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Aug 17 2014
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 Photos 353
 Triplogs 568

female
 Joined Jun 19 2009
 AZ
Four Pass Loop -- Maroon Bells - SnowmassNorthwest, CO
Northwest, CO
Backpack avatar Aug 17 2014
oceanwithinTriplogs 568
Backpack26.21 Miles 8,302 AEG
Backpack26.21 Miles3 Days         
8,302 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked   none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
The Maroon Bells Four Pass Loop is an AWESOME multi-day backpacking trek near Aspen, CO. This trip was ladies-only with us 4 girls rocking it the entire way. We went counter-clockwise and kept up a good pace, finishing in 2.5 days.

Day 1: Maroon Lake to Snowmass Lake, over Buckskin Pass. 8 miles
Day 2: Snowmass to Belleview mountain valley, over Trailrider Pass & Frigid Air Pass. 10 miles
Day 3: Over Maroon pass back to Maroon Lake. 8 miles

Everything went off without incident, except... while making our way to the base of the 2nd pass of the 2nd day (frigid air), a man coming down the pass had a terrible accident. He lost his footing at the top and fell the entire way down the pass, 200' or so. He was covered in blood from gashes on his forehead and legs, and had broken out his teeth but miraculously had no broken bones. He swore he was OK and not in shock but we were all suspicious that he was still in adrenaline mode and not really as OK as he said he was. After rescuing his gear that was scattered down the mountain (including setting up a simple belay system to retrieve items off the chute), his hiking partner was pretty adamant that she didn't want any help, so onward we went, all of us feeling a bit freaked out from the experience. (Note to Self: It's seriously time to take that wilderness first aid course!!)

I'll never forget this trip, it was so much fun and we all probably laughed more in those few days than in an entire year. I'm so grateful for the bonds of friendship, the smiles shared with kindred spirits along the way, the unbelievable scenery, the perfect weather, the bears we didn't meet, the feelings of elation each time we got to the top of a pass, the challenges we faced and overcame with our combined outdoor experience. I loved the area so much and found myself in utter disbelief of all the gorgeous surroundings the entire time. It was over much too soon but I already can't wait for the next big trip!



Photos forthcoming... I promise. :D
 Flora
 Flora [ checklist ]
[ checklist ]  Quaking Aspen
 Fauna
 Fauna [ checklist ]
[ checklist ]  Pika (American)
 Meteorology
 Meteorology [ checklist ]
[ checklist ]  Sunset
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  1 archive
Jul 05 2014
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 Photos 353
 Triplogs 568

female
 Joined Jun 19 2009
 AZ
Mount Whitney - Mountaineer's RouteSierra Nevada, CA
Sierra Nevada, CA
Hiking avatar Jul 05 2014
oceanwithinTriplogs 568
Hiking16.00 Miles 6,200 AEG
Hiking16.00 Miles
6,200 ft AEG15 LBS Pack
 no routes
1st trip
Linked   none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
"...Whitney's summit looms in the west above a serrated horizon of dull silver peaks. It's high. It's stark. It's aloof. If mountains could talk, this one wouldn't. Yet it beckons with a force that will push regular folks to do irregular things." (Jordan Rane, journalist)

Ah. Mt. Whitney, we meet again. Despite thinking I wouldn't be back for awhile, the lure of the Mountaineer's Route could not be quelled. Having only taken the traditional trail up before, I wasn't sure what to expect but was excited about being back in the beautiful Eastern Sierras.

After a night of sleeping out under the stars at Whitney Portal, we hit the trail at 3:45 am. Through the darkness we hiked, stopping at one point when we saw a pair of feline eyes glowing at us from afar. They slowly blinked and looked away as we continued into the night. We scrambled up the Ebersbacher Ledges just as the first hints of dawn were starting to light up the sky. Took a break at Lower Boyscout Lake where the golden pink alpenglow warmed across the mountains while two deer grazed nearby. Continuing on we passed by Upper Boyscout Lake, another peaceful alpine oasis. Onward and upward the miles quickly passed until finally we reached Iceberg Lake.

