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Shamrock Canyon
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mini location map2011-07-31
40 by photographer avatarVaporman
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Shamrock CanyonPayson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Canyoneering avatar Jul 31 2011
Canyoneering8.00 Miles 1,000 AEG
Canyoneering8.00 Miles   9 Hrs   45 Mns   0.82 mph
1,000 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
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Well I was a little tired from hitting Horsetank Wash the day before but a cute gal talked me into another canyon up on the rim. I choose Shamrock since it was the only WCC canyon I hadn't done already this summer and I felt I could safely get her down canyon with no issues with her limited canyon experience. :)

That 142F is marked well this summer, so making my way up it in my car wasn't a problem at all. After driving a few miles up that road, I parked at a junction near the exit canyon and dropped down east into Shamrock canyon. It's a tad higher up canyon than in Todd's book, but it's a gentle slope and you get to see more of the lush scenic canyon and I get to test out more of her down climbing skills before reaching the main technical narrows. ;) We encountered loads of mossy down climbs, some small narrows that we bypasses, and loads of canyon stew before reaching the first optional rappel. I could of down climbed that initial 10ft drop but no point taking the risk with her and being on rope made it easier to avoid that stinky keeper pothole. And I was able to use the rope to help keep her out of it also. :D The water is only waist deep in a few sections and it's the middle of summer so I opted to forgo the wetsuits but that also meant out skin took more of a beating on the down climbs & pesky vegetation. : rambo : This is soon followed by a mossy chute that requires a controlled slide to land on some submerged logs to avoid getting completely wet. After going thru another vegetated narrows, you hit the first bolted rappel of about 30ft into a waist deep pool with another bolt on the right. Pull ropes and re-rig for at least 100ft of rope both sides so you can get you about 50ft down into the hallway, across that pools, and if you want to avoid the keeper you lean hard right LDC past the arch and over the fin of sandstone. She's not ready for a keeper and I didn't want to carry more than 200ft of rope, so I figured this was the best setup for us. :) Another 30ft log-choked rappel is just around the corner with another 60ft open drop just beyond that. Below is a great sunny spot for lunch and to drop the technical gear before bushwhacking your way to the beautiful West Clear Creek. :D

The technical canyon is short so I recommended we venture up the scenic Willow Valley for a couple hours. It was of course as amAZing as ever with it's many cool swimmers, tall colorful sandstone walls, and lush vegetation. We got a good 2-3 miles upstream before turning around and heading back to WCC. Back at the confluence, we picked up our technical gear and headed downstream a bit for the steep exit canyon. The exit was of course steep and full of more poison ivy & stinging nettle but we were able to avoid most of it thankfully. ;) It was SO nice to be done with that sweaty steep hike out of WCC with less than an hour of light left. :sweat:
Yea, canyoneering is an extreme sport... EXTREMELY dramatic!!! =p
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