On June 24th, 2012 Tony and I ventured through Chambers Canyon.
We left for Hanksville from Salt Lake about 8 AM. We drove straight to the trailhead, had some lunch and started hiking around 2 PM. It was 100 degrees when we left the car. This was a bad idea, we knew it, and we did it anyway. I took 3 liters of water, Tony took 4.
We meandered down the scorching sandstone to the mouth of the canyon and discovered that Tony was missing his knee and elbow pads. His pack had somehow come unzipped and dumped out part of his stuff on the way down.
Like any friend would do, I threw on my armor and dropped into the cool shade of the canyon and relaxed. It was about 80 degrees in there. It took Tony 45 minutes to find his pads and return. Finally the canyon was underway!
Chambers is an awesome canyon, extremely physical and dauntingly skinny. Overall, it was just a bit more difficult that Middle Leprechaun Canyon. The canyon is just a little too narrow to make stemming easy.
The crux of the canyon is crazy. It looks just like the rest of the canyon until you try to squeeze through. And you cant. Then you try to climb up. And you cant. We were tired and dehydrated by the time we arrived at the crux so it was pretty intimidating. Tony is a good climber (5.11) and he had to fight like hell to get to the top. It took him about 5 minutes to get up 20 feet. He pulled our packs up and I eventually made it to the top of the crux as well. Whew.
Soon we arrived at the subway/cavern section, and it was spectacular! The photos below will tell that part of the story.
We soon arrived at the end, victorious! We were all smiles while we relaxed in the shade. Chambers is truly a classic. We had an outstanding experience.
The hike out was a miserable, hellish experience. It was 8 PM and 92 degrees when we arrived back at the car. I consumed 3 liters of water during the hike, then drank an additional 3 liters of water before my kidneys started working again. Very seriously, I should have packed 6 liters of water for this hike, but that would have been a large and heavy load to haul through such a skinny canyon. Don't be foolish (like us) and attempt this canyon during the summer. You simply can't transport enough water to stay hydrated for the entire hike.