It was here that we could see the final ascent to the summit, up to what is known as "the notch". It looked impossibly steep and rocky and definitely a bit intimidating. We rested at the lake for awhile, filtering water and refueling our bodies while chatting with some friendly backpackers and climbers who were camped at the lake. And then it was time to get going, so up we went.

Despite how the notch appeared at first glance, there is a pretty good cairned route up to the far left of the snow chute. This was mostly an easy scramble up rocks and sometimes crumbly scree, not exactly for the faint of heart but still nothing too crazy or scary. It was slow going in that thin air and eventually we made it to the top of the notch, where just around the corner we were faced with a selection of routes and gullies to take up to the summit. We opted to do the far traverse up to the snow ridge, which had been recommended to us by a group of climbers who had just come down from the same route. I thought this section was sketchier than the notch, as we were traversing over rocks that would sometimes groan and move under your weight. If you were to start sliding out of control here it would not be good at all, and our acute awareness of this helped motivate us to get it over with as quickly as possible.

Before long we were at the top--it felt like a victory to reach the summit and be surrounded by that incredible view. We hung out there for quite awhile, admiring the scenery and debating which route we wanted to take back down. We decided to take the traditional Mt. Whitney trail back down, giving us all the best views of both trails in one day. While zooming down the switchbacks we encountered a really confusing rescue situation which is a story in itself, hopefully everything turned out okay for the gentleman involved.

I absolutely LOVED the Mountaineer's Route and would definitely do it again, it's completely worth it to skip all those switchbacks and just go direct. Surprisingly there were no ill effects from the altitude which was a nice change for once. I forced down a ton of water all day and regularly took Salt Stick capsules (the caffeinated ones!) which kept my appetite up all day. All in all it was an incredible adventure up the tallest mountain in the lower 48 states. I am still smitten with the Sierras and can't wait to return. After summiting three times now, Mt. Whitney is starting to feel like an old friend. :y:
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Jun 14 2014
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 Photos 353
 Triplogs 568

female
 Joined Jun 19 2009
 AZ
Humphreys via Inner BasinFlagstaff, AZ
Flagstaff, AZ
Hiking avatar Jun 14 2014
oceanwithinTriplogs 568
Hiking15.80 Miles 4,400 AEG
Hiking15.80 Miles
4,400 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked   none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Had a great hike up to Mt. Humphreys via the beautiful inner basin trail. Crazy windy but otherwise perfect temps. No glissading on this trip but it made me laugh to remember doing so a few years ago on my first hike here. Love this whole area so much, especially Lockett Meadow. Looking up at the sky while standing under an aspen grove... one of my all-time favorite views. :y:
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  2 archives
May 30 2014
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 Photos 353
 Triplogs 568

female
 Joined Jun 19 2009
 AZ
San Rafael Swell, UT 
San Rafael Swell, UT
 
Canyoneering avatar May 30 2014
oceanwithinTriplogs 568
Canyoneering16.00 Miles 1,600 AEG
Canyoneering16.00 Miles4 Days         
1,600 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked   none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
San Rafael Swell, another of Utah's gorgeous areas full of excellent canyons to explore. The Swell is known for its keeper potholes--deeply eroded holes that can be very difficult to get out of--basically the stuff a canyoneer's nightmares are made of. This entire trip was to be full of them and I was more than a little nervous about it!

But as it turned out, the keeper potholes all weekend were actually... FUN! Everything from the little guys to the enormous "pits of despair" we encountered were all great challenges to get out of. We used many means of escape including jumping, wiggling, muscling your way out, the 2-man pull, various partner assists, bat-manning up the rope, potshots and of course the helpful "harness yank" when you've climbed halfway out but get stuck. :D

We did Quandary Direct (4BIII), The Squeeze/Seger's Hole (4BIII) and Goblin's Lair (3AI). Quandry was a perfect warm-up; The Squeeze was a long day full of rappels, swimming and temperature extremes; Goblin's Lair was a quick side-trip with 1 rappel into a gorgeous chamber on the way out of town. All 3 were a blast in their own way. Skipped out on doing Cable Canyon on day 3 as my feet were toast but ended up checking out Capitol Reef instead, which is definitely still on the list of places to explore in depth.

