Sunday, November 9, 2008

Mystery Canyon Zion's National Park

Fall is an amazing season! Whether it is in Little or Big Cottonwood, Rock or Provo Canyon; the colors in all of our favorite retreats are full of incredible yellow, red, and orange shades. If you have been locked up in the office, or even at home, I recommend taking advantage of this beautiful season as winter is approaching fast.

Two weeks ago, a went with a few Out 'N Back employees to one of our favorite playgrounds, Zion's National Park. I was amazed by the beauty in late October, I'm from Colorado and I thought nothing could beat Glenwood Canyon's fall colors, but Zion's is serious competition for any other park!

On Friday afternoon we set out to take on Mystery Canyon, a prize that isn't so easy to pull permits for during more crowded times of year. The canyon is 6-8 hours long, depending on speeds and experience. We took our time as we went through almost half the canyon in the dark, also because the water is VERY cold this time of year.

I have posted a few pictures, in effort to inspire us all to take advantage of this season and the great national parks we enjoy in Utah County. Don't forget to make sure you know where you are going and what you are doing, and be careful. We saw the park rangers heading up the narrows on a rescue in Orderville Canyon the same night we dropped out of Mystery into the Narrows, you can never be too careful. Please get out there and have some fun!

Mike Clark- Employee of the Month

Turket Tri

My wife and I both raced in the Telos Turkey Triathlon this past Saturday. It was a chilly 34 degrees when the race started. I guess that is not too bad considering it is November. Thanks to our Mountain Hardwear Transition jackets, we were nice and warm to start the run. The only thing that would have made it better would have been is we had the tights to go along with the jacket, lol. We both finished with PR's: I finished in 1:10:17 and my wife finished in 1:17:23. Yet another sport we found our Mountain Hardwear clothing useful for.

Scott & Tammy Taylor

Monday, June 16, 2008

CamelBak Baby

So this wasn't an outdoor adventure, but my purchase at Out-N-Back a few weeks ago definitely made this little experience possible.

I have an older CamelBak (before the days when you could actually fit your hand through the opening) - and while the reservoir was fine, the tube had turned a very nasty brown color. I finally went into Out-N-Back a couple of weeks ago and purchased an extender tube because it was the same length as the regular replacement tube. The very helpful sales associate (can't remember his name, sorry) told me that I could take off the white extender attachment and then put it on the bladder like a regular tube. I did it when I got home and it has been great to use it!

About a week after I got the tube replacement, my 5 month son got a cold and wasn't nursing or taking a bottle very much. I had a crazy idea to get my CamelBak out and just see if he would suck on that so I could get some liquid in him. That crazy idea worked! My 5 month old baby would drink more water from my CamelBak then he would from a bottle! Of course my husband had to hold it up to let gravity help him pull it down when he sucked it, but it worked! I think he liked chewing on the mouthpiece and getting a drink of water when he did.

I guess we'll have to get him his own CamelBak now.

Yvonne Russel- Proud Mom of a CamelBak user

Point Reyes

Backpacking in Point Reyes National Seashore has always been one of our favorite activities when visiting northern California. This was our youngest sons (1yo) first backpacking trip ever! With this in mind we chose the shortest option of the back country campsites in Point Reyes.

Here we are at the trail head ready to hike the two miles out to Coast Camp.

Two miles is nothing for the Ken-Dawg, so he carried a small cooler and skimboard.

Our 1 year old hiked almost half way while our four year old carried all of his own gear except his sleeping bag.

The best thing about Point Reyes is that all the campgrounds are Backpack in only. So if you pack out on a weekday you get your own private beach.

We spent the evening enjoying the sunset and watching what we assumed was a Grey Whale spouting just of the shore. Unfortunately the photos did not turn out too well.

This was our fourth trip out to Point Reyes this Trip Report and more from the area can be found here.

Mountain Biking Ghost Canyon

The scenery was amazing! In Draper up Ghost Canyon there is a small water fall at the end of a sweet little bike ride. This is okay for a beginner who has a little courage. At first the singletrack winds up and down the inside of the canyon meandering through trees and brush. After a quick downhill and a short but steep uphill the single track widens into double. Try not to stop because the loose dirt can be difficult to get started especially if it is steep.

Trails break off every now and then, so you need to know where you're going....I didn't! When the trail becomes super steep and rocky beginners beware! The rest of the way to falls is not only steep but very narrow, so narrow it is difficult to even walk your bike down. This is super beautiful and so close!

