Archive for the ‘Trip Report’ Category

Happy Maze Loop

April 25, 2013

NOTE: Much of the content for this blog has shifted to the Ultimate Direction Blog.  There you will find Trip Reports and essays from Anton Krupicka, Peter Bakwin, and occasionally myself and Scott Jurek.  Below is an exception – this Adventure Running Blog has featured excellent info on The Maze, and this report adds more.

April 11-14, 2013.  Canyonlands NP and Robbers Roost, Utah.  107 miles, 4 days.  Backpacking – Peter Bakwin and Buzz Burrell.

The Maze is one of my favorite places in the world.  “So near yet so far” – it’s in the middle of Utah, yet is probably the most remote spot in the lower 48.  Not much water and tricky navigation mean it’s expert-only terrain, but the rewards are obvious: beautiful scenery, usually excellent weather, and extraordinary solitude: we saw mostly footprints in 107 miles covered over 4 days.

I’d been here many times, but always alone; this time I met my frequent partner-extrodinaire, Peter Bakwin, for a route that combined the Maze Loop with another loop through the even more remote Robbers Roost country, hiking the length of Happy Canyon (thus the name of this route), and exiting up through Sams Mesa Box Canyon to close the loop.



Marin Headlands

December 27, 2011

I’m expanding my definition of  an “adventure run”.  No longer does it have to include risking one’s life; now it can just be really fun, interesting, or new.

Such was the case a few weeks ago.  I was in the Bay Area visiting Galen and Kristin, spectating the amazing North Face 50, and really enjoying the weather.  While a massive high pressure cell was pounding my home on the Front Range with near-zero temps, wind, and snow, the same system provided NoCal with unprecedented warmth and absolutely clear skies.

G & K live in Mill Valley, right on the east flank of Mt Tam.  So on Monday out their front door I went, looking for a very easy but full day of exploring the beautiful and unique terrain of the Marin Headlands.


Zironman – pt1

November 13, 2011

(This is a trip from early summer 2011. I’ve haven’t felt like writing until now.)

I felt like Davy Crockett. The Trans Zion – a wonderful run that traverses Zion National Park from one end to the other – was getting too crowded. Once an uncommon adventure, it seemed like someone was now doing it every spring weekend.

So in May when Jared Campbell shoots me an email with a Google Earth file attached and the entire text of the message is “Call me. :)” … well, I examined the file then called immediately. Turns out he had devised a new route thru Zion National Park, a very clever one going from west to east over the best summits, thru the best canyons, crossing some unknown territory, and with minimal time on actual trails. The Google Earth file showed a technical route climbing up to and then descending Icebox Canyon, running up the Hop Valley Trail to Wildcat TH, climbing the two Guardian Angels, then launching across unknown terrain hoping to connect with the West Rim Trail. From there the idea was to descend Imlay Canyon to the Narrows, then complete the Traverse by scrambling up Orderville Canyon. I loaded my Utah Topo! DVD, carefully studied the contours, and was somewhat surprised: this route actually seemed possible. This looked great.

Game on.



Murphy-Wilhite Loop

March 29, 2011

The White Rim was in great shape:  the Mineral Bottom road, which has been closed due to a huge flood back in August, wouldn’t open again for two more days, which means we ran this entire 25 mile loop with not only zero jeeps passing us, but not seeing a single other person.


Granary Canyon

March 29, 2011

Granary Canyon is outside of Moab, which is good, because people go to Moab all the time, so it’s important to find things to actually do there, besides what everyone else is doing.  So we mix it up:  we left Boulder early Friday morning, did a good run that same day (see previous post), and rolled into Moab in time to hose ourselves down before dinner.  Our clever plan is to then rest the legs with a canyoneering adventure on Saturday, before concluding with a strong run on Sunday (see next post), and arriving back in Boulder after a full weekend around 10 pm.  Sound good?


Upper Loop Rattlesnake Arches

March 28, 2011

Rattlesnake Arches are the best kept secret in Utah.  That’s because they’re in Colorado.

The largest concentration of rock arches in the world outside of the eponymously named National Park, is in the Black Ridge area just west of Colorado National Monument.  A series of beautiful red rock canyons drains the north side of  Uncompahgre Plateau for a distance of 80 miles; the Monument is well regarded, while the canyons to the east and west are almost unknown yet just as spectacular.  This is the eastern edge of the Colorado Plateau, so it is geologically the same as the iconic landscape of Utah, which makes it quite satisfying to drive only 4 hours from Denver/Boulder, then stand alone in the middle of a large federal Wilderness area, almost in sight of the steady stream of SUV’s blasting down Interstate 70 on their way to standing in at Pasta Jay’s in Moab.

OK, enough shuck and jive; what’s the deal?