Deer Creek Canyon

7.8 miles - Deer Creek CanyonWaaaay back on March 22nd we went out with a few friends and hiked Deer Creek Canyon. Snow was in the forecast for that afternoon so we hit the trail early. E.A.R.L.Y. like at the trailhead at 6a early to avoid the snow storm. Well for us it was 6.25a because of yet another pre-hike breakfast fail.

Planning ahead after several failed pre-hike breakfasts I threw some oats, milk, raisins and bananas in the crock-pot before we went to bed on Friday night. Hoping to rise to a delicious and nutrient rich creamy already done and ready oatmeal we could chow down on before hitting the trail. Fortunately, I now know the difference between steel-cut oats and old fashioned oats. Yes OF oats take a while to cook when you’re in a hurry, but no, under no circumstances should you expect anything but gelatinous muck after cooking them for 8 hours – even on low. Actually i had a photo but it looked so gross I will spare you. I’ll tell you this, if you throw a banana in the crock-pot I highly recommend slicing it first.

IMG1320Second lesson learned: Panera is still slow as molasses in the wee hours of the morning…we were in the drive thru for more than 10 minutes for a sandwich and a cup of oats…

Third and most valuable lesson: loads of fiber isn’t really the best decision before a hike, especially if you’re interested in keeping friends. Crop dusting them the entire hike isn’t really nice.

Sadly, I’m not making these things up. Oh, how I wish I was.

On to real hiking knowledge gained:

  1. Carry a map & use it with a  compass; it’s really easy to get turned around.
  2. Micro-spikes are highly recommended.

Deer Creek Canyon 3.22 (9)

We were trekking along smoothly until we hit this:

Icy trail

I'm walkin on....ice layersa MAJOR Ice field.  This is where those micro-spikes or crampons would’ve come in very handy.  At this point we didn’t have any, left bare soled we would not have been able to conquer this slope, Jake tried and BOOM! his first hiking fall.  On a side note, as he fell something in his brain told him to punch the ICE WALL with all his might, causing the knuckle injury. We both still have no idea what spurred his act of violence.

 

Lucky for us we were traveling with seasoned hikers who have everything you could possibly need in their pack, including a spare pair of spikes. Jake and I split the pair. We were advised to wear them on the foot that landed on the ice more. Grateful for the loaners we were able to keep moving. If we didn’t have these our hike would’ve stopped right then and there something like a mile into the hike which would’ve been crushing.

Deer Creek Canyon 3.22 (12)

Deer Creek Canyon 3.22 (2)

Deer Creek Canyon 3.22 (11)

Jake - Deer Creek Canyon - 3.22.14It was getting so cold Jake’s camelback water tube started getting ice chunks!

 Rick Mapping the wayI’m receiving a lesson in orientating yourself on the map and finding north from the hiking expert.

This was one of the coolest hikes I’ve been on so far. Why? The fog, the cold, the snow. Providing the perfect backdrop to Tough Hiker Syndrome, where I paint myself as one really tough hiker, in my head…that is until we get back home and look at the photos…and reality sinks in. However, even seeing the reality can’t shake that feeling of empowerment, courage, and general “TUFF STUFF”.

As the wind & cold front rolled in it was beautiful watching half the scenery become cloaked in frost.

Deer Creek Canyon 3.22 (6)

Us atop Bill Couch Mtn which is at 7,082′.

Sumit - Bill Couch Mtn - 3.22.14

It started spitting snow on our way back down and by the time we hit the parking lot we were being slushed with massive snowflakes. it was AWESOME

Deer Creek Canyon- 3.22.14

Would I recommend this trail? Absolutely!! super bonus? The bathrooms have running water, which means real, flushable toilets!

 

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