Fadgen's Adventures

Fadgen's Adventures
Green Creek Lake

Sunday, April 10, 2016

A Little Desert Relaxation

Dylan "relaxing" on an off width
A few weeks back Tamara and I joined Dylan in Las Vegas for the 13th annual Red Rock Rendezvous.  The RRR is a rock climbing “festival,” put on by Mountain Gear, in the climbing mecca of Red Rocks.  We had previously attended this festival in 2012 and were eagerly looking forward to gaining some additional knowledge from the climbing seminars put on by professional climbing athletes.  Needless to say we had a great time.  We learned a lot: I learned traditional lead climbing, Tamara brushed up on some beginner techniques, while Dylan suffered through an off width clinic.  In addition to rubbing shoulders with some semi-famous rock climbers, we enjoyed the free flowing beer and wine, a great bar-b-que dinner and camaraderie of like-minded individuals.
Supposed to be gangsta signs!

 Since I had to attend a trade show in Las Vegas for work, on Thursday, we decided to make a semi vacation out of the week.  After a fun time hanging with family Sunday night, Tamara and I headed east to Zion National Park and Dylan headed back to classes at Utah State. 

The first stop was outside the park for some mountain biking in an area called Gooseberry Mesa.  This area is supposed to be “Moab like” slick rock riding, a new treat for us.  It was definitely new, but I am not sure about the treat part. With a printed map of the area, we headed out following the white dots painted on the rock.  It didn’t take long to get completely turned around on the flat mesa.  But as long as we followed the dots we’d be fine, right? 

Other than a couple of near crashes and quite few walk-a-bikes, we did OK for our first time riding on rock. We definitely need more practice with this type of riding to get proficient at it. 

We didn’t actually get lost while riding, turned around a few times, but never lost.  Next time it might be helpful to bring a GPS.

The next morning we hit Zion NP early to try and beat the crowds up Angel’s Landing.  Angel’s Landing is one of the most popular hikes in Zion.  It climbs a paved path up steep switch backs on the side of a a wall, before crossing a knife edge ridge offering some excellent exposure.  This ridge comes equipped with chains to grab on to to steady yourself if needed.
Tamara with Angel's Landing in the background

The final ridge

I’m glad we started early on this, as we got to enjoy the summit with only 40-50 of our closest friends!  Despite the crowd, the view from the top was outstanding.  The descent was uneventful, other than dodging the hundreds of people heading up the chained route!  Gotta love our national parks!
The true high point
That afternoon we stopped at the local bike shop to get some beta on another mountain bike ride – the JEM trail.  This is another great trail outside of Hurricane, Utah that traverses along the Virgin River canyon rim before meandering around the valley for miles and miles.  Not much climbing involved on the ride, but the stiff wind, warm temperatures and rocky terrain kept our heart rates up.
JEM Trail
Virgin River

 Since personal vehicles are not allowed in Zion NP, the following morning we took a leisurely bike ride to the end of the road.  We stopped along the way to enjoy the stunning morning views as well as the climbers ascending the famous, Moonlight Buttress.  Now those are some bad ass climbers!

We finished up the weekend with seeing some of the boys (and girls) from the old college days, down on Fremont Street.  Good times!

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