Monday, March 3, 2014

When Someone Says A Trail Is "Sketchy"

Many years ago I went to Moab, Utah with my sister-in-law and her husband Matt. They are avid hikers. We were on a new trail and there were some sections that weaved along steep ledges. There were technical, challenging sections. Some sections made us nervous. We came across some hikers coming toward us and asked how the trail was up ahead. They smiled and said "Well, there are some parts that are a bit sketchy."

We soon realized that "a bit sketchy" meant "downright frightening". Being afraid of heights, I found a way around one sketchy section which involved taking off my shoes, wading through water, and creating instant blackmail material had my in-laws taken a picture.

Matt lives close by and we still find our way onto trails sometimes. Last week was one such time. I was anxious to check out a new trail he had found called Nephi's Twist. Matt got a similar grin to the girl in Moab years ago when he mentioned that "there are only a few sketchy parts".

My trail bravery has improved since those Moab days so I figured I could handle sketchy. The first parts of the trail involve no sketchy-ness. This is Matt:

Still not too sketchy:

Then some short, steep climbs.

After this we reached an awesome trail right on the spine of a ridge that weaved through the desert. It had a hint of sketchy. Maybe in my younger Moab days this would have been difficult but these days it wasn't too bad.


We continued on a series of steep uphills. Then steep downhills. Steep up. Steep down. And an occasional level chunk.

In no time the amount of sketchy steadily increased.

Then mucho sketchy. Steep climbing. It's a good thing I opted to go with the Altra Lone Peak 1.5 shoes before the run. They have the best grip of any of my shoes and I needed every ounce of grip I could get. Matt caught one particular climb. Notice how I'm pretty much VERTICAL going up the trail.

Here is a sample of the uber-sketchy. There wasn't anywhere on the trail where a slip would force you to meet your maker. But a slip would definitely leave a chunk of your chin on the trail and then some flesh as you tumble down a hill.

The trail eventually circles around to where it started. I was thankful for the incredible views and the cool pictures we caught.

Here is what is ABSOLUTELY, ABSOLUTELY INSANE: hard-core mountain bikers go down this trail! I wouldn't bike this trail if you offered me a million dollars and tickets to a meet-and-greet with MC Hammer. If you dare, watch this GoPro video of some guys going down the trail. It is downright frightening.

18 comments:

  1. Your pictures are amazing, and that video is absolutely terrifying. I was holding my breath the whole time.

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  2. Oh, and I love when you have the kind of history with people where phrases like "it's kind of sketchy" have a backstory like that. There are like a million of those with my AR teammates.

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  3. You have some really beautiful places to run, even if they are a little sketchy!

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  4. Wow! That trail is ridiculous, but I'm sure it was amazing!

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  5. Such a pretty place to run. Not sure I would run those "little sketchy" parts though :)

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  6. Beautiful and terrifying! You're a brave soul!

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  7. I consider all my trail runs pretty sketchy. The fact that no one else in the group does makes me the ultimate wuss but I am who I am and just going every week is an act of bravery for me.

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  8. Those are some both great and scary pics lol. And that video is indeed terrifying lol

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  9. "The cliffths of inthanity!"

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  10. ummmmm yeah. Kevin said he would do a 100 miler with me if I rode the trail on a bike. I nearly puked for fear watching the video! Looks fun to run and crawl though! Gorgeous pics!

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  11. I'd be crying - LOUDLY - if I ran on that....no way in hell I could mtb it. The vid reminds me of when Tim was showing us some guys mtb-ing it on Flying Monkey after he did Zion. Another "no way!" trail. You rock, dear Cory!

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  12. Absolutely beautiful! I would love to run there.

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  13. Holy smokes! I would be afraid to run on that, but bike it....no way. That video is insane!!!! Another beautiful spot though!

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  14. Um, I was a little afraid just watching that video! It sure is nice to see something other than snow though!

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  15. Whoa that is an intense trial. I have no doubt I would be rolling down and eating some dirt if I attempted. But oh so beautiful!

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  16. Wow!! What a pretty run! I live in FL so the closest thing we have to hill are speed bumps. :-)

    Kevin
    HalfTRIing.blogspot.com

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