ONB Adventure Expert Angela

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Dr Dale finds an eagle's nest

While Camping out in the west desert, I came across this old Eagle nest. Just
had to rappel down and have a closer look. The nest has been there for a very
long time and is inactive because there is no "white wash" from the birds. The
nest is about 7-8 feet tall.

Do not attempt this with an active nest or you will pay the price of an angry
mother eagle!!!

Dale Heath

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Arches National Park

Early this year we made a trip out to Arches National Park to get in a bit of hiking and enjoy the solitude of the park during the off season. We started our trip off at the Courthouse Wash trail head and hiked up stream towards the The Tunnel.
After an hour or so of hiking at a four year olds pace up the wash we reached The tunnel. Our Kids had great time, our four year old just loved hiking into the Tunnel with his headlamp.

After the Tunnel we hiked Double Arch and The Windows.

Snow at 8,500 ft

This past weekend we went down to Pine Valley Wilderness west of Cedar City.
The hike started at a little over 6900 feet and went all the up to around
9400 feet. It was amazing. We hit snow around 8500 feet. The first night
we went to bed in 3" of snow and woke up to about 5" of fresh snow. I have
a nice pic of the tent after I cleaned it off twice. The snow did not stop
coming down. It was a nice long weekend trip. I would recommend this trip
for anyone. Don't forget the gaiters if you plan to go before the middle of

Scott Taylor- ONB Adventure Expert

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Tibble Fork Exhiliration

As the experiential staff of Cirque Lodge, we went to enjoy a day in the new snow up by Tibble Fork, We spent the day snowshoeing and this is how it ended. Talk about instant Brain Freeze! Most Equipment provided by ONB, we love the snowshoes. You guys ROCK!

ONB Adventure Guy- Jared Passey

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Another dandy from.... Dandy

David has privileged us with another of his adventures... enjoy.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Epic Mt St Helens Adventure

This climb has been planned and organized since February by an
experienced Oregon local mountaineer (leader). However, the situation
this year is not clear from the very beginning due to the snow
condition and bad weathers. Originally we had 8 in the group. Due to
excessive snow this season, the National Forest Service has not been
able to keep the road to Marble Mountain Snow Park open. This would add
another 10 miles (round trip) to the climb. Now, one day hike became
a 2-day climb. Three people in the group dropped due to this reason.
The weather forecast has been very nasty for May 3rd and 4th weekend.
We were not optimistic at all and detail backup plans have been made
in case of the bad weather.

By Thursday night, the forecast is getting better with slight chance
of flurries on Saturday and sunny on Sunday. Low in upper 20's
Saturday night and high in lower 50's Sunday. So the plan is on. We
are now a little concerned about avalanches.

I flew from SLC to Portland Friday afternoon and luckily Southwest
left my luggage behind (all my climbing gears are in that checked-in
bag). When the time was after 7:00pm and I became desperate and had
to decide whether to rent all the gears, I got the phone call from
Southwest that my bag is ready to be picked up at airport.

Saturday morning, the climbing leader and I left home at 6:00AM.
Around 7:00AM, we met the other half of the climbing party from
Seattle at a McDonalds. After a brief breakfast, we arrived at the
trailhead (elevation 2100ft) around 9:30AM after picking up climbing
permits. To our surprise, the road was ploughed another 2 miles
further than the situation last weekend which was checked by our
climbing leader (which means 4 miles less with 30lb + pack). We
regrouped the gears and packs and hit the trailhead on snowshoes
around 10:00AM. The skies are covered with a thick layer of
clouds.(figure 01) We arrived at Marble Mountain Sno Park (2700ft)
where the usual winter climbing route begins at around 12:00AM and had
a brief lunch in the shelter (figure 02). We hit the trail again in 20
minutes and followed the winter climbing Worm Flows route.

Around 2:30PM, we arrived almost at the top of the timberline and
picked a spot for our camp. The elevation now is around 3500ft. The
clouds begin to clear up now, but the top of the mountain can still
not be seen. After setting up the tents and digging our kitchen
(figure 03), we walked up a slope next to our camp and the leader and
other two experienced mountaineer started to taught two newbie (for
sure including me) some basic snow travel skills and self arrest.

