Posts Tagged “camping”

This past weekend we had a 3 day weekend that provided the perfect opportunity to have a ASAP staff training on rock climbing site management and anchor building down in Tres Piedras.  We went over safety and techniques for managing a top-rope (what you would see in gyms) and top-belay (belaying from the top of the climb) as well as how to set up the anchors for each respective method.  Myself and another ASAP employee, Rob, led lessons on knots, gear, gear  placements, anchor theory, and how to safely manage the area when leading trips.  A local badass and longtime professional climbing/mountaineering guide, Mark, was with us and went into detail on all of these systems and proved, as always, an invaluable resource for the training.  I dont know if he will read this but…Mark, you rock.  It was awesome having you with us!   Here are some pics from the trip:

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Going over one of the anchors we built.

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Cora, working on getting the rope down to the ground from the anchor.

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A tricam, in passive mode (just google “tricam”); Dan belaying in the background.

For those of you who may be checking out Adams and are into the outdoors, ASAP will get you where you want to go.  Maybe you want to go hit up the local rock climbing spots on the weekend or  go to Wolf Creek to get your deep powder fix.  Or, maybe you are looking for a sweet (the sweetest?) job on campus that will keep you involved and teach you a tremendous amount of skills across the spectrum of outdoor recreation.  Get outside!

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This weekend Jenna and I went camping in the Weminuche Wilderness Area of the San Juan mountains just west of Alamosa.  With almost 500,000 acres, it’s the largest wilderness area in Colorado and for the most part, is awesome.  We just car camped the first night, then went onto the West Fork San Juan trail (aka Rainbow Trail) and despite it being Labor Day weekend, we didn’t see too many people.  By the campsite there were what we really went out there for: hot springs.  Essentially, warm, slightly sulphur smelling water came out of the hill, collecting in a pool created by rocks stacked up next to the river.  I didn’t get any shots of the springs (you just have to go for yourself!) but here are some things we saw along the way:

Weird looking mushroom covered in sap or something:

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A view of the San Juan River along the trail on the way to the hot springs:

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Ahh…Great Basin National Park.  A true taste of the middle of no where.  GBNP can be found just across the Utah border in eastern Nevada and is home to the second highest peak in Nevada: Wheeler Peak at 13,065ft.  I went out there for a few days to escape the heat and check out some parks in the area.  It’s a very small park with only a few trails but it was worth the 4-hour drive.  After being in the desert for a while, it was great to see and feel a rock glacier and the renmants of a receding glacier.  Also, being able to visit a 3200 year old tree was quite humbling.  The hike to Wheeler Peak provided some great views from the top and it was great experience battling 70mph gusts going up it.  And believe it or not, I actually ran into someone there that I met at the Zion backcountry desk who helps with medical stuff here at the park….small world.  Heres a view from the summit…
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Since then I’ve been able to explore some new areas of Zion like the Right Fork (right), a creek walk style hike in a canyon, and the East Rim (left), a higher elevation eastern portion of the park.  Both totally different, and totally gorgeous.
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And best of all, Tuesday I went to see my girlfriend.  Her family was vacationing in Moab so I went up there to see her and check out the Fiery Furnace in Arches with them.  This is an area where you kind of just scramble around through the sandstone fins, finding your own path while making sure to follow LNT principles).  Sorry, no pictures yet!

Finally…Today I just got back from an overnight trip in The Narrows here at Zion but that will have to wait for another post but in summary…it was awesome.

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The spring break destination decision came full circle and we ended up, thankfully, going to Utah.  The areas we were originally going to visit we covered in a lot of snow so we decided on some laid back car-camping around Moab.  A few shorter day hikes around Arches and a nice long full day hike in Canyonlands were just beautiful, providing a much needed hiking fix.  The nights were pretty cold, but the days were perfect: cool and sunny.  Here are some pictures from the trip:

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The initial plan was for a group of us to check out some canyons in the south-east region of Utah.  However, after calling the ranger station near there to find out where to get detailed topo maps of the area, I was informed that the entire area was “covered in a foot and a half of snow.”  This of course makes the access roads to the canyons unusable and one of the loops we wanted to hike required a 7 mile snowshoe hike just to get to the trailhead.  So now its back the drawing board and more than likely, somewhere south.  One thought was a part of the Coronado National Forest in south-east Arizona which buts up against the Chiricahua National Monument.  Both seem pretty cool and none of us have been to either place.  Where we go is undecided at the moment but I’m sure we will find somewhere cool to go!

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