyone is interested in doing this hike and wants to know how to get to the trailhead.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Snake River Rafting Trip

We were SO SO SO excited to be invited to join the annual Rockwell/Grossarth family camping trip on the Snake River in Wyoming.  Since Erik and my families aren't cool enough to have a camping trip this summer (that's right, I said that hoping all the Nevitt's and Rasmussen's reading this will feel bad) we jumped on the chance to get back on the Snake river for some white water rafting.  It was a phenomenal couple of days.

The Grossarths are slowly helping us to see that it is okay to spend some time in camp and that you don't have to be out on the trails or deep in a canyon from sunrise to sunset to enjoy camping.  We are starting to see the joys of sleeping in, making a huge breakfast, having a little adventure here, eating a nice lunch, a little more adventure there, and finishing the day with a gourmet 4 course dutch oven meal while sitting around the fire.  The Rockwells and Grossarths do not mess around when it comes to camp food! Relaxing around camp is not a bad lifestyle either.  Now, our adventures may not always allow time to lounge and such, but we are learning a little give and take.

Typical day allowed for 2 runs down the Snake.  I thought we might get sick of going down, however Every time we ran the river was a totally different experience. Lighting changes the way the rapids look, weather changes, the water drops as the week goes on changing many of the rapids, different boats and paddlers change the way you experience the river too. We had so much fun! I was depressed when it was time to come home, I can see why there are a lot of crusty old river guides that keep coming back year after year.

I have included a lot of pictures in this post, but each one is necessary and awesome.  Take some time to click on individual photos and zoom in.  It is worth it to watch people's faces and reactions as they go through the rapids, it is so much fun!  This first series of pictures is my favorite, you will see why. . .

 Paddlers look pretty focused and prepared. . .

 Drop into the first big hole in Lunch Counter. . .

 Surprise lateral wave. . . or maybe the boat wasn't straight, we will never know. . .

 And we are out. . .

 But don't worry about Kyle, he is fine. . .

 So fine, he laughed at us all and hit Jen with the paddle. . .

 But karma comes around. . . and he went out on the next wave. . .

 Erik held his paddle high the whole time so we could find him in the rapids. . .

 The rest of us struggled not to die. . .

 Jen did what we were supposed to do, and grabbed the boat. . .

 Eventually, when we reached calmer water, we all made it back in.  And we were glad to be alive, my most memorable run through Lunch Counter!

Here are a few more great pictures from our group.

Somehow we worked up the courage to let Kyle and Jen take us through Lunch Counter a few more times. It really was a different experience every time, we had such a blast and I am so glad we got to enjoy the river so many times.

This last series of photos was from our last run of the trip Saturday morning before we drove back home. We got pounded with water in the first drop, I almost fell out, but Trent shoved me back into the boat from behind, great little terror to end the trip on.