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Re: Slide, Spiller, Smoke

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Slide, Spiller, Smoke
September 04, 2013 09:28PM
Around 9:00pm on August 21, my wife (JustKeepWalking) and I drove through Pinecrest and Strawberry. The full moon had just risen and was dark orange, and ash was raining on our car. By the time we stopped near Dardanelles, we were past the worst of the Rim Fire's smoke and slept well, unaware that a day later we'd be passing backpackers heading away from our destination claiming that Stubblefield Canyon was on fire.

Day 1: Up Robinson Creek

Preparing for a multi-day backpacking trip--or two--always involves a bit of planning, especially around food.

Packed, prepared, and ready to hit the trail, we met tomdisco at the Redwood Motel (nearest redwood: Calaveras Grove?) in Bridgeport and headed to the Hayes Street Cafe, where we enjoyed a nice breakfast with the higher peaks of the Matterhorn-Sawtooth area clearly visible. Soon after securing our permit and returning to the motel, the final two members of our merry party--chick-on and Catalonian Burro--arrived after having started from the Bay Area the same morning. Not long thereafter, we were on the road to the Twin Lakes/Robinson Creek trailhead for a seven-day adventure through Northern Yosemite.

The hike to Barney Lake was mostly eventless, the most difficult part being navigating the campground complex near the trailhead. But soon we were on the trail and passed the customary wilderness boundary signage.

The breeze was stiff at the Barney Lake beach, but we still took the time to have a leisurely lunch, take a few photos, and debate what to do about unwanted mustard packets.

Our destination was Crown Lake, and we eventually had to strap on our heavy backpacks and resume our trek towards still-distant Crown Point.

Along the way, we passed a few backpackers who claimed that there was fire in Stubblefield Canyon, a fact that our resident Stubblefield Canyon expert doubted due to the lack of foliage. Near the Peeler Lake/Snow Lake-Rock Island junction, we met a few more backpackers who had been to Peeler earlier that afternoon, but turned back due to smoke, none of which was visible to us, so we pressed on, passing the Robinson Lakes and a few pretty tarns.

Along the final climb to Crown Lake we could see dense smoke right over the Peeler Lake area; we felt we were fortunate to be in the "next" canyon over, away from the smoke.

Although many of us were ready to stop by the time we reached Crown Lake, we decided to press on towards a tarn a couple of hundred feet up which a ranger near the trailhead had mentioned.

Near the Mule Pass/Rock Island Pass junction, we chose to stop. A quick scouting expedition didn't locate any substantially better sites, so we chose the impacted ones near the junction. Dinner was breezy, and the sun had sat early behind Crown Point, but as a big plus, we enjoyed gourmet cupcakes for dessert. All in all, not a bad start to the trip.

Day 2: Down Slide Canyon

The next morning was clear, and after breakfast and packing, we started the climb over Mule Pass.

Our group's representative climber passed on the opportunity to crank some nice crack routes nearby.

Just below the pass we stopped at the nice tarn in a large meadow just north of Slide Mountain.

Not long after resuming the climb, we reached Mule Pass and entered Yosemite.

After following the rough trail for maybe a mile, we left it and were soon on the broad, open floor of Slide Canyon, just upstream of its namesake rockslide. In the distance, the mountains we'd be ascending the next day were visible.

During the short time we stopped for lunch, smoke started to fill the canyon. Only an hour later:

We went around the east side of the slide on a well-defined use trail and continued the easy cross-country travel down-canyon into ever-thickening smoke, which we could now smell as well as see.

The stroll down Slide Canyon was all straightforward cross-country travel, across open granite or through open forests and meadows. We paused several times to photograph small cascades, gorges, slabs, or other typical--yet still unique--Yosemite features. As we continued down canyon, the smoke thickened, casting a golden glow on the landscape in the style of Bierstadt or Moran's luminism. Near the mouth of Big Canyon creek, we found a large expanse of flat granite and set up camp for the night.

Some rested, some bathed in the not-too-cool waters nearby, and others found new domes to explore.

The smoke cleared a bit after sundown while we rested... or caught up on TV.

Day 3: New Plan: Head East, Young Man!

Our original plan was to loop towards the west, via Rodgers and Benson Lakes, returning to Peeler Lake via Kerrick Canyon. However, we decided to loop towards the east instead to stay further from the fire's origin. (At the time, we didn't know that the smoke was impacting areas as far away as Reno, NV, so we somewhat naively believed we could "outrun" it remaining "one more canyon" past it to the east....)

