Saturday, December 31, 2016

Chambers + Little Bull

On December 31st, 2016, Steph, Tony, Tom, Russell, and I spent a day in Robber’s Roost. Chambers and Little Bull were our objectives for the day.

Tony and I had done Chambers before; it was 60 degrees hotter and I was 20lbs fatter on that day. I was excited to see how different the canyon would feel.

This was Steph’s first visit to Chambers. It was fun to see her fly through the obstacles. When we arrived at the crux upclimb she simply slid through. We played with the idea of returning to the top to see how fast we could do a second lap.

This was also Tom’s first visit. He moves fluidly through most canyons, and this was no exception. He tried to stay low through the crux. I was up above, watching him, nearly certain that he would get stuck. Alas, he did not fit, but was able to retreat.

I’m not completely sure if Russell knew what he was in for. He is bigger than me, but not really big, maybe 180-190lbs. He eventually got to a spot where he could not fit at ground level. He opted to go high, up and over a huge rotten flake, maybe 40 feet up. I did not see him do this because we were downcanyon a little ways. It sounded like a hell of a lot of work.

Overall it was a really good lap through Chambers, a true classic. Afterward, we quickly made our way over to Little Bull Canyon.

Little Bull is short but very good. My pictures suck because the inside of the canyon is pitch black. It is certainly worth your time if you are in the area. It was a fine way to finish a great day with friends new and old.

Falling from this perch would be bad. It is 50 feet to the floor below. If you look closely you can see Tom's helmet (on rappel). 

Tom rapping into darkness. I'm satisfied with the quality of this photo, considering the conditions.

Friday, December 30, 2016

Boss Hog + Hog 2

On December 30th, 2016, Steph, Deanpaul and I ventured through Boss Hog and Hog 2.

Some days are about pushing the envelope and swimming in the pool of adventure. This day was about enjoying the unseasonably warm temperatures while trying to capture a handful of quality photographs under the unfavorable December sun. Deanpaul brought two cameras, I only brought one. I hope he got twice as many good shots as I did.

This was Steph’s first time to the Hog canyons. It was fun to watch her style the harder parts of Boss Hog.

After we completed our canyons, we opted to exit via Hog Springs. That was a fine way to finish a very fun day (good idea Deanpaul!).

The following photos are courtesy of Deanpaul Russell.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Bingo Canyon

On December 29th, 2016, Steph and I rolled into Hanksville with a few hours of daylight to burn. We hoped to stay dry. We like to downclimb. We LOVE skinny canyons. Hmm…

We selected Bingo Canyon from our stack of beta and boogied on over to the trailhead.

That tiny canyon did not disappoint! It had four really interesting downclimbs, one that looked like a certain rappel from the top. It also has a really nice 70 foot rappel at the end.

Bingo was an excellent way to start our trip. Our car-to-car time was 2h14m.

Saturday, September 3, 2016


“Have you done Heaps?”

I have been asked this question a hundred times. Every reply in the negative has bothered me a little bit. I’ve felt ready for Heaps for the past two years, but have never taken the time to make it happen. This week the stars aligned; the right team, the right weather, the right conditions. If not now, then when?

On September 3rd , 2016, Tom Jones, Tom Collins, Meg Allyn, Steph and I took a journey through this legendary canyon.

Heaps is simply amazing in every way. It is hands-down the best canyon I’ve ever done. It is better than Big Tony. It is better than Upper West. A foregone conclusion made several hours before the end.

The logjams throughout were a riot to climb over; never hard, but never easy. The jumps into seemingly bottomless potholes unearthed our inner children. Hours of swimming flew by in what seem like minutes. Alien moss-covered walls that bled rust redefined my definition beauty.

Heaps is just so dang good. Better than French food. Better than 20 year single-malt Scotch. Better than sex. I don’t know what else to say.

It was such a treat so experience the famed Knife Edge Ridge, the Hop Across, and the Iron Room. I was far enough behind the group that I even got to experience the confusion of the Devil's Pit by myself, heading all the way into the seemingly dead end- which was aggravating at the time, but an experience that I treasure now.

The final sequence was outstanding. I’ll tell you more about it later.

To be continued…

Knife Edge Ridge

A tree that seems to grow out of a rock, smack in the middle of the watercourse. Photo taken using a vertical panoramic.

The Hop Across

The Iron Room


Special thanks to Tom Collins for carrying the 200 footer, getting our camping spot, for lending out warm clothes, and for picking up the permit.

Special thanks to Levi Fackrell for lending us his 400 foot rope.

Special thanks to Tom Collins and Meg Allyn for stashing the 400 footer.

Extra special thanks to Tom Jones for his execution at the final rappel. Your amazing rope skills, cool head under pressure, and selflessness added greatly to the group’s safety and to the overall experience of the day. It was a real pleasure to share this day with you Mr. Jones, I simply can’t thank you enough.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Cheesebox Canyon

On August 21st, 2016, Tony, Levi and I swam and swam and swam and swam, through Cheesebox Canyon.

I have never seen so much water in a canyon.  Not even close.

The water temperature was not too bad, maybe in the 50-60 degree range.  However, I've lost 20 lbs since the last time my 3/2 wetsuit has seen a canyon, so my wetsuit held a LOT of unwelcome water. Also, Tony accidentally brought his 7mm wetsuit, so he soon discovered he only needed the bottom half of it to survive. Much suffering and laughter ensued due to our wardrobe malfunctions.

We spent at least 4 hours swimming.  Two of the swims seemed endless; we estimated each to be about 200 yards long. There were also many narrow hallways full of water that we had to swim through, they were spooky but awesome.  Unfortunately, my camera would have done little justice in those sections. Those parts would have been best captured on a GoPro (next time!).

No doubt, Cheesebox is the best Cedar Mesa canyon that I've done.  A top-shelf classic.

We saw some rope grooves at the first drop.  If you go, please don't leave more.  Here is a spot that everyone can easily downclimb, it just takes a moment to find it.