As always, it was a ton of fun with a great group, awesome food, so much laughing, astounding scenery and good times I'll never forget. :y:
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May 24 2014
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 Photos 353
 Triplogs 568

female
 Joined Jun 19 2009
 AZ
Frye Creek Canyon - S'moresTucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Canyoneering avatar May 24 2014
oceanwithinTriplogs 568
Canyoneering2.00 Miles 800 AEG
Canyoneering2.00 Miles   5 Hrs      0.40 mph
800 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked   none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Fun weekend of camping, canyoneering, shooting stars and hot springs. Frye turned out to be a super fun little canyon. Perfect flow with waterfalls, slides, pools and rappels to navigate. Definitely needed wetsuits; it got pretty cold in here especially when the breeze picked up. Also found quite a bit of defunct black piping all along the canyon walls, still wondering what that was all about.

Unfortunately the bottom of the last drop is trashed - tons of graffiti (apparently put there by the Class of '14, as they wrote in enormous letters across the canyon wall), trash, clothing, tarps, etc. We carried out some stuff but this spot needs some serious lovin'.

After the last rappel we swam across the reservoir to the car. There was a family hanging out at the reservoir and they were staring at us like we were from another planet when we emerged from the water with our huge packs, wetsuits and all our gear still on. :D

Also checked out Dankworth Pond and the hiking overlook at Roper Lake. Always fun to check out this part of the state.
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Apr 13 2014
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 Photos 353
 Triplogs 568

female
 Joined Jun 19 2009
 AZ
Bedrock Canyon/South Canyon Route, AZ 
Bedrock Canyon/South Canyon Route, AZ
 
Canyoneering avatar Apr 13 2014
oceanwithinTriplogs 568
Canyoneering11.00 Miles
Canyoneering11.00 Miles2 Days         
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked   linked  
Partners none no partners
Super fun and relatively easy canyoneering trip in the Grand Canyon. And by easy I mean the technical aspect only, as nothing is really ever easy in the GC!

Camped at South Canyon TH Friday night to stage the car and hiked from there to drop into Bedrock canyon Saturday morning. Bedrock started out pretty mellow but soon began dropping quickly with lots of boulder-hopping and some challenging downclimbs. The geology seemed to change every few minutes and included some pretty sweet narrows. We jumped the chute at the end of the narrows but I would recommend a belay here. :scared: Before long we were at the confluence of South Canyon, where we took the backpacker's route over the dryfall and then stayed in the creek bed for the boulder hop down to the narrows. The redwall narrows of South Canyon were pretty short but very scenic with more good downclimbing. The last chockstone drop had an anchor already set up, and I have to give major props to anyone who can actually downclimb that beast(the log ramp mentioned in Todd Martin's book is gone). Was definitely glad to be wearing a wetsuit as the water in there was extremely cold, although over quickly. Made it to the beach around 2pm where we checked out the Stanton's Cave and Vasey's Paradise (thoroughly enjoyed both). Dirtbagged it that night out under the stars next to the Colorado with the almost-full moon above us. Had some crazy dreams which always seems to happen when sleeping below the rim.

Sunday morning we packed up and headed up South Canyon back to the car. The wind was pretty brutal and made that final push up to the rim extra exciting. What a view from up there, just breathtaking. It was an awesome trip with such a great group. We saw not a single other person the entire trip which was an added bonus. Love this big hole in the ground more and more every trip!!
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Feb 22 2014
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 Photos 353
 Triplogs 568

female
 Joined Jun 19 2009
 AZ
Death Valley, CA 
Death Valley, CA
 
Canyoneering avatar Feb 22 2014
oceanwithinTriplogs 568
Canyoneering11.80 Miles
Canyoneering11.80 Miles
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked   none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Death Valley! Desolate, beautiful and full of crazy steep canyons.

