Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Foolin' Around & Playin' Around

On May 27th, 2015, Jason and I went and checked out Foolin’ Around and Playin’ Around. We were short on time because I had to get back to Salt Lake, so we skipped the swimmer at the bottom of Foolin’ Around, and only did the lower portion of Playin’ Around. Both are excellent canyons and I look forward to completing both of them some other time.

We exited on the east side of the canyon, an easy, obvious, and recommended route. Our car-to-car time was 5 hours.

The stellar photos below are by Jason Pease. 

Playin' Around

Me in the bottom of Foolin' Around

Foolin' Around

Daddy longlegs lurking in all of the shadows of Playin' Around

Playin' Around

Things got tight going up Playin'. 
The fisheye lens makes the canyon look roomy, but it was only about 10-11 inches wide.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

South Fork of Maidenwater Canyon

On May 26th, 2015, Jason Pease and I took a leisurely stroll through the South Fork of Maidenwater Canyon.

Oh wait, it wasn’t leisurely at all. I’m pretty sure we did 25 downclimbs. Plus I did 5-6 rappels, while Jason did 3-4 rappels.

The downclimbs are especially challenging because most of them start from a polished granite boulder. Your upcanyon hand, normally used as an anchor for the first 5-6 feet of each downclimb, becomes relatively useless. Plus the drops are realtively wide, normally 5+ feet, so stretching your feet waaaay out (back to feet) without using your hands becomes your go-to move.

Free advice: Once you start getting to wades that are thigh deep, put your wetsuit on. They only get deeper from there. We had 4-5 full swims at the bottom. I was happy to have my 3/2 on.

This adventure took us 5.5 hours at a very casual pace.

Special thanks to Jason for going through this canyon again (his 5th lap). It was a good canyon with great company.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Black Magic Canyon

On May 13, 2015, Steph, John, Drew and I ventured through Black Magic Canyon. This was Drew's first canyoneering adventure.

This canyon is a real gem that sits smack in the middle of a state that doesn't seem all that interesting. We stopped by during the tail end of a Yellowstone/Montana road trip. While it isn't a destination canyon, I'd definitely recommend stopping by if you ever find yourself near Twin Falls, Idaho.


Here are some good directions for getting to the canyon:

PARK HERE: 43 04' 31" 114 18' 21"

The road to the top trailhead SUCKS, so don't bother driving up there and ruining your vehicle. Plus, if you park at the bottom, you get to do the canyon twice (awesome!). This canyon is short, so it will never be worth setting up a shuttle.

Starting at the diversion dam, walk up the west side of the drainage until you see a very easy entrance. Walk down into the the canyon then hike upstream through a stunning slot for about an hour until you get to a 12 foot dryfall. This obstacle will be challenging for small kids and old folks, but easy for everyone else. Consider turning back here if it seems too tough, because there is not a lot of canyon to see above this point. Some folks might enjoy a handline here. Nothing in this canyon is even close to being bolt-worthy, so please leave your bolt kit at home.

After you upclimb the dryfall, hike for about 10 minutes until you reach a wide open wash full of river rocks. Turn around here and enjoy your trip back down Black Magic Canyon.

Here are the coordinates for the turn back point: 43 04' 51" 114 17' 51"

Most small children (3-6) will love this canyon. There are dozens of tiny passageways under the rocks that are just their size. Our son had a blast going through them!

Carrying a small child through this canyon is a LOT of work, and somewhat dangerous due to the unusual overhangs that are difficult to dodge. FAR more work than Little Wild Horse. Leave your babies at home for this one.

There are dozens of opportunities to smack your head in this canyon, so helmets are recommended for this hike.

If there is water flowing through this canyon, then don't go in. There is a dam above that periodically releases water for irrigation. So before you go call the Big Wood Canal Company at 208-886-2331 to check the water release schedule.

Expect a car-to-car time of 2-3 hours.