Sunday, September 17, 2017

Trail Canyon

On September 17th, 2017, Steph and I battled through Trail Canyon.

We were impressed with the beauty and physicality of this slot.  We kept arriving at obstacles that seemed crux-ish, just to find the next section to be harder than the last.

Trail was stressful.  Trail was hard.  It was a relief to be done.

... but I can't wait to go back and do it again!

Steph going high up and over a very narrow hallway.  
Normally we would press through, but the water was of unknown depth, so we chose the high route which turned out to be very easy.

The next two photos are of the crux.  Steph's feet are about 10 feet from the ground.
Nobody can currently fit through this section at ground level.  
I've heard the sand level changes here, so it might be different when you visit.  
I opted to go up, about 15 feet higher, in order to get through this section.  
It was VERY physical and somewhat scary.

 Do this canyon when it is warmer than 75 degrees so that you can leave your wetsuit in the car. 
 The less stuff you bring, the more fun you will have.  
A tiny backpack is an absolute must.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Cable Canyon

On Saturday, September 16th, 2017, Steph and I splashed through Cable Canyon.

Right canyon.  Right people.  Right weather.  This is my recipe for canyoneering happiness.

Sometimes you are fortunate and the canyon gives you the right conditions.  It is icing on the right/right/right cake, when you plan well AND get lucky.

Luck smiled on us in the form of two straight days of rain prior to this adventure.  Every hallway and pothole was full to the brim with fresh rainwater.  There were many signs that the canyon was flowing about 12 hours prior to our arrival.  We were swimming for about five hours.  It was awesome!

It was fun to pull the plug on the many bathtubs throughout the canyon, then enjoy the flow.  The last big rap had a huge reservoir of water above, so we enjoyed some class C action while rapping into an astonishing chamber pictured below.

It was another memorable canyon with my favorite canyoneering partner.

Monday, September 4, 2017

Diana's Throne Canyon

On September 3nd, 2017, Nipun, Florian, Lacie, Derek, Tyler, Steph, and I took a relaxing lap through Diana's Throne Canyon.  It was an excellent way to round out the trip.

There were several hundred bees in this particular pothole.
Luckily for us, they were far more interested in passing on their genetics than in attacking any intruders.

Florian is from France and does not speak very much English.
He was excited to to this rappel, ... I think.

Then we turned an easy rappel into an opportunity for new folks to practice downclimbing.  
Everyone did great. 

It was a fine trip with a great group of people.  
We look forward to the next time we can get out with each of you!

The excellent photos below are by Derek Chang.

Sunday, September 3, 2017

The Subway

On September 3nd, 2017, Nipun, Florian, Lacie, Erin, Derek, Tyler, Steph, and I did the standard Subway route.  We were the first group to arrive, so we had the entire technical section to ourselves.  It was such a treat!

This was my 7th time through, and Steph's 4th.  My first time through was back in 2005.  It is amazing how much this particular canyon changes from year-to-year, Keyhole falls especially.  Debris washes in, debris washes out.  I wonder if the log underneath the bowling ball is ever going to wash away?... I hope so.

It was an fantastic day with a great group of friends.  Our car-to-car time was 7 hours.

The excellent photos below are by Derek Chang.

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Keyhole Canyon from the Top

On September 2nd, 2017, Nipun, Florian, Lacie, Erin, Derek, Tyler, Steph, and I went through Keyhole Canyon.  Keyhole is hardly blog worthy since several dozen people pass through the canyon on a daily basis.  However, we descended the canyon from the very top, which was fun and unusual.  I bet 99% of people don't do it this way.  In my opinion, most folks are missing out on a little bit of good canyon with almost no extra investment in time or effort.

The first four photos are of Upper Keyhole.  

There are three interesting downclimbs in Upper Keyhole.  
Derek opted to rappel this one.

There are three sections of Keyhole; Upper, Middle, and Lower.  
Most people only do Middle and Lower Keyhole, shown in white.  
The yellow line below shows the complete Keyhole loop.