After spending all winter and spring running in the foothills between City Creek and Millcreek we were finally able to put in the first miles of year on the Wasatch 100 course.Around 5:30am I met up with Greg and Peter to drop a car at the Lamb’s canyon exit before heading up to the top of Emigration (Little Mountain).The plan was to link up the Emigration ridgeline to the Killyon’s trail junction, drop down into Affleck park campground, then take the Pioneer trail to the Big Mountain parking lot.This extended route would add ~6 miles and a little extra vertical on to the Big Mountain – Lambs Canyon section of Wasatch and hopefully allow me to exorcise some demons…
We were more than happy to leave the headlamps behind as dawn was quickly approaching.A couple miles in we spotted a few elk running over the ridge in front of us, and then as we rounded a bend we saw the whole herd they were joining up with.We stopped in our tracks as we watched the herd of 20 or 30 run off over the next ridge. I really wanted to get the camera out but it was still a little too dark to get a decent picture.The trail was in great shape all the way over to the Killyon junction and even down in to the campground.We finally hit some snow on one of the switchbacks heading up the Pioneer trail.
Upon leaving the Big Mountain parking lot we encountered some serious snow.Lucky for us it frozen solid, unlucky for us we were slowed down a bit by “navigation issues”.
The snow line along the ridge appears to be around ~7300’.In some spots it looked as though it was at least 10’ deep.It was still a bit early for the mule ears to be out, but they’re only a few weeks away from blooming.
Even though the temperature was reasonable, the pipeline section still felt like an oven.We managed to get cooled off on the last stream crossing near the end since there were no logs for the crossing.
~20 miles, 4840’ ascent, 5000’ descent.As far as exorcising demons goes, I would have to say they have been banished, thanks for the indoctrination Leo.