Van Cott Ridge and Black Mountain Ridge Loop - May 1, 2024

scatman

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I had a day I needed to burn before May 8th at work so I took Wednesday off and headed to the hills. I've been cycling most of the spring with only one hike up the Avenues Twin peaks to my credit. So my hiking legs probably aren't what they should be. I decided to head up Mount Van Cott from my home, summit Van Cott then head east across what I call the Van Cott Ridge. Once at the end of the ridge, I'd head north to gain the Black Mountain Ridge, then take the trail back down the north ridge of City Creek home, summitting the Avenues Twin Peaks for good measure. Once I hit the top of Black Mountain Ridge, I decided to head to the highpoint of the ridge so that I could get a good shot of Grandview Peak before turning around and heading home. It was roughly a 13 mile day, and it took me 10 hours and 8 minutes to complete it. This include a lot of picture taking and a long lunch on the high point of Black Mountain Ridge.

I found the hike to be rather chilly. It was supposed to get up to 54 degrees in the valley, so probably in the 40's up on the ridge. While the sun was out most of the day, once on the ridges the wind was whipping pretty good. I did find as long as I was headed up I was okay, but when I stopped to break, or eat my lunch, it got chilly. Also I was chilled on my way down.

When all was said and done, I was pretty pooped after this one.

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Excitement is just pumping through my veins before taking off

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I left at the same time that Sheila took off, cycling to work

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A black cricket heading up the hill on my way to 11th Avenue

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Some deer at the fire station on 11th Ave.

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Evening-primrose on my way to Dry Canyon

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Sunrise on the south summit of the Avenues Twin Peaks

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Arriving at the mouth of Dry Canyon

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Long leaf phlox

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Groundsel

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Balsamroot on the slope of Mount Van Cott

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Sun hitting the ridge on the northwest side of Dry Canyon

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Beginning the climb up Van Cott. This used to be an old Jeep road.

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The Avenues Twin Peaks in the distance, where I will be later in the afternoon hopefully

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A look up the North Fork of Dry Canyon. I should be making my way across the ridge at the head of the fork later in the day.

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Vetch

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Pungent desert parsley

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I headed up the western ridge of Van Cott this time instead of just following the Old Jeep road. University of Utah Hospital and
Huntsman Cancer Center below.

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Utah Service Berry

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A look back at downtown Salt Lake City

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First look at Black Mountain

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Back on the old Jeep road near the summit of Van Cott. The Dude Benchmark in the distance

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Coming off the summit of Van Cott and hooking up with the trail that will take me across the Van Cott Ridge with Black Mountain
dead ahead.

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Cycling caps don't provide much eye shade when heading directly into the sun. :)

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Forget-me-nots

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Looking back at the summit of Van Cott

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Glacier lilies

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View to the south at Mount Wire, with Red Butte Reservoir below

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Some bumps to go over on the Van Cott Ridgeline. View is looking northeast.

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Black Mountain above

At this point I started to hear turkeys gobble coming from the slope across the South Fork of Dry Canyon. I'd stop and look over to see if I could see any movement in the direction of the sounds, but they wouldn't come out of the scrub oak. After a bit, I thought they may be plotting against me. :) Gobblers on my tail @Rockskipper! They are a clever birds indeed. Hokies on my tail is almost as bad as hellhounds on my tail! :D

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Another look back to the southwest and the Van Cott Ridgeline

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Larkspur on the ridge

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One more major hump to go

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More lilies

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1st break. Time to get some calories in me before I begin heading up Black Mountain

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Some cacti

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Yellow Bells

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Heading towards the saddle above the South Fork of Dry Canyon

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First snow encounter

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Spring beauties

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At the end of the ridge to social trail becomes more of an elk trail

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Hard to stay on at times

At this point I was hoping that @regehr had blazed a top notch trail up to the summit of the Black Mountain Ridge, but if he had, I couldn't find it. :D

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Fromm the saddle above the South Fork of Dry Canyon, looking back at the Van Cott Ridge

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Utah violet

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Another shot of the Van Cott Ridge and looking down the South Fork of Dry Canyon

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Heading up Black Mountain in earnest now. I'm heading towards that lone mountain mahogany on the hill

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Common storksbill and a Scatman shadow

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I stopped for a second break under that lone mountain mahogany in order to eat a Kind Bar and take this shot of one of my
cameras I took on the trip. It's battery did not like the cold, and would eventually run out of juice.

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Spring Parsley

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Getting some better views of the Wasatch Mountains the higher I get

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Hey, only 1100 feet in just over seven tenths of a mile. Looking up at the top of the Black Mountain Ridge where I am heading

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Patches of snow here and there on the bushwhack

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Looking up towards the head of Red Butte Canyon

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Nor sure what this is. Does anyone know?

