Steamboat’s Hala Gear staff enjoys weekend paddleboard trip to Dinosaur National Monument
You don’t need to burn a lot of vacation time and travel money to have a great adventure. You can find one in your backyard.
That’s what Hala Gear Operations Manager Driy Wybaczynsky discovered in September when, on a whim he and a few other members of the Hala team loaded up stand-up paddleboards and backpacks and headed to Dinosaur National Monument for the weekend.
“The plan came together on a Thursday lunch hour with some friends,” he said. “It started as a need for a local adventure and easily became my favorite activity-jammed 48 hours of 2018.”
In a nutshell, Wybaczynsky and friends Meg Summerside, Chris Imbler, Nick Fernandez and Frankie Janssen scored a permit to paddle Split Mountain Canyon and decided to tie it in with a little desert scramble up nearby Split Mountain.
After driving to the put-in, they began hiking, which became a bigger endeavor than they expected.
“It was way steeper than we thought from looking at the topos,” he said. It took about five hours instead of the planned two. “Plus, we had super heavy packs.”
The reward was a “super cool camping spot on top of a giant cliff overlooking the river,” Wybaczynsky added.
The next morning, they hiked back down and stand-up paddleboarded the Class II-III Split Mountain section of the Green River, arriving back to their shuttle rig at sunset in perfect fall foliage.
“I’m always a fan of finding a cool local adventure, and this one was great,” he said. “We fit a lot into a short time frame. The ranger didn’t think too many other people had ever climbed it let alone combined it with SUPing the river.”
To reach Eugene Buchanan, call 970-871-4276 or email ebuchanan@SteamboatPilot.com.
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