Grand staircase

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fixxervi6
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Grand staircase

Post by fixxervi6 » Sat Aug 08, 2020 10:29 am

If anyone is interested in a trip to the grand staircase hit me up, 4x4 and ADV only.
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Re: Grand staircase

Post by dufremle » Sat Aug 08, 2020 11:30 am

:(
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Re: Grand staircase

Post by fixxervi6 » Sat Aug 08, 2020 1:22 pm

I've got a KLR rotting in my garage that you can probably get a very good deal on.
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Re: Grand staircase

Post by JeffStrom » Sat Aug 08, 2020 2:18 pm

Maybe. But only if there is lots of sand!
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Re: Grand staircase

Post by fixxervi6 » Sat Aug 08, 2020 4:58 pm

Last time I was out there, the sand wasn't the same. Hard to explain, I don't think I would have said as many cuss words. I think we hit it when it had been dry for so long everything was a fine powder.

I've discovered a lot of areas in the staircase that I had no idea existed due to the roads being hidden - we road by so much good shit when we were out there on bikes and we had no idea we road right by it. That's my fault I guess for bad planning :(
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Re: Grand staircase

Post by dufremle » Sat Aug 08, 2020 6:29 pm

fixxervi6 wrote:
Sat Aug 08, 2020 1:22 pm
I've got a KLR rotting in my garage that you can probably get a very good deal on.
Nah. Tubes. :SideSplittingLaughter:
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Re: Grand staircase

Post by fixxervi6 » Sat Aug 08, 2020 6:45 pm

dufremle wrote:
Sat Aug 08, 2020 6:29 pm
fixxervi6 wrote:
Sat Aug 08, 2020 1:22 pm
I've got a KLR rotting in my garage that you can probably get a very good deal on.
Nah. Tubes. :SideSplittingLaughter:
Cheap, like, real cheap.
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Re: Grand staircase

Post by dufremle » Sat Aug 08, 2020 7:57 pm

Title?
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Re: Grand staircase

Post by fixxervi6 » Sat Aug 08, 2020 8:52 pm

Yep, needs a little TLC but since it's a KLR that doesn't mean much, parts are plentiful and cheap.
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Re: Grand staircase

Post by SputnikSam » Sun Aug 09, 2020 10:26 am

I'd love to go back there... When?
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Re: Grand staircase

Post by fixxervi6 » Sun Aug 09, 2020 11:59 am

Current plan is 3rd week of September, based on historical temperatures it should be a good time to go, it'll be back country camping vs base camping out of escalate, so very much like what Jim and Jeff and I did in big bend (which has been one of my top motorcycle trips to date imo)

The staircase is far too large to try to "run out then make it back to camp" so the idea is to explore small segments at a time vs trying to rush all the way back to camp so you get to see more at a relaxed pace.

I can't say I'll have room to haul gear but I'd be able to offer emergency support from the jeep as I'll be hauling insane amounts of water, water filtration, extra fuel, if someone breaks a leg etc, I'll have resources for fire etc.

I've been to some of the areas I want to re-visit so I've already scouted lots of good camping spots and know some of the roads. Once you "climb" out of left hand canyon - dunno if you remember that one, it's the one where I stopped and said fuck this I've had enough and turned around - once your up out of that there is no more sand, the roads on top were better, well when I say better they were not sandy. If I would have just hung on a few more miles I'd have been out of that shit.

Once your up top, there are segments that start to get boring, at least they were to me, your so far in on the flat formation it just looks flat. Then when you finally got the point where it's like ok this kind of sucks - you get a hell of a pay off. I put my drone up and was freaking out about how awesome the footage was going to be, only to realize too late I forgot to hit record.

Water would be your biggest logistical issue due to it's weight and lack of it's availability in the staircase. I've been scouting where I can scavenge water and I think I have found a few spots but the plan is to carry all the water that I will need with me. The spots that may have water are far from drinkable but I'm going to double filter with two different styles of purifiers that I trust, so I plan on staying topped up any time I spot water. I will have emergency capacity so if your like hey rick can you carry 10 gallons of water for me - no I can't but I will have some of my own emergency water that we could barter for if you found yourself in a pinch (insert evil laugh).

