The Ultra Experience

Here's to the adventures of my life which are usually ultra marathon trail running or fly fishing but may include other trips, experiences, thoughts, opinions, or pretty much whatever I want. As co-founder of Altra Footwear my life and adventures seemingly revolve more around developing and promoting the best footwear in the world...and I love it!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

San Rafael Swell

So last week as the teaching assistant of the UVU Outdoor Leadership course I spent spring break in "the Swell". We had spent the last 2 months of class preparing for the trip which is based off of NOLS (The National Outdoor Leadership School). Having taken the class last year, been on a NOLS course, and having extensive backpacking experience, I had the opportunity to TA the class this year. Betsy, the instructor, also let me teach several sections of the course which has been a great experience.

The preparation for the course went smoothly and on Tuesday March 11th we headed south. We spent the next six days traipsing around the Swell. Our course took us down North Salt Wash, along the San Rafael River, up Virgin Springs canyon, and over Sids Mountain. We didn't see a single soul aside from our group which included 12 students, Betsy, and myself. We saw desert big horn sheep, amazing petroglyphs, huge canyons, river crossings, steep pitches, and we had great weather. I felt successful as a leader and had a awesome time. Hopefully the students learned a lot and had a great time as well. Some of the canyons we have in Utah are just amazing and this hike was no exception. Absolutely beautiful!

The trip was not only a lot of fun but was a fantastic leadership opportunity for me. I have really been able to hone my skills as an outdoor leader this past year and this opportunity was the climax. We will see where my experience takes me this next year. The journey sure has been fun. Cheers and happy trails!

Zions Feb 18th-19th

This a greatly delayed post (Internet problems at home) yet about a month ago ( Presidents Day weekend) I was getting some spring fever and headed down to Zions for some backpacking as temperatures were rising. My expectations were meet with temp's reaching into the 60's! Zanna and I meet up with some friends, Scott and his wife Cami, for a weekend trip to Zions. With most of the extended backpacking loops still snowed in we opted for the Chinle Trail along the southwestern tip of Zions. It was a relaxing, fun , and quick trip. The trail was a bit muddy yet still relatively easy. It was just nice to be away from the stress of work and school and go on a beautiful hike. The hike itself was simple. It contoured around the huge Zion monoliths on a relatively flat trail that went through the most amazing petrified forest. It really was incredibly! The trail ends at the only legitimate water in the area, Coalpits Wash, which is about 7 miles each way from the trailhead. Definitely a trail to hike in early spring or late fall. I bet it gets way too hot in summer being that exposed with little water. Its great to be live in Utah though as this hike was only a 3 1/2 hour drive from home, making this a great little weekend hike! Happy Trails!