Archive for March 2011

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Hiked one gorgeous canyon yesterday in the Escalante area, Utah.  It was an unnamed tributary to the Escalante River, and it was a little technical, to say the least.  I avoided the technical parts by some creative scrambling, but it’d be great to be geared up, with waterproof pack and rope, doing this canyon.  One spot you can jump 25 feet or so down into a deep pool, then another you can slide down sandstone into water.  The water I waded was extremely icy though, so I didn’t take the full plunge.  This is a slot tributary to the unnamed tributary.

Posted March 31, 2011 by MJF Images in Uncategorized

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I bumped into this beautiful canyon, in Utah’s San Rafael Swell.  All the beauty of the parks and such, but none of the rules and crowds.  I almost turned around on a dirt road, decided to go to the next wash crossing, and here’s a trailhead going into the Crack Canyon Wilderness Study Area.  Awesome hike, got back at dark of course.

Posted March 29, 2011 by MJF Images in Uncategorized

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Spent a gorgeous blue-sky day skiing up in the La Sal Mountains near Moab in southern Utah.  What a day!  I was alone, most people below either mountain biking, 4-wheeling, or touring the overlooks of Canyonlands and Arches.  But I did hear a voice (or voices) below me at one point.  I did not see anybody (or any tracks) however.  When I was back on the La Sal Mountain Loop Rd, I met a sheriff in his truck.  He asked me if I had seen anyone while I was up there.  Apparently they were looking for a suicidal man wandering around up there.  I told him about hearing the voices, and he actually took me seriously.  I’m not sure now if I was imagining it.  What strikes me is that there are more high cliffs around here than anywhere I’ve ever been.  If anyone was serious about suicide, it would be a simple matter here in Moab.  Why go trudge around in the snow?  But I did a lot more than trudge.  I even was able to loop some long turns through the aspens on a gentle downhill run back to the van.

Posted March 25, 2011 by MJF Images in Uncategorized

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A wild and windy, cold couple days at Capitol Reef NP.  Beautiful though.  I hiked up the Cohab Canyon trail to take this photo of the old settlement of Fruita, UT.  I rendered it both in B&W and color (which do people like better?).  By the way, cohab is another word for polygamy.  Makes it sound more acceptable doesn’t it?  I camped last night in the coldest temps in quite awhile.  Charl was cuddling half in the down bag, half out.  He doesn’t like to be all the way in with the zipper closed, but doesn’t want to be excluded either.  So I have to suffer the drafts.  I’m headed up and over Boulder Mtn right now to ski the fresh snow, then back down to Escalante country on the way back west.

Posted March 22, 2011 by MJF Images in Uncategorized

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Racing (and losing) sunset while descending Sulphur Creek, a wet canyon in southern Utah’s Capitol Reef National Park.  Can you say soggy sneakers?

Posted March 21, 2011 by MJF Images in Uncategorized

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Out hiking late, the moon rose, and lit the surrounding slickrock countryside along Upper Calf Creek in the Escalante River Country of southern Utah.  Later I found out this moon is the closest to Earth in two decades.  It was bright, but I attributed that to the light colored sandstones.  A beautiful moonlit hike for us, whatever the planetary configuration.

Posted March 19, 2011 by MJF Images in Uncategorized

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An old aspen, twisted by the winds and weather atop the Paunsaungunt Plateau (Bryce Canyon NP) of southern Utah, opens its arms to spring.  This was during a bluebird day XC skiing through the Ponderosas and occasional Aspens.  Very very nice ski, highly recommend this time of year at that park, because of the option to both ski atop the plateau, and hike below the rim (though the trails are muddy, slushy and slippery).  Nights were cold and star-filled, and days were surprisingly warm.

Posted March 17, 2011 by MJF Images in Uncategorized

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XC skiing and hiking at Bryce Canyon for a couple days was heaven.  The second photo, of the melting muddy Bryce Creek, had me getting my feet soaked in cold slushy water.  It was worth it.  Also skied amazing Bristlecone Pine ridgelines, and Ponderosa Pine meadows.  Really really sweet.  Now down in the low country (relatively speaking) of the Escalante.

Posted March 16, 2011 by MJF Images in Uncategorized

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Hiked “the wave”, which is in Vermilion Cliffs National Monument along the Utah-Arizona border.  What an amazing place!  And it’s not just the wave (which requires entering a lottery to get a permit for) but the entire area that is so cool to hike through.  From the same trailhead (called Wire Pass, about 8 miles down House Rock Valley Rd, which is off Hwy 89) you can hike down Wire Pass through narrow slot canyons to Buckskin Gulch (more amazing slots).  But I recommend also hiking up to the wave.  You can show up at the BLM in Kanab and get a permit.  Just show up on Friday morning at 8:45, since they give out permits for the 3 following days then, and it’s easier to get one.  If you go in April or early May, don’t be surprised if it’s impossible to get one.  You hike through what must have been millions of years ago an enormous sand sea.  The rocks are all crazily cross-bedded sandstones which are really petrified dunes.  I’ll post more when I’m finished going through them.  Meantime our adventure continues; I’m at Bryce Canyon now.  Really enjoyed skiing for the first time in awhile, the bonus being sunshine and Bristlecone Pines.

Posted March 14, 2011 by MJF Images in Uncategorized

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Hiked in Vermilion Cliffs National Monument in southern Utah yesterday, at an area called Coyote Buttes.  A real wonderland, a maze of slickrock gulches and hoodoos made of sandstones that record a vast region of enormous sand dunes in the age of dinosaurs.  This is one of my more unusual shots at the famous locality called “the wave”.

Posted March 13, 2011 by MJF Images in Uncategorized

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