"Monday morning I'm thinking of exploring the ridge north of Parley's. Starting just above the Parley's Pedestrian walkway where it enters Foothill Boulevard, and then following the ridge east until it comes out at Little Mountain. I have no idea how long it is, or how long it will take, but I'm thinking 4-5 hours?. I'm sure there's some sort of a trail, whether it be human or linking up some game trails. Has anyone done this before, or have any knowledge of it, and more important, would anyone care to join me?"
Following this email was pretty much radio silence except from those that were going to be "out of town". I was in need of toughening up the shins and some outdoor time, so I replied with "I'm in, give me a time".
View Parley's North Ridge Run in a larger map
The route from the mouth of Parley's Canyon to Little Mountain a the top of Emigration Canyon.
At 7am Erik and I headed up the trail to attempt to link the entire ridge. The early going was pretty straightforward and straight up, gaining a couple thousand feet within a few miles.
|Finally gaining the ridge|
|Looking back west through some of the easy bushwack|
|Looking south, the gravel pit below and the Millcreek ridge straight across|
|Looking east toward some of the bushwack|
We tried to pick a route that would be friendly to our shins using various rock outcroppings and the junipers, but there was no way we were going to get through the next 2 miles cleanly. Shortly after realizing one of my shins was bleeding I heard Erik yell out that he saw something exciting. We were in the nastiest part of the whole bushwhack when he found an elk antler. He was so stoked that he sounded like a kid on Christmas morning.
|Like a kid on Christmas morning, Erik carried it another 4 miles or so|
Another 1/2 mile or so and we were done with the Class III bushwhack and began the small ups and downs along the rest of the ridge.
|Looking back west along the ridge and our tracks|
|My bloody shins|
Not really a "run" so much as it was an adventure and a good one at that. We stuck to the true ridge for 90% of the route but there is a mile or so where it's just not possible. When we deviated from the ridge the south side provided the "easiest" travel path.
I'm going to go out on a limb here and call this an FKT, but it's a soft one. Someone is bound to do it faster (or has already done it) and I can't wait to hear about it.
Here are the stats...
Distance: 9.1 miles
Vertical Ascent: 3,750' (measured by a Suunto altimeter)
Vertical Descent: 2,360'
Time: 3 hours 20 minutes.