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Ladder Canyon, llama drop trip, October 10-October 18, 2020

Date: 
Sat, 2020-10-10
Leader: 
Bill Priedhorsky
Telephone: 
5054120376
Leader Email: 
Difficulty: 
Strenuous
Technicality: 
Intermediate
Are dogs allowed?: 
Not allowed

In the wake of a successful spring 2020 llama Canyon trip, our fall 2020 trip will try again for the Ladder Canyon area, which was too dry for camping in fall 2019. We have not yet visited Ladder Canyon, which lies beyond the First and Main area and above the Escalante River. First and Main was our fall 2006 and fall 2011 destination.

The llamas and packers will carry our gear in, and then return the day of departure to take us out. We will day hike from our base camp on the intervening days, but individuals are welcome to take their own rest days in camp. The day outings will involve hiking across the desert, scrambling up rock formations, and descending to the Escalante River. We expect some amount of low-level scrambling on the rocks and concomitant rope work.

Ladder Canyon lies in the Grand Staircase/ Escalante National Monument. It is reached from the Spencer Flat trailhead, which is reached from the highway between Boulder and Escalante, UT. The location of the trip is shown in the satellite photo (X marks the spot, more or less); the rainbow photo gives one a feel for the scenery looking west into Ladder Canyon. Both pictures show the extreme ruggedness and grandeur of the landscape. I’m looking forward to exploring a new piece of the Escalante, despite crisscrossing much of this country over the years. Our camp will be near a water pocket known to BJ. The moon will be in the last quarter, making for fine star gazing from a high camp that isn't pinched in by canyon walls.

We will leave Los Alamos on the morning of Saturday October 10, heading to Escalante, Utah to overnight. I will locate overnight lodging in the next few weeks. On Sunday we will leave town at about 8:00 AM to drive ourselves and our gear to the trailhead, pack it onto the llamas (avoiding heavy lifting, which BJ can provide), hike a few miles into camp, and settle into comfort - kitchen tables, social circle with chairs, two-burner stove, and wine cellar. We will hike out on Saturday October 17, reaching civilization sometime in the afternoon. I will look for lodging in the Torrey area. On Sunday we will head for home, driving back through Capitol Reef National Park.

Participation will be limited to 8 people. The packer cost per person, including all food and llama pack services, will be approximately $500 plus tip. Since we are limited to 8 slots, there is a possibility that the trip will fill quickly.

I seek participants who would like to hike with the group on all-day explorations. Community gear will include tables, stoves, kitchen gear, etc. The personal gear limit is likely to be around 50 pounds, which includes your share in community dinners and any libations. We will exercise due care regarding COVID-19, but cannot guarantee complete social distancing amongst the trip members. However, we will for the week be isolated from the outside world.

Please contact Bill at bill@priedhorsky.net if you would like to join in. To confirm a slot will require a $300 deposit. I'm looking forward to another great time.

Trip Location: 

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