UFIRST OUTDOORS

So there is the standard way to get to the Vortex....and then there is the scrambling way. We opted for the scrambling. The rock formations in this part of the Sand Cove area are fantastic and reminded us of being in Zion National Park. The 'Vortex' itself is a pretty cool feature, awesome terrain!
We came back the standard way making a great little hiking/scrambling loop. Might want to avoid this area during summer, gets pretty toasty on the slickrock.
WARNING: You are responsible for your own safety.
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Oh, the snake at the end is a Ground snake, apparently it is 'mildly' venomous.

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Got a quick Sand Hollow trip in after getting my boat back from being serviced. Shortly after I made the first few casts I realized I had forgotten my batteries for the camera. I was able to get into some action from both Largemouth Bass and Bluegill so the action is definitely on at the Hollow. I used only two lures for the bass and texas rigged both of them, live nightcrawler for the bluegill. Thanks for watching, tight lines!
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After getting skunked previously at this reservoir, I had to return to try and redeem myself. Scoring a nice bass at a weed line not very far from shore gave me some sweet redemption! Surprisingly, it was a 1/16 yellow rooster tail that did the trick! Thanks for watching and don't forget to subscribe!

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Win some, lose some. This is why it's called fishing. On a whim I decided to check out the Sand Cove Reservoirs for some bass fishing and I got skunked. Cold, rainy weather may have played a part or I had the wrong rigs for the reservoirs, who knows.
Regardless, the trip bore fruit. There will be a return video, I must redeem myself...when the weather gets better. Thanks for watching, tight lines! Don't forget to subscribe!

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The Salomon X Ultra 3 Mid GTX Boot is just what I needed in between a robust boot and an approach shoe.
My first experience with these boots/shoes was a positive one, straight out the box and into an overnight backpacking trip. Comfortable, light, no blisters....don't really have anything negative to say about these boots. I intend to do a follow up review to see how long these boots hold up and what they look like after some hard use. I bet I can thrash them out in less than a year...we shall see.
Here is the video link where I use them on the backpacking trip:
https://youtu.be/tBWhCAJML74

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This interesting rope bag caught my eye the other day while I was in the gear shop, naturally I had to give it a go and purchased it for $65. Made in the USA (Arizona), the ON Rope Bag (Descent Size) looks pretty cool and I'm looking forward to giving it a hard time in this years wet and dry canyons. I'll post a follow up review down the road to see how well the bag has held up.
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Our first trip of 2019 to Lake Powell hit the ridiculous level in regards to the action, just epic. We did well on Smallies in Rock Creek and the following day we absolutely slayed the Stripers from Navajo Canyon to Buoy 3.
Going to be an interesting year on the lake, the water level is low so we shall see how the fishing proceeds as the spawn begins. As usual, can't wait to get back!
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After a little over a year of use I had to go and get a second pair of the La Sportiva TX3 approach shoes. The first pair still has some life in them but now I can show just how durable the shoe is comparing the new shoe to the heavily used shoe. I am extremely happy with these shoes, they have been a joy in use while canyoneering and hiking. Totally worth the $130 price tag in my opinion. Thanks for watching and don't forget to subscribe!

