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122 triplogs

Nov 19 2018
big_load
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 Routes 23
 Photos 1,254
 Triplogs 122

60 male
 Joined Oct 28 2003
 Andover, NJ
Haunted Canyon #203Globe, AZ
Globe, AZ
Backpack avatar Nov 19 2018
big_load
Backpack11.60 Miles 1,108 AEG
Backpack11.60 Miles
1,108 ft AEG
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners partners
gretchNboo
An easy overnight with Mrs big_load and Cousin G. The cool weather made for easy hiking, but my buddies insisted on a campfire to warm up at night. Since the spring was flowing well, I caved in. (For some reason I left Route Scout on while I was filtering water).

Pinto Creek was running above ground in places nearly all the way in.

Found some bits of mahogany obsidian along the way. I looked for more evidence of homesteads in the broader valley along Pinto Creek. Upon further review, I think I've found everything that still exists. I expected there to be some structures on the far side of Pinto Creek on the big flat, perhaps up against the hills, but I have no info that shows anything there.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Tony Ranch Spring Quart per minute Quart per minute
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3 archives
Nov 15 2018
big_load
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 Routes 23
 Photos 1,254
 Triplogs 122

60 male
 Joined Oct 28 2003
 Andover, NJ
Black Mesa Loop - Superstition MtnsPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Nov 15 2018
big_load
Hiking9.00 Miles 1,125 AEG
Hiking9.00 Miles   3 Hrs   36 Mns   2.50 mph
1,125 ft AEG
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
It was a nice, sunny day, not too warm. I pushed the pace a little so I could finish some work when I got back. Still one of my favorite Supes dayhikes.
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Nov 11 2018
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 Routes 23
 Photos 1,254
 Triplogs 122

60 male
 Joined Oct 28 2003
 Andover, NJ
Taylor Cabin via Dogie Trail - Sycamore CanyonSedona, AZ
Sedona, AZ
Hiking avatar Nov 11 2018
big_load
Hiking19.30 Miles 3,348 AEG
Hiking19.30 Miles   8 Hrs   56 Mns   2.33 mph
3,348 ft AEG      39 Mns Break
 no routes
1st trip
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chumley
DarthStiller
joebartels
trekkin_gecko
wallyfrack
I noticed that DarthStiller had this on the calendar, with joebartels and chumley possibly attending. Instead of my normal pre-Thanksgiving solo backback, I decide to be sociable for a change, at the risk biting off more than I could chew. With wallyfrack and trekkin_gecko joining, this trip made a big dent in my list of long-overdue introductions.

It was a beautiful day in my favorite temperature range with big views of the red rocks and occasional glimpses of the canyon bottom. Taylor Cabin is one of the best preserved bits of ranching history I've seen in AZ and I'm tempted to say that it's well worth the trip and it was a wonderful group to share it with. It's definitely well worth the first 17 miles, but the last two really up the ante.
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1 archive
Sep 18 2018
big_load
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 Routes 23
 Photos 1,254
 Triplogs 122

60 male
 Joined Oct 28 2003
 Andover, NJ
High DuneSan Luis Valley, CO
San Luis Valley, CO
Hiking avatar Sep 18 2018
big_load
Hiking3.30 Miles 900 AEG
Hiking3.30 Miles   1 Hour   45 Mns   1.90 mph
900 ft AEG      1 Min Break
 
no photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
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I knew the sand would be soft and slow, so I didn't plan to go to the top. After getting past where most people quit, the footing was much firmer, so I went for it anyway.

The posted track is my return route, which was almost exclusively on dune crests, which made the easiest going. However, they were also a bit scary since they were so narrow and bordered some vast holes.

I'll try to get some pics off my phone.
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5 archives
Nov 21 2017
big_load
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 Routes 23
 Photos 1,254
 Triplogs 122

60 male
 Joined Oct 28 2003
 Andover, NJ
Antelope Canyon - LowerNortheast, AZ
Northeast, AZ
Hiking avatar Nov 21 2017
big_load
Hiking0.90 Miles 98 AEG
Hiking0.90 Miles   1 Hour      0.90 mph
98 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
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What an ordeal! Mrs. big_load and I were on our way back to Phoenix from Zion and took advantage of being the area to visit Antelope Canyon. We reserved a slot the day before and got to the TH an hour early with some hope of getting a better time. The day we picked (during Thanksgiving week) turned out to be the second busiest day of the year. We ended up waiting 3 1/2 hours as the schedule kept slipping, and all the groups later than ours were cancelled as sunset was looming.