After a chilly morning, we were on the move again, heading towards, then up, Camp Creek.

The climb up Camp Creek was steep at first, but the gradient eased a bit, and soon we were passing through small meadows and open forest under the other Slide Mountain.

After a rest-and-food break below the final ridge ascent, the dome-bagging contingent left for Quarry Peak while the rest of us reached the ridge where we could see Tallulah Lake in the distance. Further away, we could see other peaks and mountains that we would have passed along our original journey. We stopped for lunch--and airing out our gear--near a small tarn between Tallulah Lake and Wilson Creek.

Any thoughts of resuming the original clockwise loop were dashed when the smoke rolled in while we ate lunch and rested.

We had been in radio contact with Team Quarry and arranged to meet where the PCT leaves Wilson Creek to climb towards Benson Lake. The hike down Wilson Creek was (of course) mostly easy cross-country travel through open forest.

After another rest stop, we descended into Matterhorn Canyon. The few hikers we encountered along the way didn't have any real, new information about the fire, although we quietly questioned their decision to continue along the PCT given the dense smoke coming from the west.

We found a decent campsite just above the meadow on the west side that provided for a decent amount of evening sun--at least in theory. In fact, the smoke was thick enough to block a lot of the evening light long before the sun sat behind the mountains surrounding the canyon.

As with the night before, the smoke eventually cleared, revealing the stars above us.

Day 4: Into Spiller Canyon

The next morning was cool, with a light frost covering our sleeping bags and bivy sacks.

The sky was again clear of smoke, and we packed and were soon on the trail, climbing up out of Matterhorn Canyon towards Miller Lake and Spiller Canyon.

(It should be noted that in this section the actual trail does not align well with the trail on the topo map, despite the fact that the trail passes by numerous "T" blazes that likely date back to the days when the cavalry managed the Yosemite backcountry...)

As we climbed, we were occasionally treated with views of Matterhorn Canyon, including glimpses of peaks and mountains we'd recently left (Sawtooth) and ones we'd be visiting the next day: Whorl, Twin, Stanton, and Virginia:

We approached Miller Lake via a short off-trail "shortcut" and stopped at its windy beach for lunch and airing out damp gear.

While there was no smoke in sight, numerous clouds formed while we rested.

Soon after leaving Miller Lake I joined the bird and the burro on an off-trail excursion. Along the way we had views of many Yosemite highlights, including Cathedral Peak...

The Lyell group...

...and much of the eastern boundary peaks, including Ragged, Conness, and North:

To the west, we were reminded that the Rim Fire was still going strong, although it appeared that the winds were blowing the smoke in a more northerly direction.

We eventually reached an overlook with excellent views to the north as well:

Not far from here, we reached another viewpoint perched high above Matterhorn Canyon, almost directly above our campsite:

After filling up on the views, we continued towards Spiller Creek and our pre-arranged meeting place, which turned out to be another wonderful expanse of granite that we had to call home for the night. The horse packers may prefer dirty, dusty, wooded campsites, but really, nothing beats smooth, polished granite... at least when you have a good sleeping pad.

We bathed in the cool water, then dried off on warm granite. We were treated with a smoke-free evening and a crystal-clear night.

Day 5: Up Spiller Canyon

We enjoyed a comparatively warm night and sunny morning, and started up canyon after a leisurely morning.

We were treated to numerous smooth granite slabs, pools, and cascades along the lower part of Spiller Canyon.

The grade was gentle and the travel "hands-in-pockets" easy for the most part. While not as deep as Slide or Matterhorn, Spiller Canyon was thoroughly enjoyable.

We stopped for a snack break (and for some, a quick dip), at a trademark flat slabby granite section of the creek.

We slowly made progress towards the head of the canyon, with Whorl Mountain on the left and Virginia and Stanton Peaks on the right marking our progress.

A mile or so short of Horse Creek Pass, a few of us went to check out a small lake beneath Whorl Mountain while others rested below and searched for a wind-protected campsite.

Despite the decent camping and proximity to water, and even a few fibs concerning the "Yosemite bikini climbing team's" presence at the lake, we could not coax the others to climb to it, so after taking some pictures, we returned to the canyon floor and located a reasonably well-protected campsite.

Soon after setting up camp, our old friend the smoke returned.

