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Soldier Canyon
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25 by photographer avatarVaporman
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Soldier CanyonTucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Canyoneering avatar Dec 26 2010
Vaporman
Canyoneering2.50 Miles 300 AEG
Canyoneering2.50 Miles   3 Hrs   50 Mns   0.65 mph
300 ft AEG
Intermediate Canyoneering - Difficult or dangerous; Tech Climb; rope reqd; descent anchor; exit technical;
A - Dry or little water; shallow or avoidable water; no wet/dry suit
II - Normally requires a half day
 no routes
1st trip
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winklersh
From Nick's photoset, it was obvious this was a technical canyon and armed with two 100ft ropes & recent canyon beta from the ACA forums I descended this short & sweet canyon from the Prison Camp TH down to the Catalina highway down below. :sweat: From the trailhead, we started briefly on the Soldier trail but left it after about a quarter mile and headed down the drainage towards some narrows. We hit that cool slickrock narrows sections that looked like it'd present some rappels but after a few tricky down climbs & jumps, we were able to make it thru them without having to break out the gear or get wet in the pools. :) Another easy slickrock section was encountered before the canyon flattened out and we had loads of rock hopping & bushwhacking. The trail crossed over the flat dry wash and we followed it briefly to take a break from bushwhacking but it soon crossed back over the wash and headed up the hillside just before another sweet narrows section. :y: We made our way into the chute at the beginning of the narrows and soon encountered a 20ft drop & some shredded webbing indicating the first rappel. We geared up, made a new anchor, rappelled down the chute, avoided a small pool at the bottom, and found another 15ft drop on the other side of a van-sized chockstone. The webbing appeared to have been washed out and was laying in the sand below, but instead of building another we decided to slide down the 15ft slope to the sandpit below. :o Another 20ft drop was below the sandpit, so I used the failed anchor to make an anchor for this next short yet awkward rappel. This was followed by a tricky down climb and then a living room sized chockstone with a 50ft rappel to get past it. This was definetly the most awkward rappel of the day since there was a 4ft long by 1ft wide crack to rappel past to get below the chockstone. I used a stiff leg-in-the-crack & lean back technique to prevent my body from sliding in and getting helpless wedged in there. ;) A little further down and we hit the big falls that stopped Nick on his trip and found a sturdy tree with webbing around it to make the final 70ft rappel down these sweet falls to the sandy bottom. There was still plenty of rock hopping & down climbing past a few more drops & small falls before reaching the highway and a popular small climbing wall known as Left Hand Wall. We dropped our gear while briefly watching the climbers before crossing the highway to our lower vehicle and driving back up to the Prison Camp TH. Yet another amazing short & sweet winter canyon in the lower Catalinas! :D
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Yea, canyoneering is an extreme sport... EXTREMELY dramatic!!! =p
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Vaporman's
229 Photosets

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