MIRROR LAKE SCENIC BYWAY OPENING – links to So. & No.SLOPES TRAIL CONDITIONS – ACCESSIBILITY, etc.

NOTE:  None of the photographs  can be used  without written permission from Cordell Andersen.  
EMAIL:  [email protected]

Click on the post of your interest:
   ANTI-AGING CHALLENGE:  A Humorous & Exciting Journey 

UINTAS SOUTH SLOPE TRAIL CONDITIONS – May 26, 2015
For Grandaddy, Rock Creek, Yellowstone Creek, Uinta River Trails

 ACCESSIBILITY..PRESENT CONDITIONS:  North & South Slope conditions

The YouTube video of  “DAZZLING HIGH UINTA BEAUTY”

 “Weird Old Homeless Guy…or…Eccentric Millionaire? What’s the old geezer up to this summer?  &
 FLY FISHERMAN MAGAZINE article

This report–mostly photographs–will give us an idea when we might be able to hoist our backpack to our shoulders and get on the trail….

The MIRROR LAKE SCENIC BYWAY  opened on Tuesday, May 19th

THE TRIP Thursday, May 21st.
We start again at the overlook of Jordanelle Reservoir.  We can see the water level is up from when the first report was made in early April after a very dry Winter, but followed lately by a wet Spring….which might save us!
From the overlook we see the High Uintas looming to the east.



I started in American Fork, making it 48 miles to Kamas…one of the Gateways to the High Uintas.


In Kamas I dropped by the Ranger Station to say hello, and was fortunate to find Genevieve Harmen, Wilderness Ranger, who I had met last year at Wilder Lake when on my way to PACKARD LAKE 
I had to use  capitals to honor my backpacking buddy TED PACKARD. 
 She I believe is from Oregon or Washington, and here to go to work in the Uintas….but like the rest of us, will have to wait and keep busy in the office for a while. 



Drive carefully as deer, and even moose cross the highway.  Driving slowly you’ll also see many beauties of nature those in a hurry miss.  Night time is especially dangerous with deer and moose crossing the road.



We are here between 8,000 and 9,000 feet, with nature coming alive.




We are here about 20 miles from Kamas and at the point where snow blocked the highway in my previous report on April 6th.

At about 24 miles  from Kamas we come to the Provo River Falls, and stop for a picture to compare with river flow in past years.


The river flow is way up from what it must have been on April 6th, and with the increased snow fall there will be more run-off than expected back in April.

I’ll insert a few shots from previous years for those interested in making comparisons.





NOW BACK TO THE May 21st, 2015 TRIP


Up the highway a few miles I had to get out of the way of a snow plow that was cleaning up the edges, and then pulled in behind him to the pass.



As you can see this first lake along the highway is still frozen over, but slushy.
We already went by the turn-off to the Trial Lake, and Crystal Lake Trailhead, still with slushy ice, but it won’t be long….depending on the weather.





At Bald Mountain Pass we see the weather station that transmits daily the temperatures and snow depth…which I update on my website every day or every other day.


This morning, snow depth here was listed as 44.9 inches, with 6 inches of new snow, but by right now reported as 41.8 inches. You can compare this with snow depths at this spot in previous years–but at much later dates. From Kamas it was about 29 miles to the pass.


Once again I’ll insert photos from previous years, as close as possible to the date of this report, but usually it has never been open this early.




You’ve already noticed that it varies a lot, but usually they try and have the highway open for MEMORIAL DAY, which this year worked. 


Now, back to May 21,  2015
We are now heading down towards the entrance to Mirror Lake which is still frozen over. Mt. Agassiz and Hayden Peaks are hidden by clouds.

We now view Hayden Peak as we climb up to Hayden Pass and the entrance to the Highline Trailhead.  Butterfly Lake is on the left.

Butterfly Lake


We see here the entrance to the famous HIGHLINE TRAILHEAD…..the sign is there somewhere, totally burried by snow. It will be a while before we can head down that trail!


Here’s just one shot from a previous year.

We have turned around to head back viewing here Mt. Baldy (officially, Bald Mountain), and Reids Peak.

Ahead I could see a medium sized animal crossing the highway and was climbing up a snowy slope to get into the rocks.  
 Of course I screeched to a halt!  Turned the motor, and radio off and waited with camera ready.  All of a sudden a head popped up through the snow.
With a little patience, he finally exposed himself.  It was a beautiful Yellow Bellied Marmot, out of his hibernation, likely due to the winter that was quickly disappearing back in April.


I was going to continue my photography, but all of a sudden a snow plow roared up behind me and I moved quick, heading on down the highway.

Down in the lower country I stopped for a bit of lunch at a point where there are many beaver dams, hoping to get some shots of these incredible “engineers of the mammal world,” but rather all of a sudden heard a loud squawking…..