Yet again, we felt fortunate that we were "one more" canyon to the east, as the smoke appeared to be worse to the west.

Day 6: Down Horse Creek Canyon

As usual, the next day started mostly clear of smoke. The pink one had gone ahead searching for boundary markers while the rest of us climbed the final few hundred feet to Horse Creek Pass.

Near the top of the pass is a small tarn. In the distance, Whorl Mountain looked a bit like Matthes Crest. Matterhorn Pass, to its north, appeared to be a vertical cliff, despite the fact that my wife and I had crossed it several years ago.

After the pink one returned and we took a few more pictures, we located the steep grassy ramp that my wife and I had used years earlier to start the long descent down Horse Creek Canyon.

The going was slow as we tried to make sure higher hikers didn't accidentally dislodge one of the numerous loose rocks and cause it to tumble on a hiker far below. Eventually, we reached a faint use trail that we'd follow for the next few thousand vertical feet.

Despite the tedious talus, I found Horse Creek Canyon to be a treat, its multicolored rocks a refreshing contrast to the typical gray Sierra granite. However, the seemingly endless talus was tiring at times, and it seemed that our downward progress was very slow at times.

Also, our old friend the Rim Fire smoke made an afternoon reappearance, reducing visibility to only a few miles as we finally left most of the talus and approached the flatter section of the canyon around 8400'.

As we neared the final drop into Twin Lakes, the prominent peaks surrounding us were barely visible; the opposite side of the Robinson Creek valley was not visible at all.

Along the final switchbacks, we did get some nice views of Horsetail Falls; a bit later, after navigating the numerous poorly-marked trails and roads of Mono Village, we were again at our car, where nearby, despite the thick smoke and warm daytime temperatures, an RV camper was enjoying a big campfire.

We met for a final meal together of burgers in Bridgeport before parting our different ways. Despite the smoke and changes to our original itinerary, the trip had been very enjoyable, and we explored two exquisite trail-less canyons in Yosemite. The campsites in both lower Slide and lower Spiller canyon are certainly worthy of a future return, and I wouldn't hesitate to stroll again up or down Spiller Canyon. After dinner and final good-byes, the burro and disco king would leave the backcountry, but the pink bird, my wife, and I had plans further south, far away from the smoke, in a place that would hopefully be almost as good as Yosemite--well, except perhaps for one of the uglier lakes in the Sierra.

More Pictures
Re: Slide, Spiller, Smoke
September 04, 2013 11:03PM
Thanks for posting your trip. We were in Yosemite this past weekend and the inside of our car still smells like smoke and there are ashes inside and stuck to the outside. Guess what my husband will be doing this weekend. LOL
avatar Re: Slide, Spiller, Smoke
September 04, 2013 11:21PM
Very nice TR. Thanks for posting.
Re: Slide, Spiller, Smoke
September 05, 2013 12:31AM
That looks like it was a great trip. Very beautiful area and great pictures... thanks!
Re: Slide, Spiller, Smoke
September 05, 2013 10:01AM
Wow. Fantastic trip. I'm jealous. Well, I was hiking the JMT while you were out there, so I shouldn't complain too much. While it sounds like the smoke was kinda nasty, I think you guys actually got pretty lucky and it could have been much worse. I need to dig up a stuffed animal and go hiking with you guys sometime.
Re: Slide, Spiller, Smoke
September 09, 2013 05:23PM
I need to dig up a stuffed animal and go hiking with you guys sometime.

Best be a cute animal. That Crab, now named ACE, was adorable, and was riding on the top of tomdisco's pack! Super-cute!
Re: Slide, Spiller, Smoke
September 09, 2013 10:00PM
I need to dig up a stuffed animal and go hiking with you guys sometime.

Best be a cute animal. That Crab, now named ACE, was adorable, and was riding on the top of tomdisco's pack! Super-cute!

I've got both a stuffed marmot and a stuffed grey squirrel. Tough call there.
Re: Slide, Spiller, Smoke
September 10, 2013 01:55PM
The marmot has been done, I suggest you go with the squirrel.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/10/2013 01:55PM by lschaaf.
Re: Slide, Spiller, Smoke
September 10, 2013 04:05PM
I'm also hoping the squirrel looks "crazier". Crazy helps!
avatar Re: Slide, Spiller, Smoke
September 05, 2013 01:39PM
A fantastic trip report. Thanks for taking me along. I can't believe how gigantic that slide looks in slide canyon. Incredible!
Re: Slide, Spiller, Smoke
September 07, 2013 04:13PM
I'll try to add some "color" to this report..