The canyon was still worth seeing, and we got about 2/3 of the way through before the sun disappeared entirely, which was enough to appreciate the natural wonder. Perhaps as interesting as the canyon itself were our conversations with the Navajo guides and the overseas visitors while we waited. We got some nice pics of all the twists and turns, but somehow the final view from the top of the canyon capped it off. Watching people emerge one by one from a little crack in the ground was oddly mysterious.
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Nov 20 2017
big_load
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 Routes 23
 Photos 1,254
 Triplogs 122

60 male
 Joined Oct 28 2003
 Andover, NJ
Angel's LandingSouthwest, UT
Southwest, UT
Hiking avatar Nov 20 2017
big_load
Hiking7.00 Miles 1,700 AEG
Hiking7.00 Miles   4 Hrs      1.75 mph
1,700 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
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gretchNboo
Well, it seemed irresponsible to visit Zion and not go to Angel's Landing. We were safely past the weekend, but we hadn't thought about how many people would be there on the Monday of Thanksgiving week. After a beautiful ride in the Mount Carmel Highway (this time during the day), we made brief stops at the Visitor Center and the Lodge before an ill-fated attempt to park further upstream, which led us back to the Lodge, where we were lucky to find a spot.

Mrs. big_load was a little sore from the previous two days, but she was game for another day of AEG. It wasn't early anymore when we started, but it was still cool. Yes, the multitudes were out there, but traffic on the trail was surprisingly light after the first few hundred feet. We quickly reached our lunch spot a thousand feet up at the bottom of the chains.

After a short rest, Cousin G. and I joined the hordes waiting to ascend while Mrs. big_load waited patiently. Right away the vibe changed. There were too many people on the chains. Some of them were rudely impatient, while others were frozen with terror. Those two groups combined badly, with a few of the former actually crawling on top of the latter, inspiring even greater terror. Despite some jostling and dirty looks for humoring the slowpokes, we quickly finished the first 100 feet to the flat spot before the dip. And then we saw what we were up against. About 25 people were lined up waiting for the chance to proceed, and a couple hundred people making very slow progress on the spine ahead of them. Those in line had already been waiting quite a while and new arrivals didn't improve their mood. It just didn't seem worth the wait, especially since we could get almost the same view from several other places.

We talked about it for 30 seconds and turned around and were almost instantly back to the start of the chains. While Cousin G. and Mrs. big_load spent some time taking pics, I scampered up the West Rim Trail for about a mile to scout out some good views, which were abounded without competition. I caught my breath and headed back to pick up the rest of the crew, and we slogged back to the car for burgers and coffee in Springdale.

The next morning we packed up and said goodbye again to Cousin G. and headed our separate ways back to AZ.
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Nov 19 2017
big_load
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 Routes 23
 Photos 1,254
 Triplogs 122

60 male
 Joined Oct 28 2003
 Andover, NJ
Zion East Part II, UT 
Zion East Part II, UT
 
Hiking avatar Nov 19 2017
big_load
Hiking6.40 Miles 300 AEG
Hiking6.40 Miles   4 Hrs      1.60 mph
300 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
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gretchNboo
This was second of two days on the East side of Zion NP with Mrs. big_load and Cousin G. After a big breakfast, we shuttled a car to the East Entrance TH and went back to the Stave Spring TH, where we started.

Today's hike was all along the East Rim Trail, which descends gradually from Stave Spring through about 500 feet of gorgeous cross-bedded Navajo Sandstone and patches of ponderosa forest. Parts of this have obviously burned some years ago, but overall it's much prettier and less crowded than Day 1. A few handy high points near the trail gave excellent views in all directions and we saw very few other hikers.

The highlight of the day was were the trail crossed Jolley Gulch, where we stopped for lunch. The trail passes a few feet from an unbelievable pour-off that drops 1000 feet in one dead-straight pitch. There aren't many places where you can see a feature like that cut into slickrock. It's especially odd because the gulch is nearly flat upstream from there, so in vertical cross section the gulch is a nearly right-angle feature. A lot of the other vertical features are abnormally steep, which I guess is a testament to the hardiness of the sandstone. The geological map shows that Jolley Gulch lies on a fault.

