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Author Topic: The Wave and other photographic locales  (Read 8099 times)
espressogeek
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« on: July 11, 2012, 12:07:07 PM »
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Hello all,
A buddy of mine has secured a position to purchase two permits for The Wave in October. Im debating on if we should get a guide or not. One reason I would like a guide is that we want to photograph The Wave in twilight and it will be a  new moon so we won't be able to see landmarks easily to exit the area. That leaves me worried.

Also, I wanted to photograph some other areas near there. I'm thinking about White Pocket and the Southern Coyote Buttes area. Any suggestions are appreciated and please feel free to post some photos of suggested areas. Also, if you think a guide would help for those areas let me know as well.

Thanks all!
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Scott O.
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« Reply #1 on: July 11, 2012, 11:11:55 PM »
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A guide probably wouldn't be a bad idea, particularly since you are concerned about hiking out after dark.  I am going in September and will be curious to see if the route is as hard to follow as the BLM indicates.  They sent a series of pictures of the route and recommend using a GPS and/or a compass.

I was at White Pocket last year.  The road in goes through a labrinth of deep sand 4 wheel roads.  Would be hard to find without someone who knows where it is.  I did a Google Earth series of screen shots, followed someone who had been there before, and didn't have any problems.  Except for the gale force winds which chased us out after a day and a half.  It is very well worth the effort.
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francois
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« Reply #2 on: July 12, 2012, 01:24:26 AM »
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I agree 100% with soberle's comments. A guide would be useful. Driving to White Pocket is not obvious and deep and soft sand with uphill/downhill sections are common. Go with a guide unless you like to get lost or stuck!
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Francois
Mjollnir
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« Reply #3 on: July 12, 2012, 12:11:51 PM »
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The first time I went there we left at dawn, got there in 1.5 or two hours, shot and came back to the parking lot around 1600 hours or so. 

They said it would be hard to find, that some people never find it, but it wasn't all that hard to find, and we didn't have GPS, just that goofy map that you get with the permits.  Getting back, however, was a bit dicier, and I swear to you we heard movement that seemed to shadow us in the trees and undergrowth near the last 1/3 of the hike.  There are several trail junctures that could easily be confused when the it goes into the creekbeds, and some of it is across very long, flat surfaces of rock where ducks/markers could be missed.

If I'd never been there before, and I were planning a night shoot, I would get a guide, period.
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espressogeek
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« Reply #4 on: July 12, 2012, 10:01:42 PM »
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Thanks for the feedback everyone. I guess we will go with a guide if we decide to shoot at twilight. We will have a GPS and some headlamps but I want to be sure we don't get stuck on there. Does anyone have any guide recommendations?

Mjollnir , if I heard things in the bushes it would freak me out. Would there be some animal that would do that?

I wanted to check out the water holes. Some parts of it look like antelope and others look like the wave, at least based on the photos. Has anyone been there?
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Mjollnir
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« Reply #5 on: July 13, 2012, 02:21:01 PM »
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Thanks for the feedback everyone. I guess we will go with a guide if we decide to shoot at twilight. We will have a GPS and some headlamps but I want to be sure we don't get stuck on there. Does anyone have any guide recommendations?

Mjollnir , if I heard things in the bushes it would freak me out. Would there be some animal that would do that?

I wanted to check out the water holes. Some parts of it look like antelope and others look like the wave, at least based on the photos. Has anyone been there?

Well, first/last 1/3 of the trail is through creekbeds and arroyos and above them, surrounded by heavy brush, and the odd thing is, if we stopped, we'd hear it stop just after we ceased motion.

As a hunter myself, I felt (felt, mind you, I didn't know) that I was being stalked, but it was in broad daylight, and there was plenty of game for the mountain lions, so it may have been nothing.

I'm not going back again, but not because of that.  It's a short but strenuous slog to a place that, for me at least, has been shot to death by everyone and his brother.

The coolest thing about it, though, is that once you're at the final approach (which is the hardest physical part) you see the big, vertical crack in the wall you have to go through and it looks like you'll be entering some really secret place, which you kind of are.

