Do you know what’s cool about guiding? We love what we do. Inasmuch that when we’re not working, we still hike and recreate in the great outdoors. This differs from many jobs where one avoids the whole scene unless being forced to go to work. Our guides want to hike! And not just hike — they crush! Let’s take a small glimpse into this season. There is much in the works. Ken and Álvaro, for example, are going to be climbing Mts Hood and Rainier in Oregon and Washington, respectively. Ryan is already running unimaginable distances in mind-numbingly short times. Our guides are doing traverses, completing lists, and more. It’s exciting.
One guide in particular, Arlette, completed the Florida Trail and through-hiked the Hayduke Trail — which runs from Arches National Park to Zion National Park, about 900 miles — from March 1st to May 1st of this year, already. Wow!
What follows is a little excerpt she composed along with a few photos about her experience.
The Hayduke Trail is one of the most challenging long distance trails I’ve ever hiked. There was hardly ever any actual trail to follow. I was mostly walking and scrambling in washes and canyons and when I was up higher it was often exposed terrain where a slip could be fatal. There are no trail markers. Sometimes there would be cairns to follow but most of the times I had to pay close attention to the terrain and my maps. The track on my Gaia GPS made things a bit easier but in actuality I still had to pick which ledge to walk on and what boulder to scramble over. There was also early snowmelt and high water because of rain which made some of the narrows challenging. Feet would become numb fording many cold streams and I found myself swimming in freezing water of the East Fork of the Virgin River to get around a boulder choked section. Luckily I had the company of two other hikers there as opposed to when I found myself in the Bull Valley Gorge trying to get up and over slippery boulders standing in cold knee deep water or sinking in mud. I surprised myself by managing the canyoneering moves required, hauling my pack out with a rope and making it out safely. —Redline Guide Arlette Laan
Sounds challenging, to say the least. Here are some photos.
Wow, such stunning photos. Thank you for sharing, Arlette. And congratulations on your accomplishments this year… so far. To learn more about Arlette’s adventures, please check out her online journal. If you want to learn from Arlette, contact us. Let’s arrange for her to teach you how she does it.
To the rest of our team: good luck and stay safe this summer!
Update (June 23, 2017): Podcast about this trip on iTunes.