Poison Spider-New Year 2009!!

Yes, once again, the day dawned bright yet cold. Today the trail left at 10:00am instead of 9:00. This gave those who stayed awake for the new year to get a little sleep before the trail and also allowed the temperatures to reach double digits.

Six rigs reported at the cinema, 3 jeeps and 3 samurai’s. Jim volunteered to lead and we headed up the Potash road to the Poison Spider trailhead.

We made our way up the switchbacks, leading towards the waterfall.

The slickrock appeared to be snow-free and dry, leaving us hopeful that the waterfall would also be clear.

Once we arrived at the waterfall, we found a large group from Colorado working their way up.

The trail gunner knew Jeff and told us that would could go around them as they had a rig running “open”. In that somewhat spooky way that our members work sometimes, every rig hit the waterfall and went right on up, no spotter needed. We quickly and efficiently made our way to the “wedgy”.

Rick was on his first trip on Poison Spider but you’d never know it. I don’t know that I would ever have made it without a spotter on my first time through the wedge. Rick looked like a pro…..wait, maybe he is a pro…

Jeff; however, looked like a show-off……

After the wedgy, we worked our way up to the lunch spot at Little Arch.

This arch can be seen from the Potash road and looks quite small. From the top though, it’s quite a beautiful and stately monument. Some chose to explore the arch while others stayed behind and visited with a group of 3 jeeps from Colorado. This group seemed quite surprised to run into a local group all the way from Moab.

After lunch, Jim took us directly over to a portion of Golden Spike trail. We found a couple spots with snow on them….

The Launch Pad was in the sunlight so it wasn’t a big obstacle BUT the snow covered hill opposite this challenge turned out to be a big deal.

Jim made it up on his second try and most had to give it at least 2 tries. I was happily taking photos and laughing at others……until it was my turn……

Here I am, giving it a shot. The photos never reflect how steep the hill actually is…..

I didn’t make it up and as I started to slide back down, my Jeep turned sideways and continued sliding. Needless to say, I was terrified and bracing for a roll-over at this point.

When the Jeep finally coasted to a stop, I was facing back the way I had just come. Apparently, I had given the group of spectators quite a show and amidst laughter and encouragement, I gave it one last shot. On this last attempt, I got stuck halfway up but was told to keep going and made my way to the top with much tire spinning. Well, that was a scare I haven’t had in a while…..

After this, we tied back into the Poison Spider trail and made our way uneventfully back down. Other than a couple of sliding spots coming down the Waterfall, we got down to the Potash road without incident. Another great trail day with no breakdowns.

Have I already asked when spring is coming again???

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