Here, I found this.  Might be helpful:  http://www.squidoo.com/hiking-the-wave-coyote-buttes
« Last Edit: July 13, 2012, 02:28:07 PM by Mjollnir » Logged
mshea
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« Reply #6 on: July 16, 2012, 04:49:31 PM »
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I'd agree that the Wave has been photographed to death. There are just as many interesting scenes to be found in Buttes South or at other spots in Buttes North. As for finding your way in the dark, as long as you have a GPS and you've got some moonlight and good headlamps, I don't think you'd have problems finding your way out. Sure, to feel absolutely comfortable, get a guide. But he/she will have to have a pass as well, which could be tricky if you're not willing to stick around for a day or two extra (your standing in the lottery rises with each successive day you enter your name). Unless I misunderstand, guides don't have special standing when it comes to procuring a pass.

For me, the truly mind-blowing formations were in a small side canyon that leads off to the right of the main route to the North Buttes. At the top of the wash are some extremely fragile formations which are not to be believed. Lauren Martres calls one of them "Lace Rock".

If you don't own the three Lauren Martres books on photographing the Southwest, definitely study them before you go.

Merrill
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The Ute
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« Reply #7 on: July 20, 2012, 04:52:48 PM »
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I've been there numerous times. Get a guide.

Wink
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Greg Campbell
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« Reply #8 on: July 28, 2012, 10:10:43 AM »
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As suggested, finding a guide who just happens to have his own pass may prove rather tricky.
IMO, navigating is not really that difficult.  I had zero trouble finding the 'wave' area.  Hiking back, the only confusion I encountered was when crossing the slickrock ridge about 2/3 of the way back.  I wasn't exactly sure where I'd crossed it on the way in, and wound up a few hundred yards further south than anticipated.  However, it was easy enough to see the return trail across the wash.  If there is any moon in the sky, you should also be able to find the return trail.  If you're still worried, buy a hiking GPS and follow the bread-crumb trail back.

There are plenty of neat things to see along Cottonwood Canyon and Skutumpah Rd.  Willis Creek is a very easy hike, and you may as well poke around Bull Valley Gorge as well, since it's only another mile or so down the road.   Also look up Yellow Rock, Round Valley Gorge, Grosvenor Arch, etc.  Kodachrome Basin is a rather nice state park, with excellent camping facilities.  There are also rooms for rent from a private outfit - can't say what they're like.
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pluton
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« Reply #9 on: July 29, 2012, 01:18:34 AM »
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I was at White Pocket last year.  The road in goes through a labrinth of deep sand 4 wheel roads.  Would be hard to find without someone who knows where it is.  I did a Google Earth series of screen shots, followed someone who had been there before, and didn't have any problems.  Except for the gale force winds which chased us out after a day and a half.  It is very well worth the effort.

Agree that White Pocket, and the whole Paria Plateau is worth visiting, but navigating a [real HC/4wd]vehicle to White Pocket should not be a mystery IF you have-- and can navigate from--....a map.  Experience with driving in deepish sand is a bonus.
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Dave (Isle of Skye)
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« Reply #10 on: August 13, 2012, 05:54:37 PM »
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I suggest you also go to Toroweap, both stunning and remote.

Dave
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framah
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« Reply #11 on: August 15, 2012, 09:28:45 AM »
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Toroweep..



Just to get you in the mood! Grin
« Last Edit: August 15, 2012, 09:31:32 AM by framah » Logged

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espressogeek
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« Reply #12 on: August 15, 2012, 02:16:14 PM »
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Thank you all for your feedback and input. I really want a guide but if I get a guide to take me out and guide me back after dark we won't leave until noon. Will I miss some good light in the morning? I would like to arrive to get some predawn shots if possible but somehow I don't see that happening. The guide is also taking another group to the other side of the buttes for a camping trip the following night. I thought this would be interesting if I can get permits at the office. Finally, would a 21mm lens on a full frame suffice for the wave or should I bring something like a super wide zoom?

BTW - Torroweap looks amazing but I don't know about driving three hours off road at night to catch dusk there. I've only driven off-road once, in a jeep, and that was unnerving. I would be all for it if I could rent a jeep when I go. Otherwise I will have to pass. I would camp but that would require more equipment that I don't want to check at the airport.