The rest of the way passes through countless great exposures of swirling sandstone, and there were quite a few hikers in the last mile before the trailhead. By late afternoon it was pretty warm and we were happy to get off the trail and into some food. The next day we would join the crowds in the valley.
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Nov 18 2017
big_load
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 Routes 23
 Photos 1,254
 Triplogs 122

60 male
 Joined Oct 28 2003
 Andover, NJ
Zion East Part I, UT 
Zion East Part I, UT
 
Hiking avatar Nov 18 2017
big_load
Hiking7.80 Miles 1,500 AEG
Hiking7.80 Miles   5 Hrs      1.56 mph
1,500 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
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gretchNboo
This is the first of two day trips on the east side of Zion National Park. The evening before, I drove from Flagstaff ot Las Vegas to pick up Mrs. big_load at the airport and headed back up to Springdale. Cousin G. beat us to the cabins near the East Entrance by a few hours, and we stayed up a bit late hanging out, resulting in a late start.

The first day's adventure was from the East Mesa TH to Observation Point, and then on to the East Rim Trail as far as the Stave Spring TH, where we had shuttled a car. (The second day started at that endpoint and went to the East Rim TH at the park's East Entrance). The first leg was a nearly flat 3.3 miles on a wide trail across a plateau wooded with Ponderosa and Juniper. There was practically no view, but the trail was suspiciously broad and well-traveled, the reason for which became evident when we reached Observation Point. Dozens of people were crammed onto the red slickrock, which presided over a gorgeous view of Angel's Landing a 700 feet below and the floor of the main valley 2200 feet down.

After soaking up the view and watching too much feeding of wildlife, we continued south, diving quickly 1500 feet on paved (really) switchbacks into Echo Canyon where we intersected the East Rim Trail. Most people seem to have come on a paved trail from Weeping Rock to the West, so we were overjoyed to continue on a comparatively undeveloped (and unpaved) East Rim Trail into Echo Canyon and somewhat more gradually 1500 feet back up onto the plateau. Once on top, we pushed our way through the herds of deer in the meadow and turned the corner to the car. We met only a handful of hikers on this leg, and unanimously agreed that it was much more scenic and enjoyable.

At the end of the day, we recovered the other car, ate a big feast, and went to bed at a reasonable time.
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Nov 13 2017
big_load
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 Routes 23
 Photos 1,254
 Triplogs 122

60 male
 Joined Oct 28 2003
 Andover, NJ
Tule Canyon Trail #122Globe, AZ
Globe, AZ
Backpack avatar Nov 13 2017
big_load
Backpack12.00 Miles 2,179 AEG
Backpack12.00 Miles2 Days         
2,179 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
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This was planned as a trip from Tule TH to Reavis Ranch and back, something I've done a couple times before, with the intent of stopping after the second big climb, not far from Walnut Spring. However, the weather had other ideas. I knew it was going to be warm, but it was already burning hot by mid-morning when the real elevation started.

Water went down a lot faster than usual and had to spend more time resting, despite being pretty well conditioned. Bees besieged me every time I stopped, but I was mostly able to ignore them. By the time I crested Two Bar Ridge, there didn't seem to be enough gas left in the tank for the next climb, so I started looking for a flat spot to camp. Along the way, I saw a couple big water caches and scouted ahead to where the trail dives back down into the canyon. I saw a good site with a hunter's camp nearby and set up for the night, pretty worn out an working at quarter speed.

After setting up, I went out walking again and met one of the hunters on his way back to back. He said the shots I heard a couple hours earlier were his buddies, who got a deer up on the ridge on the far side of the canyon. They had about 3 miles and something like 1500 feet up to get it back to camp. I looked around a bit more and went back to fix dinner and watch the night fall. Even without the moon, it didn't get too dark. From that point on Two Bar Ridge, light domes from Phoenix and Tucson are clearly visible, and I could also see construction activity on Hwy 188, I think at the Roosevelt Work Center.

Eventually the other hunters came in with the deer and ate dinner before they finished cutting it up. I had been asleep for an hour by the time they were done, but my camp was between them and the trail and I talked with them for a few minutes as they began their night-hike out to the Two Bar Ridge TH.

The next morning was warm after a warm night, so I expected another hot day. I wasn't much in the mood for another hot climb starting with less water than I like, so I decided to hike out instead. It was indeed brutally hot by 10:00 am, but I did run across a big group of dayhikers who climbed a little peak next to the Tule Trail. After dodging some cattle, I ate lunch by the tanks in Tule Canyon and watched the birds for a while before the last couple dusty miles to the car.