Day 1 - Styx Canyon - 3AII
8 hours, 16 rappels, 7.5 miles
Approx. 4000' elevation loss

Really pretty rock in Styx with an excitingly crumbly approach, lots of downclimbing and a cool arch made out of an enormous fallen boulder. Reminded me a bit of the grand canyon in a few places.


Day 2 - Cerebus Canyon - 4AIV
10 hours, 29 rappels, 4.3 miles
5000' elevation loss

We carried over 2300' of rope with us and not a single rope went unused. Most rappels were decently long, which starts to add up when you have so many drops to navigate including two 300' rappels. We were extremely efficient with the rope management, leap-frogging past each other and hustling through. 29 rappels sounds like a lot but it flew by and before long we were at the last drop. This is my favorite kind of canyon, where there's awesome scenery, lots of action and excellent teamwork. :)

All natural anchors in both canyons, meaning we did a lot of rappels from deadman anchors (giant piles of strategically-placed rocks). Sweet backdrop of Badwater Basin both days. Great trip with awesome people!!
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Jan 25 2014
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 Photos 353
 Triplogs 568

female
 Joined Jun 19 2009
 AZ
Pipe Creek CanyonNorthwest, AZ
Northwest, AZ
Canyoneering avatar Jan 25 2014
oceanwithinTriplogs 568
Canyoneering15.00 Miles 4,600 AEG
Canyoneering15.00 Miles
4,600 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked   none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Pipe Creek Canyon is one of the big gaping drop-offs you see far below when hiking down South Kaibab. It turned out to be an awesome canyon with some sweet mossy waterfall rappels and and relatively no downclimbing. It's as easy as it gets as far as technical descents go in the grand canyon, which is to say it's still a long and exhausting day. The Grand Canyon was pretty much a ghost town, we hardly saw anyone else except a few other hikers and backpackers even on the corridor trails. It was an awesome day with amazing views and it felt great to be back at one of the places I love the most!
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Sep 21 2013
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 Photos 353
 Triplogs 568

female
 Joined Jun 19 2009
 AZ
Jug Trail #61 - Salome WildernessGlobe, AZ
Globe, AZ
Canyoneering avatar Sep 21 2013
oceanwithinTriplogs 568
Canyoneering3.50 Miles 500 AEG
Canyoneering3.50 Miles
500 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked   none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Still one of my favorites. :y:

Did it as an overnighter... good times, excellent company, beautiful surroundings, shooting stars, full moon, peaceful hammock sleeping next to the creek, backpacks full o' beer and plenty of shenanigans. :D
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Sep 01 2013
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 Photos 353
 Triplogs 568

female
 Joined Jun 19 2009
 AZ
Mud Spring Canyon, NV 
Mud Spring Canyon, NV
 
Canyoneering avatar Sep 01 2013
oceanwithinTriplogs 568
Canyoneering3.10 Miles
Canyoneering3.10 Miles
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
III - Normally requires most of a day
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked   none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Another gorgeous Nevada canyon. Short but sweet and super fun. The rock in here is absolutely beautiful, marble-swirled with colors and so pleasing to the eye. The 8 rappels were all easy and straightforward which always makes for a fun day. I love the juxtaposition of having so much fun outdoors in this area while the chaos of the vegas strip buzzes on just a short distance away.
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Aug 31 2013
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 Photos 353
 Triplogs 568

female
 Joined Jun 19 2009
 AZ
Ice Cube Canyon (The Maze), NV 
Ice Cube Canyon (The Maze), NV
 