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Short review and demonstration of these crampons made by Grivel. Being in the market for some crampons for moderate mountaineering and general use, I landed on these and couldn't be happier. Very easy to adjust and attach to boots and the antibott worked very well to stop snow from accumulating on the crampon.
I used these crampons to summit Virgin Peak, check out that video to see them in action.
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Short and sweet this peak is, guestimating around 1000ft of elevation gain with some steep and loose sections. Just off Old Highway 91 in southwestern Utah, accessing this part of the Beaver Dam Mountains couldn't be easier.
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Not for the faint of heart!
Wow, this little jaunt turned into a serious adventure. We returned to Snow Canyon State Park to bag this peak named Deidre Peak just on the eastern edge of Padre Canyon. What little info/beta we had simply said the route was moderate with 1500ft of elevation gain. No big deal, right?
Wrong.
What we quickly found out from the start of the ascent on the ridge was that we would have exposed 3rd and 4th class scrambling. I had to continue alone to bag the peak. I soon was to encounter the ridge turning into a 'knife edge' spine which at a point or two was no wider than three feet and had 1000ft drops. Good times for sure. I hesitate to call this route 'moderate' due to some rather intense, exposed sections that have to be carefully navigated higher on the ridge.
The views from the summit were fantastic!
Warning: This route should demand extreme caution, it would behoove one to have some climbing skills. Your safety is your own responsibility.
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Just across the street from the east entrance to Snow Canyon State Park is this fun intermittent trail called Jones Bones. We added some spice to this hike by scrambling directly up the cliff instead of staying on the trail/route to get to the top but followed the trail down for our return. There is a brief pass through private land, please close gates behind you. Great views from the top and awesome rock formations from checker boarded sandstone to lava rock, in some spots reminded me of hiking in Zion National Park.
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The summit of Virgin Mountain (8,087ft) took two attempts, the first attempt resulted in me turning back due to becoming quite ill. After turning back, I made it back down the south ridge a ways before I had to lay in the dirt and go to sleep. I wasn't suffering from altitude sickness but from low blood sugar and probably dehydration due to trying to ascend quickly without drinking water and eating. Live and learn.
The second attempt proved victorious to summit but it was a beat down. This is an intense hike, throw in post holing through the snow with crampons and it takes on another flavor. Total time to summit and return, ten hours pretty much non stop. I figure around twelve miles from where I parked. I should also note that there is no water, you have to carry lots...at least a gallon. I would not attempt this in summer, save it for the cooler months but be prepared for snow and ice. There is no trail, I did build some cairns on my route. This video is a combination of both attempts to summit. Stay safe out there and thanks for watching!
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Descending four miles to the Colorado River, Soap Creek is a fantastic canyon. Though not technical in the general terms of canyoneering this did offer quite a bit of downclimbing, third class scrambling and even an optional rappel. The first two miles have the obstacles. After the final obstacle, you have two miles of fairly straightforward hiking to the river and that tends to be somewhat meandering. Scenery is fantastic and it makes for a great day adventure in the Marble Canyon area.
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This turned out to be a fun little hike in Snow Canyon State Park, guestimating 4 miles or so roundtrip. Trail is obvious and marked well, could get a little muddy. Great way to spend a morning or afternoon and you can connect to other trails as well. Thanks for watching, stay safe out there. Don't forget to subscribe!

Returning to Gold Butte I wanted to bag this small peak literally across the street from Little Virgin Peak. This took me about four hours and combining both Little Virgin Peak and Juanita Peak would make a great full day hike.
When I was on the summit of Little Virgin Peak I had a good look at Juanita Peak and was curious as to why nothing had been written/trip reported or anything of that nature about Juanita Peak. Juanita is a few feet lower than Little Virgin and has excellent views from the summit, even has a cool little structure on top as well. The summit register had been placed there in 2007 and last entry was in 2017. Juanita is just not visited often which is strange since its directly across the street from Little Virgin Peak, which is quite a bit more popular. Shrugs...
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Looking for a beefier boot for hiking/backpacking and moderate mountaineering, I landed on the Mammut Trovat Guide High GTX Boots. I ordered them online without trying them on first and went for a half a size larger as I usually do with hiking boots. I was not disappointed.
I immediately got them on the table for a good look and then strapped 'em on and took them up and down Red Mountain to see how they felt.
Wont lie, going to be a break in period with these boots but once they give a little I think they will be a fantastic boot. Already have a slew of hikes lined up so I'll be giving these boots a lot of work and we'll see how they do over the course of a year. Thanks for watching and don't forget to subscribe!