The trail is well maintained and is much easier to follow than the first few times I was out here. It seems more heavily used than it was 15 years ago. If I ever try this route again, though, it will be in cooler weather.
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Sep 11 2017
big_load
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 Routes 23
 Photos 1,254
 Triplogs 122

60 male
 Joined Oct 28 2003
 Andover, NJ
Pine Creek Trail #1467South Central, CO
South Central, CO
Backpack avatar Sep 11 2017
big_load
Backpack40.00 Miles 10,000 AEG
Backpack40.00 Miles4 Days         
10,000 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
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A few years ago, I first looked down into Missouri Basin from Mt. Belford and knew I had to come back and have a closer look. A little crack opened up in my work schedule, so I grabbed it. Since weather kept me from reaching Mt. Oxford on that first try, my goal was to reach it from Pine Creek without visiting Mt. Belford again. This triplog is long, but it has a few high points, including wildfire and wild weather. It was mostly at or above treeline.

Day 1
I started just after dawn on Monday morning, with no other cars near the TH. After a dusty road walk on the lower section of the valley, the trail climbs roughly 2 kfeet in 90 minutes to the Colorado Trail intersection / Collegiate Wilderness boundary, where it flattens into a big meadow with numerous beaver dams.

A couple miles farther along, I spotted two partially collapsed cabins and a corral nestled into the yellow aspens. They are associated with a mine across the creek (Littlejohn Bismuth mine), and are on the National Register of Historic Places.

A few more miles along, the trees are got shorter and thunder started rumbling. I found a nice spot above the creek at 11.5 kfeet and set up camp as quickly as possible. Reaching my goal of Mt. Oxford depended on getting enough miles in on this day, and this was far enough. After waiting out the first brief shower, I scouted out the trail a mile ahead, filtered water, ate and retreated to shelter. The next rain lasted 10 hours, but I slept too soundly to really notice.

Day 2
I made it far enough on Day 1 for Oxford to be feasible, so I got up before sunrise, ate a quick breakfast, and saddled up. Half a mile beyond my campsite, I caught the trail from Pine Creek to Elkhead Pass and started going up. After I passed the treeline and reached the upper part of Missouri Basin, the sun had topped the ridge and started heating things up.

An elk bugled as the headwall came in sight, and I saw a herd of at least forty making their way up and across. I got a few pictures, but they really don't capture how many there were.

Meanwhile, the clouds were building fast, perhaps due to the heavy rain yesterday and the bright sun. I sweated my way up to Elkhead pass and around to the Belford summit ridge, which has a branching ridge off to Oxford. As I reached the junction, a guy caught me from behind, the first other person I had seen. He was a guide with a few days off who came around Elkhead Pass from Missouri Mountain and was also hoping to reach Oxford. His opinion of the clouds was similar to mine: the remaining round trip to Oxford was three miles with 2 kfeet AEG and the weather wouldn't hold long enough to get safely down. We went on to Belford instead (14.2 kfeet), where I gobbled lunch, took some pics, and skedaddled down the mountain.

Distant thunder broke out along the way, and it briefly rained a few times, but nothing to worry about. I spotted a few more campsites that would have been good starting points. As I got back to the vicinity of Pine Creek, I spied a trail into the woods that looked like it might lead to another good site. It did indeed. It had a nice pine smell, which was oddly more pronounced than the rest of the woods. Some bushcrafters had camped here, and built an A-frame pot support from seven freshly-cut saplings. It was half collapsed and oddly positioned relative to the fire ring. The fire ring itself was also oddly positioned, directly up against the trunk of a mid-sized Ponderosa and on top of some of the roots. It still smelled like a campfire. Too much. The fire ring itself was cold, and a lot of water had clearly been poured on it. But scanning to the left, I saw smoke rising from the ground. The duff all around the tree was burning underground. I felt a powerful shot of adrenaline. Then I poured all my remaining water on it. It occurred to me that had rained for over ten hours the preceding night, and quite a bit the day before that, which would have been most likely the two days after this fire had started. Who knows how big a problem this was going to be?

I had hiked eight miles with 3 kfeet of AEG, but it suddenly felt like the day was just starting. I found a flat rock and scraped up the duff around the tree, some of which was now just ashes a foot deep. I saw that when the fire first broke out, it had burned the largest root and up into the trunk, and they had put that out well. However, it had now burned under and into three other large roots, and was now twice as big as the fire they had extinguished and was moving under the trunk. I used sharp rocks to sever burning roots and felt for warmth all around.

