Posts Tagged ‘Jared Campbell’

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.

 Zironman

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Lucky Eights Linkup

February 15, 2011
Weather is still good this Valentine’s weekend, but our typical fare of slot canyons would be a brutal ice fest, and even the popular trails are icy.  But the summits are clean and in the sun, and the daytime temps are pleasant, so long slickrock rambles become not only possible, but ideal in February.  Ryan hears how much fun we’re having so drives down the previous evening to join; this is helpful; instead of Jared waiting for me all the time, he can wait for his best friend as well.
The area of Zion NP south of the tunnel and east of the highway is largely unknown, untravelled, and un-all sorts of things.  It’s summits see fewer visits than some peaks in the Andes or Himalayas.  We park at the tunnel entrance, and start jogging up Gifford Canyon.  The trickle of water is frozen into a white ribbon of ice, the ripples in the wet sand are frozen so footprints leave no mark, and the seaps have grown into bulbous currents of frozen water.  Then we’re onto the slickrock, hit the sun, and we’re in shorts and t-shirts the rest of the day.  Winter in Zion is great!
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Zion Trifecta

June 29, 2009

We’d been planning the Trifecta for over a year, and as of June 27, there is now one less amazing project in Zion National Park “undone”. Jared Campbell, Ryan McDermott, and I did the 3 biggest canyons in the Park in one day.

Zion is aptly called a “Sandstone Yosemite”. An appropriate name, but what “Yo” lacks, are the extremely narrow slot canyons deeply incised into the soft sandstone; they are often filled with cold water, are dark, and end in high vertical pour-offs above the main canyon bottom; an entire world apart, literally invisible until one finds and rappels into their depths.

Only in the last 10 years has the sport of canyoneering developed. Needless to say, the thought of not just doing them, but seeing how fast I could do them, entered my mind years ago. I’m way too old to win any trail races or set records on well known big routes, but age paradoxically has some benefits similar to those of youth: 1) You don’t try to fit in, and instead do what pleases you; 2) You can be a pain in the ass and your friends and family still tolerate you.

We’ll leave #2 alone; #1 is the aspect pertinent to this project.  Projects like the Trifecta, are like “Plucking the low-hanging fruit, located way far out on the limb.”

HeapSteep

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Temple Double

October 20, 2008

East Temple and West Temple Mountains are the most prominent summits in Zion National Park. They tower over both entrances to the Valley, seemingly a stone’s throw from the highway, and are seen by three million people every year.  And almost never climbed.  Seriously – East probably had probably seen less than 10 ascents ever by last fall, and West maybe 4 parties per year.  It’s bizarre – FAR more people climb Mt Everest than these two bad boys.

Needless to say, this situation had to be rectified …


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Ultra Tour du Mont Blanc

September 2, 2008

Jared Campbell completed the UTMB this weekend, and wrote the best Trip Report on this epic event I’ve seen.  Follow this link to the story on his personal blog!  And if you want the splits of all the runners, go here.

(Photo Jack Jewell)

 

“UTMB flies rather low on the “ultra running” radar to most folks in the U.S.A.  Most have heard of it, but few have done it.  I assume that the reason is due to the logistics and cost of doing a race in Europe.  Both are indeed valid reasons especially now given how weak the US dollar is and how relatively strong the Euro is.  I just bought a sandwich (nothing fancy, just a pre-made self-serve sandwich) at the Paris airport and it was about $14.  One thing that this race opened my eyes to was the breadth and depth of talented mountain runners in the world.  Many ultra-runners from the states tend to have this idea that we invented the sport of mountain running and that we also dominate it.  Not true at all and this race proved it to me.  The true beauty of the UTMB is that it is a melting pot that literally brings people from all over the world together, motivated by the common appreciation for beautiful mountains and pushing their physical limits.”

Zion Traverse

May 26, 2008

Referred to as “Disneyland” by Karl Meltzer, Zion National Park truly is one of the ultimate outdoor playgrounds in the West.  Some my earliest memories growing up take place between the beautiful sandstone walls of the park proper.  Fortunately still living in the Salt Lake City I get to visit the park often, with only a 4 hr drive between us.  As a kid my Zion NP activities included short hikes, playing in the river, and experiencing a yearly concert of the Utah Symphony held at the O.C. Tanner amphitheatre adjacent to the park entrance.  If you like the symphony and enjoy the outdoors this event should not be missed.

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