It starts out so modestly, so languid, really kind of boring for the first 5 miles as our group of 5 shove off from the First Water trail head and soon we are scooting through Garden Valley. At the end of this section and an ensuing rock packed portion we reach an overlook with grand views of....
...our destination. Unfortunately, rather than head for the left side, access is available only from the right so we have a ways to go as we then descend .6 miles to Boulder Canyon.
Towards the bottom, we pass through this interesting area and then hang a right into Boulder Canyon where we cross and recross it several times before reaching a point where we....
....climb steeply from the wash. The wash/river bed looks insignificant from this vantage point but it's a real pain to navigate. We reach a rocky ridge and then continue to climb to the base of the "Ship" where we....
....climb. Thank goodness for shoes with good traction. Having done this hike 4-5 times, I was not too worried about the return but the others expressed some misgivings. Having said that, they all met and beat the many ensuing obstacles and climbs that have turned back many.
Having mounted the Ship, the way forward is some times obvious but usually a big route finding challenge. The summit is about 3/4 mile in the distance.
So much attention is focused on route finding, it's easy to miss the fabulous views. On the other hand, the sheer drops on either side of the Ship kept us focused. Eventually, we reached one of the highlights, the....
..."scary" section where most butt hike. What is shown is not the worst of it as the really scary part is just off camera.
So dramatic. So many features in the distance as we slog onward.
Another wall to climb as Chris watches me struggle.
We had come so far when at last we.....
....reached the summit. That's me, eating an apple with Canyon Lake in the distance. This image, taken by Paul, demonstrates there is something wrong with my camera. Maybe i should clean the lens?
After signing the summit register and refueling, we head back. About here, Paul pulled his gloves off and his wedding ring came flying off. It binged once on a rock and disappeared in a bush. I had a good vantage point and was able to find it. Dang, another bounce or two and it would have fallen into the abyss.
Oh wow. We reached the end of the ship. descended the slope to the wash and headed back. As we approached the only significant climb on the return, I wondered if it might be a segment on Strava so I put in a good effort and how about that......
We finished with just under 12 miles and 2200' of climbing. Good time with good people too.