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Monthly Program:

A Lifetime in the Canyon Country – One "Wow" After Another

Date: 
Tue, 2022-01-25

Bill Priedhorsky is the Mountaineers’ Canyon Country veteran, having spent 43 years exploring slickrock and canyons in 124 multi-day trips. Something special about this part of the world keeps him, and so many other Mountaineers, coming back again and again. It is a country of “wow”, where beautiful and amazing sights are waiting just around the next year. The landscape is one where the bones of the Earth are open to the sky, with its bare slickrock surfaces extending for miles. The world is turned on end in the canyon country, one cleft following another. The landscape is a puzzle of navigation – a hundred yards walk takes one to an entirely new point of view, and a goal half a mile away might take a half day to reach. A new mystery can appear any minute, and does.

In the words of Edward Abbey, “The canyon country of southern Utah and northern Arizona - the Colorado Plateau-is something special. Something strange, marvelous, full of wonders. As far as I know there is no other region on earth much like it, or even remotely like it. Nowhere else have we had this lucky combination of vast sedimentary rock formations exposed to a desert climate, a great plateau carved by major … into such a surreal land of form and color.”

Bill will share highlights of decades in the Canyon Country, focusing on the last few years of new adventures. His canyon adventures started with rough backpack trips, but have been replaced by more comfortable outings where beasts of burden carry the load into camp. Recent trips ranged across the Canyon country. A llama trip to Fool’s Canyon took us to a remote corner of the Grand Staircase/Escalante National Monument, with the gift of water – rainstorms that turned cliffs into waterfalls and flats into lakes. Two years later was an October of drought, but enough water persisted in nooks and crannies to support a trip to Ladder Canyon, where a historic stairway to the Escalante River allowed for a swim most days.

November and December are too dark and cold to camp, but not to explore. Every mid-November, the Mountaineers establish a base in Moab town and spend the days exploring. Moab has become crazy busy, but November is a bit quieter. Despite its fame for jeeps and mountain biking, Moab is just as worthy for hiking adventure, and the Mountaineers discover new destinations every trip. Another base for exploration is Bluff, Utah, just 5 ½ hours from Los Alamos, but next door to one “wow” after another on Comb Ridge, Cedar Mesa, and White Canyon.

With a little luck, Bill hopes to be adventuring in the canyons for years to come.

Mountaineers’ meetings are held on the fourth Tuesday of every month. When held in person, they take place in the planetarium of the Pajarito Environmental Education Center (PEEC), 2600 Canyon Rd, Los Alamos, NM 87544. Recent meetings have been held electronically starting at 7:00 PM; the Mountaineers are considered when and how to return to in-person meetings. The link to the event can be found at https://peecnature.org/events/details/?id=37768.

Sunset over the slickrock, seen from base camp. The Mountaineers’ October 2021 llama exploration was based on Antone Ridge, atop an escarpment that rises from the town of Escalante, Utah.

 

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Ongoing Events

 

 

Monthly Public Meeting and Presentation:


Normally held in the planetarium of the Pajarito Environmental Education Center (PEEC)
on the fourth Tuesday of each month

But this isn't normal! Until the pandemic is over, we're all zoom all the time. Sign up for each talk at the Monthly Program page.

Past presentations, and occasionally future, can be viewed here

 


Get a 2021 Official Mountaineers T-Shirt

To support the Mountaineers spirit in these challenging times, we are pleased to offer our members the latest Mountaineers t-shirt, with a design based on our adventures around the world, shipped to your home anywhere in the US. The design comes in women’s and unisex versions, per the pictures below, in a wicking fabric The shirts cost $20 each. They may be picked up in Los Alamos, or shipped via USPS for $5 per shirt to any address in the US. Because of the circumstances, we cannot accept returns, so we’ve measured the shirts, and they are sized as follows:
      Circumference Height
dimensions in inches # in stock under arms midriff hips collar to waist
Women's
XS 6 28 27 1/2 32 23 1/2
S 6 31 30 34 24 1/2
M 4 32 31 35 24 1/2
L 1 35 34 38 25 1/2
XL 6 37 35 40 25 1/2
Unisex
S 5 34 35 28
M 4 38 1/2 39 28 1/2
L 5 42 42 29
XL 5 44 46 29 1/2

 

Size
Delivery Method

 

Future Club Speakers:  In addition to frequent presentations by nationally known adventurers, we love to hear from our own members....not that some of you aren't in that group.  A presentation gets you a free club membership and dinner at the restaurant of your choice in Los Alamos.

LAM Member Presentations Wanted! The LAM Board would like to encourage our members to provide more of our monthly presentations.  We understand well that club members are an active lot, with a wealth of activities in their repertoire that can and have been inspiring to new and old members alike.  We have often focused our monthly presentations on the elite of the outdoor adventure world, and perhaps created the undesired effect of squelching the voices of our own members who participate in frequent beautiful and exciting adventures of their own.  Although our own activities are not always "world class", they are representative of what we "weekend" athletes can and do accomplish.  We want many of our programs to inspire the "I can do that" attitude in our members, not merely entertain.  Shock and awe may have their rightful place, but inspiration to participate and shine is our true goal.

 

Trip Leaders:  Post your trip by logging in and then going here.  If you do not have an account, contact  the webmaster. For overnight trips, please ensure that membership waivers for participants are current and recorded by the club Membership Chairperson prior to your trip. Non-members may participate in day trips. All club sponsored trips require the trip waiver. After the trip, please scan and email a PDF of the waiver to the Trip Coordinator.

Trip Leader Awards: The club will recognize trip leaders as described here.

