Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Back for Canadian Rockies Ice

I headed back to Canmore Alberta in November for my annual winter ice pilgrimage.  Here are some photos of highlights on early season ice.

Tanya Scherer at the Ciniplex

Matthias Scherer on Oh Le Tabernac

Clark Gerhardt descending from Bourgeau Right

J Mills on Fearful Symmetry

J Mills toping out - Fearful Symmetry

I'm headed to Patagonia after the holidays and I will be posting from there in January!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Utah Desert

I'm several months behind with my blog so I will try and get caught up with some photos and stories of our hiking trip to various locations in the Utah desert in October.

Our first stop was in Castle Valley to visit Greg Child, his daughter Arianne, and Shannon O'Donnell (Greg and Shannon are now the happily married couple).  One of our first hikes was to the Fisher Towers.  Heaps of mud first climbed by Layton Kor, Huntley Ingalls, and George Hurley in 1962.

Fisher Towers
Fisher Towers are a series of towers made of Cutler sandstone capped with Moenkopi sandstone and caked with a stucco of red mud located near Moab, Utah. The Towers are named for a miner who lived near them in the 1880s.

Hiking with Greg, Shannon and Ari near Arches National Monument revealed some great native art on the sandstone and natural caves.

Cave near Arches National Park
At Goblin Valley State Park we hiked amongst thousands  of hoodoo rocks formed in the shape of mushroom like pinnacles.  Their shape comes from an erosion resistant layer of rock on top of a softer sandstone.

Ann hiking in Goblin Valley State Park

Ann and I made the 6 mile round trip hike to Calf Creek Falls.  The 126 foot high falls is one of the most well known and unique features in Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument.

On the hike to Calf Creek Falls

Calf Creek Falls Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument

We were there around the time of the Federal Government shutdown and all the National Parks were closed.  I won't say exactly when we were there, but we did manage to get in a nice hike in Bryce Canyon National Park.   The red, orange, and white hoodoos in Bryce were formed by frost weathering and stream erosion of river and lake bed sedimentary rocks. 

Tower Bridge Bryce Canyon National Park

Fairyland Loop Trail Bryce Canyon National Park
One of the most spectacular places we hiked to was a rock formation called "The Wave" in the Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness.  The Wave is a set of troughs eroded into sandstone layers that exposed ribs formed by differing rates of erosion amongst these layers.

"The Wave"   Paria Canyon - Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness

"The Wave"   Paria Canyon - Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness

Lizard -  Paria Canyon - Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness
 Again I won't say exactly when we were there, but we also managed to get in a nice hike in Zion National Park with great views of the canyon from Cable Mountain. The mountain gets its name from the cable system that was used for transporting timber into Zion Canyon. Ruins remain from the cable works that shut down in 1930. 

Zion Canyon from Cable Mountain