Friday, July 30, 2010

Sundial Peak

my friend Brian and I climbed Sundial Peak in Big Cottonwood Canyon (one of the canyons right next to salt lake) this week. it has a 3 mile/3,000 vertical feet hike in to a lovely lake- Lake Blanche. then the peak rises out behind the lake. it's true adventure climbing- rated about 5.8, no real map for where to go, no anchors set up, kinda loose rock... we had a great time. it was so nice up there- right in our back yard.

this is why I love living in Salt Lake:

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Happy 4th of July!

eric and i stayed close to home for the 4th of July, in an alpine kind of way. Lone peak is a beautiful granite cirque just south of salt lake. we can see the long ridgeline leading up to the cirque from out our back door. I've always wanted to go up there and climb, and we finally made it last weekend. It's not a hike i'm anxious to repeat. it was one of the toughest hikes i've ever done in my life. about 5 miles with over 5,000 vertical feet of elevation gain- with some miles having less than 1,000 feet gain and some miles having more. some miles included hiking straight up a drainage ditch. no switchbacks to be found. it was tough. and then coming down we ran almost the whole trail. believe it or not, running was easier. although today (a day later) my quad muscles are sore to a light touch. the climbing was spectacular, the setting was stunning, and the company splendid!
we climbed 2 different routes in the cirque, both which topped out at different places. you could see the entire salt lake valley below, which is both neat and un-cool at the same time. for all that uphill (and downhill!) effort it'd be nice to not see any sign of civilization. but it was interesting to see the whole valley where we live that way too.

hiking out

happy to be back in the tent

squeaking across a snowfield towards the tent.
this trip had more mountaineering than i was comfortable with. 45 degree snow fields guarded the bases of all the routes, which without crampons, made for a very exciting approaches. eric kicked steps for me the whole way, which made it a lot easier but still a mental challenge to not think about sliding the whole way down and then flipping over backwards when you hit the boulderfield below...

learning to glissade

the descent

happy couple on the summit

on top of the world!!


high up on the 4th pitch of the Center thumb, 5.9

following eric on the Center Thumb

eek! snowfield!

waking up in the morning...

going to bed at night...

the campsite. we climbed the cliffs in the background.

beer donated by local climbing friend.

re-racking on the summit

preparing to lead the first pitch..

as soon as we reached the cirque and our campsite i promptly fell asleep on a rock.