Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Mystery Canyon - 2016

On July 6th, 2016, Steph, Meg, Christian, Cole, Reed and I took ventured through Mystery Canyon.

This was Reed's very first time in a slot canyon. The first rappel in Mystery was the first time he had ever descended a rope. Just like his two older brothers, he is a natural.

Not much else to say about the day... Mystery Lake was stinky, Mystery Springs was cold, Mystery falls was awesome.

It was a great way to wrap up our Zion trip. I can't wait to do more canyons with these guys!


Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Boundary Canyon - Down then Up

On July 5th, 2016, Steph, Meg, Christian, Cole and I descended Boundary Canyon. But we didn't want to do the stinkin' hot MIA exit in the middle of July! So we fixed a few ropes then jugged back out.

Descending Boundary required almost no effort. Jugging out on the other hand, was pretty physical. Although we did spare each other some grunt work and took turns enjoying an elevator ride up on a 2:1 haul. FUN!

In the end, even if I had an anvil in my backpack, jugging out was WAAAAYYYY more fun than the MIA exit! The canyon was cool, the required teamwork was engaging, and the scenery was great the entire time.

The ropes we used were:

200 x 2
100 x 3
40 x 1
20 x 1

We spent the entire day in the canyon, mostly because it was 30 degrees cooler than back at camp, but also because we are slow at ascending. At the end of the afternoon we hiked back to the cars on the old logging trail, mostly in the shade. It was a tremendous workout, and a memorable day with some of the most fun people I know.


Taking a break at the halfway point.

Monday, July 4, 2016

Echo Canyon - Keeper Mode

On July 4th, 2016, Steph, Meg, Christian, Cole and I headed through Echo Canyon.

Steph and I had done this canyon before, back in 2011. It was one of our first technical canyoneering adventures. Man, it seemed difficult back then. We didn't bring enough neoprene and paid the price. We didn't know how to downclimb anything, so it took all day.

This time, it felt like a different canyon. Easy. Short. Almost not worth the hike up.

Good thing there was a spicy new obstacle to make things interesting. Unfortunately, Christian and Cole defeated it before I could even get a peek. How did they do it? Christian held onto the right side of the exit lip with his right hand while assisting Cole with his left hand. They did not use a pack toss, just they just climbed it. Nobody touched the bottom of the pothole, that sucker is deep.

All in all, it was a great way to spend Independence Day.

Here is a clip of Christian helping Steph out of the pothole:

Christian, about to exit the keeper. 

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Imlay Canyon - Sneak Route

Is it better to drive a Ferrari, or to simply dream about it?

The dream of doing Imlay had been in my mind for so long that it seemed unlikely to live up to the hype. Dark, cold, and dangerous, with 27 rappels… gosh, it seemed intimidating. Finally, on July 3rd, 2016, Steph, Meg, Christian, Cole and I got to see what this canyon was all about.

The thing was, it wasn’t difficult or scary at all. It was just fun.

Dare I say, it was… easy.

I wish I had a better story to tell about this storied canyon. Steph hooked out of two potholes. We boosted her out of another pothole that was a bit tough. Other than that, we simply rapped, splashed and jumped, over and over, until we found ourselves standing (and grinning) in The Narrows.

To drive the Ferrari was good, but to dream about it was better. Perhaps I should be thankful that I dreamed about it for so long.


Right Sneak, early in the morning.

Log soup, early in the morning.

Christian and Cole.

Steph, doing the hooking.

Cole and Meg



Steph, Christian, Me, and Meg

Me and Steph



Saturday, July 2, 2016

Water Canyon - Zion

On July 2, 2016, Steph, Meg, Christian, Cole and I needed a warmup canyon for our week in Zion. Water Canyon fit the bill perfectly.

Water has fun little features; a deep pothole to jump in, some interesting downclimbs, some water to stem over, and a very pretty waterfall in the middle. Nothing scary, nothing hard. Plus the pools at the bottom of the canyon make it easy to cool off at the end of a hot day. It was a great way to start the trip.