Canyoneering avatar Aug 31 2013
oceanwithinTriplogs 568
Canyoneering8.00 Miles
Canyoneering8.00 Miles   10 Hrs      0.80 mph
Advanced Canyoneering - Mix of exposed/aid/complex rope/poor anchor/problem-solving
B - Up to light current; wading/swimming; possible wet/dry suit
IV - Long, full day, bivy possible
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked   none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Nevada, you surprised me on this one. The Maze turned out to be a very fun & beautiful canyon ending right off the Red Rocks NP loop. The day started off with a steep uphill hike in 98% humidity -- a real "tropical paradise" as the lady at the park counter called it. :D There were 23 official rappels but we probably did 18 or so combined with some fun downclimbs and swims. Core-shot a rope in the middle of the canyon but thankfully nothing crucial for the 190' drop. Although rated 4BIV, the group consensus was that it was more of a 3 with nothing too crazy in there, just a lot of rappels and natural anchors (depending on what stage of the bolting/unbolting war the canyon is in). I completely forgot my camera, although sometimes it's nice to just go through and enjoy the experience without taking photos. Awesome day with a really great group as usual -- would definitely do this one again!
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Aug 10 2013
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 Photos 353
 Triplogs 568

female
 Joined Jun 19 2009
 AZ
Heaps Canyon - Zion National Park, UT 
Heaps Canyon - Zion National Park, UT
 
Canyoneering avatar Aug 10 2013
oceanwithinTriplogs 568
Canyoneering12.90 Miles
Canyoneering12.90 Miles2 Days         
Advanced Canyoneering - Mix of exposed/aid/complex rope/poor anchor/problem-solving
B - Up to light current; wading/swimming; possible wet/dry suit
Risky - Extraordinary risk factors exist; solid skills/judgement reqd; no beginners
VI - Two or more days
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked   none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
We did it!! :y:

Heaps Canyon, one of the most difficult technical canyons in Zion National Park and formerly in the way too crazy category. Heaps is enormous, deep and dark with frigid water, 25 or so rappels and the possibility of numerous keeper potholes to escape out of. The final rappel sequence is 500' feet in 3 stages, including switching ropes on a small "bird perch" before a 290' completely overhanging rappel into the Emerald Pools.

Day 1 started out with a mellow approach hike through peaceful meadows of wildflowers and had some incredible views of Phantom Valley. Four hours, a traverse along the "fin of death" and a couple of rappels later, we were down to the canyon floor. We had 2 sections of narrows to complete with rappels, downclimbs, logjams and even a crazy jump over a pothole. We made quick work of it and before long we were at the Crossroads, where the canyon opens up a bit and has some sweet sandy spots for camping.

Day 2 started off pretty cold, with the longest narrows section looming ahead. These narrows were amazing! Much more scenic than I was expecting. The walls were tall, sculpted and immense. Often they were glowing orange and green with moss which was simply beautiful. More rappels, logjams to climb, pools, jumps and swims around every bend of the canyon. There was a narrow hallway to swim through filled with thick log soup which I found to be the most difficult obstacle, as it took so much effort just to make a few inches of progress. More rappels and a few hours later we were in the sun and relaxing before the grand finale.

I felt surprisingly calm at the top of the final rappel sequence. Standing in a small nook so high above the ground is a great place to ponder life and feel amazingly alive, which I did a lot of while waiting there as everyone got into sequence. Before long it was my turn, first rappelling 60' down to the anchor that Ben was manning. We worked together to pull and stuff the rope, all the while being attached to a tree precariously hanging off a small ledge. Then 150' more feet down to the bird perch where Dan was stationed, again to switch ropes and triple check everything before continuing on. Then I was on my way down the final 290', enjoying the amazing view and thinking about the huge ice cream cones that awaited us at lodge once were were done. It felt great to touch down on solid ground and then watch the rest of my group come down that huge cliff. Everyone and all ropes made it down safely, many of us receiving applause from the spectators gathered at the Emerald Pools. What a rush, that last drop!

We lucked out and had easy conditions with no major potholes to deal with due to the recent monsoon rains. Even in easy conditions, this is a very physically demanding and difficult canyon as you have to haul yourself up many awkward logjams and potholes, carrying very heavy wet packs and dealing with cold water for hours at a time. I can only imagine how much more difficult it is when you have multiple keeper potholes to deal with. It's an intense canyon but I loved everything about it and am glad it was so much fun with such a great group. All the planning, research, skill and level-headedness they contribute to make trips like this happen without incident never ceases to keep me inspired to be a better canyoneer. And as always with Zion, I can't wait to return. :)
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Aug 09 2013
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 Photos 353
 Triplogs 568

female
 Joined Jun 19 2009
 AZ
Middle Echo Canyon - Zion National Park, UT 
Middle Echo Canyon - Zion National Park, UT
 
