On May 31st, 2016, Steph, Tom, Wayne, Christian, Cole and I conquered the South Fork of Aardvark Canyon.
This day was a fight. It took two attempts to gain the mesa, so by the time we reached the top of the canyon it was hot and easily past noon.
We dropped in without knowing what was in store. We were surprised by the number of potholes we encountered and by the quality of the canyon overall. When we reached the halfway point we knew our effort was going to be worth it.
There were perhaps ten tight sections where some elected to go high and over the top. There was a dark section where it was very difficult to see the floor looming below. There was a LOT of water to negotiate; wet hallways and full potholes around every corner. There was also a HUGE pool where the North and South forks converge (easy to get through).
The final rap sequence was tricky and involved a large pothole that contained two crows; one dead and one still alive. The live crow left us alone and we left him alone. The rap into the riparian area at the end of the canyon was a fine way to round out the day.
We worked HARD for about 11 hours to get this route done. If you subtract our first summit attempt and some rehydration time, we had a car-to-car time of 8.5 hours. Now that we know what to expect, we could repeat this canyon today in about 7.5 hours. This canyon is best suited for advanced canyoneers. Full beta to be published soon at Climb-Utah.com.
South Aardvark was awesome. I can't wait to go do the North Fork!!
The following photos are courtesy of Wayne H. I think he did an excellent job capturing the essence of this canyon, particularly with his action shots.
Thank you for sharing these Wayne!