My plan for the day was to check out the City Creek Canyon again. But this time, since I did not have to meander around for a while, I could cut right to the chase and hit the read Canyon part. As such, I was planning on testing myself by running 5 miles from the gate leading into the canyon straight up. Mother nature had other plans.
As I got through the first section of my run, the 3 plus miles to the Canyon Road itself (which included probably the hardest section (including about 300 feet of climb in .85 of a mile) pretty well and was pleased. It always takes me 4 miles to warm up at least on a long run and when you have this sort of beginning at the start it can make it difficult.
As I entered the gate I heard this whooshing noise. To my right there is a huge pipe sticking out of the ground about ten feet. I remembered seeing this last week and laughed. Underneath this pipe, in a 6 foot pile, is a stalagmite of frozen water. Apparently this pumps water out of the creek and the frozen temperatures have either forced the frozen water out in chunks but air is still coming through or some other oddity. I'd like to know the real reason for this and will find out soon. This will call for a phone call to the City Creek Canyon people tomorrow.
So, I start the climb and before long hear a beeping in the distance. It is a construction vehicle clearing out the snow( no wimpy regular trucks for Utah, baby). Not a backhoe or a bulldozer it is the one on the far right. Anyone help me out here?
Anyway, it is clearing snow leftover from last week's snowstorm. As the road seems pretty clear I am not worried. It looks like it is mainly doing clean-up duty. I figured it is plowed to where I want it to be and keep trekking.
As I near the water treatment plant I notice a huge wall of snow. Earlier I was thinking it was so nice how the city plows this road so runners and cyclists can use it. I was wrong. they plow it so workers can get up to the water treatment plant. Because exactly where the entrance to the plant is, about 15 feet later is the huge wall of snow where the road's contents were deposited.
I have not gone nearly far enough yet, so I trek over this wall of snow and see some other hardy souls have done the same thing. For about 100 yards the snow is hard packed and the footing, while not ideal, was ok. Then the footprints stopped. the snow gets deeper and fluffier. For the next quarter mile or snow I trudge though this shin deep snow. I fall a few times. I keep running. Uphill, mind you. (look below).
Finally, I decide enough is enough, I am going to have to stop about a mile short of my turn around point and call it a day.I turn around after 7.55 miles and head home.
Here are two other views of just the City Creek 3.75 miles or so.
1427 feet of uphill in 7.55 miles (189 feet a mile)