Canyoneering avatar Aug 09 2013
oceanwithinTriplogs 568
Canyoneering5.00 Miles
Canyoneering5.00 Miles
Intermediate Canyoneering - Difficult or dangerous; Tech Climb; rope reqd; descent anchor; exit technical;
B - Up to light current; wading/swimming; possible wet/dry suit
II - Normally requires a half day
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked   none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Quick warm-up the day before Heaps. Great canyon, 7 rappels with some really cool narrows. Stopped by the Weeping Wall on the way out.
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Aug 02 2013
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 Photos 353
 Triplogs 568

female
 Joined Jun 19 2009
 AZ
Apache Trail CanyonPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Canyoneering avatar Aug 02 2013
oceanwithinTriplogs 568
Canyoneering3.50 Miles 500 AEG
Canyoneering3.50 Miles
500 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked   none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Fun night trip through Apache Trail canyon with a great group as always. 2 easy rappels and a crazy boulder field which was extra fun to navigate in the dark. Lots of rattlesnakes, tarantulas and mystery smells (bell pepper and propane?). Finished it off with pineapple beer and laughing under the stars. My first hike since coming home from Ecuador -- felt great to be back. :)
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Jul 11 2013
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 Photos 353
 Triplogs 568

female
 Joined Jun 19 2009
 AZ
El Pilon Del Diablo - Ecuador, WW 
El Pilon Del Diablo - Ecuador, WW
 
Hiking avatar Jul 11 2013
oceanwithinTriplogs 568
Hiking1.50 Miles
Hiking1.50 Miles
 no routes
1st trip
Linked   none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
El Pilon del Diablo is named after a geological effect on the rock walls, but the trail leads you to a most incredible, enormous and powerful waterfall with the same name. If you brave getting soaked, you can go through a tunnel to a staircase that takes you behind the waterfall. Incredible place. Blew my mind. So grateful & humbled to be experiencing the Andes.
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Jun 07 2013
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 Photos 353
 Triplogs 568

female
 Joined Jun 19 2009
 AZ
Zion Canyoneering Extravaganza, UT 
Zion Canyoneering Extravaganza, UT
 
Canyoneering avatar Jun 07 2013
oceanwithinTriplogs 568
Canyoneering18.65 Miles
Canyoneering18.65 Miles4 Days         
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked   linked  
Partners none no partners
Six canyons with five companions in four days = one unforgettable adventure.


Day 1: Warming Up

- Hidden Star Canyon - 1.3 miles, 3/4B I. It was hotty mchothot out but the water was nice and cold. Got some practice boosting out of a keeper pothole using a foot-loop and a helping hand from the ledge above. Really cool, interesting little canyon and the geology of it was very worthwhile to see. Perfect way to break up the drive into Zion.

- Keyhole Canyon - .75 miles, 3B I. Another great little canyon with surprisingly sweet narrows and fun rappels. We moved through very fast but had a blast the whole time. Definitely needed the wetsuit on this one as some of the pools were COLD.

Day 2: Pure Enjoyment
- Mystery Canyon, 6 miles, 3B III. Since I won the permits ( :y: ), it was decided that us girls would lead the boys through and do all of the rope work. I loved Mystery so much; it was so enjoyable with all the best parts about canyoneering wrapped into one canyon. The 2nd to last big rappel was unbelieveably beautiful, an enormous stone room with a lush spring at the bottom. The last rappel goes right into the virgin river and there were a TON of people hiking the narrows who stopped to cheer as we all made it down. Good times. :)


Day 3: The More the Merrier
-Spry Canyon - 3 miles, 3B III. Enjoyable day through this classic canyon, starting off with a long scramble up a steep slickrock section. The timing was perfect as we ran into a couple who ended up sticking their only rope and would have been stranded between rappels if we didn't happen to be right ahead of them when it happened. We gained two group members as they used our ropes and finished the canyon with us, then leading us to the sweet swimming hole at pine creek before going our separate ways. Glad it all turned out ok and they were able to make it out of there with us.