Now the real work began. Pine Creek was a hundred yards away and about 25 feet downhill, and what I had to work with was a two liter Platypus bag. Over the next 90 minutes, I logged almost two miles and another 700 feet of AEG carrying water, two liters at a time. With each load, I expanded the digging and checked the temperature all around. The first six gallons made a lot of steam and brought down the temps, but it still wasn't cold. I didn't start feeling like it was out until 10 gallons. After 14 gallons I was exhausted and getting thirsty. It seemed OK for now, so I headed back to camp, half a mile down the trail. Oh, by the way, that big thunderstorm held off the whole time.

Back in camp, I drank a bunch of electrolytes and rested a bit. It rained a little and I cooked dinner and rested some more, but I couldn't stop thinking about the fire. With an hour of daylight left, I went back. There wasn't any detectable smoke or heat, but I wasn't taking any chances, so I lugged another seven gallons. I trudged back to camp under another brief sprinkle and watched the clouds sink into the valley as the sun departed. Then I read archeology in the tent until I couldn't stay awake.

Day 3
The clouds totally fled overnight, and it got cold. I didn't bother looking at the thermometer, but the morning frost was thick. The goals of the day were on the other side of the basin: Twin Lakes and Silver King Lake. Once again it opened clear and sunny. It would be a shorter and easier day, heading to a slightly lower cirque. It's somewhat less traveled, so the trail grew less distinct farther along. The side trail to Twin Lakes was apparently invisible, as where the lakes themselves, screened from view on a high bench. I decided to move on toward Silver King, high up against the headwall. There were a some nice flowers, and a few small snowfields. Clouds started gathering early again, and the wind blew stronger as I rose.

In the last few hundred feet below the lake, I could see Twin Lakes below, easily reachable cross country. Silver King is contained by a huge moraine, the top of which has the remains of a stone cabin with a log roof. The lake was as cold and windswept as it looks in photos. The cabin site was nice and warm in the sun.

After a nice lunch, I started wandering down to Twin Lakes, and the hail started. It let up for a while after I reached the lakes and it started and stopped again as I explored entirely around each of them. There are dozens of campsites here above 12 kfeet, but I wouldn't want to be here with lightning. After exploring, I searched in vain for the trail that I couldn't find coming up. Apart from some big cairns near the lakes, I saw no sign of a trail, although the trail I needed to reach on Pine Creek was clearly visible. So I headed straight down the fall line, mostly down talus, dodging willows and creeks and before long I got where I needed to be. Meanwhile, it kept hailing and raining on and off, but not enough to be unpleasant.

On the way back to camp, I stopped at the fire site and made another close inspection. I dug some more with a flat rock, and didn't find any more warmth or new ashes. Happy and not too tired, I spent a couple more hours exploring the edges of the basin before settling back in camp. I ate as much of the rest of my food as I could get down, read more of my book, and dropped off to sleep with the stars twinkling outside.

Day 4
It was a bright, sunny morning and I was ready to head back. The light was great as I reached the aspens. The mining cabins were good for a stop, and I decided to cross Pine Creek and visit the mine. However, the water seemed too deep and fast in the vicinity of the trail crossing and I only made it 1/3 of the way across before deciding I didn't want to do it twice. I ate lunch and moved along, grabbing pics in the yellow sunlight along the way. I met a hiker heading up-valley and asked him to check on the fire.

After a break at the Colorado Trail crossing, I was ready to be done. There were five miles left, and the clouds were gathering. I pushed the pace and tried not to think about town food. When I finally got to the trailhead, I remembered that my car was almost a mile farther down due to a nasty patch of road, but I eventually got there and was safely inside when the clouds unloaded.

Afterward, I headed north to Leadville for some town food and spent the night and the next day dodging the rain and wandering around. Then it was on to the next adventure.
foliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observation
Autumn Foliage Observation Substantial
Aspens have mostly gone yellow. Willows are mostly still green. Some ground cover has gone brown above the treeline, but not much.
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Isolated
Fringed Gentian, Blue Gentian, Alpine Gentian, Paintbrush, and a few hardy asters. Oh, and one hardy bunch of Rose Crown.
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Oct 15 2016
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 Routes 23
 Photos 1,254
 Triplogs 122

60 male
 Joined Oct 28 2003
 Andover, NJ
Mitchell and Blue Lakes TrailCentral, CO
Central, CO
Hiking avatar Oct 15 2016
big_load
Hiking5.70 Miles 992 AEG
Hiking5.70 Miles   5 Hrs   7 Mns   1.26 mph
992 ft AEG      35 Mns Break
 
no photosets
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Linked none no linked trail guides
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This is a great little hike: in under three miles each way and only 1,000 feet of AEG, you get a string of alpine lakes, culminating in a gorgeous rocky cirque at Blue Lake.

