Return to reports & photos

Utah Canyoning (& other stuff)

Middle Leprechaun Canyon (1/10/13)

The US Federal Government came into effect the day after we arrived at Capitol Reef NP. We had met up with 2 US & 2 Canadian canyoners and the 6 of us headed to North Wash which is not in a national park so we could continue canyoning. Our first canyon was Middle Leprechaun which is known for being very "skinny".

'What do you mean we need knee and elbow pads and full body cover?' We discovered the answer to this question today! Fortunately we were able to borrow knee pads.

The crew on approach

Angela negotiating a narrow section

Staying high - possibly to avoid mud. We spent a lot more time bridging then was truly necessary to avoid getting into the clay-mud that coated the floor of much of the canyon.

Angela downclimbing a short drop (again bridging could be engaged in to avoid the mud - you can sort of see the mud in the foreground). The problem was if you did end up in the mud it covered your shoes with a mud slick which then made any further bridging challenging.

Tom trying to decide whether to stay high or come down and join the rest of us grunting through the narrow sections

He decides to grunt through the narrow sections


The canyon exit

Slideanide Canyon (2/10/13)

The crew on approach with the Henry Mountains overlooking us

Tom looking forward to more skin grating down-climbing.

Tom walking through some water which no doubt just covered a base of mud.

Tom above the final 2 abseils in Slideanide.

Anja emerges from the final abseil in Slideanide. The trick was to avoid falling over when trying to get out of the pool.

Arscenic Canyon (2/10/13)

Looking back up the canyon after doing the 1st stage of the 60m entry abseil. As the abseil was right at the beginning we were able to leave the rope in place and collect it on our way out.

Rick on the 2nd stage of the 60m entry abseil. Everyone else at the bottom.

Tom showing off his bridging skills. I had very proudly just managed to bridge across this drop (it was wider than you can tell from the photo). Tom's greater height/wing span made it decidely easy for him.

Anja at the bottom of a short down climb.

Anja exiting the canyon

Rick standing on an arch we encountered while exiting. (Who needs Arches National Park to be open...?)

Zero Gravity Canyon (3/10/13)

Tom standing on Tinky (or was it Winky?) Bridge at the beginning of Zero Gravity Canyon

Rick jumping

Tom jumping. Unfortunately because the weather was deteriorating we were moving through the canyon pretty quickly which means I don't have many photos (including none of the only keeper pothole we encountered on the trip).

The canyon exit - there were two options. For the skinny canyoners you could squeeze down below the chockstone. It was pretty tight. For everyone else you needed to go over the chockstone. From top to bottom in this photo: Rick (yellow helmet) anchoring the rope on a fixed cam that was already placed, Tom waiting for the rope to become available so he can descend, Ilze at the top of the downclimb, Anja part way down the final chute.

Rick anchoring the rope. Tom has just descended - rather than abseil he hand over handed which proved interesting when the canyon flared out...

Tom and Rick in the final shute while Ilze looks on.

Pleiades Canyon (4/10/13)

The trailhead for Pleiades Canyon

Pleiades is a very short canyon, at reasonably high altitude. We were hoping to still be able to do it despite the snow but there was a bit too much water flowing and we didn't want to get wet (given how cold it was). As it was so short we were able to wander down to the end of it. This is looking up into the canyon from the bottom.

Tom in the snow

Back up at the start of the canyon.

Walking back to the car

Wild turkeys in the snow

Medieval Chamber Canyon (4/10/13)

Having dropped down in altitude we decided we could still get a canyon in that day. That afternoon we did Medieval Chamber canyon which is very short and the main point of doing it is so you can simul-rappel from Morning Glory Arch. Tom abseiling into the Medieval Chamber

Morning Glory Arch. The commercial canyoning group is abseiling from the conventional anchor point.

Tom abseiling on one side of the rope while I'm abseiling on the other with the arch in between.

Tom pulling the ropes after our simul-rappel.

Dead Horse Point State Park (5/10/13)

The Federal Government was showing no signs of action so rather than hang round waiting for the parks to open we headed back north. Since we couldn't get to Canyonlands NP we visited Dead Horse Point State Park which had stunning views. (thank goodness for State Parks!)

Ding and Dang Canyons (5/10/13)

Tom with a lovely series of potholes as we walk up Ding Canyon

Descending Dang Canyon. Decision time for Tom. a) use the fixed line b) downclimb the chute c) walk the narrow ledge

Sensibly takes option c

Tom avoiding some water

but then gets bored and falls asleep :)

Goblin Valley State Park (7/10/13)

Sunrise over Goblin Valley

Goblin Valley

Go to page 4