With the clouds clearing up, avalanches become our primary concern.
Looking at the topo map, there are a few spots where the slope is
within the avy angle (30-45 degrees). We must pass these spots when
the snow is still stable and try to stay on the ridge and close to the
rocks. We decided to get up around 4:30AM and take off before 5:30AM.
In reality, we took off around 6:00AM and traveled on snowshoes for a
little and found the snow is too hard to benefit. Then we took them
off. The view is breath taking (figure 04). Another group apparently
had already taken off before us and left perfect steps for us. That
saved us a lot of energy in our following climbing. We ascended to
about 6000 feet and decided to put on crampons. It wasn't that
necessary to have crampons at that point but it wouldn't make it more
difficult anyway. We were at a steady pace of 1000 vertical feet per
hour (figure 05). The sun is rising quickly heating up the snow.
Fortunately, there is a big cloud hovering above the summit. Mt Adams
can be partially seen. Mt Hood was hardly visible all the time. We met
that climbing group about 400 feet under the summit and thanked them
for kicking steps for us.

Around 11:10AM, we come close to the crater rim. We can not go too far
on the rim due to the cornices. The clouds are now all gone on the
north side. We had a clear view of Mt Rainier. We could also see
smoke coming out of the crater dome, which is at least one thousand
feet down from where we were standing.(figure 06).

Glissading is fun and save quite a lot energy going downhill. By
2:50PM, we are back at camp site and 7:30PM returned to trailhead.
Now the 30lb pack is kind of too heavy for me and can not keep up with
the group speed. Anyway, I survived. Hooray!!!

All in all, it is a wonderful experience for me: My first backpacking
trip, first snow camping and first snow climbing trip in one. From my
heart, I owe many thanks to our team leader and other team members for
their guidance, encouragement and help.

Post submitted by ONB Adventure Guy- Yi

Sunday, May 4, 2008

For Those About to Rock - Climb

Two weekends ago my brother, my dad and I went up Rock Canyon to climb the AC/DC Wall. The weather was great and we had a blast. We climbed “Send for the Man”, “Shot Down in Flames” and “Back in Black”. If you want to check out the routes, you can find all of the info at, complete with approach details and route topos. We had a blast, and I would definitely recommend Back in Black to anyone. It is a fun route with some really cool moves. Very clean for this part of the canyon as well. Here are some photos of our adventure:

-Michael Rose

Little Blue John Canyon

ONB Adventure Specialist David Johnson- video courtesy

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Zion Canyoneering

ONB Adventure and video guy David Johnson

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Mountain Hardwear Gear Test at Escalante

My crew has assured me that there is much more to come, but big props to David for putting together a great little video on ONB's weekend testing Mountain Hardwear gear.

Nice work Dave.


Neon Canyon

Neon Canyon is a slot canyon near Escalante, it is a technical route and shouldn't be attempted without sufficient experience in setting anchors and repelling. This canyon has two major repels one to get in, and one going down to the "Cathedral". Like most technical slots, it also requires a goodly portion of swimming, scrambling and down climbing. It would be a great spring trip, the scenery is amazing. If you're in for the perfect blend between a little challenge and relaxing scenery, head down to Escalante and do Neon!

by Mike Clark
ONB Adventure Expert

Sunday, April 20, 2008

How to camp in the snow with Scouts

Thinking of spending the night outside on a cold winter night makes even the most
seasoned outdoor enthusiast reconsider his warm cozy bed. When considering a
night in the cold, one thinks of finding a snow bank and "Digging in" until the
cave is big enough for the camper. Hopefully by the conclusion of this post some
ideas of better more comfortable winter camping have been generated. There is an
inherent sense of smugness when one can spend the night in extreme cold
temperatures with relative comfort and live to tell the tale.

We took our scouts up to Aspen Grove and spent the night. The temperature
dropped to 6 degrees. Our boys and leaders were surprisingly comfortable for the
conditions we survived.

Step #1: Find your spot. Choose a good location for your snow cave. I teach
the boys that a snow drift is present because there is wind. I like to avoid
area of constant wind. In winter conditions, wind can be deadly due to its chill
factor. A flat area with plenty of snow is ideal (last year we constructed caves
in about 18 inches of snow. This year we had about 5 feet to work with).

Step#2: Make your base. Using snowshoes, flatten an area about 8-10 feet in
diameter. The size will depend on the number of people who will be in the cave.
This flattened area becomes your base for the snow cave.

Step #3: Create your mound. Begin piling snow on your base making a mound of
snow. This will require lot of work. Coal shovels work best because they are
light and can move a lot of snow. Over heating and sweating during this step
should be avoided. As the snow is being piled, another person can use the
snowshoes to pack the mound. Be sure to avoid packing the mound too much. Once
your mound is formed, wait about 30-60 minutes to let the snow bond together.

