Thursday, November 19, 2009

Don't try this at home

I was determined to get over to the old ruined building up Little Cottonwood. This time I parked at the trail head further up the canyon. It was probably a good idea since I did a lot of backtracking off trail. I don't want to promote stupid behavior, so I'm going to encourage you to only try this with a group or wait until warmer weather. If you do try this on your own, I recommend trekking poles, toe/hand warmers, good hiking shoes, and decent gloves.

This is the spot I crossed at. I mentioned before that I was serious about crossing over the creek. One of the only smart things I did was tell someone where I was before I started. I did not cross over the log. I just used it to grab if I lost my footing. I took off my shoes and socks, rolled up my pants, and crossed the old fashion way. I'm not going to lie. It was cold. However, that is not the most uncomfortable my feet have ever been. I knew from a previous experience that I could go at least 2 hours without any circulation in my feet and not have permanent damage. Once I put my socks (technical, moisture wicking) back on, I was fine. I didn't really feel any heat off the toe warmers, but my feet were numb for a while.

It might have been helpful to have a topo map too. Then I would have realized that downstream where I crossed turns into a hill or some rocky sort of cliffs over the river. I had to back track at the rock/cliffs and hike up the steep hill. Then I had to get down the big steep hill to the ruins.

As seen in this picture, I slid down the last 20 or so feet. This was not voluntary. Fortunately with the snow, I just slid somewhat ungracefully and got my bum all wet. I recommend pants that are not levis, like ski pants or good hiking pants.

I didn't go into the building because I had noticed there was a tunnel that goes from the creek to under the building. With the snow and rocks and everything I didn't want to accidentally fall into anything. I didn't find the GC. I'm blaming it on the snow.

That's a hole in the building. I was wondering where it went to. Not going to explore that on my own though.

Wandering around off trail (not smart, not encouraging it), I saw a lot of tracks. It was actually interesting to see the little tracks with bigger tracks following them. I saw a lot of different tracks. I'm not a huge tracker, but if I were it would have been really exciting. I know at least some were deer. I'm guess squirrels or rabbits might be the little ones. I think the ones following the little tracks were some kind of cat.

When I left, I went the rock/cliff way. I sort of rappelled down the 10 rocky cliff using some branches of a tree. I never could have climbed up it, but going down was ok. I found some other people tracks that went further down creek than were I crossed. I eventually found a log that they had crossed on. It was kind of icy and snow packed, but there was a second log I could grab. It wasn't so bad.

While I got a great sense of satisfaction getting over to the building, hiking around and finding my way there was just as fun. If anyone knows anyone hiring exporers or adventurers, I will work for cheap. Seriously, I can't think of anything better to be doing. The GC may feel safe for now, but I will be back. Oh, I will return.