Bikes can travel over this terrain much faster than a jeep so we wouldn't be together on the drive portion, I'd follow behind just like I did with Jim in BB so I can pull your ass out of a ditch when I catch up with you.

If yall were down I'd basically be providing a high level route with camp spots picked and emergency backup so one or more of you would need to be equipped with HAM and a GPS.

As I went last time I kept records of my tracks and spots I found.
snip.JPG
Some areas have camp sites spread just enough that people could spread out but stay easily within comms distances.

My load out would be way different than yours obviously but food, water, fuel, navigation are the big ones for anyone that goes.
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Re: Grand staircase

Post by SputnikSam » Sun Aug 09, 2020 3:49 pm

That sounds amazing! Third week of Sept sounds doable. Gives me time to finish up some school work and prep the WRR. I need to get a bigger gas tank, still deciding on 3.1 vs 4.7 gallon, aux lights, and luggage system. Are you trailering the Jeep there or driving all the way?

I'm wondering how much water I'd have to bring, and if I could even carry all of it on the bike. I'm guessing I'd need at least 3L of water during the day (from Camelbak capacity/experience riding out there last time), plus 2L morning/evening at camp. How many days of primitive camping are you planning on? If it's 5 days, then that's at minimum 25L/6.5G just for me. That's roughly 50-60lbs.

I'm tentatively in at this time, should know for certain end of Aug or first week of Sept.
-Sam

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Re: Grand staircase

Post by fixxervi6 » Mon Aug 10, 2020 8:20 am

SputnikSam wrote:
Sun Aug 09, 2020 3:49 pm
That sounds amazing! Third week of Sept sounds doable. Gives me time to finish up some school work and prep the WRR. I need to get a bigger gas tank, still deciding on 3.1 vs 4.7 gallon, aux lights, and luggage system. Are you trailering the Jeep there or driving all the way?

I'm wondering how much water I'd have to bring, and if I could even carry all of it on the bike. I'm guessing I'd need at least 3L of water during the day (from Camelbak capacity/experience riding out there last time), plus 2L morning/evening at camp. How many days of primitive camping are you planning on? If it's 5 days, then that's at minimum 25L/6.5G just for me. That's roughly 50-60lbs.

I'm tentatively in at this time, should know for certain end of Aug or first week of Sept.
Last time I hauled a jeep to a location it weighed probably half of what this jeep does and it fetched me 5mpg on a diesel, driving I can get it I can get 15-17mph so driving it is :D

Here is an outline of what I have planned so far, I use hotels for speed along the way to bust up the drive.

Friday the 18th stay just outside Amarillo
Leave house at 5:30pm arrive at ~10:00pm
No reservations yet
Saturday the 20th leave hotel at 8:00am
Stop at Bisti, should arrive at 5pm, sunset 7:11pm (Bisti is fucking amazing)
Hotel and Dinner in Farmington
Sunday the 21st arrive at Escalante, top up supplies head to camp 1
Camp within proximity to Zebra Canyon, explore roads if time permits but most likely just scout camp and setup
Monday 22nd
Hike Zebra Slot Canyon
Lunch at Devils Garden
Camp on "the point" off left hand collet
If early, explore, if late camp closer to BLM200
Tuesday 23rd
Loop out around smokey mountain, down NP230, left on BLM340
(Side route for a bike could be alstrom point - again fucking amazing)
Loop back to left hand collet, explore, find camping spot while before left hand collet heading back to hole in the rock
Wednesday the 24th
Head down toward batty pass caves/spooky slot canyon
Hike Slot Canyons
Head up BLM260/fifty mile bench road
Find campsite on 50 mile bench
Thursday the 25th
Continue out fity mile bench turn down BLM280 and go back to
hole in the rock road, T up and turn right
Do hole in the rock road trail at the end - this is the west side of the
mormon trail (east side next year)
Head back out, if time permits chill at dance hall rock
Camp close to town
Friday the 26th
Head to town, restock
Head to Bryce - chill and look around no hiking (I still haven't seen it)
Head to North Rim, then find dispersed camp in Vermillion Cliffs
Lots of options north of 89a - stay out of paria canyon-vermillion cliffs wilderness
Saturday the 27th
Head to tucummcari, hotel
Sunday the 28th
Home

This is a high level plan, once you get out a ways there are side places to explore all over the place, so I want time to explore, and also time not to rush. I don't want to be in the drivers seat for 10 hours a day that's just a beating.
So 3 hikes planned, Beck hasn't seen zebra canyon so gotta throw that on there to get her caught up. The hikes for the other two slot canyons are shorter so I figure hit both of those on the same hike.

