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Palisades Canyon - 4 members in 20 triplogs have rated this an average 4.8 ( 1 to 5 best )
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Oct 13 2019
GrottoGirl
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 Guides 3
 Routes 311
 Photos 11,581
 Triplogs 1,357

46 female
 Joined Sep 18 2009
 Tucson, AZ
Palisades CanyonTucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Canyoneering avatar Oct 13 2019
GrottoGirl
Canyoneering10.90 Miles 1,756 AEG
Canyoneering10.90 Miles   6 Hrs   45 Mns   1.61 mph
1,756 ft AEG
Intermediate Canyoneering - Difficult or dangerous; Tech Climb; rope reqd; descent anchor; exit technical;
B - Up to light current; wading/swimming; possible wet/dry suit
III - Normally requires most of a day
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners partners
Natureboytimflair
RedwallNHops
We had Scott Meet us at Sabino Canyon and drive us up to the Trailhead. We managed to fit 8 in a Ford 150 mostly piled in the backseat. We sang and laughed even though it was freaking early!

We were a group from all over: Tucson, Phoenix, St George, and Salt Lake City. There were 7 on the trip and we carried 5 ropes.

Had a fun trip however there wasn’t any flow between the pools. The fire hose was a disappointment but just being out canyoneering in Southern Arizona made up for it.

At the last rappel the cactus is still hanging by a thread under the rock.

We were so efficient (my fastest time to date) we managed to catch the tram - you now need a credit card.
_____________________
Sep 23 2018
RedwallNHops
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 Guides 1
 Routes 10
 Photos 498
 Triplogs 1,251

46 male
 Joined Dec 22 2003
 Tucson, AZ
Palisades CanyonTucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Canyoneering avatar Sep 23 2018
RedwallNHops
Canyoneering12.98 Miles 2,820 AEG
Canyoneering12.98 Miles   10 Hrs      1.30 mph
2,820 ft AEG
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners partners
GrottoGirl
Water flow was the lowest I've seen but still a lot of fun. We made really good time - started at Palisades TH at 6am and got to Prison camp at 4. Fun day!
_____________________
Sep 23 2018
GrottoGirl
avatar

 Guides 3
 Routes 311
 Photos 11,581
 Triplogs 1,357

46 female
 Joined Sep 18 2009
 Tucson, AZ
Palisades CanyonTucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Canyoneering avatar Sep 23 2018
GrottoGirl
Canyoneering13.60 Miles 5,050 AEG
Canyoneering13.60 Miles   9 Hrs   40 Mns   1.41 mph
5,050 ft AEG
Intermediate Canyoneering - Difficult or dangerous; Tech Climb; rope reqd; descent anchor; exit technical;
B - Up to light current; wading/swimming; possible wet/dry suit
IV - Long, full day, bivy possible
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners partners
gloope
RedwallNHops
5 of us meet up at Le Buzz at 5:00 AM. We dropped a car at Prison Camp and then proceeded up to The Palisades Trailhead. There was a chill in the air as we started to hike at 6 AM. We were treated to the sunrise colors upon Cathedral Peak as we hiked.

The catchment at Mud Springs was dry but there was a light flow of water directly into the drainage.

As we dropped into Palisades canyon, we could see that there really wasn’t much of a flow. The water levels were probably the lowest Joel and I had seen based on our previous trips. This did make for an easier trip down the canyon (mind you that is relative).

We came prepared with four 200 ft ropes and all the related gear. Having four ropes meant that at one time we were working on 2-3 rappels at a time. More efficient but less time for pictures, snacks, etc. We worked on setting the rope length for each rappel to help make sure we had plenty of rope for contingency and for the pull side. Each time we threw out the metered rope and left the bag on top. The negative behind tossing the rope without the bag on the two stage rappels where the rope can get mangled up. And so of course they did. We had to stop midway to do some rope management. Might need to rethink that. We used whistles communicate off rappel and to set the rope length. We also did some logistics that the guys had learned from their European trips. Whomever rigged the rope stays with the rope and rappels last. They would be responsible for lowering anyone needing it, adjusting the rope to decrease and damage, etc. then the last couple people would pull the rope and stuff. That made it so that tasks were better shared and everyone who knew how to rig were able to take turns.

