April 19-20, 2019
Carly and I took off Friday morning for a long weekend to explore a new area for us, the West Desert of Utah. The area is huge and doesn’t have many people in it. The area is part of the Basin and Range topology that spans both sides of the border with Nevada. This area is characterized by mountain ranges, usually north-south running, and flat desert areas in between. The topography is such that their are rarely any outlets to the rivers and stream drainages. The water that falls in the mountains as rain or snow will only travel to the basins only to dry up. This is easy to understand when you see the landscape adjacent to the Ibex climbing area. It is a large dry lake bed that does at times hold a water, but most of the time is a hard smooth and flat surface.
The climbing was quite good, though a little run out in places, even on bolted routes. Bringing some gear for bolted routes wasn’t a bad thing unless you could see it was well bolted. While there were few climbers there were a number of people partying and camping on the hardpan, the term for the lake bed. The area is quite nice and I expect we’ll return to try out some more climbing at Ibex and at some of the other areas not far away.
Saturday evening we headed west to Great Basin National Park with the intent to do some hiking on Wheeler Peak. There was some rain in the forecast but unfortunately it started raining Saturday evening not long after we started our campfire and continued until morning. In the morning we decided to pack up before breakfast because of the rain and head back to SLC.
On the way we tried to do another hike near Mt. Nebo. We didn’t get much done as it started to lightning and thunder not long after we left the car. We did at least get to check out some massive avalanche debris and damage from a slide that must have happened at least a few weeks ago. Note that Carly is in one of them for scale.