Little Cottonwood Canyon
The Osprey Brand Team, a group of ambassadors reporting from the field at consumer outdoor events across the country as well as reporting on adventures in their own neck of the woods, introduces new team member Joseph Bradbury. Joseph is a Salt Lake City resident, bike commuter, and frequent traveler. Joseph will be testing the Waypoint 85 pack from the new Osprey travel collection as well the bike commuting beauty, the “Flapjack.” Joseph will soon embark for Ecuador but for now, he’s been taking his Mutant 38 to big walls while racking up vert…
I recently had a friend, Maegan, come in town from New York. She is starting her graduate program at NYU in a couple weeks so she was eager to get into the mountains while she was in town; I, as always, was more than happy to oblige. I haven’t climbed many sport routes in Little Cottonwood so I asked a friend of mine named Jim to accompany us.
We set out for Little Cottonwood Canyon, just outside of Salt Lake City, at eight in the morning. The air was still cool enough to chill us as Maegan and I sat quiet on my front porch drinking coffee. Jim pulled up and after brief introductions we headed for the crag. On the way, Jim was pointing at random peaks and slabs of rock just off the I-215 belt route; his excitement grew the closer we got to the mouth of the canyon. In the back seat Maegan peered up at the granite cliffs.
As we approached a narrow switchback on the canyon road, one I was previously familiar with, Jim asked us not to speak around “Silent Rock”. Not being a very superstitious person I thought it was somewhat hokey but never the less I complied. Jim insisted that he heard it was bad luck to talk around the turn and when we were to be participating in an activity that consisted of us dangling a few dozen meters above the rocky ground, he’d take every advantage for safety he could. This both pleased and comforted Maegan who was getting nervous for her first climb in the back seat.
Soon after Silent Rock we pulled into a dirt packing lot, and gathered the gear. Jim put on his harness at the car, clicked a string of draws onto his belt and slung a rope over his shoulder. “Hey, that’s pretty slick,” he said. I liked that word, slick. “This?” I motioned to my pack, the Mutant 38, “It keeps all your stuff in one place.”
We made our way to the base of the climb where Maegan and I scrambled up a couple 5.8’s and a 5.10. On a high 5.8 Maegan stayed at the bolts for a while before coming down. I was half way up the wall when I noticed her stalling. I thought for a moment she panicked and wouldn’t come down. I made my way up to the chains on my route, about fifteen feet to the side of hers. I saw Maegan standing on a large ledge, her back to the wall. “Everything okay?” I asked her. “Yeah, I’m great. I just wanted to stay up here for a bit. Everything looks different from up here.” I turned and looked out with her for a minute before repelling down.
As we left the canyon our hands all matched, white cuticles and shredded fingertips from the unforgiving granite. We passed Silent Rock, Jim didn’t ask but no one spoke. When we emerged from Little Cottonwood Canyon into the city, everything looked a little different.
About the Mutant 38: For Alpine endeavors. The results of extensive testing and feedback from the vertical world, the Mutant 38 provides a simple, strong, lightweight solution for short alpine adventures or multi-day mountain trips. Key Fabrics: Armourlite 420D and Armourguard 900D. Stripped Weights:
- Small: 0.94 kg
- Medium: 0.95 kg
- Large: 0.96 kg
More information on the Mutant 38 can be found here.