I was excited to find that even with less water, many of the rappels were still fun slides (still too slippery to stay on your feet - so way more fun to just slide on one’s hip).

The firehouse was a disappointing stream but still recognizable. The little tree in the pothole next to the firehouse is getting a bit bigger. And the big round pool was still amazing and placid. If only I could stay there for more than a few minutes.

We did almost stick a rope - probably due to the end of the rope twisting around the anchor. Stacie climbed up above the next set of anchors to pull at a better angle and that helped free it.

The cactus under the chockstone of the last rappel is still hanging on by a root. I always enjoy coming over that lip and having the cactus come swinging into view (of course it’s me swinging).

At the bottom of the last rappel we fueled up and topped off our water. Then we proceeded to hike out mostly following the water course since the levels were down. The rock hop was fun.

We got to the trail and I was disoriented. Nothing look right, my internal compass had rotated. Luckily everyone was to able convince me of the right direction to hike based on the Box Camp trail sign.

Garrison and I hiked out a bit faster so we completed the car shuttle. It was nice to complete the trip in daylight!

The only problem with having so many ropes is that it’s impossible to pass a rope to someone else for the hike out! So four of us had heavy loads for hiking in the heat of the day. That contributed to us exiting a bit slower than normal.

Fun day, hope the next time we go the firehose is blasting again!
_____________________
Mar 04 2018
chumley
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 Guides 81
 Routes 688
 Photos 15,651
 Triplogs 1,596

48 male
 Joined Sep 18 2002
 Tempe, AZ
Palisades CanyonTucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Mar 04 2018
chumley
Hiking14.24 Miles 2,879 AEG
Hiking14.24 Miles   9 Hrs   47 Mns   1.86 mph
2,879 ft AEG   2 Hrs   7 Mns Break
 no routes
1st trip
Partners partners
JoelHazelton
With the sky islands the recent recipients of 6"+ of winter rains, it seemed like a good time to chase waterfalls in the Catalinas. Palisade (singular) is a technical canyon, but we just hiked up from the bottom to the base of the last rappel.

There was a nice flow in the creek except for a couple hundred yards where it ran underground briefly. Travel in this creek wasn't too bad and featured numerous cascades and picturesque pools. On the way up we did a lot of hiking in the water, and even considered swimming! On the way back, after darkness had set in, we managed to keep our feet dry the whole way.

After cheating by taking the tram on the way up, the road hike on the way back was a peaceful treat in the dark, though oddly void of any signs of wildlife at all. It was a great day and a worthy destination that more than justified the late night.

I even pretended to be a photographer and took a bunch of photos with longer exposures to make that milky water FOTG likes so much! :)

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max East Fork Sabino Canyon Medium flow Medium flow

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Palisade Canyon Medium flow Medium flow


water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Sabino Canyon Medium flow Medium flow
_____________________
33s over 45s
1 archive
Nov 01 2015
GrottoGirl
avatar

 Guides 3
 Routes 311
 Photos 11,581
 Triplogs 1,357

46 female
 Joined Sep 18 2009
 Tucson, AZ
Palisades CanyonTucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Canyoneering avatar Nov 01 2015
GrottoGirl
Canyoneering12.54 Miles 1,905 AEG
Canyoneering12.54 Miles   12 Hrs   9 Mns   1.85 mph
1,905 ft AEG   5 Hrs   22 Mns Break
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners partners
airkewled
RedwallNHops
5 of us did the canyon this time. The water levels were absolutely perfect! The technical part of the canyon and specifically the big pool was absolutely freezing even in a 5 mm wetsuit!

We decided to bushwhack instead of continuing the canyon hop. That probably slowed us down a bunch. It also added some misery to my week. I ended up with "Velcro" plant on my pants and it was scratching me through my pants. I have such bad allergies that soon I had many big round welts the size half dollars on my thighs. On trail, I choose to take off my pants and hike in the dark from the saddle near Sycamore Dam. I just couldn't take it any more.

