Friday, May 3, 2019

Pandora's Box Canyon

On May 3rd, 2019, Steph, Tony, Byron, and I made our way through Pandora's Box.  The canyon had diverse characteristics that were generally friendly in nature.  Most of the canyon is difficult to capture in photographs - too dark or too skinny.  There were several spots where passage at ground level was impossible, even for Steph.  Fortunately, the geometry of the slot made passage over those constrictions fun and relatively straightforward.

Not quite wide enough!  Time to go up and over.

Dragging packs through here was a pain.
Shuttling packs past this section is recommended.

Taking the dreaded low road.  Easy and fun in this canyon.


All anchors were in good shape and the canyon was dry, which made for fast passage.
Hiking up the mesa in the dark was easy and enjoyable.  Start hiking earlier next time (4:30AM - 5AM).
Shuttling packs past the optional skinny section, then going back through, would be worth the extra time and effort.  Do not drag packs through that section.
The Meeks Mesa Exit was easy to navigate in broad daylight, but would be impossible in the dark.
Exiting over the mesa was fast, but possibly not worth the extra wear and tear on the body.  Consider trying the other exit next time.

Our timeline:

5:39 AM - Start
6:55 AM - Top of the mesa
7:50 AM - Start of the technical section
11:50 AM - Technical section complete
1:05 PM - Bottom of Meeks Mesa Exit
2:05 PM - Top of Meeks Mesa Exit
3:52 PM - Finish (10 hours 13 minutes)

The Meeks Mesa Exit

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