I'll be hauling... well it depends on what dallas offload tells me but potentially up to 40 gallons of water (I shower in the back country). I like to carry a lot less and use the water I find but water on the staircase is not easy to find, I'll top up any time I find some since there are streams out there.

So back country between stops at the store - Sunday night, Monday night, Tuesday night, Wednesday night, Thursday night - 5 however the fist night and last night are within proximity to town. If you did a gallon per day (assuming some is not needed for cooking) that would be 5 gallons minimum, unless you "watered up" in town Monday morning and Thursday, then it would be 3 gallons minimum. If you went that route I'd go with a 1 gallon reserve and just track your consumption, if you hit your reserve it's time to abort and head back to town.

When Jim and I did Black Gap I ran out of water - I planned about a gallon and a half and ran out to the point we were damn near in an emergency situation, a passer by saved our asses. However we were WORKING our assess off with those big bikes and it was scorching ass hot. But that's what I mean by track consumption, if you take 4 gallons and you suck down 2 in the first day, you gotta abort. This is all assuming we don't find water out there to top up with.

Then there is the factor of "I wrecked and lost all 4 gallons of water I'm screwed" I'll be hauling a lot of water, in that emergency situation I could hook you up for like, oh, $25 to $300 a gallon depending on how hot it is.

I'll have extra fuel, air compressor, recovery gear, water purification, awning to get out of the sun (a big 270).
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Re: Grand staircase

Post by SputnikSam » Mon Aug 10, 2020 6:36 pm

Where does the offroad portion start? I'll trailer the bike up to that point and find either a parking storage or ask the hotel if I can leave my car/trailer there.

I think you skipped a day after Friday 18th, Saturday is the 19th and so on...
-Sam

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Re: Grand staircase

Post by fixxervi6 » Mon Aug 10, 2020 6:45 pm

SputnikSam wrote:
Mon Aug 10, 2020 6:36 pm
Where does the offroad portion start? I'll trailer the bike up to that point and find either a parking storage or ask the hotel if I can leave my car/trailer there.

I think you skipped a day after Friday 18th, Saturday is the 19th and so on...
Yea I guess I screwed up the numbering.

Offroad starts in Escalate, same town where we stayed in the campground at the edge of town
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Re: Grand staircase

Post by JeffStrom » Mon Aug 10, 2020 8:13 pm

You don't want to ride the 250 the 19 hours of highway to Escalante?
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Re: Grand staircase

Post by fixxervi6 » Mon Aug 10, 2020 8:51 pm

I've probably posted this before, but these people did back country on what appears to be small displacement bikes

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Re: Grand staircase

Post by SputnikSam » Tue Aug 11, 2020 8:16 am

JeffStrom wrote:
Mon Aug 10, 2020 8:13 pm
You don't want to ride the 250 the 19 hours of highway to Escalante?
Haha, not really, but I aint' skeered, I've done that ride on the KLR.

I'd like to see how the WRR handles those roads/sand compared to the KLR, but if I'm loaded up with water and gear, it'll probably weight almost about the same... and they recommend upgrading the shocks if I go over 300 lbs... I'm a bit concerned about primitive camping, I don't think I've done overnight camping trips like this ever in my life. I was never in boy scouts, and my KGB training didn't cover it! :SideSplittingLaughter:

We made it to Hole in rock and Batty pass caves last time, but it'd be cool to hike down to the water and take a swim this time. Also, I'm excited about Bisti and Alstrom point!
-Sam

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Re: Grand staircase

Post by fixxervi6 » Tue Aug 11, 2020 12:41 pm

I'll post my full load out in a bit, obviously I'm taking everything and damn near the kitchen sink but necessities are few. You don't have to get stupid with gear, they make all knids of shit to take your money like titanium fork/knife/spoon setups etc. You don't need that crap.
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Re: Grand staircase

