Thursday, April 6, 2017

West Canyon 2017 - Lynx Canyon

Exploring unknown canyons is an interesting experience.  It plays tricks on the mind and places a unique stress on the group.  Imaginations and doubt run wild, especially at the beginning of the trip when new partners are trying to figure each other out.

Explorations are fun in a way, because the sense of adventure is pure.  But they are a total pain in another way.  How much rope?  Always too much.  How many Potshots?  Always too many.  SandTrap?  Of course.  Hooks?  I guess so, even though we never ever use them.  Water anchor?  No doubt.  How long will it take?  Tough to tell.  Do you think it will go X?  Please stop asking.

Being able to escape or reverse each canyon was always the top priority.  The eight of us we figured we could spread 700 feet of canyon without losing contact with one another, 100 feet between each person.  In this area, 700 feet of continuous slot is rare, so we began to get comfortable with this method.

By April 6th, 2017, we had settled into a routine.  This was our first warm day of the trip, so our spirits were high.  Up we went to the top of the now familiar north ramp, a great way to start the morning.  I insisted on taking the scenic route to the top of Lynx.  Good thing the route was very scenic.  I'm thankful for forgiving canyon partners.


Madly, madly, madly.

The satellite imagery made Lynx look open and friendly, and it was. 

Tony managed to stay dry until the very last pool.  A heroic effort.  
However, is alway fun to see him cringe when it is time to jump in.

The geometry of the final drop was very susceptible to grooving.  
We worked for 2.5 hours, trying like mad to ghost it.  Water anchor?  No good place for it.  
SandTrap?  We hauled 60 lbs of sand down but the placement was no good.  
Fiddlestick?  Nope.  In the end we left a sling, but did not leave a groove. 

I've been told that we are the first known group that has explored this canyon.
This is of little importance to me.  I'm simply stoked that we had another incredible day in West.

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