Thursday, December 8, 2016

'A Novel Ride' in 1891 down Waterfall Canyon?

              The view down Waterfall Canyon, west, from just below the Waterfall.

By Lynn Arave

 SOMETIMES historical accounts just aren't detailed enough.
EXAMPLE: A May 21, 1891 article in the Ogden Standard-Examiner, reported that a group of Ogden residents hiked up to Observatory Peak (Mount Ogden) by way of Waterfall Canyon and then road back down "on snow toboggans, having a fine ride of over a  mile and a half down on the snow," it was stated. The headline of the story labeled it "A Novel Ride."

                          The view eastward at the mouth of Waterfall Canyon.

   Where exactly did the group slide down on the snow?
Given the terrain of this area, the area around the waterfall of Waterfall Canyon is a steep cliff. It certainly wasn't there.
In the deep winter, it is possible to walk right over top of the Waterfall stream, most of the way up the canyon. However, in late May, that seems unlikely.

So, the only place this group could have actually slid on toboggans was much higher up the mountain -- between Malan's Basin and Mount Ogden. Here, in late May, the snow could have still been deep. However, who would haul a toboggan (likely a long, narrow board of wood in that era) that far up the mountain? That would have been a grueling ordeal, of 5 or more miles and almost a mile of vertical climb.
But, hey there weren't ski resorts back then and so maybe that's the effort it took for a good snow thrill well over a century ago ......?

                       The view from Malan's Basin to Mount Ogden.

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