0

As most people know exploration is my addiction. These missions have taken me to many unknown places. Sometimes they end with success and other times they end with nothing but a few less calories and an ” I told you so” from someone in the group.

Tom Sunderland peaks into the unknown depths below

Tom Sunderland peaks into the unknown depths below

I had been looking at this steep blue snaking line on a map for many years. In fact at one point we tried to blindly drop in, armed only with a few hopes to succeed.  That adventure can be seen in the video below.

A Paper Romance – Part 1 from Aaron Mulkey on Vimeo.

I would like to think I have gotten a bit smarter since then. This time we decided to hike into the creek to see if what looked good on a map actually looked good in person. Well some things look better on paper then in person needless to say.

The mayhem halfway through the slot canyon

The mayhem halfway through the slot canyon

The water was still incredibly high, but I’m not sure it would have changed the mind field of massive drops that lied below. Despite some ultimate death drops that were within the gorge, I still felt there was a maze of runnable drops as well. Its a puzzle that has all of the pieces, but at first glance you sorta have the feeling its impossible. The longer I think about this river the more I feel my crew and I could put the pieces together.

370

 

One of my favorite things about exploring is the anticipation. Peering into these gorges, I felt like a kid at Christmas. Was it going to be underwear or a new bike? As we continued down stream peering into the depths of the gorge we found lots of excitement and lots of sighs.

 

This drop looked boot fabulous

This drop looked boot fabulous

A big 25 footer

A big 25 footer

Looking into the pearly white gates of the gorge

Looking into the pearly white gates of the gorge

The snow is beginning to fall and my mind is already beginning to think about next seasons objectives. Knowing that there are still places on this earth that have not been explored, just makes living that much better.

biggoose7

 

biggoose3

 

And these guys…. Well they just make the journeys a lot more interesting.