City Creek Nature Notes – Salt Lake City

January 28, 2017

January 28th

Filed under: Crow, People — canopus56 @ 8:21 pm

Ski Tracks

3:00 p.m. Because it is a heavy snow year, at milepost 1.5, the south ridge slopes are covered in back-country ski tracks. This is a rare occurrence. Normally, there is insufficient snow to even consider skiing in City Creek, and the two feet of snow pack that currently exists is not sufficient. Back-country skiing always involves a risk benefit trade-off. In the high-country, the risk is avalanche, and at the lower altitudes of City Creek, the risk is running into a hidden rock. In order to turn in back-country telemark skiing, the skier drops one leg behind the other and dips the knee deep below the surface of the snow. The risk is that one will run that trailing knee into a two-foot boulder hidden below the snow’s surface, as occurred to an acquaintance of mine many years ago in Emigration Canyon. Although I admire whoever laid the tracks down, the risk is too high, or perhaps I have simply gotten older. Age increases the perception of risk. The sinuous tracks add beauty to the snow.

In the lower mile of the canyon, I see two smaller birds at a distance, and watch two crows glide across the canyon cawing to one another. A smaller bird rises and harasses one of the crows. The canyon remains deeply silent.

In Thoreau’s “Journal” on January 28th, 1857, he observes sparrows taking a water bath in puddle during an early thaw.

On January 28th, 1908, George Crimson, who with his father constructed the first flour mill in City Creek Canyon in 1847, died. A plaque along Memory Road north of Third Avenue marks the location of the mill.

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