Waterholes Canyon, AZ
2011-04-3082 by
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Northeast, AZ
Canyoneering2.50 Miles   9 Hrs   40 Mns    0.26 mph
2 ft AEG   
No Routes
Linked  None
This canyon had been on my list for quite some time as well as I'm thrilled to have finally done this amAZing canyon! :y: First you need to have a way to get from the confluence of Waterholes & the Colorado River down to Lee's Ferry in place before attempting a full descent of this canyon. We went with the packraft option and carried them in our pack thru the canyon instead of having to setup rafts/kayaks/motorboat. Second, you need to have a BIG rope for the 310ft rappel of the 3-stage 400ft BIG drop. :o And last but def not least, a small and competent crew that can safely do this canyon. I've done the middle section before and been over the beta and others' photos for years now so I had a pretty good idea what to expect, but it was a big help to have an experienced partner who had done the canyon before. :D

The canyon starts off mellow enough but slowly builds and builds into a super difficult canyon. :o Some small rappels and easy down climbing and scenic narrows sections to begin with. Eventually after a few rappels, we passed the midway exit trail and the canyon got much more interesting and challenging. Loads of down climbing, super tight narrows, with rappel after rappel until you eventually reach the HUGE 400ft drop. :o The first rappel of this 3-stage rappel is about 70-80ft down a super awkward crack that you have to take great care not to stick the rope on. The bottom of this rappel is a 2ft wide 10ft long tight squeeze with just enough room to wiggle out to the 2nd rappel of about 12-15ft to clip into the 'Edge of the World' anchors. So once you start this rappelling sequence there's no room for switching the order up. I was the caboose of the group, so I had to pull and stuff the ropes and setup the pullcord for the BIG drop and thankfully I was able to do all this without any issues. :y: At the anchors for the final 310ft drop, I tried not to focus on the HUGE drop below me and the fact that my canyon buddies where puny specks in a sea of red sandstone. :sweat: With everything set and trying my best to advert my eyes from looking down, I slowly made my way down on my skinny 8.3mm rope... : rambo : After we all got down and pulled the ropes cleanly, the next couple rappels were easy and scenic and then made the casual stroll down to the river. Dropped our canyon gear, blew up our packrafts, assembled our oars, and then made the super sweet float 4 miles down river to Lee's Ferry. So flipping amAZing and can't wait to do another packrafting canyon along the Marble/Grand Canyons. :D
Yea, canyoneering is an extreme sport... EXTREMELY dramatic!!! =p
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