Saturday, April 8, 2017

West Canyon 2017 - Cheetah Canyon

I started the day by punching another hole in my belt.  If you include last year's trip, I've punched three holes in my belt while in West.  Apparently it is a great place to lose weight and get fit.

We were craving all kinds of strange foods as we neared the end of the week.  Talk of fried foods and pizza dominated the conversations.  We ran out of Nutella!  How?  We discovered that we were out of coffee.  Oh.  My.  God.

All of us were tired.  This was going to be our eighth canyon in eight days.  My wetsuit was riddled with holes, so each pothole had become a character building experience.  We all knew that Cheetah was going to be wet and cold.  We hoped the weather would be warm.  It wasn't.  Steph and Sam G tapped out.  Nobody blamed them.

I wanted to get Cheetah done in a serious way.  I'd skipped it during our 2016 trip due to a sore leg, and missing out on that day had bothered me ever since.  You only get so many chances to do a very remote canyon like this, so cold and fatigue be dammed, it was time to get it done.



There is a large keeper pothole under the water here.  
It made me wonder how many keepers we swam over during the trip.

Once we were safely out of the canyon, I realized that we were suddenly and profoundly done.
Done with danger.  Done with the cold.  Done planning.  Done fretting.
Just done.

We had descended as many canyons as we possibly could have.
Eight total canyons, six of which were unknown to us.

We had made it all seem too easy.  We had an impossible amount of fun in the process.
We were more than the sum of our parts.

Together we did something deeply fulfilling.
Our adventure was so far-fetched, so laugh-out-loud good, so impossibly complex,
that it seems like it couldn't have happened.

I was overcome by raw emotion.  It wasn't joy or sadness or relief.
It was an overwhelming wave of gratitude for every member of our group.

I still feel that way today.


  1. these trips look so fun! are you going to post the garmin tracks for them? I would be interested in looking at them in base camp or google map just for reference, not that I would try to explore these on my own!

  2. They were insanely fun! The GPX tracks are up on Ropewiki for your viewing pleasure. :)