East Canyon

Back in October of last year we were in Zion country and I never got to post about the tailend of the trip, here goes:
Early morning light.

East Canyon is where all the fun is. Hwy 9 from the east entrance winds it’s way through spectacular country, then all too quickly you’re in the tunnel and spewed out into the main canyon where hoards of tourists scuttle up & down the most popular trails. But, if you have some  chutzpah, do some research , go back up to the east side of the tunnel you will be rewarded with the majestic back country where no trails exist and your curiosity becomes boundless.

So it was that The Gang got restless for something unknown and ventured out to look for Separation Peak. The research had told us to “Scan the opposite walls to find the easiest route up the other side.” and “Follow the wash upstream and hike at your leisure” – Lovely vague directions, just what we thrive on and allows each to wander at their will.

That nipple in the middle skyline is Separation Peak.
Rose, Laura Lee, Bobbie, Chris, Mark and Gayle.

You need to have sturdy boots with soles that do not roll out from under you as you match your wits against the slick rock as Gale will attest to. This is slick rock county and you will play with your foot placements and keeping that vertical line that is your center of gravity over the soles of your boots for maximum traction.

Wouldn’t think that Hwy 9 runs left to right in the middle distance.
Layered slick rock.
Where to next?
Me on Separation Peak looking back down.

Thinking I was as spry as ever I scrambled up the messy summit block only to have problems reversing the route I came up on. Thanks to Mark for a guiding hand that got me down safely.

You can feel the tension in the legs.
Something did crash land here.
Just Zion.
Geology at work.

Mark, off to my right, alerted me to some Bighorn’s on the move. One by one they came up onto the ridge and then disappeared off to the left in the photo below.

Bighorn sheep.
Taking in the East side.
Heading back over to the gap on the left.
Balancing rocks.
Wait, Rose spotted the Bignorn’s again.
See the sentry up on the skyline?

We’re almost back at the road and spot a herd grazing. Everyone creeps closer wanting to get the ideal photo.

They know we’re here.
Still eyeing each other.
Now we’re talking what horn’s look like.
End of the day.