Saturday, April 12, 2008
the hike is loop. there are look out points to which you can hike and look out over the valley or rather the canyon. but the area is actually a plateau. so. You Brian need to rocket through the Military and retire to Utah and come to lots O fun things with us.
This might give a little idea as to how steep the down hike was on the inner portion of Zions National Park. If you have been there you know how steep the walls can be. Well the trails were covered in a few feet of snow and we literally would not have stayed on course with out a GPS loaded with the trail. I wish we would have remembered a digital camera that we could have done video to show some more. We would have also been able to take more pictures. MSR snow shoes and poles were a must have.
This our camp. In the first picture, we had just set up our camp and were headed out to do some exploring. Our feet were frozen and we needed to get moving agian. That is two feet of snow that we are camped on top of. We were able to pack it down to 18 inches but then we didn't have snow stakes, so we had to dig down to the ground. Well, that was intersting and cold too. Obviously, the spring we wanted to collect and filter water from was under 2 to 4 feet of snow. Thus, for our drinking and cooking water we had to melt snow. That takes longer than most, ourselves included, might think. It also takes a lot to get a usable amount. It was interesting and fun to cook inside the tent, which helped warm up the tent.
When the morning came our shoes were frozen solid and very cold to put on. Speculating on just how cold it would be to put on frozen shoes and have them melt then freeze our feet, we planned on getting every thing done we possibly could from the comfort of our sleeping bags before imbarking out of the tent. We jumped around a bit while taking down the tent because of our freezing feet but I would say with in a half mile they had warmed up.
On an interesting note, we were in the tent for 15 hours. We had returned to it about 6.30 pm (sunset). The temperature dropped so fast when the sun left. We really did not start moving till light. We cooked and ate then took another namp to warm up some more. We left the tent when the sun was really getting overhead and warming the air more. It was nearly 10 am. During the night, which was so cold, you did not want to come off of the sleeping pad at all. If your arm, leg or bum were to slide off the pad you knew it instantly. Levi thinks the temp may have got to about 10 to 12 degrees that night. My toes inform me that it hit 9 or maybe 8 degrees. Coldest, longest night of my life. I would definately do this again but with down sleeping bag.
This is the start of the hike. Sort of. We were a bit into the hike. this is about when it started getting interesting. The trail started having too much snow on it to avoid putting on our snow shoes. We actually discovered that a bit up and around this corner. Levi was a bit ahead of me and trekking through two feet of snow and tipped over. So, I put mine on and we didn't take them off till camp.