Stevens Canyon 2009 – Day 8

Synopsis: Hike most of the way back down Stevens Canyon. April 23, 2009.

Time to go. One of the not-fun parts of a two-day hike out is that you have to be leaving and sad for two days.


Katie and Ben woke up to a frog on their tent.

Photo by Ben Miller.
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Packing up home, snif snif.

Photo by Reid Priedhorsky.
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There was an area very close to camp, but out of sight, that was designated the “ladies room”. Management had thoughtfully provided some flowers to brighten the place up.

Photo by Erin Tatge.
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We managed an earlier start this day and moved quite a bit faster than we had on the way in. The hard parts were not as hard either.


Katie and her monster pack.

Photo by Reid Priedhorsky.
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Charles peeing AGAIN, this time over the blocking fall marking the beginning of the middle canyon.

Photo by Reid Priedhorsky.
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The scary traverses weren’t as scary as they were on the way in. There were a couple of minor route variations to change this, but it was mostly familiarity, I think.


Your fearless leader.

Photo by Katie Panciera.
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Let’s have some foreshortening to make the scary traverse look even more terrifying.

The trail goes pretty much straight across the middle of the frame.

Photo by Reid Priedhorsky.
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Descending the prow/crack at the end of the Wingate traverse, down to our Day 2 campsite.

Photo by Ben Miller.
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We arrived at our Day 2 campsite in time for lunch.

One of the nice things about the way out is that it’s clear which food is extra. Lunch included shots of soy sauce, which after lots of sweating is much more appealing than you might think.


Sandstone walls and boulders in the bushwhack area.

Photo by Reid Priedhorsky.
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Just beyond the worst of the bushwhacking.

Photo by Reid Priedhorsky.
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More great scenery. Sad to be leaving!

Photo by Reid Priedhorsky.
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Top side of the poison ivy boulder heap. There’s Stevens Arch.

Photo by Reid Priedhorsky.
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Sky and canyon walls.

Photo by Katie Panciera.
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After descending the poison ivy boulder heap and re-entering the lower canyon, we started looking for a campsite. We found one quickly, only about 15 minutes past the poison ivy, and were in camp by about 4pm.

Charles managed to get poison ivy all over his pants and washed them off in the stream as soon as we arrived in camp.

Charles, Andy, and Andy also managed to find a tend pad having lots of unburied human turds. Andy reported that it was “really gross”. I took pictures and included them in a draft of this report, but feedback indicated that they should be cut. Sorry.

Charles adds: Note, I was not successful in removing the poison ivy. The rash hit about two days later and lingered for two weeks. I’m pretty sure I gave myself some mild chemical burns from alcohol-based anti-itch cures, whcih probably made things worse overall rather than better, given there was only marginal improvement in the acute itching.



Photo by Reid Priedhorsky.
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After dinner, I went back to the ivy slope to check out “The Grotto” at its base – a supposedly remarkable place that we had skipped while passing by. It was pretty great. Nobody wanted to go with me the first time, but I was able to talk a few people into going back after I returned. It was a little dark by the time they got there, though.

Andy Exley adds: After our hike, I was pretty tired from other things, as was everyone else. When Reid suggested that we go back and check out the grotto, we were all a bit nonplussed. We had, after all, just walked right past it, and it’s hard to work up excitement to go back and check something out after a full day of walking. It’s too bad, because it was really cool, and when everyone else went there wasn’t much daylight left. Moral: Go check out cool things, if it’s only a few minutes back down the trail. It’s not such a big deal.


Poison ivy boulder heap at dusk.

Photo by Reid Priedhorsky.
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“The Grotto” and its remarkable natural arch, next to the poison ivy.

Photo by Reid Priedhorsky.
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Please continue reading on Day 9.

Copyright © 1999-2013 Reid Priedhorsky. Last modified: 2009-11-01 16:48 CST. Disclaimer.