….and got a few shots of a couple of beautiful Sand hill Cranes.




Of course, I’m itching for the backpack season to start…and while we need the snow/rain/water that has come lately…I’m still asking my friends, 

WHERE’S THE “GLOBAL WARMING” WHEN WE NEED IT?

I’m raring to go with my brand new, revolutionary OSPREY ATMOS 65 backpack with a suspension system that is incredible they are calling “anti-gravity” and it really does feel almost weightless as it wraps around your back with even contact everywhere, total ventilation, and doesn’t even feel like it’s there!
Looks kind of lumpy, as it only has in it my basic pack equipment:  Sleeping quilt, air mattress, tent, poncho, rain parka, gravity water purification system, cooking items & fire making stuff, including new lightweight stove,  SPOT Tracker, & fishing equipment, only coming to 15 lbs. 
Still have to add my sat phone, emergency & toiletries bag, extra clothes, food and water…..
…….and oh, I almost forgot, my new photography waist pack fully loaded that weighs 11 pounds!!!  That includes my tripod that weighs more than my tent, and special wide angle lens that weighs as much as sleeping quilt & air mattress combined!  Maybe for my longer backpacks…. I’ll have to get serious and just go with my tiny waterproof point and shoot camera that weighs less than my SPOT Tracker.
Next week I’ll update my GEAR/SUPPLEMENT section with all the new stuff, as well as my ANTI-AGING article and links to all the stuff that keeps me going in my 80th year. 
So, I’m ready to go, but not by June 4-11th as originally scheduled. Rather by those dates will pull my trailer up to camp out on Bald Mountain Pass to acclimatize myself, and then hopefully by mid-June be on the trail with my buddy Ted Packard.

Like a young friend I met on the trail with the Moesinger Family a few years ago, 

“YOU DON’T GROW OLD AND STOP BACKPACKING, rather STOP BACKPACKING AND GROW OLD….QUICKLY!”
So, I have no intention of stopping of my own free will…but will keep at it and NEVER GROW OLD!  (ha, ha, ha, everybody laughing!), but like I have said,

Uinta South Slope Trail conditions – May 26th

From: Harper, Sheila L -FS 
Sent:
 Tuesday, May 26, 2015 9:20 AM
To:
 [email protected]
Subject:
 Trail Conditions
Hello,
Here is an update on trail conditions:
·         The Yellowstone (# 057) is cleared of downed trees until you reach the Bluebell Pass turn off. Trails are very wet above the Garfield Basin turn off; expect snow on the ground above 9500 feet or higher. River crossings are moderate to high.
·         Uinta Canyon Trail (# 044) is cleared until 1.5 miles past the wilderness boundary. Anything above 10,000 feet is snow covered with rivers running moderate to high.
·         Chain Lakes trail (# 043) is cleared to the wilderness boundary. Trails are dry but snow is visible around the chain lakes area.
·         Rock Creek trail (# 069) is now open and the rock scaling is complete. This trail is cleared 4 miles past the wilderness boundary.
·         The road that leads to the Grandaddy TH is still closed. This area has received a lot of snow the past couple of weeks.
All other trail conditions are unknown, but I would expect the trail conditions are about the same, with rivers running moderate to high and snow above 9500 feet.

Sheila Harper 
Customer Service Representative
Forest Service
Ashley Nation Forest, Roosevelt/Duchesne Ranger District
p: 435-738-2482 
f: 435-781-5215
 
[email protected]
Po Box 981
85 West Main Street
Duchesne, UT 84021
www.fs.fed.us
 
Caring for the land and serving people

YouTube video for MOTHERS DAY now available to all: DAZZLING VISIONS of HIGH UINTA BEAUTY!

HIGH UINTAS ACCESSIBILITY UPDATES 
MIRROR LAKE SCENIC BYWAY NOW OPEN….BUT..
……NOW Thursday leaving to  make a quick trip up there, and report with photos…….but this morning SNOW DEPTH UP TO 44.9″ 
CLICK ON ACCESSIBILITY…LATER TODAY FOR MY REPORT & PHOTOS
*******************
NO NARRATION…put on your favorite instrumental music & enjoy a 12 minute 
DAZZLING TOUR of our Uintas….It starts seeing the Uintas as did Jedediah Smith in 1825 from Wyoming, then shows views of the North Slope drainage’s, then moving west and up to the Highline Trailhead, then  around to the South Slope.

