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Llama trip to Scorpion Gulch, Escalante, Utah, October 6-14, 2012

Sat, 2012-10-06
Bill Priedhorsky

Llama trip to Scorpion Gulch, Escalante, Utah, October 6-14, 2012

We've done many adventures in the canyon country, and they are by and large wonderful.
It's time to plan the next one. Our objective is Scorpion Gulch in the Grand Staircase/
Escalante National Monument. It is reached from the Early Week Bench trailhead, off
the Hole in the Rock Road, south of Harris Wash and north of Coyote Gulch. I'm looking
forward to exploring a piece of the Escalante that we've never seen before, despite
crisscrossing much of this country over the years. Our camp will be near some water pockets at
the upper end of Scorpion Gulch. The country is lower, rockier, drier, and more desert
than the upper Escalante country below Hell's Backbone Road, the site of our recent
Sand Creek trip. Camp will be at about 4800 feet, compared to our Sand Creek camp at
6400 feet. Photos from an unrelated trip to the Scorpion Gulch area can be found here.
This is a good destination for a cool mid-October outing. The moon will be dark, making
for nice star gazing from a high camp, like last fall's 1st and Main, that isn't pinched in by
canyon walls.

The trip dates will take advantage of the Columbus Day Laboratory holiday.  It is
a "B" week, so I'll be trading my Friday for the week before. We will leave Los Alamos
on the morning of Saturday October 6, overnighting in either Torrey or Escalante. Boulder
is booked up that weekend, so I'll decide on a overnight location with the packer, with
a view to our meeting point the next morning, Sunday. On Sunday we will pack our gear
onto the llamas (avoiding heavy lifting, which BJ can provide), hike about 4 1/2 miles
into camp, and set up in comfort - kitchen tables, social circle with chairs, two-burner
stove, and wine cellar. We will have six nights in camp, which allows five full days for
exploring. We will hike out on Saturday the 13th, arriving in Boulder sometime in the
afternoon. Participants should make a room reservation in one of the 3 Boulder lodgings:
Boulder Mountain Lodge, Pole's Place, or Circle Cliffs Motel. On Sunday we will head
for home, driving back over Boulder Mountain and through Capitol Reef National
Park (no ferry that time of year).

Our packer will be BJ Orozoco, same as this spring's trip. He will provide 8 llamas to carry
our gear to the  drop camp, so participation will be limited to 8 people. The packer cost per
person will be approximately $250 plus tip.

The day outings will involve hiking across the desert, scrambling up rock formations, and
descending the Gulch and perhaps the Escalante River. We might be able to reach
Fools Canyon, the next to the south, in a day outing. We should be able to take advantage
of cool weather to enable moderate to strenuous outings, with some amount of low-level
scrambling on the rocks and concomitant rope work.

Since we are limited to 8 slots, there is a possibility that the trip will fill quickly. Participants
will be selected based on the order of their response, their interest in the daytime adventures,
with possible preference to persons who could not make the spring 2012 trip.

I'm looking forward to a semi-epochal trip. This canyon trip will be my 98th lifetime, and I
will be celebrating a significant birthday during the trip, because the actual day falls 3 days
after our return.

Please contact Bill at if you would like to join in. To confirm a slot
will require a $150 deposit. I'm looking forward to another great time.

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