GMRS / FRS Radio Usage on Club Trips:  The Los Alamos Mountaineers encourage you to carry portable "family" radios as a safety measure on appropriate LAM trips, and urge participants to agree on a contact channel at the beginning of the trip.  As a default, if no channel has been selected, LAM suggests channel 3.14.  These three first digits of "pi" might be easily remembered in this scientific community.

Borrow Equipment: We have a limited amount of mountaineering equipment for loan (e.g., avalanche transceivers). Contact our Equipment Manager listed on this page.

 

 

Trip Leaders: Anyone can lead a trip! Post your trip by logging in and then going here. If you do not have an account, contact the webmaster. For overnight trips, please ensure that membership waivers for participants are current and recorded by the club Membership Chairperson prior to your trip. Non-members may participate in day trips. All club sponsored trips require the trip waiver. After the trip, please scan and email a PDF of the waiver to the Trip Coordinator.
  • are you interested in some beginner backcountry X-C ski instruction?

    Leader: 
    Jean M Dewart
    Telephone: 
    5054125424
    Date: 
    Fri, 2022-01-21
    Leader Email: 
    jeandewart7@gmail.com
    Difficulty: 
    Easy
    Technicality: 
    Beginner
    Are dogs allowed?: 
    Not allowed

    Hi all,

    This is a question, not a trip!   Are you interested in some beginner backcountry X-C ski instruction? (you must have your own equipment)  Let me know in the next couple of weeks, and we will work on setting up a date/time.  There is snow now, so we shouldn't delay too long in taking advantage.  

  • Las Conchas Snowshoe & Cross-Country Ski

    Leader: 
    Zack Baker and Jean Dewart
    Telephone: 
    5054125961
    Date: 
    Sat, 2022-01-22
    Leader Email: 
    zackbaker@gmail.com
    Difficulty: 
    Moderate
    Technicality: 
    Beginner
    Are dogs allowed?: 
    Not allowed

    Join PEEC and the Los Alamos Mountaineers for an intermediate, point-to-point snowshoe or cross-country ski outing from the Las Conchas Trailhead to the East Fork Trailhead on Saturday, January 22. This trip will cover 4.5 miles and about 800 feet of elevation gain. It will be of intermediate difficulty and technicality and participants should be able to hike 5 miles in 2.5 hours comfortably and have previous experience snowshoeing or skiing. The use of snowshoes and skis will be weather-dependent.

  • Ski at Wolf Creek Jan. 27 & 28

    Leader: 
    Bill Priedhorsky
    Telephone: 
    5054120376
    Date: 
    Wed, 2022-01-26
    Leader Email: 
    bill@priedhorsky.net
    Difficulty: 
    Moderate
    Technicality: 
    Intermediate
    Are dogs allowed?: 
    Not allowed

    While it is not yet a great ski season in New Mexico, Wolf Creek is having a tremendous season, with ann 88-inch base and hopefully more on the way. I'd like to spend a couple days there during the week,  Thursday and Friday the 27th and 28th, to enjoy some uncrowded non-weekend skiing. We would rent a place in Pagosa Springs, travelling there Wednesday afternoon, ski two days, and return on Saturday. Ski tickets on Wolf Creek are still reasonably priced, for example $51 for seniors. Please let me know if you would like to join in, and I'll organize lodging.

  • Willow Patch llama trip May 7-15, optional pre-trip starting May 2

    Leader: 
    Bill Priedhorsky
    Telephone: 
    (505) 412-0376
    Date: 
    Sat, 2022-05-07
    Leader Email: 
    bill@priedhorsky.net
    Difficulty: 
    Strenuous
    Technicality: 
    Intermediate
    Are dogs allowed?: 
    Not allowed

    Once more returning to the canyon country, our spring 2022 trip will be based in the Grand Staircase/Escalante National Monument, near the confluence of Sand Creek and its Willow Patch tributary. We will reach our camp by hiking down from McMath point, south of Boulder, Utah. We will explore the oases, slick rock, domes, and huge views of the canyon country. The outing is fairly physical, with several hours of hiking every day, with a comfortable base camp to return to every evening. The route to camp might be just a few miles, but the route is over rugged, trailless country.

  • Llama trek Ladder Canyon to Silver Falls

    Leader: 
    Bill Priedhorsky
    Telephone: 
    5054120376
    Date: 
    Mon, 2022-10-10
    Leader Email: 
    bill@priedhorsky.net
    Difficulty: 
    Moderate
    Technicality: 
    Intermediate
    Are dogs allowed?: 
    Not allowed

    Our canyon outing for autumn 2022 will be a fully catered llama trek that totals 10 days and 9 nights. The trip will be limited to 6 participants, supported by 3 guides. All meals will be provided, but we will be on our own for hiking adventures most days. BJ Orozco, proprietor for Llama2Boot, will be our outfitter.

  • Middle Fork Salmon raft trip (with music) September 2023

    Leader: 
    Bill Priedhorsky
    Telephone: 
    505 412 0736
    Date: 
    Sat, 2023-09-02
    Leader Email: 
    bill@priedhorsky.net
    Difficulty: 
    Moderate
    Technicality: 
    Intermediate
    Are dogs allowed?: 
    Not allowed

    Recently back from a great trip down the Selway River in July 2021, we signed up for our next adventure. We’d like to return to experience the 5-night trip down the Middle Fork in a cooler and quieter season. 2022 is substantially booked, so the September 2, 2023 departure by Hughes River Expeditions offers adventure and beauty, and a musical serenade every night to boot.

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