Monday, May 18, 2009

Desert Destination: Ibex Crags

Located in the West Desert of Utah, about an hour west of Delta, is Ibex and the Ibex crags. This area at one time was home to Jack Watson, a storekeeper who supplied sheepherders in the early part of the twentieth century and even ran a hotel for a time. Nowadays, no one lives there.

People do go and visit, though. The most common visitors are rock climbers, because the cliffs at Ibex provide some good climbing challenges.

We figured our visit would mainly be to enjoy the scenery. But I was secretly hoping I might get to climb a little too.

We set up our tent on the hard pan (aka playa) that is near the base of the cliffs. The hard pan provides a nearly perfectly level sleeping platform, albeit a little hard.

We also watched a guy practice golf. We had never thought of golfing on a hard pan, but I guess you wouldn't lose many balls.

We got out our chairs, and Desert Boy thought he was hot stuff sitting in a bumblebee chair. But he wasn't too keen on some of the other parts of camping, like going into a tent and so much darkness around him. He tossed and turned all night long.

Nevertheless, when the rays came up the next morning, I wanted to get up and photograph some of that early sunshine hitting the rocks. Ibex cliffs are made of sedimentary rock, Eureka and Watson Ranch Quartzites. That hardened sandstone just seems to glow in the morning light.

When I came back from shooting some photos, Desert Boy and my husband were awake, and after breakfast we went for a walk in the boulder field.

We even found a cool hole in one of the boulders, and Desert Boy was willing to give it a try.

After that, it was time to look for more climbing opportunities. Or more appropriately, bouldering opportunities. There are plenty of climbs at Ibex Crags, many of them described in the book Ibex and Selected Climbs of Utah's West Desert by James Garrett. I knew this wasn't the trip to try any of those climbs. But there were other possibilities... this huge boulder.

I took Henry and Desert Boy over for a little fun.

Desert Boy gave climbing a try.

Then it was my turn.

Desert Boy is getting the idea.

Next time--the big cliffs!

For Desert Boy, some of the boulders were quite tall.

Finally it was time to head down.

We got to see a lizard on the way.

And then it was time for the next activity...coming in the next post!


Sliv said...

Fantastic adventure! One of Desert Boy's uncles, at almost 2 years old, responded to reassurance that the dark doesn't hurt him, with, "but it gets in my eyes!" He was in a tent up Hendry's Creek. Desert Boy's dad was 6 weeks old, and slept fine, fortunately, off and on all day in the snuggli.

The Incredible Woody said...

What a wonderful place for camping! I love the series of shots of Desert Boy in the hole in the rock.

Caroline said...

This place is so cool. U do the neatest things!!


Watcher said...

Great trip. My kids are a bit older than DB- 7,7 and 9- and my best memories of their first 5 years are of trips much like this one. Do it as often as you can!

Anonymous said...

Daddy did a good job taking pictures.

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