Day 4: Icing on the Cake
- Englestead Canyon/Orderville Canyon exit- 7.6 miles, 4B III. Englestead doesn't waste any time getting intense as it immediately starts off with a whopping 300' rappel into a deep, dark, sculpted cavern. The canyon keeps dropping, twisting and turning and then drops again after a long walk through perfectly-formed hallway. The hike out through Orderville was so worthwhile with the incredible narrow walls, water that appears out of nowhere and ever-changing geology. The day went by much too fast and before I knew it we were back on the virgin river, hiking towards the exit with 4 full days of canyoneering behind us.



What a trip. Zion is an immenstely beautiful and humbling place and I have an ever greater love for it after getting to see so many of its hidden gems this weekend. I am so appreciative of the amount of planning & logistics that went into this trip as everything went without a hitch, and I can't imagine doing it all with better people. The next trip there is already in the making... :D
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May 10 2013
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 Photos 353
 Triplogs 568

female
 Joined Jun 19 2009
 AZ
Middle Fork of Deer CreekNorthwest, AZ
Northwest, AZ
Canyoneering avatar May 10 2013
oceanwithinTriplogs 568
Canyoneering20.00 Miles 6,000 AEG
Canyoneering20.00 Miles3 Days         
6,000 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked   linked  
Partners none no partners
You know it's going to be a good trip when the NPS includes a fun warning of "AGGRESSIVE ITINERARY! HIKER INSISTED ON ITINERARY!!" on the permits. :D This was an amazing backpacking/canyoneering trip on the north rim, including a technical descent of the middle fork of upper deer creek and many incredible sights along the way.

Friday: We got an early start from the Monument Point TH and made our way down the trail, caching water for the hike out along the way. After a couple hours on the trail, we turned off down the middle fork of deer creek canyon and made our way towards the technical section. We had a ways to go through this section but after a few "nuisance" rappels the canyon began slotting up and getting significantly more beautiful. Out came the gear and on went the wetsuits as we spent the next 5 hours rappelling, down-climbing and wading through the canyon. It was incredibly beautiful with narrow glowing walls, sculpted stone, boulders jammed in high above and many reflecting pools. The keeper pothole at the end was about 3' low but still easy to get out of thanks to the natural steps along the lip. Lots of tricky downclimbing in here and we had to utilize LMAR (last man at risk) in two spots. Soon after the canyon opened up, we found our campsite for the night on a shelf above the watercourse. We scarfed down our dinners and barely made it to backpacker's midnight before we fell asleep under the stars to the sound of frogs and the flicker of lightning from a far-away storm bouncing off the towering canyon walls. A peaceful end to a perfect day.

Saturday: I thought Saturday was going to be our easy day... ha!! Our morning started with a scramble up a crumbly scree slope in order to bypass the obstacle blocking our way in the creek past our campsite. A few hours of boulder-hopping, route-finding and tons of down-climbing down deer creek canyon ensued. Finally we hit a regular trail and followed it out to lower deer creek where we marveled at the incredible narrows while making our way down to see the big waterfall... what an amazing sight! The Colorado was green and beautiful and it was so nice to frolic through the little oasis there before continuing our hike. We reluctantly left and started the steep trail up to Surprise Valley -- our packs at this point were loaded down with backpacking gear, canyoneering gear and 5 liters of water! It was hot and relentlessly uphill but the views here were astounding. I think we were all somewhat "out of it" by the time we reached Surprise Valley. Plus we were all feeling kind of dejected by the only small campsite we could find there, as there was no shade and it was home to a big pile of red ants. We were contemplating pushing on to find a better campsite or even going straight though to make it back to the car, as both options sounded more appealing than sitting there roasting in the sun all evening. And then a crazy bearded mystery hiker man appeared on the trail and stopped to chat with us for awhile. Turns out he was partway through an 800+ mile trek along the Hayduke trail carrying only a small backpack. He provided the perfect inspiration to get us up and hiking in search of a better place to sleep for the night. We ended up doing another 1500' before finding an awesome little campsite that had a great view of the sunset. I am a little bummed we skipped Thunder River but it's a good excuse to go back sometime and see it.

