|Black puppies don't photograph that well, but be assured he's about as cute as cute gets|
First stop was St. George. While Gooseberry Mesa and the Hurricane/JEM/Gould trails are the marquee rides in the southwest corner of the state, there's a lot more awesome singletrack to be had, and St. George is the center. We hit up the Barrel Roll/Rim Rock area and within just a few square miles were able to slay 26 miles of great singletrack with 3000 feet of climbing, with amazing views of the desert hills rolling up into the Pine Valley mountains and the cliffs of Zion off in the distance.
|swapping skin tracks for single tracks. not a bad trade.|
|the directional paint ranges from the very obvious.....|
|to the very subtle|
|and some old chopped steel that held cables|
some fun "stairs":
|happy to have that Stealth rubber!|
Ash wore her fleece pants (as always) and as such was able to successfully tussle with the yucca:
|note the cars at the lodge in the lower right corner; as the condor flies it's not very far there, but a long ways down|
We also saw a couple of ladies that made for some interesting thoughts/conversation: Cathy and Catherine were from SLC, and they were about halfway up when we saw them on our descent. Cathy was not very athletic, not a climber, and was tired/sore from a relatively easy hike the day before, yet Catherine (a runner) apparently was determined to drag her up Lady Mt to....show her a good time? Despite Catherine having been up there twice before she did not bring a rope for her friend, and while Cathy was game enough to climb up the two 5th class sections the only option was to downclimb them as well, which is considerably harder/scarier for someone who's not comfortable climbing. We let Cathy use our rope and a harness to descend the two raps, and then we boogied out of there because we were so annoyed at watching Catherine totally sandbag her "friend".
Lady Mountain is an overlooked (winter/shoulder season) gem, probably because it's within spittin' distance of Zion's world-famous climbs (Moonlight Buttress), runs (Zion Crossing), slot canyons (Heaps) and hikes (Angel's Landing) but it combines a bit of all of those in one very-cool, medium-length outing.
and then we came back to some good powder in a few-inch refresher storm!
But back to spring this weekend again, so the desert is tempting us to make another drive south....