Stevens Canyon 2009 – Planning Page
I used this page as a persistent record of communications and planning
during the planning process. I include it here for historical interest and
because it might be useful to others.
Lessons Learned (September 7)
- Take guide books for the trip home, since that’s when we’re
most interested in them.
- Physically check the packs of inexperienced trip members to check for
overweight and other problem conditions.
- Give trip members, particularly inexperienced ones, much hands-on
guidance during the planning process.
- Have trip members report pack weight and available space before
- Go easy on the beans.
- Whoever is in the front of the group needs detailed and clear knowledge
of route, plans, and stopping expectations. If these are vague, the trip
leader needs to go in front.
- 9 people is too many for such a strenuous and exploratory trip.
- It’s important that all trip members have adequate physical
- It’s important to accurately describe the difficulty and nature of
the trip, even if this results in fewer participants.
- Gorp is not a lunch.
- Pancakes are not a good camp breakfast – they take too long
(cooking takes a while, and consumption is round-robin) and are often too
- Insist in detailed menus/shopping lists, and check them.
- It’s very helpful afterwards if everyone’s camera clocks are
- Check with everyone to see what first aid supplies they are bringing, to
avoid excessive duplication (people have a tendency to bring their own
drugs, etc., so the leader may not need a full supply for everyone).
- Reid likes yellow mustard.
What You Need to Do Now (March 22)
By March 29, please:
- Finalize your food plans.
- Make sure you have all the gear you need, or have concrete plans to
acquire it. Remember that we will not be making a last minute gear
stop in Las Vegas unless there’s an emergency.
- Check the group gear list and make sure you can indeed provide your
- Send Reid a status update and any questions. It’s OK if your
update consists of “all’s well”. I just want to check in
Group Gear Assignments
- Make sure Sasquatch Group has needed kitchen gear. I can update the
list below if you want me to.
- Can you locate a grocery store (standard e.g. Albertsons) and
somewhere to buy fuel on they way out of town?
- Joel: Will you please purchase and bring one additional large fuel
- Maps – I have large- and small-scale maps of the area. This
is sufficient, but it might be useful to have someone volunteer to bring a
second set in case we want to split up for dayhikes (e.g.). I can provide
guidance if this is you.
- Tarp – I will bring a 9x12 lightweight
That’s kind of small for 9 peopls, so if someone wants to
bring a second tarp, that would be welcome. It should be lightweight, not
one of those blue or green beasts.
- Food – The plan is to make just one food stop in Las Vegas,
at a “normal” grocery store. Therefore, hippie or any other food
not available at a standard grocery store should be brought from home.
|Car water||purchase in Las Vegas|
|Spare car keys||comes with rental cars|
|First aid kit||Reid, Charles, Andy W?|
|Tent(s) w/ poles||Reid, Joel, Andy W|
|Tent pegs||Reid, Joel, Andy W|
|Deck of cards||Charles (2 decks, naked dudes)|
|Rope and string||Reid, Joel, Andy|
|Water filter w/ spare filter||Reid, Joel|
| Stove(s)||Reid, Joel|
| Fuel bottles||Reid, Joel (176oz total capacity)|
| Fuel||purchase in Las Vegas|
| Stove repair kit||Reid|
| Cooking pot||Reid, Sasquatch?|
| Water boiling pot||Reid, Sasquatch?|
| Spatula||Reid, Sasquatch?|
| Big spoon||Reid, Sasquatch?|
| Dish sponge||Reid, Sasquatch?|
| Dish soap||Reid, Sasquatch?|
| Dish towel||Reid, Sasquatch?|
| Critter defense||Reid, Charles|
Food Group and Tent Assignments
Each food group has a Master Chef. This person directs the food planning
and makes sure everyone in the group is going to be reasonably well fed. I
have tried to balance the experience levels in each cook group and put the
most experienced person in charge.
The food groups can organize the food however they like; here’s a
- Each dinner, one person or couple cooks for the whole group.
- Lunches are the responsibility of individuals or couples.
