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.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Gravel Canyon

On August 20th, 2016, Tony, Levi and I splashed our way through Gravel Canyon.

Gravel was much more fun than I expected; it was step up in scenery and challenge from the neighboring Black Hole. Tippy-top water conditions added to the fun on this warm summer day. A bit stinky in places, a bit cold in places, but without a doubt worth a visit.

Some dudes will do anything to avoid water.

Levi enjoying his very first floating disconnect.

Tony, the bog monster.

The Hungry Cyclops. Nom-nom!

 Playing in the log soup. Note the log Levi is sitting on.
Our view of some really cool ruins from the exit route.

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Benson Creek

On August 7th, 2016, Steph, Meg and I took a refreshing lap down Benson Creek.

The bushwhack up to the top was a bit of work, but rap #1 immediately rewarded our efforts. The rest of the canyon was pretty good as well. Benson turned out to be a great choice for a hot summer day.

Meg heading down rap #1

Oh yes, this is what we came for!

Steph and Meg, rap #1


That's me falling in love with the CRITR2. Seriously, it's so good.

Rap #2

Rap #3

Meg on rap #4

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Das Boot and The Subway

After a long and rainy night, on August 6th, 2016, Steph, Meg and I splashed our way through Das Boot then down The Subway.

We caught Das Boot in rare form; it was flowing nicely and the water was warm. Steph and I were surprised to find long hallways full of sand and rocks that had been deep swimmers on our previous visit in 2012. A pair of large intimidating potholes were completely undetectable on this visit.

When we arrived at The Subway we were stunned at the amount of sand we discovered. Keyhole falls was a 5 foot downclimb, then we climbed OVER the bowling ball chokestone. The rest of the route was also stuffed with sand, including the potholes in The Subway proper.

All of the sand made for few pictures and fast travel. We did this route car-to-car in exactly 8 hours. Also, unbeknownst to us, the park closed all of the canyoneering routes down that day, so we only saw a couple of people during our hike. It was kind of nice.

Overall, it was a fun, sandy, and memorable day with Steph and Meg.