Monday, December 31, 2012

Monkey Business

On December 31st, 2012, Steph and I headed through Monkey Business. We chose to go with very little beta, to spice things up a little. In hindsight, this was a fantastic canyon to gamble with. There are a couple of obstacles in Monkey Business that will challenge most canyoneers. I bet the first descent of this canyon was very exciting.

We were familiar with the exit and the approach, so that was easy. We knew that the longest rappel was 25m and that there was a large pothole that usually contains water, so we brought wetsuits. We didn't know anything else about the route.

There is a very interesting rap, pothole, twisty corner, pothole, rap sequence that is very pretty, and gives every canyoneer an opportunity to screw up. The second pothole is so dark that you need a headlamp to see into the bottom, and it's geometry is not deadman friendly (even though that is what we ended up doing). If the potholes were full of water, it could become a very serious obstacle. Luckily it was bone dry, so we had a lot of fun with the sequence, and thought it was an excellent surprise. It was somewhat dark in there, and we were busy, so we didn't get any pictures of this section.

FWIW, not leaving grooves in this canyon takes patience and finesse. Being cold is not a reason to leave a groove. Feeling frustrated with an obstacle is not a reason to leave a groove. Keep this in mind if you ever attempt Monkey Business, because this canyon is challenging and still very pristine.

Car-to-car MB took us about 7 hours. It is a much different canyon than Shenanigans next door, but just as good IMO.

We were so bundled up that we forgot our helmets.  Neither one of us noticed until the first rappel. Don't worry Tom, we are still decidedly pro-helmet.

We came across a keeper pothole and had to put on the wetsuits. 
This was our first experience in ice water (yes only thigh deep, but still pretty cold). 

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