Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Bridge-Jenny Loop, Zion NP

This past weekend Bethany, Ada, and I traveled down to Zion NP to meet up with Jared and Mindy Campbell and Ryan and Julie McDermott and their two children.  Viral infections be damned, Jared, Ryan and myself went out for a great 8 hour backcountry traverse to Bridge Mountain, Marble Ridge, and the Jenny Peaks.  I imagine there are few people on the planet who know this terrain better than these two guys (see Zironman) and it was pretty cool to get a chance to see parts of the park that very few folks ever get to.  We headed out around 9am, leaving just east of the tunnel and made our way through mixed terrain of shin deep snow, ice, sandstone, and brush.  The pace was steady which belied Jared's increasingly labored and shallow breathing and evident malaise.  I politely declined to follow these guys up and then back down Bridge Mtn out of both abject fear for my life as well as realistic appraisal of my limited climbing skills and instead explored around the tamer terrain around the sloping sandstone saddle between Bridge and G2.  We continued on, eventually traversing the sublime and rolling Marble Ridge which was punctuated at several points by bizarre scattered slabs of basalt: fractured alien-appearing remnants of what must have once been a full layer of volcanic rock over the sandstone.  Our final scrambling descent back to the tunnel was small potatoes for these guys but ended up being fairly gripping stuff for yours truly.  I did manage not to shit my pants, for which I'm thankful, but it was not a graceful sight to behold.

Ryan and Jared with Bridge Mtn in the background.
Ryan, taking in the surroundings.

Otherworldly slabs of basalt perched on sandstone

Traversing across Marble Ridge.

1 comment:

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