Fadgen's Adventures

Fadgen's Adventures
Green Creek Lake

Monday, November 28, 2016

A Moab Thanksgiving!

Double Arch
Dylan has been after me for some time to get down to Moab for both mountain biking and climbing.  He kept saying I didn't know what I was missing by not heading down to the desert.  Well, with nothing much planned for the long Thanksgiving weekend, Tamara and I decided we'd make it a short multi-sport family vacation.

We took off early Wednesday morning and met up with up Taylor and Dylan at Taylor's place in SLC.  After some great Pho for lunch, we made the short 3.5 hour drive from Salt Lake to Moab.  The red cliffs were looking pretty good in the late afternoon sunshine, but it was a little late to get out and do anything fun. So, we had dinner and some drinks before calling it a night.

Thursday morning we decided to do the National Park thing and headed over to Arches National Park.  Dylan, who had ridden his road bike through the park last spring, acted as our tour guide as we visited the attractions; Double Arch, Window Arches, Delicate Arch - you get the picture.  It was all very beautiful on this clear, cold, fall day.

Delicate Arch
I called these the "Sporting Wood" formations
After a long morning/afternoon of hiking through the park, and with a short window before dark, the girls dropped us boys off at Wall Street so we could climb a crack route called, 30 Seconds over Potash.  Well, at least he could climb it.  I struggled up it the best I could, but by the time I felt that I had a little of crack climbing technique down, my arms were just too pumped.  So I called it a day 20 feet from the top as it was turning dark.
Dylan on "30 Seconds Over Potash"
And yours truly trying to follow
That night we had a great Thanksgiving dinner, highlighted by the three pies Taylor baked the day before - apple, blueberry maple and pear cranberry.  Delicious!

The next morning was another cold, clear beautiful day as we all headed to Klondike Bluffs for a little mountain biking.  Though Tamara, Dylan and I are avid mountain bikers, Taylor just occasionally dabbles in it, but Tamara is just getting over a shoulder injury caused by crashing her mountain bike the previous week.  So, with this in mind, Dylan selected an intermediate trail that didn't involve too much slick rock.  Though intermediate, everyone still had a blast!
Taylor on Klondike Bluff
Staying warm
Group shot
The afternoon was again set aside for some rock climbing, but this time he took us to The Ice Cream Parlor for some slab climbing.  The three non-injured Fadgen's then did a little bit of climbing to round out the day.

We were all feeling a little beat up Saturday morning, but the slick rock was calling!  Dylan and I decided to ride Moab's famous "Slick Rock Trail", while the girls elected to head back to Arches NP and hike the Devil's Garden.  Tamara and I had ridden some slick rock the previous spring outside of Zion NP http://fadgenfamily.blogspot.com/2016_04_01_archive.html, but nothing like this.

We arrived at the nearly empty parking lot at 9AM.  Though it was a brisk 35 degrees, it didn't take long for us to heat up. The riding alternated between technical and easy, and you had to pay attention for the majority of the 10 mile loop.  Though I laid my bike over a half dozen times on both rock and sand, no major injuries were sustained.  We were pretty spent after completing the 2.5 hour ride, but...

There was more climbing to be done!  Another route that Dylan had on his list for the weekend, "Pocket Rocket" https://www.mountainproject.com/v/pocket-rocket/106297965 beckoned.  After a quick call to verify that the girls were still at Devil's Garden, we made a beeline down Potash Road heading for the route.
Taylor and Tamara at Landscape Arch
The crux of this route is a roof move right off the ground. After flailing for a bit on this, Dylan easily lead the remainder of the route and set up an anchor.  My turn.  I'd like to say I breezed up it, but I couldn't even get started.  I gained the roof section and had a heel hooked over a bulge, but just couldn't pull the rest of my body up to reach the first hold.  Let's just say that I was weighed down by turkey and beer.  So after a few minutes of really flailing, I asked Dylan to lower me and called it a day.

That afternoon we took a 3 hour tour and drove the La Sal mountain loop down into Castleton and then on to Fisher Towers.  Dylan had climbed Ancient Art in Fisher Towers http://fadgenfamily.blogspot.com/2015/02/ancient-art-stolen-chimney.html in Febuary 2015 and was looking forward to showing the area to us.

It did not disappoint.  The geology of this area is very unique and not to be missed.  As we hiked around the area in the sunset, the glow from the red mud was stunning.  The view of Ancient Art from the ground was equally stunning as well as terrifying.

Ancient Art corkscrew top with Dylan hiking below

All in all we got in several hikes, a couple of mountain bike rides, some rock climbing, quite a bit of laughs and a great time, as a family! 

Monday, November 21, 2016

Prescott and Inspiration Peaks - Nov 5, 2016

The Lemhi's in the early morning alpenglow
A couple of weeks back, John offered up a dozen peak selections for a Saturday trip.  Though all looked interesting, I liked his idea of climbing Mounts Inspiration and Perspiration in honor of fellow mountaineer, Larry Prescott.  Larry passed away from medical complications while climbing these peaks the prior weekend (Oct 29th).  Though I had only met and climbed with Larry once earlier in the year, his death was a shock.  A shock because he was a lot like me - 56, in pretty good shape and loved to get out and climb peaks.

