January 23, 2016
|Adam Haydock in Boomerang Cave, Utah|
Utah has some amazing mountain ranges that are famous for climbing, hiking, and general outdoor enjoyment but in some sections of Utah, there are mountains that are made up of some excellent limestone layers that allow some of the deepest caves in the United States to form and some of these caves rival my beautiful TAG region.
|over three feet of snow at the top of the cave in Boomerang Cave, Utah|
The cave systems here appear to be pretty interesting and I am looking forward to checking out more of them in them in the near future.
|Adam Haydock looking up in Boomerang Cave, Utah|
I met up with Peter Hartley at his place around 7 AM so we can get an early start on the 4 foot sugar powder hike and so we can make the 2 hour drive to Logan Utah in good time.
|Peter Hartley at the top of the last drop in Boomerang Cave, Utah|
The car ride was fantastic as we got to chat about future projects and other caving activities that have been happening. It was quite the charm to consider all of the cave opportunities and find out where the best coffee shop is in Logan, that going to come in handy!
|calcified bones in Boomerang Cave, Utah|
We started up the road that will take us to the cave and along the way Peter notated the strata layers and all of the limestone in the area that has created these cave systems. It appears that the quartzite layer is a contact zone where caves develop above and below which can lead to Mississippian, Devonian, and other strata layers.
|Peter Hartley ascending from the last drop in Boomerang Cave, Utah|
After stopping at a few spring resurgences, we made it to the parking lot where we have to hike up to the cave. It was in the single digits, the snow was crunchy and the air was the kind of dry crisp that almost makes you cough.
|Peter Hartley climbing the second climb in Boomerang Cave, Utah|
Now being a caver in the Midwest and central America, I have had my fair share of cold days caving but I never had to bring a avalanche beacon, shovel, poles, and snowshoes...welcome to winter alpine caving in Utah.
|Peter Hartley in Boomerang Cave, Utah|
The "trail" up to the cave consisted of a random backcountry skiers ski tracks which was actually a help as it packed down some of the snow but it was still a march up the wash in 3 to 4 feet of fresh powder. Snowshoes were a must but they even would drop into and under tree branches that would get us stuck right in our tracks. The cave itself was not that far from the road but the hike in the snow made it bit of a huffer.
|Snow falling from the lip in Boomerang Cave, Utah|
half way up the trail I realized we were walking on top of some of the smaller trees that would otherwise be eye height in the summer time. One foot after another, we work our way to the entrance of the cave...woohoo!! made it.
|Peter Hartley climbing out of Boomerang Cave, Utah|
The cave has a 150ft entrance pit with a snow cone at the bottom which is basically snow that fell in and is kept refrigerated for most of the year. Than there is a 30ft climb, another 80ft., drop another 30ft climb, and another 100ft drop to the bottom of the cave. We dropped into the cave and it was around 40 degrees but dry at the bottom. It was just a couple hour trip in the cave but a nice introduction to Utah caving. As I was climbing up, my locking device on my ascender broker so I had to ride my QAS above just to make sure I had point of contact.
|Boomerang Cave, Utah|