Welcome to the sixth highest peak in Mexico, La Malinche Volcano at 14,636ft!
Leaving Mexico City we travelled east to the small state of Tlaxcala. To get to Tlaxcala from Mexico City we took a bus from the Terminal de Autobuses Norte in Mexico City.
Now, here is where it can get a little confusing. Getting to the trailhead for La Malinche at the Centro Vacacional (most popular route) is done by either launching from various towns such as Puebla, Apizaco, or Huamantla and having to take multiple buses or colectivos. This is all time consuming.
Tlaxcala is a great little city with things to do so we decided to base there and just hire a taxi to take us to Centro Vacacional and pick us up late in the afternoon. About an hour ride there and back. This eliminated the first problem of getting to the trailhead as early as possible.
The hike was fantastic, starting around 10,000ft from Centro Vacacional we followed the road up until we hit the trail, which is unmistakable. Once on the trail, we had an elevation gain of a little more than 4,500ft to summit.
A special note, once you exit tree line head right to the ridge to avoid the deep sand. Trying to hike up the sand will only result in misery. Use this route for your exit. Coming down the sand is super fast. It took us five hours to summit and just under three hours to make it back down.
Nothing technical about La Malinche, have to be careful about the altitude though. Trekking poles would have been nice. We did this at the end of January (dry season) on a Friday and had it pretty much to ourselves. Weekends (supposedly) are busier.
Want to mention the volcano dogs, we had half dozen or so with us at various points up and down. All the dogs were friendly but it should be said to keep a serious eye out for dogs that are possibly rapid.
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When in Rome, right..or in this case..Mexico. We try the drink the Aztecs built temples for, Pulque. Made by fermenting the sap of the Maguey plant, a species of Agave. This drink has been consumed for over a thousand years so we found it fitting to put down a liter of it ourselves.
Truth be told, it wasn't bad since ours had some flavoring added but it did get a little challenging towards the end. Thanks for watching and don't forget to subscribe!

Built on the top of a cliff above the town of Tepoztlan is the Aztec pyramid, Tepozteco. Apparently the pyramid is to honor the God of Pulque or drunkenness. Sounded good to us. So we happened into town during a the Mexican Holiday, Constitution Day...it felt like half of Mexico City had descended into the small town.
The day we made our way to the top was a little quieter but still pretty busy for the climb up. Mid week would be a perfect time to hit the pyramid, weekends are pretty intense unless you're looking for a party.. then by all means!
We figured a climb of close to 1500ft to the pyramid, maybe that estimate works for the other climb which took us above the pyramid. Either way, the walk up was fairly mild until we took the second trail and then it got wild when we hit the 'Wedge'.
To get above the pyramid you take a secondary trail that breaks off the main path and it is surely less travelled. Following this secondary trail up and to the obvious top it will lead you to a crack in the cliff and this little gem is your route up and down and we thoughtfully dubbed it the 'Wedge'. It is probably 50ft of almost vertical wedge up using some rope in the beginning then relying on tree roots to help after that, this part is no joke and should be taken seriously.
Well worth the visit and hike to the top, the views were awesome and the history rich. It's also a good idea to spend a couple days in the town of Tepoztlan, great little town to get your Pulque on in!
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Just outside of Mexico City is the ancient city of Teotihuacan, predating the Aztecs, this complex consists of many ruins and a few pyramids. One of the pyramids, Pyramid of the Sun, happens to be one of the largest in the world. The area deserves contemplation not only for the immensity of the site but also for the mystery of the people that built it.
Views from the tops of both Pyramids, The Sun and The Moon, are fantastic and strolling down the Avenue of the Dead leaves one wondering....
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Back in the foothills of South Carolina, I bag a cool little trail that ends with a fantastic viewpoint of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The trail and 'peak' are called Tamasee Knob and it's totally worth the short upwards grind. A little over 4 miles roundtrip, this makes a great way to spend a couple hours. If you are in the area, Oconee State Park has a lot to offer. Thanks for watching and don't forget to subscribe!

In the Northwest part of South Carolina are the Foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, incredibly beautiful area and full of waterfalls. I chose to hike and have a look at Yellow Branch Falls, four miles round trip...a pretty easy hike. Located just outside of the town of Walhalla in the Sumter National Forest. I was not disappointed. Thanks for watching and don't forget to subscribe!

Update: I realized I recorded in 4:3 format instead of 16:9 so this is the reason for the black bars.
Bear with me folks, I'm using all new software and new camera to create videos and this video was my first one so it may be a little glitchy. I'll get the kinks worked out as I continue along.
So, this content is a two day fishing trip down in Charleston, South Carolina during the first week of January and during some unusually warm weather and water temperature. We were targeting one of my favorite in shore game fish, the Redfish or Spottail Bass.
First day we were out during a front and conditions weren't not that great but the second day turned out to be fantastic.
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How to spend the first day of 2019? In a canyon, of course. Had a fun ride in Boltergeist canyon with a sweet 30ft downclimb instead of rappelling and an alternate final 100ft rappel. Temp never got above freezing. Happy New Year!
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Created 11 months, 1 week ago.

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