September 3, 2013
It’s been a summer long battle between heat and rain in the Wasatch. Both of which have been making it very difficult to commit to the WURL (contrived and first completed by Jared Campbell). Well that and the mind telling me to “fuck off” while I try to convince it that we’re stubborn enough to do 18,000 feet of rough and broken terrain for 30 miles. This “horseshoe” traverse has been a desire of mine for almost 10 years now. Through that time I’ve connected all the sections, and even done half of it in a day. Might be the right time and season to connect all the pieces.
Yesterday I set out up Ferguson Canyon en route to Twin Peaks. This is the start of the WURL and I wanted to reconnoiter it well so I could manage it in the dark. I’ve done it before, but that was many years ago. Seemed like a good outing anyway since it starts 2 min from home and gains a calf searing 6400 feet.
Lower Ferguson is highly trafficked and really loose. As you get higher it gets terribly overgrown and maintains a steep grade, eventually turns to game trails before you hit the rocky ridge which connects to the Storm Mountain drainage.
Yes, that’s the trail. As brushy as I remembered.
After 2 sweaty hours I snuck around some ledges on the prominent peak at the head of Ferguson. The view of Twin Peaks north aspect is impressive. This is where the much quicker and more enjoyable loose rock scramble begins. The goat gets to kick in! My original thought was I could make the summit in 3hrs, but that seemed doubtful from here.
Some goats “training for winter” in upper Stairs Gulch.
Nice clouds and views to the east. The WURL follows the Little Cottonwood Ridge, which is the visible peaks on the right of this photo.
Misty and wispy clouds kept blowing through finally cooling things off at the summit. I rolled in at 3hrs 1min on a PB&J and ProBar and I felt invincible. For the WURL attempt I’ll use trekking poles and go slower to conserve energy. It’s a stout start to the day, by Twin Peaks 1/3 of the total 18,000ft has been attained in 6 miles. My plan is to top out here around sunrise, hopefully it goes as “easy” in the dark.
Then this happened! And well, what can be said about this? I can’t come up with anything that wouldn’t just steal the awe and wonder.
Temps look like they might finally be on the way down and next weekend could be go time!