Friday, July 22, 2011

City Creek Canyon

Here's the image from City Creek, near the Utah State Capitol building.

Bigfoot Sighting In City Creek Canyon, Looking Toward Utah State Capitol, 2011

Here's the sighting report from 1992:

Date: December 07, 1992

Salt Lake county, UT
Nearest town: SLC
Nearest road: City Creek Canyon
Conditions: snowing

Time: mid morning
Location: A mile northeast of UT State capital building

Description of event:

I was at lunch at my new job in Salt Lake City, Utah. When I saw something crawling through the underbrush on hill across from me. I at first thought how cool, I'm new to Utah. And my first thought was it was a wild animal, a bear. But the animal I saw came out of the underbrush and stood-up. Without any misstep it walked upright at an angle up the hill, which at my best guess would be about a 45 deg. angle. With app. 12 in. of snow - there was no slipping, no struggling and with no effort the animal walked up the hill to a cave like opening. It ducked it's head and walked in.

At At that point two of my co-workers walked up and I said look at that what is it? They definitely saw the animal that I was looking at and said "That must be a survey guy". I said,"Well where is his orange vest they always wear?" They said, "I don't know...must be something" and walked away. Surprised that they acted like it was nothing I continued to watch as the animal walked out of the opening a little down hill, then suddenly it stopped and it looked right up at me and with a sharp jerk down motion of it's head it walked quickly up the hill to a small rock-outcropping and ducked out of view. I stood there for a few minutes then, concerned about the jeopardy of my new job I quickly went back to work.



Yesterday we had between 12-18 inches of new heavy snow fall here in Salt Lake, and I have been waiting for a good blanket of snow to go and photograph this particular location.

I have driven the 'loop' that is the City Creek Canyon road nearly a dozen times by now trying to figure out where exactly this sighting location was. I have been unable to find any 'cave-like' openings, but the rest of the description of the canyon is 100% accurate. I have photographed this canyon from the north side about 2 months ago, but there wasn't much snow and I wasn't satisfied with the angle, so I re-scouted the canyon and decided to bushwhack along the eastern side of the canyon.

I had tried to locate a way to come at it from above and avoid hiking up from the road below. I ended up parking my vehicle at the UDOT facility where they store and load road-salt, and started hiking up around 10:30am yesterday morning.

The snow was heavy and it was easy to see where the deer had been earlier in the day.

I zig-zagged up a gentle slope and got up to where the steepness increased dramatically before cutting back around and ending up just below several residential homes. The land was quite steep and it was difficult to maintain my footing without slipping down. Several times I had to resort to using my hands and getting down on all fours on occasion. Although very tiring, it proved to be the most efficient way of getting around on this particular hillside with the loose deep snow.

I set up the camera, my new 8x10 Canham (shooting with the 4x10 back), and made a shot looking down a small draw at some of the underbrush. I could see across the canyon and this particular image showed the steepness of the terrain, a bit of the foliage and the other side of the canyon and how narrow it is.

After catching my breath and making one shot (the film costs about $2.50/sheet), I continued to hike across several small draws slowly gaining elevation as I could only approach it in a gentle angle due to the steepness of the hill and the depth of the snow.

I finally reached a crest where there is a small knob just to the side of a line of power-poles coming down the canyon. I liked that angle but wanted to gain some more elevation, so I bushwhacked a few more zig-zags and got up onto the next flat level of terrain, this time being at the base of the next set of powerpoles and next to a large conglomerate rock measuring about 12 feet across and about 7 feet tall.

I went over to the edge of the hill and still wasn't satisfied so I hiked again up and across another set of steep inclines up to where I had a clearing that I could set up. I didn't like that angle so hiked back down (slid quite a bit actually), and went back to the second location by the boulder. I made a shot there, went back down to the knob, made a shot there and by then I was pretty much tired out. It was sunny, about 34 deg. f. and I was working quite a sweat. My gloves were soaked and my outer shell was also very wet. I was dry, my feet were warm and it was an otherwise very pleasant hike, but I was getting tired and it was after lunch by this point.

I packed up and decided to just head straight downhill to the road then walk the road back up to my car. As I was gingerly stepping down the 45% slope, I slipped on the long slick grass and mud that covers all of the hills there, and landed squarely on my behind. I had my tripod in one hand and my other hand out for balance as the snow gave way and started to slide. I knew I wouldn't go far, and I had a pretty good idea that I wasn't going to end up in any kind of a major avalanche, but as the speed increased and I looked to my sides and saw the whole hillside of snow moving along with me, I got kind of nervous. As I looked downhill to see what I was going to end up sliding into, I saw that I would just end up being pushed into a stand of underbrush and might get scraped up a little bit. I stopped immediately before heading into the trees, with my feet propped up against some of them.

I looked around, chuckled quite a bit and grabbed my tripod, which by this point I had let go of, but slid down the hill next to me carried by the snow.

I looked up the hill and I had created a much larger snow-slide than I thought I would have. It was triangular in shape and was nearly 75 yards from top to bottom. I was impressed, as the snow was nearly a foot deep and created quite a sight.

I scrambled around the brush to the next little hill and did the same thing again, only this slide was not nearly as long nor as impressive. It was still pretty fun though. I ended up walking up the road to the car and it was just after 2pm when I checked the clock.

I mention these details only to impress upon the reader the circumstances regarding the original creature sighting report related above. These hillsides are indeed as steep as the original author asserts. The hillsides are indeed covered with large stands of brush with tall grasses between them. There is not much mud or dirt to gain a strong foot hold in and the grass, once it has been pushed down by the winter snows are extremely slippery and difficult to traverse the terrain on. In fact, in the two separate trips I made to photograph, the trip there yesterday was much easier to get around because of the deep snow and the ability to gain a foothold on the terrain.

That notwithstanding, I was carrying about 20 lbs of camera gear and was wearing big hiking boots (Sorels), had 3-4 layers of clothes on and am in generally good shape, running an average of 2-3 miles about 3-4 times a week. I am also used to moving about on various terrain in all types of weather.

I could not move around as the original author relates what he observed this creature doing. Even without my pack it was laborious and difficult at best to get up the steepest parts of the canyon. For a creature to walk upright without showing too much effort is indeed impressive. For a creature to show any kind of speed in these conditions and terrain would be very exciting to observe...especially having traversed the exact same location in reportedly very similar conditions.

It will take some time for the film to be processed and any prints to be made. They will be included here when they are finished.

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