Monday, May 28, 2012

Yankee Doodle

Stephanie, Tyler, Aralynn and I headed down the mighty Yankee Doodle on May 28th, 2012.

For the entry rappel, we chose the 100 foot freehanging option.

We carried a 50ft rope the rest of the way, but never got it out. There are a couple of interesting downclimbs, but nothing too serious. Yankee Doodle is nice, but really short. It was over before we were even warmed up.

Oh yeah, that canyon is very popular. We met at least a dozen people along the route.

Thanks to Jack from Zion Rock & Mountain Guides for letting us play through. If we had known the canyon was THAT short we would not have asked.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Mystery Canyon

Stephanie, Tyler, Aralynn and I visited Mystery Canyon on May 26th, 2012.

We were not lucky enough to have the weather cooperating with our canyoneering schedule on Saturday. It was very windy and cold on the way up to Observation Point. There were moments when we literally had to take a knee along the trail so we would not be blown off the mountain.

After dropping in, the canyon walls blocked most of the wind. Later the sun came out and we had an excellent afternoon.

The Narrows were pretty chilly once we got there. There were no tourists to see Tyler's incredible moonwalk down the moss at the last rappel. Surprisingly, none of us slipped on the mossy waterfall.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Das Boot and The Subway

Stephanie, Tyler, Aralynn and I headed down Das Boot and The Subway on May 24th, 2012. The weather and lighting were amazing!! We wore 7mm wetsuits, neoprene booties and gloves; needless to say hypothermia was not an issue. We were all playing like kids in a waterpark. Seriously, it was the most fun I've ever had on a hike.

We sprinted from Das Boot to the wet part of The Subway with our wetsuits on. This proved to be an excellent strategy. There is more water in The Subway than I've ever seen (over the past 7 years), and it is chilly. The weather only warmed up to 75-80 degrees, so those that we encountered without wetsuits were freezing their butts off.

Steph and I wore headlamps after reading that Das Boot is so dark in places that you might not be able to see. This is decidedly NOT TRUE. There are places where it is dim, but there is easily enough light to navigate with.

FWIW, you can swim underneath the jammed log in Keyhole falls. It is a tight fit, but all four of us did it. A couple of photos are provided below.

I've seen a bunch of photos of people rapping into The Subway. 
This might be the most disturbing one.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Burro Wash

Tyler and I took a hike through Burro Wash on Wednesday, May 16th, 2012.

We only took one vehicle, so we had to make loop hike out of it.  Wow, that was a bad decision...

We camped the night before between the bottom of Pleasant Creek and Burro Wash. We were met with great weather and some welcome cloud cover.

Hiking up Pleasant Creek was surprisingly nice. In the cool of the morning we flew through it. The scenery in there is really good; it contains soaring walls and a creek that carves through the sandstone much like the creek in Coyote Gulch.

At 11am we hiked from Pleasant Creek up to the mouth of Burro. Once we conquered the ascent to the mouth of the canyon, we were greeted with 1/2 mile of bushwhack with no relief from the sun. That section would be cake in the morning, but SUCKS during the middle of the day! Soon it was 1pm; we were acutely aware that we had just hiked 6 miles without seeing any slot action.

Soon we arrived at the good stuff. The slotty part of the canyon was very nice. There were many challenging downclimbs, a few short rappels, and a spectacular big rappel into an enormous 12 story silo. (The rappel is not that tall.)

The slot section just after the big rappel is excellent. Do yourself a favor and make a dayhike (from the bottom) out of that section.

We estimate that we covered at least 11 miles in 8.75 hours. We were moving pretty fast and took very few breaks. We do not recommend visiting Burro this way, for the love of God, take a shuttle!!

The conditions in Burro right now are really good, no bugs in the canyon, one very small pothole that contains some nasty water.  Most people should be able to stem over it and stay dry.


Pleasant Creek.

Pleasant Creek.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Baptist Draw / Upper Chute

Tony, Stephanie and I hiked through Baptist Draw and Upper Chute Canyons on May 5th, 2012. This was Tony's first canyoneering adventure.

We had mixed feelings about this hike. It took forever (9.5 hours) and the exit sucked. We estimate the length of the Baptist/Chute/Fault loop to be about 10 miles.  Six of those miles are pretty dull. The middle 4 miles are really good. If there is a way to shave 3 or 4 miles off the slog (i.e. possible car at the top and bottom) Baptist/Chute would be worth it.

On the postive side, the slotty section in Baptist is excellent, and really easy to get through. The 80 ft rappel is very scenic and fun. Upper Chute is physical and beautiful.


...However we left our cameras in our packs at the bottom of the big rappel, so we don't have any photos to share.


You know you have a canyoneering addiction when you own a Hanksville T-Shirt.


Friday, May 4, 2012

Zero Gravity

Stephanie and I checked out Zero G on May 4th, 2012. The conditions were great! The water was low but very clean. The section with the keeper pothole was short, but really nice. It's a great way to spend 3 hours if you are in the area.

Check out our Zero Gravity video HERE.

The section with the bomb bay was much tougher than it appeared from above. I chose to go high and rig a rappel. Standing on top of the chokestone above the bomb bay, the descent looks really simple. It proved to be an optical illusion. I dropped down on the far side of the chokestone, maybe two or three feet away. As I slid down, the walls pinned my chest until I was suck. I didn't have the foresight to rig an extended rappel device, so one horns of my Piranha was pinned between my chest and the wall, stabbing me in the Solar Plexus (Ouch, *&^%, ouch). My feet and calves were hanging free in the bomb bay; I was making the Zero G signature move. The stabbing pain in my chest motivated me to slide sideways about 2 feet where the canyon widened about a half-inch. I was then free to drop into the bomb bay.

Stephanie is much skinnier than I am. She went under the chokestone then used the rappel rope as a hand line. When the lower half of her body was in the bomb bay she lost control, smacked her head and slid down the handline burning four of her fingers. She only fell about 2 feet, but her hand is burnt pretty badly. Good thing she was wearing a helmet. Again, that section looked really easy to her, but proved to be worthy of the R rating.