- A few (2-3) breakfasts work like the dinners; the rest are
individual/couple responsibility. Hot water is available at all
- Your Mom: Reid, Erin (Master Chef), Katie, Ben, Andy W
- Sasquatch: Andy E, Joel, Sibyl, Charles (Master Chef)
- Hot Stuff: Reid, Erin; tent provided by Reid
- Moonshine: Katie, Ben; tent provided by Andy W
- Bad Dinosaur Flatulence Zone: Joel, Sibyl; tent provided by
- Sausage Party: Andy E, Andy W, Charles; tent provided by
Book Your Travel Now (Feb. 1)
It’s time to make your travel arrangements. If you’re traveling
by air to Las Vegas, here’s the parameters:
- You must arrive Las Vegas no later than 11:00am on Wednesday, April
- You must depart Las Vegas no earlier than 4:30pm on Saturday, April
- For those arriving on Wednesday morning, I’d like to have people
arrive on as few different flights as possible (i.e., get on Flight 197 if
you can), to minimize the trip’s exposure to disruption by late
flights. Similarly, please book only nonstop flights for Wednesday
A couple of options for Minneapolis folks: Northwest Flight 197 arrives at
10:53am; Northwest Flight 202 departs at 4:35pm and Sun Country Flight 106
departs at 7:25pm. (There used to be a Sun Country flight on Wednesday morning
too, but I don’t see it anymore.)
Please book your travel right away, unless there’s some
reason not to.
In either case, I’d like an e-mail from everyone by Saturday,
February 7 with your flight details or other travel arrangements, or your plan
for making the arrangements if delay is appropriate for you.
Equipment checklist (PDF) and annotations.
An information sheet about backpacking in the
desert. Ignore the parts leftover from my Outing Club days.
Weather range to be prepared for is 20 degrees with blowing snow to 100
degrees and sunny. Out-and-about minimum is say 40 degrees and
If you can supply any of the group gear, please let me know.
What You Need To Do Now (Dec. 4)
- E-mail Reid to indicate your continued interest. I will bug you if I
don’t hear anything by December 7.
- Fill out this medical form and e-mail it
- Give Reid a deposit (see below) to hold your place.
- Tell Reid whether you want to camp or hotel for the overnights in
- I’ve reserved 4 beds in 2 rooms at the Circle D Motel in
Escalante, Utah, for the 15th and the 24th. This reservation can be
changed later if need be.
10:30am - Arrive Las Vegas, NV
11:30am - Shop for food
02:00pm - Depart Las Vegas
08:00pm - Arrive Escalante, UT
|1||4/16||Drive to trailhead (1-2 hrs) and hike in
|2||4/17||Continue hiking in; arrive base camp|
|3||4/18||Day-hiking / relaxing|
|4||4/19||Day-hiking / relaxing|
|5||4/20||Day-hiking / relaxing|
|6||4/21||Day-hiking / relaxing|
|7||4/22||Day-hiking / relaxing|
|8||4/23||Depart base camp; begin hiking out|
|9||4/24||Hike out; drive to Escalante|
07:30am - Depart Escalante
01:30pm - Arrive Las Vegas
04:30pm - Depart Las Vegas
- We will rent one or more cars in Las Vegas for the drive to Escalante
and the trailhead.
- There will be no stopping in Las Vegas for outdoor gear except in case
- Overnights in Escalante can be camping or hoteling, at your option.
Hoteling could be as cheap as $20/person/night.
I need a deposit of $100 to hold your place. (This is up from $50 in the
original announcement due to the car rental as an additional group
This deposit is not refundable.
Exceptions may be made if your dropping out does not materially affect the
logistics of the trip (e.g., we can find someone to take your place).
Deposits are due by December 19 unless otherwise arranged.
Original trip announcement
You are invited on a spring backpacking adventure to Stevens Canyon, Utah,
in late March/early April (specific dates TBD). This remarkable part of Grand
Staircase-Escalante National Monument is rugged, beautiful, rarely traveled,
and (if we’re lucky) abundant with spring flowers.
For photos of nearby places, please see:
The trip will be approximately one week in length. We will hike in for two
days, base camp for a few days with dayhikes (including a climb to the top of
the Waterpocket Fold with its superb views), and then hike out for two
The trip will be moderately strenuous. No backpacking experience is
required, but you need to be able to hike 6-8 hours daily for the week, (4
with a full pack). If you are concerned about your preparedness, please
contact me and we’ll talk rather than just saying no.
Aerial photo with approximate route:
Trip cost will be in the $200 ballpark, including food but not travel.
Please let me know:
- The probability that you would like to come.
- If you’d like to bring a guest.
- Any date constraints.
- Any questions you might have.
Once the dates have firmed up, I will require a $50 deposit per person
to hold your place.