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Just follow the elk droppings is my motto. :)

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More yellow bells on the south slope of Black Mountain

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My left knee was not liking this. In training for a @Bob tip, straight up is the only alternative. :D

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Looking back down on the route I have come. The Van Cott Ridge is the second ridge in the image

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Lord have mercy! Getting close at least.

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Not sure what is going on here?

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Looking east with the Uintas in the far diatance

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The back end of a small horned toad. It was kind of shy. :)

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On top of the Black Mountain Ridge, looking west.

So at this point I decided that I wanted to reach the high point of the ridge. I had forgotten that the butt pucker scramble section was between me and the high point, so I had some scrambling and downclimbing to do, which I'm sure would have been comical to watch with my hiking poles in one hand, and having to be careful of my camera attached to the shoulder strap of my pack. This raised the butt pucker facto for me at least.

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Heading into the scramble part

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A look up the North Fork Drainage in City Creek Canyon. Snow covered Francis Peak, above Farmington, is in the far distance.

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A little scrambling left to do to reach the high point

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This is the view that makes the high point worth it. - Grandview Peak.

Now some summit shots
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Lookout Peak to the east

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The Wasatch Mountains to the south

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View down City Creek Canyon

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On the high point

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Lunch time

I had hauled my long lens up with me, so after lunch I took it out and took some shots with it

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Grandview Peak and Cottonwood Gulch

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Lookout Peak

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Francis Peak to the north

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The under construction water treatment plant in City Creek Canyon that will keep me from reaching my 40th year in a row of cycling
to the top of City Creek this summer. :mad:

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The Dude Benchmark to the northwest, with Frary Peak beyond, across the Great Salt Lake

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Gobblers Knob and Mount Raymond to the south

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Broads Fork Twin Peaks to the South. If you look closely, you can also see Grandeur Peak below the twins, and below Grandeur is
Perkins Peak of Parleys Ridge fame.

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Lone Peak to the south, with Mount Olympus below Lone.

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To the west and Stansbury Island across the Great Salt Lake, with the Lakeside Mountains beyond.

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The big gun.

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Heading for home. The scramble portion is easier in this direction because you are climbing up
instead of downclimbing

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This part ahead is much easier to climb up that to come down

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A nice stand of aspen, yet to get their leaves, on the north slope of the ridge

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Antelope Island off in the distance

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The road home along the south ridge of City Creek Canyon for the most part with the Avenues Twin Peaks at the end of another
old Jeep road

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One last look up City Creek Canyon towards Burro Peak and Grandview Peak

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Making some headway coming down the ridge

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Common storksbill

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Running into my first paintbrush

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A look back up at the western edge of the Black Mountain Ridge

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Old Jeep road

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Another shot looking back at Black Mountain

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Arriving at the Avenues Twin Peaks

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North Peak with a cyclist atop

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More paintbrush

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South Twin dead ahead

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The couple headed up the South Twin in the previous image were kind enough to take my picture at the summit, with Burro Peak,
Grandview Peak and Black Mountain in the background. Tad bit windy I'd say. :cold:

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The Van Cott Ridge from a different angle

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More paintbrush coming off the South Twin

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Golden currant

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A look back at the South Twin

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When I reached home, look who was just peddling up. Great timing! :D Home sweet home.
 
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nice!
the last time I did this loop I think it had gotten longer, funny how that works!
 
nice!
the last time I did this loop I think it had gotten longer, funny how that works!

Isn't that the truth. I attribute it to me getting older. :moses: I was having trouble bending my knees/legs far enough on the scramble section.
 
You jumped straight into the all day hikes! I hope the recovery time was good as well?
I have some Saturday mornings available this month, if inclined... almost for sure I am avail the 18th and 25th, and maybe the 11th. One weekend, I am trying to either get to the desert without a vehicle :thumbsup:, or spend a night in Maybird below the Pfiefferhorn as is a May tradition. Of course, you are invited or welcome should I get Maybird to happen.
 
You jumped straight into the all day hikes! I hope the recovery time was good as well?
I have some Saturday mornings available this month, if inclined... almost for sure I am avail the 18th and 25th, and maybe the 11th. One weekend, I am trying to either get to the desert without a vehicle :thumbsup:, or spend a night in Maybird below the Pfiefferhorn as is a May tradition. Of course, you are invited or welcome should I get Maybird to happen.

I'm afraid I'm still on recovery time. :moses:

I have my century ride on the 11th, so that Saturday is out. Not sure Sheila wants tp peddle the tandem by herself. :D I was going to give blood on the 18th, but I can move that to the 25th if you want to do something on the 18th. What did you have in mind?
 
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