Our Utah Life

Taking Up Canyoneering In Utah

by Jared on 27 July, 2014, no comments

Pleiades Canyoneering

Repelling Pleiades

Utah is home to some of the most amazing canyons in the world. With thousands of incredible places to hike repel and enjoy the outdoors you literally have thousands of places to explore. I love the outdoors and one activity that I have not done nearly enough of in my life is Canyoneering. Luckily I have a cousin who is an expert and has connections with an amazing company Northwash Outfitters who hooked us up with all of the gear we would need for the trip.

Our destination was a rapid fire repelling canyon called Pleiades. We met first thing in the morning in Moab and headed towards the trailhead. Which is about 20 minutes outside of Moab, the hike-in is very easy and can’t be much further than a 1/2 mile.

Pleiades Trailhead

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Once we started heading into the canyon I started to get a little nervous. I have been repelling multiple times however it had been a few years and I was feeling rusty. My cousin Aaron got us settled down with a few tips and guidance on foot placement for the repel and off we went.

MIKE

Jared Repelling

Cleaning Up The Rust

The first repel is absolutely incredible heading right down the middle of the waterfall for what I would estimate is around 25 to 30 feet. The wet suits were a welcome addition to our equipment list keeping me warm for the entire trip. Taking those first few steps backwards and drops is a surreal experience luckily my muscle memory returned quickly and I felt right at home after just few feet.

Following the first repel you hike around 100 yards until you reach the next set of drops, which happen one after the other until you reach the bottom of the Canyon some 400ft later.

Hiking in Moab

The constant water flow can make the rock very slick in some areas with a lot of moss growing on the rocks. In the picture above you can see us hugging the wall as we hike to the next repelling area. Because this canyon is located in the mountains outside of town it really stands out compared to the traditional Moab landscape. The canyon is absolutely beautiful and the pictures from my GoPro really¬†doesn’t do it justice at all. For me the repels that made me the most nervous were actually not very high, however the way the drop started made it easier to start the repel by sitting down and sliding your hips off. Not having my feet underneath me and using my non brake hand to push myself away from the rock was different from what I am used to and took a little getting used to. Once you drop enough to get your legs against the rock again and assume a traditional repelling position was always comforting.

Moab Canyoneering

Staggered Repels

During one section of the canyon you drop into an area that has a lot of water flow and feels almost like a cave. Because the water is cold here we staggered the repel and had two groups going at once, one set running the upper repel and another the lower. As soon as you got off repel you jumped on the other line and headed down the second step. The repelling area gets fairly narrow during the second repel where the water has been cutting a chute through the rock for thousands of years. This was by far my favorite part of the trip the water rushing down between your legs and spraying your face as you straddle the rock and repel down.

Waterfall Repel

Mike

The final repel follows a wider section of rock that is very slick due to moss. During this repel I had a small miss hap where I lost my footing off of a small drop and the ledge goes into the rock so I was sucked inside the crack.

Jaredmisshap

Once I got back on my feet I headed down the final 20ft or so. This section is a ton of fun and gives you a lot of freedom to choose where on the rocks you want to come down. My arms were fatigued by the end of the day, mostly from holding to tightly to the rope and the brake neither of which are really needed but lack of experience led to over excursion. The last obstacle is straddling a large fallen tree to get down the final drop off. This can be repelled as well but straddling was faster.

Log Crawling

The hike back to the main trail is steep but short, by the time we were back to our trucks it had taken our group around 4 hours to take the canyon. For me this was truly one of the most incredible experiences of my entire life. I love being outdoors and especially love being in the mountains. There is something very special about being in beautiful places. Every time I head into the mountains I feel a special bond with my creator, like he is sharing a special place created for the sole purpose of making our lives better.The entire trip was an incredible adventure and I can’t wait to do some more Canyoneering. If you are looking to spend more time in the outdoors in Utah consider taking up Canyoneering, with great locations all over the state it is a great way to get more out of living in Utah. Special thanks to the Brewers for being our guides!

The Need For The Common Adventure

by Jared on 9 June, 2014, no comments

Hiking Trail

I grew up in a small mountain community southeast of Spanish Fork. Every single day was an adventure, in the summer we would, ride ATVs build forts and sleep under the stars. When it got hot we would throw on our swim suits and jump off the bridge into the Spanish Fork river. We played night games, hiked mountains, and spent the entire winter riding snowboards and sledding. The unique area left us with the opportunity to as much imaginative play as we could muster. I learned to be tough, to work to do hard things and have a great time doing it.

New Adventures

Growing up brings a lot of change, higher education, dating, marriage, kids and a career. While each of those is an adventure of their own they have a different feel, than the care free fun of childhood. I find myself getting so caught up in the details of “adult life” that I often find myself surfing the internet reading blogs or looking at Instagram accounts of people who I would say live much more adventures lives than I do. While many of their travels take them to places I can’t wait to see, the thing I find myself envious of most is the adventure. That feeling of being somewhere new not knowing what the day ahead of you will bring. Deciding to do something without considering the practicality of the activity whatsoever. I think this is something that so many of us need, I certainly know that I need it.

The Summer Of Common Adventures

Hiking

So we have declared this the summer of common adventures. We won’t be backpacking through Europe or taking an exotic vacation but because we love the outdoors and Utah. We will be going on more hikes, camping more often and walking or biking to more local destinations. Having as many adventures as we can muster. I hope to document as many as I can and I hope that some of you will do the same.

Exploring Utah One Small Town At A Time: Helper

by Jared on 8 April, 2013, no comments

 

Helper Utah

A new part of the blog, Exploring Utah is dedicated to checking out small towns, taking pictures talking to locals and grabbing some local grub. I love Utah, it has so many amazing little towns with fantastic history. It’s my goal to visit as many of them as I can and tell you all about the journey.

Helper Utah

Helper is located just a few miles north of Price. It was founded mostly by miners and their supporting crowds. The main street consists of some really great old brick buildings. One with this great old Coca Cola advertisement.

Like most small towns the buildings are filled with small shops. We visited several, we spent most of our time in one shop where Lauren picked up a “frog”. The shop owner and his wife are both school teachers. They pay someone to man the shop during the week while they teach. The shop was filled with old items picked up off of old farms, estate sales and and scouring ksl. I would love to run one of these old stores and put a home in the upstairs. Exposed brick walls and old wood floors are a few of my favorite things.

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After poking in a few shops we went stopped by the helper Museum. The town runs the museum and they ask for a voluntary donation of 5 dollars a family. The old couple gave us a brief history of the town and then sent us on our way. The building was actually a lot bigger than I thought it would be. Filled with items ranging from the founding of the town to the late 70s. My favorite part of the museum was all of the old pictures. Miners standing outside of the mines, it is amazing to me the sacrifice and hard work many people went through make it in this country. Inspiring actually. I suggest checking out the museum it will take around 30 minutes depending on how much time you spend reading the captions around the pictures.img_2110

Balance Rock Cafe

We grabbed lunch at a great Cafe called Balance Rock. It was a late lunch yet the place was pretty busy. The food was great and the atmosphere was fun. They had a pool table and televisions close to the bar if you wanted to catch the game. We sat in the dining section made up of miss matched tables and a great view of the street. The upstairs is filled with local memorabilia that you can take a look at.

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The scenery around Helper is amazing most of the town is surrounded on all sides by mountains. Its about an hour and twenty minutes from provo and a few hours away from Moab, Lake Powell and other great places to visit.