Monday, March 12, 2012

Egypt 3

I soloed Egypt 3 on Saturday, March 10th, 2012. It was one of the best hikes I’ve ever done.

I had never ventured out to the Egypts before Saturday and was hoping for some peace and quiet. Boy, did I chose the right place. I had the Egypts entirely to myself. I didn’t hear a sound from any human on this hike, no airplanes overhead, no cars passing by. For me, it was a unique and refreshing experience.

Egypt 3 is a fantastic canyon with two distinct halves. The top half contains chutes, slides and a large pothole. The walls are stunning and the obstacles are fun.

The bottom half is dark, narrow and sinister. The walls are rough and passage is slow and hard earned. The width of my hand is 9 inches from my thumb to the end of my small finger. I could nearly span my hand the width of the canyon along much of the lower slot. I estimate the minimum width of the canyon at 10 ½ inches.

The Egypt area is pristine. There are many balanced rocks that would be easy to topple, there are many sandstone fins that would be easy to crush. If you head out there, tread lightly.

Currently conditions are ideal for hiking in the Escalante area. The high temperature on Saturday was around 60, the low was around 30. The entire canyon was dry except for one pothole that contained a bucketful of water.

Free advice: If you decide to visit this canyon, wear long sleeves, long pants, gloves, knee pads and elbow pads. You will be glad you did. Don't do this hike mid-summer. The hike back to your vehicle is up a southern facing slope that is completely exposed to the sun. Mid day temps of 60 degrees are just right, 80 degrees would be nasty, 100+ degrees could be lethal.

Click here for a short video of Egypt 3. Sorry about the shaky footage.

Upper Egypt 3

Looking straight down onto twisting slide

Large pothole with a slide in the background.

Another larger slide, about 20 feet long. People can upclimb this??

 I came across a rope ladder about a third of the way down canyon. 
Was it left for those that choose to ascend Egypt 3?
 I would argue that you're missing the best part of the canyon if you skip the top section.

Lower Egypt 3

My half full pack lodged easily between the canyon walls.

After the hike, I drove down to Hole in the Rock for an awesome sunset and a celebratory beverage.