Given the proximity to Denver, it's a busy trail, but we got an early start and beat most of the crowd. Much of the trail was iced over in the morning, but the sun warmed up quickly and it was more slush than ice on the way down. The surface was challenging for my host, Deborah (who also organized our Scotland hike in May), since her bad knees are even more problematic in slippery conditions. I'd probably budget about three hours for this hike under most conditions.
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Jul 14 2016
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 Routes 23
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 Triplogs 122

60 male
 Joined Oct 28 2003
 Andover, NJ
Mount Sneffels via Yankee Boy BasinSouthwest, CO
Southwest, CO
Hiking avatar Jul 14 2016
big_load
Hiking6.76 Miles 2,534 AEG
Hiking6.76 Miles   7 Hrs   47 Mns   1.64 mph
2,534 ft AEG   3 Hrs   40 Mns Break
 
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Despite having many experienced hikers at the family reunion in Ouray, the only one still up for the trek at zero hour was my brother-in-law, John. We headed out at 6:00 am in a borrowed truck, whose fairly pristine condition dissuaded us from driving beyond the lower trailhead. The trek from there to the upper TH seemed like half the trip, but it was nice in the cool morning air.

The fun really started at the bottom of the talus. It started steep and quickly got very steep. We sort of angled to the right and kept on that track until slope was only marginally stable. I went back over to the left, losing some elevation as I slid on a patch of scree between the two forks. John didn't like that crossing, so he followed the right all the way up, using handholds in the cliff face for the last 100 yards. He decided the left was better.

We stopped for lunch at the saddle, and noted how much snow remained in the upper couloir. Some of the early climbers soon finished descending to the saddle. They described the modified route while a couple other groups began coming down. The later groups dislodged a boulder which rolled about 500 feet downhill and stopped a bit short of where I was eating. About then I decided that I didn't want to proceed without a helmet. The thought was reinforced when I looked down at all the people now coming up. I also didn't want to do as much bouldering as the modified route required.

We finished eating, took some pictures, and began the long, slow, descent. It seemed to take twice as long to get down, and it was a lot harder to keep from knocking rocks loose. We finally did reach the basin as the day was heating up, and started back to the truck. Along the way we stopped at Wright Lake and poked into a few old mines. Near the upper TH, people were zipping around on 4-wheelers and somebody was flying a drone. John gave a few gestures when it flew in his face, before zipping over private property on the other side of the creek.

It was roasting hot when we reached the truck, and it was a long, slow ride down to the highway now with the passenger mostly sitting on the side of the abyss. The truck stayed wheels-down all the way, and we celebrated with some iced coffee in town.

Next time I'm bringing a helmet.
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Jul 11 2016
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 Routes 23
 Photos 1,254
 Triplogs 122

60 male
 Joined Oct 28 2003
 Andover, NJ
Upper Cascade Falls Trail #213West, CO
West, CO
Hiking avatar Jul 11 2016
big_load
Hiking7.95 Miles 3,469 AEG
Hiking7.95 Miles   6 Hrs      1.84 mph
3,469 ft AEG   1 Hour   41 Mns Break
 
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gretchNboo
This was my first day at elevation, so I planned just an easy walk to Lower Cascade Falls with a bunch of attendees at the family reunion in Ouray. We scrambled all around the falls and explored the heck out the overlooking ledges. (Upon descending from them, I learned there was a fatal fall from my vantage point three days earlier). It didn't seem like enough adventure, so I broke off with Cousin G. for a little more. When we neared the Amphitheater Campground access, she dropped off, too, and I decided to go for the top.

It was a hot afternoon, and the elevation gain was relentless, but eventually I topped out and not long after reached the Upper Cascade Falls. The creek was running pretty good, and the crossing was a bit trickier than I expected. Safely on the other side, I proceeded to the ruins of the Chief Ouray Mine a little farther along the contour for a brief exploration of an old bunkhouse and a machine shed.

