After hitting the short & sweet Soldier Canyon, I thought it'd be nice to finish the day off by hitting these two short & sweet canyons again. Well the recent rainstorms left more water in the pools than we encountered last year, so the theme of the day turned into: Don't get wet & cold unless we absolutely have to... So we made our way up the ridge and dropped into The Marvelous (La Milagrosa) Canyon above the narrows and geared up before dropping in. We again bypassed the first two drops (dry falls) since they had murky pools below them and down climbed to the first 'official rappel' and noted that there was also a large murky pool below that drop that wasn't there last year. Hmm, well I don't mind cold water as long as it's brief but green pond scum is out of the question if I can avoid it. Scott climbed up on the right again and found another easy down climb to avoid both the 'official rappels' and the pool below the final rappel was also much bigger than last winter. So we were able to check out these short & sweet narrows without a single rappel this time, but now I'm tempted to come back with a wetsuit when it's flowing descent and rappel all 5 waterfalls. We then scrambled out of the canyon on the left LDC and made our way up the ridge to get back on trail and hiking east to now drop into Agua Caliente above it's technical section. Almost every other hiker we passed by asked us if we we're rock climbing... No we're canyoneering gosh dang it!?! Seriously...how many climbers use a Peztl Pirana or carry an ascender? Are you people blind? After dropping in Agua Caliente canyon and heading downstream, we quickly ran into the first drop with a large pool below it. The pool looks clean enough but most people bypass it with a slightly exposed traverse on the left. There's a nice slickrock section afterwards following by another living sized chockstone with a short 15ft rappel below it. We both made the short rappel and then I looked over the chockstone boulders at the next 30ft drop and realized it also now had a large pool below it that wasn't there last year. I volunteered to ascend back up and look for a bypass on the ledge on the leftside and quickly found some anchors already in place to make a 50ft rappel to bypass the pool. Went back to tell him the good news that we'd be staying dry & warm and made the bypass and dropped our gear & stuff the rope after this final rappel. Still loads of rock hopping & down climbing as we made our way down this amazing canyon with tall imposing walls before it eventually opened up to become a simple dry wash. We re-found the trail & other hikers and made our way back thru the neighborhood to our cars. So we got detoured by a few extra pools, but still managed to stay dry and have a fun time exploring these short & sweet canyons.
Woot, lucky number trip 777!
Yea, canyoneering is an extreme sport... EXTREMELY dramatic!!! =p