Wednesday, September 28, 2011
Minerals, Mines, and the Room of Doom
Recently I've developed a bit of a fetish with run, climb, run routes. I'm not sure if its a desire to hold onto the climbing past, need for diversity in my training, or as my wife would call it--a man crush on Jared Campbell(http://door5.com/).
Yesterday I accidentally ran into (literally) excellent Wasatch Run-Climb-Run route. There is only one small downside to this route: You have to run the only ATV accessible trail in the Wasatch. Since I run on the weekdays, during working hours, it wasn't very busy. I passed 4 motorcycles and they where all very nice, and very bewildered at the weird guy in sissy running shorts. The trail starts at the Mineral Fork ATV trailhead in BCC. Follow the ATV width, loose rock/Sand trail almost to the highest basin where Regulator Johnson Mine is in sight (http://nrwrt1.nr.state.ut.us/quads/q024/pq1421.gif), As your climbing up the steep, loose trail keep your eyes on Cardiac Ridge and look for the obvious narrow clean low angle slab. The trail will take you within about 1000 yards from the base. (See photo) Cut off the trail here, and head straight up for the fabulous looking slab. You will see some old tracks where some hot shot four wheeler high marked on this hill.
I climbed this in my Merril Glove Running shoes (http://www.merrell.com/US/en-US/Product.mvc.aspx/22875M/50390/Mens/Barefoot-Trail-Glove) Probably the best option for any such run/climb. The only other option would be the NB Minimus (http://www.newbalance.com/nb-minimus/). Normal running shoes are probably the WORST climbing option with their fat sole and lose fit. I don't know the actual height of the route but I'd guess 600-1000ft. I'd give it an alpine 5.6 with options on the slab to 5.9 and 5.10+ if you take the arete. There are two cruxes on the route the second being the scariest due to the integrity of the rock being questionable. The key, as with all alpine climbing, don't just pull on the biggest hold you can find, pull on the strongest one. All in all the rock quality is very good for its location, just slightly below what you'd get on the West Slabs of Mt. Olympus. And if you get scared you can traverse left into the dihedral for some dirty corner climbing.
When you reach the top, you will find yourself on the knife of Cardiac ridge. I contemplated going North on the ridge but due to time down climbed the Cardiac slabs into Cardiff Ford of Mill D South. If you did the climb to the ridge, you can do the down climb. Due to confusion with the actual location of the Room of Doom, I'm pretty sure this is NOT the Room, but just in case I'm wrong this could be a down climb through the Room of Doom, but I think this route is actual a few ridges South of the Room of Doom.
After getting off the slab head for the double track slightly up canyon (South) leading to the Baby M. Mine, which sits at the bottom of the Tunnel chute. From here catch the well traveled double track almost to the bottom of the canyon where you will see a distinct single track veer to the left (NW) as the road takes a sharp right (East). Follow the single track until you reach the power line trail. Follow the power line trail past the fancy pants houses until it almost disappears. When the power lines split, take the downhill trail that shortly becomes better. Follow this trail all the way to BCC highway. From there about a mile down the road back to the Mineral fork trail head.
Distance: 12.1 miles (gps)
Altitude: about 3700ft (7.5 USGS)
Average HR: 137
Max HR: 172
A note on safety: This route requires significant climbing and alpine route assessment skills. A major judgement error or fall could cause serious injury or death. If you are questioning if you have the skills, bring a rope and a small rack. Rock shoes are advised, although not necessary.