*note - Snow will warm when it is stirred and "worked" during daylight hours. If
it is left to sit after being "worked or stirred" it will refreeze or bond
together creating a strong structure.

Step #4: Dig the cave. Begin low and away from prevailing winds. This step is
best with two people. One inside digging and the other outside as a guide. I
gave our boys an old golf club with no head on it. The person outside pushes the
"stick" down into the snow. The person inside digs until he finds the stick.
The person outside pulls the stick up to a depth of 18 inches. The person inside
digs upward until he finds the bottom of the stick. The person outside then
moves backward about 12-18 inches and plunges the stick down into the snow mound.
The person inside digs until he finds the stick. The person outside pulls the
stick up to the desired depth and the person inside digs upward until he finds
the stick again. This process is repeated for the length of the cave. Then the
sides inside are formed and shaped using the same process. Here the walls of the
snow cave should be about 18 inches thick on the top and sides. This creates a
very strong structure. One question often asked, "aren't you afraid that the
cave will collapse?" My answer is always no. If constructed properly, a snow
cave will withstand the weight of several adult men standing on its top. Digging
the cave should be done at an even pace to avoid overheating and sweating. Care
should also be taken to avoid getting wet from snow getting down the sleeves and
neck of the one digging.

Step #5: Making a home. Once the cave has been dug and the snow removed,
shaping the inside is very important. The roof should be smooth and rounded
avoiding points where water may drip on the occupants. Bed surface should be
slightly higher than the door. Cold air falls, warm air rises. Temperatures
inside the cave often get above freezing and being in the warmer areas of the
cave are desired. A small candle can add a lot of warmth to a cave. Candles
should never be left to burn while the occupants are sleeping. Air holes are
already formed during the construction phase so no new holes need to be opened.
We put a blue tarp directly on the snow. This adds one more moisture barrier
between the person and the snow. Closed cell foam pads and at least a 0 degree
rated sleeping bag are required.

*Note: I placed another sleeping bag between my pad and my -20 degree bag. I
felt no cold...

On our camp out, we built 4 snow caves and one igloo. The igloo was constructed
using the "Ice Box" from Grand Shelters out of Colorado. With the Ice Box one
can make igloos form 7 feet to 12 feet in diameter. The walls are about 8
inches thick. once completed they are strong enough to stand on (See pictures).

Equipment needed: Snow shoes, Emergency shovel (the small shovel with
retractable handle) and coal shovel, some kind of stick (golf club handle) with
18 inch depth marked on it.

Dr Dale Heath
Loyal ONB Adventure Man

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Katadyn and Camelbak

David tells us about the Katadyn Vario, and his favorite roll top Camelbak. Thanks to the Utah Adventurer for the video.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Seven Peaks has nothing on Capitol Reef

Last weekend we travelled down South to Capitol Reef. We hiked the Frying Pan trail to Cassidy Arch and another hike down the river bed. It has this sweet waterfall/slide that couldn't be passed up despite the snow and ice that was melting, making the water freezing cold. I was hiking getting sunburn one day and the next day I'm back in Provo waking up to snow, I thought it was spring? The red rock/slick rock and climbing was awesome.

Cameron Wilson

Capitol Reef

Last weekend I went down to Capitol Reef National Park to do Lower Muley
Twist Canyon. It was amazing weather and one of the most beautiful canyons
I have ever been to. It was a nice 2 miles to get into to the canyon and
the second day we did 8 miles through the entire canyon. We came across
some huge alcoves and one had some old cowboy writings on the walls for the
1920's. This is a must do trail for anyone, but make sure its spring of
fall, too hot in the summer.

By Scott- a fine ONB employee

Moab in the Spring

This was from trip to moab in which we went mountain biking and did some slot canyons, and hiking. it was my real first time mountain biking and I had a super awesome full suspension bike and no accidents. we started hiking up a side canyon one day and it just kept going back. we found some really cool places and most of the pictures are from that canyon.

by Kendra- one of ONB's finest employees.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

A Fun Saturday

This Saturday was a guy’s day so we headed out of town to do some target shooting. On our way back home the mud was call out to us. We started hitting every mud puddle there was. Well, this puddle was deeper then we thought. After we got out I had to open the doors to let the water out. I spent 3 hours with the hose and a wet drive vacuum getting up most of the mud. This will be a great story to tell around the camp fire.

by Evan Clements

Saturday, March 22, 2008

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