This canyon has been on my radar ever since ssk44 posted those sweet waterfall photos last spring and it was great to final technically descend it.
In my search for the secret canyons of Parallel Play & Double Play, I thought this canyon might have been on of those but those canyons were later determined to be other canyons. Though this canyon was very recently descended by Todd Martin and names A-Okay Canyon. Well now that I know the rope length needed and the drops all have new anchors, it sounded like a great time to run out there and finally descend it.
There's probably a few different ways to get above the narrows of this canyon. Originally I had plotted out hiking up the smaller drainage to the east and scrambling up a saddle and dropping in above the narrows. But on the drive in, I changed my mind and we hiked up the lightly vegetated ridges on the western side of the canyon. And then once above the narrows, it looked like one could also rock hop up this drainage to the 140ft falls and then scramble up a loose scree slope to get up to the first rappel. Our route on the western slope may have been a tad longer, but it seems like the easiest approach of the three.
When we were above the narrows, we came upon a side drainage that looked interested enough so we dropped in that side canyon and ended up getting an additional 100ft double drop to reach the main drainage. Ohh snap, we dropped in right in the middle of the narrows and missed the upper section.
Ohh sweet, we can scramble up the eastern ridge and get above the first rappel.
We thru the wetsuits on and I went a bit further up canyon to get a good view down that scree chute ravine and got a rush when I saw the 140ft falls down below. The upper narrows starts with a 25ft slick waterfall rappel followed by two slippery slides. The top of the two slides is a 15ft bumpy ride and ends in a super chilly swimmer that was rather shocking to the system and I banged my elbow pretty good also.
The canyon mellows up for a bit with loads of rock hopping & light down climbing & plenty of sunshine to warm us back up. Though I was staying plenty warm in my 4/3 even though we were playing in chilly snow runoff.
The canyon takes a hard right and soon we're hitting the 2nd official rappel (not counting our bonus rappel) of 30ft down another slick falls into a brief narrows section. Very soon afterwards we hit the super sweet big drop down a ~140ft lightly flowing falls.
I recently bought a spool of canyoneering rope and this was my 200-footer first canyon and I already put a fuzzy section in the sheath going over a sharp edge of the falls.
The technical section was over, but we left the gear on as we continued down canyon thru loads of down climbing & rock hopping and eventually dropped the gear in a sunny section. Further down canyon, the creek hiking got easier and the side ridges dropped lower and we recognized were we crossed the creek and scrambled back out and to my buddies SUV parked nearby.
Woot! Another sweet run down another flowing Mazzie canyon along the Tonto Basin.
Hmm, I wonder what that nearby steep & craggy Sycamore Canyon barely to the south has in store.
Might have to start from the top of Mt Ord to get down into that one...