On the way back, I spied my brother-in-law John at the crossing, where he'd just discovered a leak in his water bottle. I didn't know that he was hiking that day, or I would have asked him to join for the ascent. We made the return trip together and took an alternate route for a little variety. As we went, we made plans to hike Mt. Sneffels a few days later. We finished the day with an ice coffee in town.
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Apr 30 2016
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 Routes 23
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 Triplogs 122

60 male
 Joined Oct 28 2003
 Andover, NJ
Forest Lakes Hill Repeat, NJ 
Forest Lakes Hill Repeat, NJ
 
Hiking avatar Apr 30 2016
big_load
Hiking7.11 Miles 1,206 AEG
Hiking7.11 Miles   2 Hrs   1 Min   3.53 mph
1,206 ft AEG51 LBS Pack
 
no photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
This is my hill workout route, which includes a roughly 1/2 mile hill repeat loop. I'm getting fitted for a new pack, so I did this with a demo version, carrying 51 pounds. It was pretty fast going for the weight, made somewhat easier by the cloudy, cool weather.
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Mar 27 2016
big_load
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 Routes 23
 Photos 1,254
 Triplogs 122

60 male
 Joined Oct 28 2003
 Andover, NJ
Byram Twp Trails, NJ 
Byram Twp Trails, NJ
 
Hiking avatar Mar 27 2016
big_load
Hiking4.09 Miles 565 AEG
Hiking4.09 Miles   1 Hour   26 Mns   2.85 mph
565 ft AEG
 
no photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Mrs. big_load wanted a nice, easy hike to replace her gym workout, so we checked out this latest addition to the local trail system. The trails cross preserved open space in oak forest and connect a number of state parks and rail trails to our neighborhood roads and parks.

Temps were just below 50F, but we saw four garter snakes that didn't seem at all sluggish with cold. We also saw a couple woodpeckers, a small chimney of hawks, and a few black vultures.

This isn't a trip I'd normally post, but it seemed like a good opportunity to check out the latest Route Scout update. It worked well.
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Isolated
We saw the first daffodils and periwinkles of spring. Nothing else has woken up yet.
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Jan 17 2016
big_load
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 Routes 23
 Photos 1,254
 Triplogs 122

60 male
 Joined Oct 28 2003
 Andover, NJ
Flatiron Hike - SuperstitionsPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Jan 17 2016
big_load
Hiking7.56 Miles 3,851 AEG
Hiking7.56 Miles   7 Hrs   26 Mns   1.74 mph
3,851 ft AEG   3 Hrs   5 Mns Break
 
no photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
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This was more like a climb than a hike. I was ahead of the crowd until I followed the wrong trail instead of the vertical rock route. I'll have to see how far I downclimbed to get back up, at least 200 ft. The people who traversed to the trail from where I went back down got over to it at the same time I got back up, so I liked my choice.

Views were great on top. I looked around and took a stab at the nearby peak, but I didn't see a great route. It was slow and wobbly going down. I had to think a bit at the crux.

It was a bit crowded, but everyone was happy and friendly, even the less experienced hikers who were struggling.

ETA: I'm tired. I may not do this hike again for a while.

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Siphon Draw Waterfall Pools to trickle Pools to trickle
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Nov 28 2015
big_load
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 Routes 23
 Photos 1,254
 Triplogs 122

60 male
 Joined Oct 28 2003
 Andover, NJ
Black Mesa Loop - Superstition MtnsPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Nov 28 2015
big_load
Hiking9.50 Miles 1,500 AEG
Hiking9.50 Miles   6 Hrs      2.07 mph
1,500 ft AEG   1 Hour   25 Mns Break
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Cousin G. and I took a leisurely stroll around this old favorite on what looked like a busy day. It was much less busy once we got a few miles down the trail, but there were still people out there. I briefly explored a few side routes that I noticed had been marked with off-trail cairns. Maybe I'll check them out at length next time. I figure they're climber routes, and hopefully not Dutchman seekers.

The chollas on Black Mesa seemed much less healthy than on my last visit, but otherwise I was struck by how lush the vegetation was. Our timing was bad for flowers. Usually there are more out during this week, but not this year.
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Nov 27 2015
big_load
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 Routes 23
 Photos 1,254
 Triplogs 122

60 male
 Joined Oct 28 2003
 Andover, NJ
Superstition Peak 5057 via HieroPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Nov 27 2015
big_load
Hiking5.50 Miles 1,600 AEG
Hiking5.50 Miles   5 Hrs   30 Mns   1.62 mph
1,600 ft AEG   2 Hrs   6 Mns Break
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Mrs. big_load and Cousin G. joined me for a Black Friday canyon scramble. The crowds were thick at Heiro, and I still can't bear to see everyone scrambling on rock art. My spirits picked up when we turned the corner to continue going up. It was a cool, sunny day and we had the trail to ourselves.