It was a very fun trip, with many jokes. Lots revolving around potty trowels and cold water "shrinkage" and bear can envy. There were times I almost spit out my food laughing - and I'm very protective of my food! Oh yeah, enjoying food was a source of fun too... I'd just sit there with my usual goodies, content and watch the Burro concoct something interesting. Burro had dried kimchee, which I actually liked a lot. Seemed the Burro was doing a lot of food schlepping in his BV500, while a pink bird got away with the Bearikade Scout! smiling smiley Burro brought two cans of fuel which also caught my attention. We use a JetBoil Sol Ti and we boil about 8-10 cups of water/day for the two of us. I think we used up less than half of an 8 ounce can for the entire 6 day trip.

So.. in no particular order.. random images/thoughts...

On cupcakes... I'd been promising chick-on cupcakes from our local cupcake store for a number of trips... but something kept getting in the way every other time- usually my faulty memory! The baker is fabulous, uses all natural ingredients, generates a lot of fun flavors every month and, well, has turned into something of a habit for us. We brought along 5 cupcakes to "share" with everyone... with the original thought of sharing in the morning before hitting the trail, but we'd all eaten enough that no one wanted to dig in before hiking! So Basilbop generously offered to pack in the box for dessert the first night! During the course of the day's hike into camp, every so often I was informed via radio that chick-on had been offered a cupcake by one of the party! By the end of the day, it seemed everyone else but me had ceded their cupcake to chick-on! But, it turned out the pink bird is as greedy as my parrots, and though he was saying "mine, mine, mine"... the others said "no, no, no" and we each had a cupcake, slightly deformed from the travels, but given the miles and elevation gain, not bad at all! And from that point on, Basilbop and I were both referred to as "cupcakes"... though over time, I seemed to end up holding sole claim to that title!

On mountain lions... On the first day, we'd heard a report that a hiker had been "stalked" by a mountain lion somewhere out of Twin Lakes TH. I thought this was highly unusual, but didn't give it much thought. The 5 of us were basically together during the entire first day... but near the end of the day as we neared Crown Lake, I'd gone on ahead - I was going to dunk myself in the emerald pool shown above if I stayed any longer waiting for the photobugs to finish... And I found myself hiking through narrow openings between high rocks, with little caves and nooks and crannies everywhere. Seemed to me like perfect ambush territory.. So I got a little skittish and ended up waiting for the others to catch up. I had caved and started worrying about mountain lions, which really hadn't happened before!

On ticks… picked up my first tick in Yosemite after a day involving bushwhacking. I was undressing to go take a dip in the creek nearby when I saw a tick working his little way into me. I squealed, couldn't fling it off, and Basilbop pulled it off me and squished it. We could see his little head hadn't worked his way in, but he was trying to hang on. Dang it. I did not enjoy that one bit. And the weird bit was we were over 9000' all day. I always thought we didn't have ticks over 4-5000' in Yosemite… But, I guess, if the deer are about, ticks are about… I'll be more vigilant in the future! Ugh.

On cold water... I love it, and frankly, there wasn't enough truly cold water in my book (though we had plenty of breezes which cause me grief).. but enough that I could soak my feet and sometimes my legs as well! I got a couple of full body soaks in, which was nice. But the guys.. jeez. what a bunch of wimps! "Shrinkage!" was the word! Basilbop and the Burro were the bravest in general, but one afternoon at the camp at the bottom of Spiller Canyon, after I'd had my soak (to the point of shivery - I was ready to start hiking again) the XC contingent joined me and tomdisco. I'd been soaking in a pool, but above me was a "waterslide" and after a bit of goading, the pink one just took off his shoes and tried to slide his way down into the pool. When he got out, he said "leeches"! I went over to look. Lots of little tiny black wiggly wormy things were stuck all over his pants! Apparently, they'd been clinging to the rock in the shallower cascade section he'd "slid" over... there were none in the pool I was in - I checked myself thoroughly too! he rinsed off. I think the Burro had followed him as well. Basilbop had taken his usual bird bath in the pool I'd lounged in. chick-on and Burro cleaned clothes for a bit, while I tried to warm myself up. I'd thought we might hike more, but with the granite slabs, we all agreed to camp there for the night, so I had to use the sun and some down to warm up! Coldest water encountered was when we first hit Horse Creek after the steepest drop from the pass on the last day. It was as cold as water ever seems to get for me - fresh melt, an ice cube would have floated happily without melting. I was cursing a blue streak while my feet were in the water. The others thought I was crazy, but it did reset my nerves and I was ready to continue the seemingly never-ending hike down! smiling smiley

