Thursday, January 12, 2012

Middle Leprechaun Canyon

Steph, Tyler and I tackled Middle Leprechaun on January 12th. None of us had been in that canyon before. Steph and I did East Lep last August. Tyler had never been to the North Wash before, but he is a good climber and a strong dude.

I know the stats to throw out: I'm 5' 9" and weigh 174 lbs. My chest is 42" and I can barely squeeze through a 9 inch gap (2x4's, 9 inches apart). Tyler is also 174 lbs and about 6 foot with a 43" chest. Steph is much too thin to stress about getting stuck in such a canyon (about 110 lbs). Tyler and I got beat down, Steph simply strolled trough.

Some thoughts:

There are two entrances at the top of Main Lep. We chose the west entrance and it was spectacular in the morning light. It was not difficult, although we did not have to build/rebuild the dead man anchor on rap 1.

Middle Lep is much, much more difficult than East Lep. If you are over 180lbs or not in that great of shape, don't even consider hiking Middle Lep.

The obstacles get more difficult as the canyon progresses. The nastiest stuff is after the last rappel and reaches a crescendo just before Belfast Boulevard.

Doing this canyon without others that have done it was very exciting - it dialed the sense of adventure to a 10.

A bunny strap can be your best friend. Learn to use one. (I never used one before this hike)

A skinny teammate can be an even better friend. Steph helped us out a bunch by dragging our packs when we were about ready to abandon them out of frustration. She thought Middle Lep wasn't that tough.

Right now the North wash is bone dry, perfect conditions in Middle Lep. It was 20 degrees when we started and 40 when we finished.

We only got a few pictures. You risk losing or smashing your camera in the really good skinny parts, and we didn't want to risk a forced bivy by taking a million photos.

Frozen spring by the parking area.

Above is the only non blurry photo we got of the spicy stuff. Tyler and I went much higher than Steph in this section. For people over 150 lbs, there is much grunting and/or swearing involved with these sections. Sometimes the higher you go the easier it gets.

Round trip through Middle Lep took us 6 hours.

No comments:

Post a Comment