After a warm night in our triple bed motel room in Arco, John, Michael and I met up with John's friend, Jeff, who drove down from Salmon.  After a quick stop at the Charcoal Kilns, we proceeded up the four wheel drive "road" in Michael's FJ until we found a convenient turn around spot.
Getting ready in the cold canyon
It was clear and cold as we walked the remainder of the four wheel drive road before it turned into an ATV trail. At the end of the trail, we took a hard right and wondered through the open forest before gaining the north ridge to Peak 10,546.
Michael heating up as he moved into the sun
It wasn't long before we were above tree line and had the rugged north ridge of Peak 10,456 in our sights.  Unfortunately, the view of our first peak of the day, Mount Perspiration, was blocked by Peak 10,456.
Peak 10,456 and it's north ridge
 Once out of the forest, we also were in the hard crusty snow, and we opted to put on our crampons.
Heading up in the sunshine
John and Jeff stop to catch their breath

The snow depth was pretty variable, necessitating some rock cramponing.  Just after the large gendarme shown in the above picture, I removed my crampons to make a tricky move across the rock.  John and Jeff followed, while Michael looked around and found an easier way around the rock without taking off his crampons.
John finishing up the Gendarme
The final ridge to Peak 10,456
After reaching the summit of Peak 10,456, we removed our crampons and then proceeded up the gentle, snow free slope to Mount Perspiration.  Someone on the Idaho Summits forum had provided the GPS location of where Larry passed, so the four of us stopped at this point to ponder the meaning of life.  We enjoyed the amazing views while discussing re-naming the peak in honor of Larry. Though there is no official USGS name, Peak 10,693 will now be called Prescott Peak in our minds.
There's our peak - Prescott Peak
Mt Inspiration
John almost to the summit
As it was getting late, we only spent a short time on the summit of Prescott Peak before we dropped down the steep 400 feet to the saddle between Prescott and Mt Inspiration.  With little snow to contend with, we made good time to the summit of Mount Inspiration at 10,715 feet. 
John and Micheal heading down to the saddle

The final steep push to the summit of Mount Inspiration
We were all a bit tired as we re-traced our steps down Inspiration, up Prescott, and then back to the FJ.  A long, satisfying day in the beautiful Idaho mountains with some great friends.

If I figured one thing out that day, it was to continue to live life to its fullest.

Diamond Peak and Bell Mountain (L-R) from Prescott Peak
 John's (Splattski) trip report: http://www.splattski.com/2016/prescott/index.html

Monday, October 24, 2016

City of Rocks/Castle Rocks

Last weekend, Tamara and I joined John Platt and Brian Mahon for a weekend of rock climbing in SE Idaho.  We met up Friday night at the home of one of John's old friends outside Castle Rock State Park, Tom Harper and Hannah North.  They both have climbed through out the City of Rocks and Castle Rocks over the years, and we were excited to be with them at their home in the middle of nowhere.

After a relaxing Saturday morning, we made the short 15 minute hike from the house to Caste Rock.  Hannah took us to the south face of Castle Rock   https://www.mountainproject.com/v/castle-rock---south-face/105821826, where we could set up a couple of top ropes allowing the six of us to spread out a bit.

Me leading Little Time

Tamara heading up Little Time
Tamara likes this slab climbing
John showing us how to hold a beer after climbing all day
A crew around me on Castle Keep
High stepping on the first friction move on Castle Keep
John, Tom, Hannah and Brian looking back at the south face of Castle Rock
 After climbing four routes on the south face, Hannah took us around to an alcove on the west side of Castle Rock for a couple of other 5.7 routes on the Egg Wall.  Before we realized it, we had climbed the day away, and it was time to head back to the house.

With the weather looking good, we decided to head over to the City Sunday morning to climb a four pitch route called Theater of Shadows on Jackson's Thumb.  https://www.mountainproject.com/v/theater-of-shadows/105741557

With six of us climbing, we split into two rope teams of three.  Hannah, John and Brian made up the first team, while Tom, Tamara and I were on the second team.
Theater of Shadows (to the left of the large rock)
Making the 45 minute hike to the route
Hannah and Brian getting ready
Brian leading the first pitch
John following Brian
Tamara following me up the first pitch

Tom leading the second pitch
Tamara following after the excellent third pitch
All smiles while hanging on the 3rd belay station
 Tom and I switched leads on Theater of Shadows with Tamara hauling up the second rope in the middle.  After reaching the top, we had a couple of rappels to make to get down to where we could walk out.   Tamara, who hasn't had much (or rather any) experience rappelling (http://fadgenfamily.blogspot.com/2014/10/city-of-rocks.html) , enjoyed the free hanging rappel off the top.  Actually, Tom had her on belay for this and she was completely safe.

Tamara on the free hanging rappel
After this most excellent climbing route, we headed back to the house.  Here Tamara and I bid John, Brian, Hannah and Tom farewell and headed back to Boise.  John and Brian had a couple more days of climbing in them.  John's trip report is here: http://www.splattski.com/2016/city_grays/index.html

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A team of adventurers consisting of John, Tamara, Taylor, Dylan, and Shadow Fadgen