On spiders. I'm phobic, it's silly, but it is what it is. At these lower altitudes, around 9-10k feet, the spiders are a little bigger and heftier than I'd like. Pink chicken helped me out one day. I found a single spider leg another morning. That upset me. I mean, I don't care about the one spider leg... it's harmless... but where was the body and the remaining 7 legs???

On smoke. The first day we really got hit, Slide Canyon and that night... well, I had a hard time sleeping until the air cleared. A couple of times, I woke a bit panicky, like I couldn't breathe. I told myself if it didn't get better, I'd have to bail. Luckily, we really did hit a relatively consistent pattern of clear mornings, afternoon/evening smoke with clearing around 2 am, and I slept well most other nights. Worked well enough for us. We hit the uphill climbs in the morning. I could NOT believe the folks who were pushing north on the PCT, intent on their hike, hiking into the meat of the smoke. And when I say "meat" I kinda mean it. The phrase "chewy" came to mind. Especially when it mixed with the dew at night, the air was very heavy. Yick. It's not like you can train yourself to handle smoke better, that "working through the smoke" is going to make you better at it. It just coats your lungs. Avoiding it is the best option.

On potty trowels.. Chick-on was afraid that Basilbop and I would go to the "dark side" and start carrying a potty trowel, since we borrowed tomdisco's or the burro's orange trowels.. It was more of a curiosity for me. I decided if I should get a trowel, it wouldn't be the orange ones they had because the way I wanted to handle the unit, the handle bit into my hands. At the same time $40 on a titanium trowel seems steep and unnecessary, given I've managed to figure things out with rocks and sticks at hand... but I must say it was convenient... but no.. haven't gone to the dark side yet...

On power... Chick-on, Basilbop and I each carried a GoalZero 3.5 panel. We ended up loaning Chick-on one of our Tenergy Power Banks to use so he could charge one of his pickier units. Must say, it worked out well. We all maintained our gear just fine and we were recharging camera, radio, NiMH batteries for GPS units, and phones and tablets throughout the trip. Chick-on and I were each packing a Pixo universal charger to handle the oddball batteries. Worked beautifully! Clever use of "in flight" recharging and using the Tenergy battery packs at night allowed us to keep everything topped off.

On having fun.. Did I mention this already? We had a lot of fun! It was a great trip, even with the change of plans. In fact, I enjoyed how we worked together to create a new plan in the face of unexpected challenges, and then we worked the plan. The final day was tough, but we managed.

On hiking and reading topo maps... If you haven't been able to hike much recently in the mountains, be wary of the elevation changes. The topo lines on the maps can look so innocuous. But the trails... the nature of the trails.. they can surprise you... Steep can be very steep. But if you give yourself time and take it one baby step at a time, you'll make it!

On radios... After several trips this year where Basilbop and I used our radios (we are both HAMs), Chick-on expressed interest and we procured a MURS-capable unit for him before the trip. We had an extra, but the Burro turned it down. During the trip, the Burro said he wished he'd accepted the radio. Given our speed and ability differences, it allowed us to spread out and have different contingents do different side-trips. We never missed a rendezvous, there was more joking and general merriment using the radios. And they offer weather band (when you can pick up a signal).

On my Jacks R Better head hole... I may look like the marshmallow-man tucked away in my sleeping quilt with my head sticking out the middle, but it sure makes for a cozy way to spend breakfast time! Several times on the trip, I woke up to frost on my bag, and one morning in lower Matterhorn canyon, just above the meadow, the ice was so hard, I couldn't knock it off easily at all! But even with the ice, I was toasty warm and cozy! I may be carrying a bit of extra weight, but it's worth it to me to be warm! Still didn't help me get ready any faster. Catalonian Burro and I were constantly racing each other to see who'd make it to "last one ready!"

On steep loose footing/talus... WIth my recovering ankle, what was already a slow proposition for me became even slower. I had to plant my foot and carefully transition weight to it with every step. Did I mention slow? smiling smiley But I made it down Horse Pass *and* the passes in our second trip... which were even more challenging!

