Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Highline Traverse: The Stats and the Route


Distance: 59.7 miles.

Total Ascent: ?? My GPS and software won't accurately calculate this. . . grrrrrr.

Time: 38 hrs 16 minutes

Put in: Henry's Fork Campground

Take Out: Mirror Lake Highway, 4-5 miles below Hayden Pass

Partner: Brother Sam -- A tough dude who you wouldn't want to get in the cage with. He's forced me to tap out a couple times.

Ski Gear: Trab World Cup Duo Race w/ Dynafit Low Tech Bindings, Dynafit DyNA boots (me); Sam borrowed Bart's setup -- Dynafit SR 11s w/ Low Tech Bindings, Dynafit DyNA boots.

Other key Gear: CAMP X3 Pack, Jetboil, Mont Bell Thermawrap parka and pants, Mont Bell Tachyon windshirt and wind pants, Mont Bell spiral hugger sleeping bag, Thermarest pro lite pad.

Hrs. of Sleep: Not so much. The wind kept ripping off our sleeping bag and space blanket.

Miles left when toilet paper ran out: about 30

Wildlife seen: a grouse and a bobcat (did not eat)

No. of miles traveled with only 1 skin on: 10+

Okay, that's probably enough. Here are some illustrations of the route.

We started off at Henry's Fork Campground at about 5:00 am. We meant to get up earlier, but we slept in. At about 9000 feet, there wasn't much snow.

From 2010-06-02

Head of Henry's Fork.

From 2010-06-02

From the Henry's Fork Drainage, we climbed Gunsight Pass, and traversed and climbed Anderson Pass.

From 2010-06-02

Here is Sam on Anderson Pass at 12,700 feet. We didn't consider making a summit bid on King's Peak, which was easily within striking distance, because the winds were maching. I'd say about 80 mph. I was scared I was going to get blasted into the void, seriously.

From 2010-06-02

From Anderson Pass, we skied across a large valley, and headed toward Tungsten Pass.

From 2010-06-02

And from Tungsten Pass, we climbed to Porcupine Pass.

From 2010-06-02

We milked this slope for as long as we could. As you can see, the relief in the Uintas is BIG and BAD. Cliffs everywhere. Mountains in every direction.

From 2010-06-02

A little friend and a good omen.

From 2010-06-02

Once we climbed one pass, this is the view that often greeted us. Ummm, we have to go clear over there now?

From 2010-06-02

We got lost a couple times. The first time, we climbed midway up this cirque (the one in the far distance) before we figured out we were off route. Sam wanted to put me in a cage and give me a thrashing, but was a good sport.

From 2010-06-02

As the sun was setting, it peaked through as if to smile at us. See you in a few hours . . .

From 2010-06-02

Just as the sun is setting is a very peaceful time in the mountains. You have to enjoy it and remember it because once it gets dark, the mood changes.

From 2010-06-02

At 3:30 am, we were ascending Red Knob Pass. Skiing under a full moon was both eerie and comforting.

From 2010-06-02

When it got light, we were able to look back and see Red Knob Pass. Here is the view.

From 2010-06-02

And then we ascended Dead Horse Pass. Before we did that, however, we took an unintended detour. See the saddle on the right side of the picture below? We thought (or rather I) that was Dead Horse Pass, and climbed it, and skied off the other side of it. Once we were on the other side, we realized our mistake. It was 8:00 am and we had been skiing for 27 hours. Not a happy moment as we booted back up to the pass. Awesome terrain though.

From 2010-06-02

Getting back on route, we got a few turns in.

From 2010-06-02

Self portrait, frazzled and tired on Dead Horse Pass, with about 17 miles to go.

From 2010-06-02

At the bottom of Dead Horse Pass, this was the view that greeted us, with Rocky Sea Pass way off in the distance. It was about here that we ate our last ramen noodles.

From 2010-06-02

Here is Sam, ascending Rocky Sea Pass, with about 11-12 miles to go. Lucky for us, some snowmobilers had poached the pass (it's wilderness), and we used their tracks as an uptrack. Never have I been so grateful for poachers.

From 2010-06-02

And I didn't take anymore pictures after that . . . .

Special thanks to Mont Bell who provided much of the necessary equipment for the trip. Go Light and Fast!!!


Layne said...

For the elevation issues, it isn't exact, but you can use and draw your route to estimate elevation. I've used it a few times. It is basically a google maps hack.

dug said...

don't you miss the old days, when hiking up to cardiff peak was cool?

Jared said...

Dug, I do. I'm scared of this out of control monster, but it keeps luring me forward. I think though, very soon, as my kids become of age, I can be satisfied with Cardiff-like days.

ag said...

sweet report man

Jonathan S. Shefftz said...

"Total Ascent: ?? My GPS and software won't accurately calculate this. . . grrrrrr."

I've found that this underestimates vertical:
. . . but only by 10% or so.
Either way, this trip is so amazing that it demands further quantification!

Jared said...

JS: I have a good GPS track. But when I have programs like TopoFusion analyze my track, it says that we ascended 36,243 feet. I don't believe it.

I'll try tracing my route into the programs Layne and you suggested.



Greg said...

My friend sent me a link to your TR here. Too bad I didnt see your May posts asking for beta. We did the trip a few years ago in the opposite direction, ..we took a bit longer though (3 days), and carried some extra things (like tents).
Nice work, impressive time.

Rando Richard said...

Hey Jared, I see you have caught the "ultra distance" bug. Before you know it, I'll see your name on the Wasatch 100 roster...or perhaps I'll see you on a 600K brevet, with an old, but comfy Brooks saddle on your bike.