Unfortunately, we got a late start, and it seemed best to bail out before the big push to the ridgeline. We took a long lunch on some boulders in the wash before heading back. Many pics were taken, but only a few by me. I'll have to see what's on Mrs. big_load's camera.

I have to set aside a day sometime to finally get all the way up.
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Nov 23 2015
big_load
avatar

 Routes 23
 Photos 1,254
 Triplogs 122

60 male
 Joined Oct 28 2003
 Andover, NJ
Upper Road CanyonSoutheast, UT
Southeast, UT
Hiking avatar Nov 23 2015
big_load
Hiking3.00 Miles 300 AEG
Hiking3.00 Miles   4 Hrs      0.75 mph
300 ft AEG
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
After my visit this Spring, I thought Mrs. big_load would enjoy this one. A few months made a lot of difference, though. There were a couple inches of snow on frozen Cigarette Springs road, which added some uncertainty to the ride out the TH. Would we get stuck on one of the hills? How much worse would it be after the sun worked on it for a few hours?

We reached the trailhead and headed down under a clear blue sky and quickly got into the main canyon. That's when it got interesting. The trail was now punctuated with more than a dozen large, frozen waterfalls. The going was very slow as we found our away around each slippery spot, sometimes by squeezing through the brush. It was a great relief to get down to the bottom and over to the slick rock again.

As we scrambled up to the shelf, I unfortunately discovered that Mrs. big_load was too uncomfortable with the exposure to continue. I found a better way for her to get up, but she balked at the last 20 feet up to the ruin, and while she could view it well from below, she was unable to continue on to the other ruins farther along the shelf. I didn't feel too bad, since she still enjoyed the hike. Besides, it was really warming up and I was worried about the road. We scampered up about as fast as we could and quickly reached the car. Conditions on the last few hundred yards of trail were not encouraging.

I had expected the fluffy snow and nice, hard road to become a couple inches of slush and an inch of liquid mud lubricating a thicker layer of frozen mud below. That is about what happened. Fortunately, the mud wasn't too liquid. There was enough grip to get up the hills and the really mushy spots were in places we could coast through.
We cheered upon finally reaching the register box and the big road.

On our way out, we came upon a truck broken down in the middle of the highway. It had been towing a trailer laden with newly-gathered wood when the transmission failed. Some of the family stayed with it while we gave the driver a ride down to Halchita to get a Jeep. We had a nice talk on along the way, and discovered that we had been within a hundred feet of each other when a truck overturned by the bridge earlier in the year. They planned to disconnect the trailer, tow the truck to the top of the Dugway, coast it down to the bottom, and tow it back to town. I'm sure it was a long and trying day for them.

We finished the day with beef stew and frybread at the Olde Bridge Grill.
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Nov 22 2015
big_load
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 Routes 23
 Photos 1,254
 Triplogs 122

60 male
 Joined Oct 28 2003
 Andover, NJ
Monarch Cave and Another Ruin, UT 
Monarch Cave and Another Ruin, UT
 
Hiking avatar Nov 22 2015
big_load
Hiking5.00 Miles 750 AEG
Hiking5.00 Miles   5 Hrs      1.00 mph
750 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
A couple years ago, Mrs. big_load tried to visit this ruin at the end of a very cold day and wound up in the wrong canyon, only able to see it from above. I came back this Spring and saw the extensive petroglyph panel along with some good pictographs closer in part of this very large site, which occupies two not quite adjacent alcoves.

Mrs. big_load got some great pictures of the frost, which I'll try to post this weekend.

The second half of this day was more speculative. We explored another canyon which doesn't have a named ruin posted all over the internet. However, an old map I came across has one marked there, so we gave it a try. There was some discussion as to whether we were properly following the non-existent route, but mutiny was forestalled when we came across a large but not very intact site. There were quite a few petroglyphs, including one on a stone that appears to have been part of a kiva. A faint path went all the way to the head of the canyon, where an empty alcove overhangs a deep pool that may be perennial. I suspect the trail was from ranchers watering their horses.
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1 archive
average hiking speed 1.71 mph
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WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.

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