Post by fixxervi6 » Tue Aug 11, 2020 12:41 pm

Also, I've got a line on some springs that I'm going to check out later on google earth, so there is hope for spots to restock water.
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Re: Grand staircase

Post by SputnikSam » Tue Aug 11, 2020 2:26 pm

fixxervi6 wrote:
Tue Aug 11, 2020 12:41 pm
I'll post my full load out in a bit, obviously I'm taking everything and damn near the kitchen sink but necessities are few. You don't have to get stupid with gear, they make all knids of shit to take your money like titanium fork/knife/spoon setups etc. You don't need that crap.
Load out will help! I'm wondering if I should upgrade my camping setup or just trying to use it as it. I nearly froze at night last time, so a warmer sleeping back is definitely in order. Also, Happy Birthday Rick! :icon_party: :HB1: :icon_party:
-Sam

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Re: Grand staircase

Post by fixxervi6 » Tue Aug 11, 2020 6:14 pm

Thanks - officially old!

Ok so I tweaked it a bit

Day one, grab supplies and setup camp in the staircase, google doesn't allow me to route onto the cool off road stuff in the area so this is an approx of the area for timing and distance purposes.
Day 1.JPG
Day two, get up and go hike zebra slot canyon, eat lunch at devils garden, then camp off "the point"
Day 2.JPG
Day 3 - lots of road time on this day, head out smokey mountain then dip into town, supply back up, then back out into the staircase
Day 3.JPG
Day 4 head down to batty pass caves and hike two canyons there, camp in that general area (again google doesn't let me route to the actual spots so it's an approx) We'd actually end on fity mile bench not where the dot shows
Day 4.JPG
Day 5 head down to hole in the rock, then all the way back to just outside of town - if supplies are needed camp will be just outside of town for that last night, easy enough to run into town grab more supplies then come back out to the camp area.

By splitting it this way it does a couple of things, first you need 1/2 the amount of gas and water that would be required for a full 5 days back country.

If no bikes go, I'll stay back country the entire time and modify my route, if bikes go I'll probably take an alternative route to the springs to stock back up on water then head out to alstrom point.
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Day 5.JPG
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Re: Grand staircase

Post by fixxervi6 » Tue Aug 11, 2020 6:16 pm

SputnikSam wrote:
Tue Aug 11, 2020 2:26 pm
fixxervi6 wrote:
Tue Aug 11, 2020 12:41 pm
I'll post my full load out in a bit, obviously I'm taking everything and damn near the kitchen sink but necessities are few. You don't have to get stupid with gear, they make all knids of shit to take your money like titanium fork/knife/spoon setups etc. You don't need that crap.
Load out will help! I'm wondering if I should upgrade my camping setup or just trying to use it as it. I nearly froze at night last time, so a warmer sleeping back is definitely in order. Also, Happy Birthday Rick! :icon_party: :HB1: :icon_party:
I can recommend a good cheap bag that packs down nice, the twist is you HAVE to have a good base layer and a good pad.
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Re: Grand staircase

Post by fixxervi6 » Wed Aug 12, 2020 9:21 am

I've gotta move this to the week of the 14th, so departure on the 11th (Friday night for me)

Putting in my PTO request today for 14th through 18th
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Re: Grand staircase

Post by JeffStrom » Wed Aug 12, 2020 11:22 am

I'm out. I wasn't a high probability anyway because of the schedule, but starting the 11th likely removes any possibility.

Sam and I hit hole in the rock and Batty Pass last time. On the bench above (west) the caves sounds like a great place to camp. I think the bottom 10 miles or so of hole in the rock road remains my favorite section from that trip.

Sam, on the sleeping bag. One option is to get a throw blanket to augment your existing sleeping bag. Check the dimensions, there may be a value position in getting two smaller vs. one large. They pack up quite small given their quite good insulation capability. That also offers a convenient way to keep warm sitting around camp without extra gear on and you can choose to not use them while sleeping if the temperatures are more towards the high end of the average. Fleece versions are very cheap and will not suffer any long term ill effects from getting wet. Down is a bit more expensive ($30-$40) and does not tolerate getting soaking wet, but will pack up much smaller and lighter than fleece for the same insulation value.
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