On people with bonfires when the smoke is heavy... I couldn't believe what we saw as we drove out of the Twin Lakes resort area. It was so very smoky, and yet there was a huge campfire blazing away at like 5 in the afternoon! It wasn't even chilly! It made absolutely no sense to me.. I just shook my head and was thankful we were heading out of there and ultimately back into the high country.

Final thoughts.. I hadn't done 6 consecutive days of backpacking in a few years... but it came right back. And it felt easy... so very right. I had an absolutely great time! The short trips we had earlier in the season had prepared me well for this longer trip. And I finished happy and looking forward to the next trip which would start the very next day...
avatar Re: Slide, Spiller, Smoke
September 07, 2013 10:27PM

On people with bonfires when the smoke is heavy... I couldn't believe what we saw as we drove out of the Twin Lakes resort area. It was so very smoky, and yet there was a huge campfire blazing away at like 5 in the afternoon! It wasn't even chilly! It made absolutely no sense to me.. I just shook my head and was thankful we were heading out of there and ultimately back into the high country.

OMG! I wish we had taken a picture of this. Picture your quintessential retiree sitting in front of his RV with a 3-4 foot bonfire on a hot - and here is the kicker- smoke filled day when you cannot even see the mountain around you. The absolute absurdity and cluelessness in the face of the fire was something else. I should have taken a picture.

I think we all had a great time! Wish the Old Dude was there, though. smileys with beer
Re: Slide, Spiller, Smoke
September 10, 2013 04:07PM
Oh yeah, definitely missed Old Dude! Not because the existing company wasn't good, but because it would have been even better! smiling smiley
avatar Re: Slide, Spiller, Smoke
September 10, 2013 07:44PM
Oh yeah, definitely missed Old Dude! Not because the existing company wasn't good, but because it would have been even better! smiling smiley

I was in bed watching the Spot change every few days. MY BEAR CAN WAS PACKED!!!!

Old Dude
avatar Re: Slide, Spiller, Smoke
September 11, 2013 06:50PM
Oh yeah, definitely missed Old Dude! Not because the existing company wasn't good, but because it would have been even better! smiling smiley

I was in bed watching the Spot change every few days. MY BEAR CAN WAS PACKED!!!!

You were right. You didn't even need to do that. Canalonian Burrito had enough food for 20...
And even then... when we were going to cut the trip down by 2 days... his first words were
"we should ration". I donut wutt da heck he was thinking. Purty shure the smoke was gettin to him.

Chick-on is looking at you!
avatar Re: Slide, Spiller, Smoke
September 15, 2013 07:14AM
Oh yeah, definitely missed Old Dude! Not because the existing company wasn't good, but because it would have been even better! smiling smiley

I was in bed watching the Spot change every few days. MY BEAR CAN WAS PACKED!!!!

You were right. You didn't even need to do that. Canalonian Burrito had enough food for 20...
And even then... when we were going to cut the trip down by 2 days... his first words were
"we should ration". I donut wutt da heck he was thinking. Purty shure the smoke was gettin to him.

Too much food; not enough toilet paper! I gave him 1/3 of a roll on the 5th day which will probably get rationed into next year.
Re: Slide, Spiller, Smoke
September 11, 2013 08:46PM
I did the twin Lakes Loop from Virginia Lake to twin Lakes a couple years ago, loved both, but when I hit twin Lakes, could not get over that craziness of wall-to-wall people in their RVs, watching television during the day with all that beautiful scenery around them. The fire thing does not surprise me.
Re: Slide, Spiller, Smoke
September 07, 2013 04:30PM
Bonus! Some photosynthies!

East of Mule Pass

The Slide of Slide Canyon

Between Spiller and Matterhorn Canyon

Spiller Canyon and Whorl Mtn.

If you zoom in enough in this one, you can see a red splotch which is Burro and/or 'Disco; they were on the other side of the creek, straight below the highest apparent point on the grey peaks north of Virginia:
Spiller and Whorl from near tarn

Horse Creek Pass and Tarn

Smoky Horse Creek Canyon

Re: Slide, Spiller, Smoke
September 09, 2013 10:56AM
Another excellent TR (I started backwards, found part 2 first), thanks!
Re: Slide, Spiller, Smoke
September 15, 2013 07:20PM
You had me at cupcakes.
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