Thanks
« Last Edit: August 15, 2012, 02:18:05 PM by espressogeek » Logged
framah
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« Reply #13 on: August 17, 2012, 06:05:16 PM »
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Just to let you in on a secret.... I drove out to Torweep in a brand spanking new  rental, 5 Liter Mustang!! Talk about low clearance!!

The road out there isn't THAT bad and the last 3/4 mile says high clearance vehicles only, so I rolled the window down and if I heard a scrape, I backed up and tried another place on the rocks.
Made it all the way to the edge. Slept in the car with the sun roof open to see the stars and the next morning, drove on out.


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bill proud
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« Reply #14 on: August 20, 2012, 11:30:41 AM »
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Hi,

I've been three times and it can be deceptive on the way out in the dark. As Greg Campbell wrote, there is a saddle 2/3 of the way back that can fool you because it is similar to the one you crossed coming in. The slick rock is pitched to the east a good part of the way as you hike for the Wave, so it can push you downhill on the way in and out. You have your visual markers to go by in sunlight but in darkness you can easily walk downhill and away from your saddle crossing on the way back. So one key is to stay higher, but not too high, on the slick rock so you don't miss your saddle cross point.

The Wave sits in a bowl, or is like an amphitheater, and is shielded from sunrise and sunset images. There are some other rock features just east of it that might photograph well at sunrise. Midday photography works best because shadows appear later in the afternoon as the sun drops behind the ridge on the west side.

Many shooters move to the Wave II for sunset as the terrain to its west is open. It is only a 1/4 mile or so from the Wave.

Don't know if I helped or hurt? Good luck.

 



   
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Frank Sirona
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« Reply #15 on: August 22, 2012, 03:50:46 PM »
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As others already said - a guide would be by far the best solution, because it will be very tricky to find your way out again when itīs dark. Even with a GPS thatīs no fun at all, because you canīt simultaneously watch the display and watch your feet, particularly not as long as you are traversing the long slickrock slope. Iīve not only made many hikes at dark, but Iīve also visited this particular area a dozen times over the years, so I really donīt recommend to do this without someone who is familiar with the area. You wonīt believe how easy it is to loose your way there after dark - some years ago I used to pick up a young couple who had missed their car parking a mere 100 yards away. It was an hour past sunset, totally dark, and they were just heading into the unknown since they did not know where to leave the wash to reach the car park, not realizing that they had almost reached their destination already.

You might want to give the Paria Outpost a try. To my knowledge they donīt need an extra permit when guiding people out there, and having someone with you who knows the way will make a big (and relaxing) difference. The Paria Outpost is right between the junction of the highway with the House Rock Valley road, and the BLMīs Paria Contact Station (and on the same side of the highway), so you canīt miss it.

Also, bring *plenty* of water, sunscreen, and wear hiking shoes that protect your ankles. Itīs rough, shadeless terrain, October days can be still hot (although it becomes chilly as soon as the sun is down), and you wonīt want to wrench an ankle out there.

Enjoy!

Best,

Frank
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Scott O.
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« Reply #16 on: September 24, 2012, 09:58:48 PM »
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Went to The Wave today. About a 2 hour hike each way. I navigated using the BLM picture map with a GPS for re-assurance! No problems going but a little dicey on the slickrock section on the way back as has been mentioned. Seems longer than 3 miles, all up and down with quite a bit od very deep/soft sand. I would not want to do it in the dark, guide or not.
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espressogeek
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« Reply #17 on: October 09, 2012, 05:43:53 PM »
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Thanks for the feedback everyone. I will not try this in the dark on this trip. :-) Maybe next time I'll target my permit apps on a full moon so I have a little light at night. I'll be there next week and I'm very excited!
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francois
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« Reply #18 on: October 10, 2012, 03:55:11 AM »
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Thanks for the feedback everyone. I will not try this in the dark on this trip. :-) Maybe next time I'll target my permit apps on a full moon so I have a little light at night. I'll be there next week and I'm very excited!

Good luck and please, let us know how it went!
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Francois
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