Sunday: Up bright and early again to finish the rest of the hike and get back to the car. Found our cache and then made the push up and up and up to the top. Found myself stopping to enjoy every last glimpse of the canyon as the parking area finally came into view. Flip flops and clean clothes awaited at the car... woohoo! Before long we were flying down the road towards civilization, food, hot showers and soft beds. An unforgettable adventure to be sure.


:y:

Some afterthoughts... Man, I love the Grand Canyon! Hiking and canyoneering there is so much more difficult... everything is bigger, steeper, rougher, heavier and technically challenging... but so much more rewarding. Getting to see the geology change so drastically on this trip as the miles passed below our feet was pretty amazing. It also never ceases to astound me how much one learns about themselves on such an adventure. I'm pretty awed and full of gratitude for such a place even existing, and being able to make our way across just a tiny slice of it with the company of really incredible people. I already can't wait to go back. :)
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May 04 2013
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 Photos 353
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female
 Joined Jun 19 2009
 AZ
Crack Addict CanyonSedona, AZ
Sedona, AZ
Canyoneering avatar May 04 2013
oceanwithinTriplogs 568
Canyoneering3.50 Miles 1,200 AEG
Canyoneering3.50 Miles
1,200 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked   none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Fun trip though the aptly-named Crack Addict canyon. It's a cool canyon (or fault) with some interesting geologic formations. Pretty fun to move through with the rappels so close together. We had 8 raps, none over 90 feet or so; the only pool of knee-deep canyon stew can be avoided with a guided rap. We hiked back up Sterling which was pretty brushy with some climbing around obstacles on unstable ground. It was a fun day but the exit definitely didn't do much for the reward-to-effort ratio points on this one.

We also came upon something that looked like a motion sensor wildlife camera in the middle of nowhere... which may or may not have caught at least one image of the rare and mysterious gluteus maximus homosapien canyoneer creature.

Good times :)
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Apr 05 2013
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 Photos 353
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female
 Joined Jun 19 2009
 AZ
Mazatzal Backpack, AZ 
Mazatzal Backpack, AZ
 
Backpack avatar Apr 05 2013
oceanwithinTriplogs 568
Backpack16.00 Miles
Backpack16.00 Miles2 Days         
38 LBS Pack
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Partners none no partners
Best feeling ever... finally putting your flip-flops on after a weekend of backpacking!

Had a blast overnighting in the Mazzie's this weekend. Hiked up Barnhardt Friday night in the dark which was surprisingly enjoyable. The boys headed out early on Saturday to do a technical canyon while us girls had a day of mellow hiking, including a bushwhack to catch an incredible overlook of the last waterfalls of Deadman Creek. Scared up some elk(?), a snake and also two polite cowboys who tipped their hats at us before continuing along the trail on horseback. Hiked out this morning marveling at how cool the geology of this area is. Stopped to check out Big Kahuna as well. Great trip with great people as always -- I hadn't been backpacking for quite awhile and forgot how much I enjoy it. :)
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Mar 28 2013
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 Joined Jun 19 2009
 AZ
Headdress CanyonPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Canyoneering avatar Mar 28 2013
oceanwithinTriplogs 568
Canyoneering1.80 Miles 523 AEG
Canyoneering1.80 Miles   1 Hour   30 Mns   1.20 mph
523 ft AEG
A - Dry or little water; shallow or avoidable water; no wet/dry suit
I - Short 1-2 hours
 no routesno photosets
Linked   none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Quick run though Geronimo's Headdress... at night! Climbed around the 1st rap & downclimbed the 2nd. Took a much more direct route on the approach which saved quite a bit of time. Such a different experience in the dark, seeing the stars through canyon walls along with the cacophony of frogs at night. Perfect week-night canyon!! :y:
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WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.

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