Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Two Wasatch Classics

After a long summer of running the usual training runs in the central Wasatch I decided this weekend to run/hike some of the more classic routes I tend to neglect. On Saturday my plan was to run up Cardiff Fork Canyon and then down Days fork. I ended up running up Cardiff Canyon from the Big Cottonwood Canyon side but when I reached the pass I decided to check out the trail up to Superior Peak. I have always wanted to hike Superior but honestly have always been a bit intimidated by the very steep exposed ridge to the summit. But I decided that today would be the day and after a hour of steep loose hiking I reached the summit. I was rewarded with probably the best view I ever had in the Wasatch. The trail was steep and loose but very safe as long as you moved slow and paid attention to all the loose rocks. It actually took me longer to get come down then it did to go up.

On Sunday Peter and I decided to run up to the Pfeifferhorn. We started fairly early to avoid any crowds and ran a short time in the dark sharing a single head lamp. The early start paid off as we only passed one person on the way up to Red Pine Lake. As we worked our way up a steep trail to Little Red Pine Lake the wind was gusting and blowing and added a sense of seriousness to the climbing. We were careful but efficient working our way across the long boulder field, Peter commented that the wind almost knocked him over a few times. Luckily the wind abated as we climbed the steep trail that would lead us to the thin exposed ridge to the final ascent gully. The sun was also shinning on us now and it was turning out to be a perfect morning.

As we got closer to the Pfeifferhorn, Peter said with a look of surprise “we're going to climb that!” it was exactly my thoughts when I first did the route 2 years prior. I assured Peter it wasn't that bad and that the route looked worse than it was, and that the narrow approach ridge would be more intimidating than the trail up to the summit. We picked a good route on the North side of the ridge and quickly made our way up to the summit. It was a little cold and windy so we only stayed a few minutes. The air was smokey so the view was somewhat limited but the smoke added its own beauty to the scenery. We had not seen a single person since the trail below Red Pine Lake and would not see anybody until we descended below the lake on the descent.

When we got back to Red Pine Lake we ran the single track trail all the way down to the parking lot, round trip time was 3.5 hours. The parking lot was full with cars and people. Peter and I both had smiles on our faces as a lady asked if we were finished already. Another great day in the Wasatch. Too see more photos go to Peter's Flickr link at the top of the blog page.


Erik said...

Now why did I decide to stay in bed that morning?

peter said...

Yup, you shoulda' got up.