Monday, October 13, 2014

introducing my folks to catherine's area

My folks returned to SLC after a great five days in Capitol Reef National Park; they scored a tent site in the park's Fruita campground and did a ton of hiking with very good (if a little hot, even) weather.  When they got back to the Wasatch Front, the weather was starting to change, however, as a cold front was due to move through over the weekend.  H and I had planned on hikes up to Desolation Lake (Big Cottonwood Canyon) and to Sunset Peak via Catherine's Area (Alta), and when the forecast looked like the clearer skies would be on Saturday, we decided that the Alta hike would be the one to do since the views are more spectacular up there.

The gang on Catherine's Pass

It was definitely chillier than it had been the weekend before, which boded well for the hike.  We were able to get a parking spot in the small, Catherine's Pass trail head lot, saving ourselves at least a mile.  There were a few other people up there, including some bow hunters who were scouting the hillsides around Grizzly Gulch for deer.  We headed up to Catherine's Pass, pointing out various Alta landmarks to my folks as we went (such trivia as: "There's the cliff H skied off last year!").

My dad atop Sunset Peak

We paused for pictures on Catherine's Pass, then kept going up to the Sunset Peak/Great Western Trail junction.  While H, my dad and I cruised up to Sunset Peak, my mom found a sheltered, sunny spot and waited for us, then we all continued on to the top of the Supreme chair, finishing the loop down through the ski area and Albion campground.  A chilly breeze was picking up as we all had a post-hike beer, thin clouds swirling high overhead - hopefully the front moving in wouldn't keep us off the trails for Sunday.  [Spoiler: it would.]

Pausing before an icy patch

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