Alcove Springs Trail, Island in the Sky
Posted by sibylle in utah (Saturday April 30, 2011 at 4:01 pm)

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Alcove Springs Trail

With good weather forecast for the next day, we decided to try a longer hike — from the Alcove Springs trailhead in Island in the Sky toward Taylor Canyon.

The trail starts at the rim and winds down switchbacks past an enormous alcove
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View of alcove from below

At the bottom of the canyon, we followed a wash down Trail Canyon for about 3 miles to the junction of Trail Canyon and Taylor Canyon.

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View of Moses and Zeus

someday I want to climb one of these!

Island in the Sky, Canyonlands - Alcove Springs hike
Posted by sibylle in utah, Yosemite (Thursday April 28, 2011 at 5:23 pm)

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View of Moses and  Zeus

The view at the end of our long hike via Alcove Springs!

Island in the Sky, Canyonlands
Posted by sibylle in utah (Tuesday April 26, 2011 at 5:03 pm)

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Looking at the Green River from Green River overlook

From Arches National Park,  we drove about 35 miles to Island in the Sky, part of Canyonlands National Park. First, we secured a spot in the Willow Flat Campground.

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Campsite 11 at Willow Flats Campground

With only 12 sites total, we were lucky to find the last empty site, and as we unloaded our car, two people drove by looking for a campsite.

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View from Mesa Arch to the canyon bottom

Our first hike was one of the short hikes, to Mesa Arch, a half-mile round trip on a mostly flat trail. Mesa Arch perches directly on the canyon rim, and if one were to trip and fall through the arch, it’d be hundreds of feet to the canyon bottom.

It’s well worth hiking to Mesa Arch, with a spectacular view of the canyon bottom. The arch is particularly pretty at sunrise, but we experienced rainy skies the following two mornings. I’ll have to come back another time for sunrise photos!

Park Avenue trail, Arches National Park
Posted by sibylle in utah (Monday April 25, 2011 at 5:57 pm)

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The Three Gossips

The Arches National Park website describes the Park Avenue trail as “moderate”,  though it’s only 1 mile long ( they also claim it takes 30 - 60 minutes — that’s allowing a LOT of time for photography!)

Tristan dropped me off at the lower end (elevation), near Courthouse Towers and I jogged and hiked the trail in the uphill direction. The Three Gossips, above, a spectacular formation, are climbed from any one of several routes.

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Along the Park Avenue trail

The trail is very pleasant, on slickrock and easy to follow. It ends at the Park Avenue parking area and makes a nice one-way trip if one has a shuttle driver available.

Tower Arch, Arches National Park
Posted by sibylle in utah (Sunday April 24, 2011 at 5:15 pm)

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Tower Arch

In Arches, we  hiked the 3.4 mile (round trip) trail to Tower Arch. This trail climbs steeply up a rocky section at first, then descends a little to meander between sage brush.

We passed bizarre rock formations - the Marching Men, on the hike to Tower Arch.

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The Marching Men with the La Sal mountains in back

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Looking out from inside Tower Arch

Tower Arch is one of the fattest arches I’ve seen. This trail is relatively quiet, since it starts at the end of a dirt road.  It’s a much harder trail than the one to Landscape Arch, but not overly long.

Tristan said it was his favorite trail of all the ones we hiked in Arches.

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Landscape arch, Arches National Park
Posted by sibylle in utah (Saturday April 23, 2011 at 1:48 pm)

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Landscape Arch

During National Parks week, when the parks offered free entry to visitors, my son and I hiked in Arches National Park.

Tristan broke his leg in November (tibia) and while he could walk (the surgeon nailed a titanium rod down the center of his leg bone), these would be his first hikes since the surgery to repair the broken leg.

We thought we’d start out with short, relatively flat and easy hikes. Hiking to Landscape Arch fit the bill.

According to the NP website, Landscape Arch is Earth’s largest arch. I’d hiked past here  before, on the way to climb Dark Angel, and remembered it as an easy hike.

The hike involves a 2-mile round trip on fairly flat, easy ground, and as such is very popular and a quite busy.

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Landscape Arch in October, 2007

Since Wall Arch broke a few years ago, maybe it’s best we saw this arch now, before it too goes the way of all geological features!

Castle Valley, Utah, The Priest
Posted by sibylle in utah (Tuesday April 19, 2011 at 2:38 pm)

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Nico on the Priest
It’s free entry to National Parks week!

We’re heading to Canyonlands and other parks on a few hikes.

Nico and Andrew climbed the Priest while we climbed the Nuns, so I took photos looking across at their climb.

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The Priest, Honeymoon Chimney

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Nico leading the crux of the last pitch

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Germans on top of the Priest

A-Basin Enduro, Imperial challenge - Summit’s adventure races
Posted by sibylle in skiing, women, Colorado (Saturday April 16, 2011 at 9:32 am)

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Snow-bike competitor in Enduro and ski racers riding Pali

Jamie Ober and Ollie Holmes again won the 22nd annual Enduro with 71 runs, one lap short of their record 72 laps.

Tom Fricke and Leon Littlebird of the SnowShow at Krystal 93  had speculated that this year, Jamie and Ollie might set a new record because of the excellent snow conditions.

We skied the Basin that day, and in the morning, blue sky, sunshine, and no wind made for ideal conditions. However,  later that afternoon the wind picked up and  visibility decreased as a storm blew in — all of which would contribute to slower speeds on the slopes.

Ian Borgeson and  Dylan Walczyk placed second with 70 laps, while Wendy Fisher and Johnny Biggers of Crested Butte placed 3rd with 66 laps. Fisher, a former member of the U.S. ski team, and Olympic competitor, won two Extreme Freeskiing World titles.

 Fisher, who skis at Crested Butte, has long encouraged women skiing harder. I’d like to see a team of fisher and two time World Extreme skiing champion  Kim Reichhelm competing in next year’s Enduro!

The #1 women’s team,  Erika Hall and Becs Hodgetts completed 65 laps, while the #1 snowboard team, James Ashley and Shaun Maruna rode 62 laps.

The guys riding the lift in front of us,  bibs #4, are Will Stevenson and Ryan Anthon, who completed 64 laps - so they’re right in among  the top competitors.

Arapahoe Basin Enduro April 13, 2011
Posted by sibylle in skiing, Colorado (Wednesday April 13, 2011 at 9:13 pm)

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Competitors coming down the final stretch to the Pali lift line

Today, A-Basin hosted its 22nd annual Enduro race. Skiers and riders run laps on the Pali face — all double black or extreme runs — from 7 a.m. until 5 p.m. and team that completes the most laps is the winner.

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Team # 4 rode the chair in front of us

Only 40 teams are allowed to race, and racers from previous years get priority.

When my housemate raced the Enduro, he got in as a replacement racer in an already registered  team of two, one of whom was injured.

The record, held by Jamie Ober and Ollie Holmes, is 72 laps.

That’s 72 laps on step, narrow bumps and trees!

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A boarder racing the Enduro

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Pali looked smooth and fast this morning

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Racers got good light, good snow, and good weather

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Racers near the top of Pali face

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