WEIRD OLD HOMELESS GUY?….. ECCENTRIC MILLIONAIRE?……or… A MODERN DON QUIJOTE?………….. & FLY FISHERMAN MAGAZINE: Utah’s Trout WILDERNESS

Click here for 

For Grandaddy, Rock Creek, Yellowstone Creek, Uinta River Trails

Click here for previous reports & YouTube video on


ANNOUNCEMENT:
JUST POSTED…click to open 

Photo/essay explaining what I do to keep moving as I’m now into my 80th year (check the words..I didn’t say I’m 80…yet).  It will reveal all my secrets in a writing I’m entitling:

THE ANTI-AGING CHALLENGE: 
A Fun Filled, Humorous, Tough but Wonderful Journey


NOTE:  If I even accomplish only half of what my challenge for this season is…300 miles of backpacking in the Uintas.…It will pretty well confirm that I’m doing something right….so you can take seriously what I do….and remember:
Further note:   I have posted over the weekend the NEW…
……2015 GEAR/SUPPLEMENTS section 
It includes new REVOLUTIONARY CHANGES IN MY LIGHTWEIGHT BACKPACKING STUFF!

Scroll down for FLY FISHERMAN MAGAZINE article
WEIRD OLD HOMELESS GUY or ECCENTRIC MILLIONAIRE?
A young boy jumped out of a car and gave me something….he didn’t give me time to say I wasn’t homeless.  Then, just yesterday, May 2nd a nice fellow stopped and offered me a ride….I guess I don’t look as good as I think I do!  I thanked him and lied saying,
 “I’m an eccentric millionaire out getting my exercise with 40 pounds on my back!” 
The only thing for sure is that I’m having a ball working out now twice a day to get ready for my Olympics–300 miles of backpacking in the High Uintas to get to the last remote areas and then when snow flies go to work putting it all together into ……
….a unique package like no one has ever seen on Utah’s greatest WILDERNESS…THE HIGH UINTAS.

Soon my “mansion” in which I live year round (with 2 years logged…and counting), seen below, will be drug up to Bald Mountain Pass and area, likely by June 4th,  to acclimatize myself  as in my “golden years” (now in my 80th)  high altitude   has been a problem for my first few backpacks…..then be ready for my first backpack of 5-7 days in the Grandaddy  Basin to photograph and fish in 17 lakes  some I haven’t been to in 60 years,  a couple of three off-trail lakes never explored, and otherI just want to see one more time………

By the way….don’t feel sorry for me–I’M NOT ALONE AS YOU CAN SEE BELOW…
“WILSON” never abandons me, agrees with me in everything,  never talks back nor insults  me, and doesn’t eat a lot either, so I’ve got the ideal companion!
NOTE:  If you’ve been out of touch and don’t know “Wilson,” check out Tom Hank’s  great survival movie, CASTAWAY.

Here’s a fisheye view…… not only is it my home all year round, but for me really is a “mansion” compared to the needy Mayans I have been helping as a volunteer for half a century…this also is the World-wide, Interplanetary Office of the GUATEMALA FOUNDATION, 93% of donations going to help the needy…….
….this in stark contrast to a recently publicized well-known billion dollar Foundation that only spends 15% of their income on charitable projects–the founder of which recently justified his activities saying something like, “I’ve got to pay my bills!”    Click on the above  Guatemalan Foundation link and learn about “the rest of my life’s story”  and help a little…or better A LOT!  There’s no better place to invest your charitable dollars as you’re assured many will be effectively helped.
Below is an example:  Right now we are building for elderly Izabel Cho & her great-grandson a simple home….that will be inaugurated on MOTHER’S DAY.
BACK TO THE UINTAS:  After circling the Grandaddies I’ll start pecking away at my list which includes some remote lakes I haven’t ever heard of anyone getting to, including Little Andy Lake, which I’m sure no one has heard of, nor visited– and do just as much as the Lord let’s me do.  
Maybe I’d better explain.  Once my buddies on KSL Outdoor Radio suggested a lake be named after me….so I named one that the DWR hasn’t even given a number to which  is at 12,307 ft. elevation (600+ ft higher than the summit of Mt. Timpanogos)  in the eastern  shadow of South Kings Peak, above no name lake U-75.  Getting to it and photographing it will be one of my objectives this summer as well as other similar lakes. 

  Between each backpack, I’ll  go where I can get internet access like public libraries in the surrounding towns, to report here, re-program my SPOT Tracker, catch up on Guatemalan Foundation business, and then disappear again into the High Uintas  and be out of touch, except for SPOT tracks, and to report in each Saturday morning via sat phone to KSL Outdoors Radio.    


Click for ACCESSIBILITY UPDATES ON THE HIGH UINTAS
or scroll down

JUST OFF THE PRESS

by 
Salt Lake Tribune Outdoor Editor 
BRETT PRETTYMAN
with a mention or two of our  
The High Uintas Wilderness Project

See below a tidbit or two….then go to Barnes & Noble and other suppliers to get your copy spotlighting Utah’s greatest Wilderness