The Fantastic Four hammers out another two sweet canyons!
Well after a long day doing Voodoo yesterday, all of us were looking forward to an easier day in Sunburst Canyon since we didn't have to climb that extra ridge, we'd do better at sticking together, and hopefully not make the same mistake up the exit canyon.
Dropping down the ridge and into Sunburst Canyon was easy enough and after the confluence of the two forks, the canyon gets damp & lush with some pools to wade thru and narrows up fairly quickly requiring us to gear up for the day. The technical section starts off with 3 drops of 15ft that saw us down climbing two of them and most of us rappelling the middle one as the canyon drops us deeper into a narrows section. The canyon also straightened up giving us a distant view of Secret Canyon way off as the canyon drops a good 300ft in the next 500-1000ft forward.
Sweet, is this still Arizona or am I back in Zion?!?
Official rappel #4 but our 2nd rappel was a double drop of 45ft from a small half-dead tree down to a pool and a ledge where we did another 50ft rappel from a fallen log into another pool. This rappel required an exposed reach to grab a hold of the anchors.
At the bottom of that drop was another log to perform another 60ft rappel even deeper into the narrows. That was soon followed by an angled 50ft down climb just before rappel #7 of 35ft into a pool in a cool alcove. We did a short down climb around the corner and did another extra short rappel #7b from another log into another cold wader before reaching that interesting deadman anchor
for rappel #8 of 25ft into a sandy alcove. The last official rappel was a 20ft drop where Steve was a meat anchor for the rest of us while from below we spotted an anchor and he preformed a tricky rappel to make that drop down.
We thought we were done with the wet stuff so we dropped our wetsuits and I even put my harness away but we ran into a few more short rappels, loads of tree fall to climb around, some waders and even a deep pool to try and jump across that saw us stripping our shirts and even one of us stripping down to his briefs to avoid getting our dry clothes wet. Meow!
So I think we down climbed 2 of the official 9 rappels but picked up a good 5-6 extra rappels before reaching the confluence with Secret Canyon where we could put the gear for sure before making the long hike back out.
Deja Vu, it feels like I was just here!
We were fairly quiet thru this stretch probably because none of us were looking forward to that ugly exit canyon. Once in that exit canyon, we realized the mistake we make yesterday and took the correct right drainage at that triple confluence
and the brushy hike up to the saddle actually wasn't too bad now that we were in the proper exit canyon. We dropped back down into upper Sundance and made the climb back out that ridge which was kinna ardurous for me since I was running out of steam after a long weekend of canyoneering.
But eventually we rolled into camp to put on some much needed clean clothes and refuel our tired bodies. Now I probably won't do Voodoo anytime soon, but I could see myself enjoying another run down Sunburst.