Saw a guy doing the canyon by himself. Not something I'd recommend but he obviously managed just fine.
_____________________
Nov 01 2015
RedwallNHops
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 Guides 1
 Routes 10
 Photos 498
 Triplogs 1,251

46 male
 Joined Dec 22 2003
 Tucson, AZ
Palisades CanyonTucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Canyoneering avatar Nov 01 2015
RedwallNHops
Canyoneering12.98 Miles 2,820 AEG
Canyoneering12.98 Miles   15 Hrs   47 Mns   0.82 mph
2,820 ft AEG
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Fun as always
_____________________
Sep 13 2015
oceanwithin
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 Photos 353
 Triplogs 567

female
 Joined Jun 19 2009
 AZ
Palisades CanyonTucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Canyoneering avatar Sep 13 2015
oceanwithin
Canyoneering13.60 Miles 5,050 AEG
Canyoneering13.60 Miles   8 Hrs   30 Mns   1.60 mph
5,050 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Life has been insanely busy lately so being able to join in on this trip a few weeks ago was extra awesome. We crammed in the car and headed down to the Old Pueblo for a trip through Palisades canyon. Wow!!! It turned out to be an incredibly fun descent down a tier of beautiful waterfalls. Almost all of the rappels were done as hip-slides, as it was extremely slippery in the water. At one of the waterfalls, the angle of the sun was causing these long beams of sunlight to shine through the droplets of water as they fell, what a sight to behold. Had a great time with excellent friends in a beautiful place, exactly the wilderness therapy I needed. :y:
_____________________
2 archives
Oct 14 2014
GrottoGirl
avatar

 Guides 3
 Routes 311
 Photos 11,581
 Triplogs 1,357

46 female
 Joined Sep 18 2009
 Tucson, AZ
Palisades CanyonTucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Canyoneering avatar Oct 14 2014
GrottoGirl
Canyoneering13.60 Miles 5,050 AEG
Canyoneering13.60 Miles   13 Hrs   15 Mns   1.03 mph
5,050 ft AEG
Intermediate Canyoneering - Difficult or dangerous; Tech Climb; rope reqd; descent anchor; exit technical;
C - Strong current; wading/swimming; waterfalls; possible wet/dry suit
IV - Long, full day, bivy possible
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners partners
RedwallNHops
Josh, Carole, Joel, and I took on Palisades Canyon a few days after Mt. Lemmon received 5 inches of rain in 24 hours. We knew the water levels were going to be high but to actually see it was eye opening, scary, exciting, and totally EPIC!

Josh, Joel, and I had done Palisades two other times so we had a fair idea of what we were in for. This was Carole's first big Catalina's canyon since her epic first canyoneering trip down Lemmon Canyon. She was ready this time!

I arranged a friend to drop us off at Palisades. He happily obliged even though the meet time was 5:30 AM. I definitely owe him a steak dinner! He hiked with us until we entered the canyon.

We started out on the trail with 550 feet of rope (9 mm and 8 mm), 80+ feet of webbing, 8 quicklinks, and all our personal gear which included wetsuits! We had about 4 miles of trail to complete before we got to the good stuff.

As we walked, we could hear the creek below. It sounded pretty strong. On other trips we didn't notice any creek noise on the first part of the journey. There was water running in many of the unnamed drainages and Pine Creek also had a pretty strong flow. We were treated with an awesome view of water flowing over the second big waterfall in Pine Canyon, a view very few probably see.

We suited up after we bushwhacked to the Palisades Canyon bottom right above the first rappel. I donned on my 5 mm wetsuit with a struggle. I felt like the Pillsbury Dough boy. Minutes later I was very thankful for the wetsuit when I was fully emerged swimming across a pool. The water was way colder then I expected for this time of year.

Joel had went ahead to set up the first rappel. He had to rig a new anchor because the normal one was under water. We tested our submersible radios. Josh tossed the rope with the bag over.

He got on rappel and went down far enough to see what was going on. Then he put his ascenders on the rope and came back up. He wanted someone else's opinion as to whether or not we should do this. We all agreed we could just hike out if conditions were too much of a concern. We also asked everyone if they thought we shouldn't do it after it was further evaluated. No one was scared enough to turn around.

I got on rope and took a look. I couldn't see all the way down but what I could see is that the flow was fast and we'd likely be in it. Things I thought about: Would we be able to breath while rappelling? Would we be able to disconnect without drowning because of the force of the water pushing us down? What will the other rappels be like? Finally, I decided that people rappel in Colorado and Europe with conditions like these. We should be able to do this. I admit that I was scared, but I wanted to experience this as it's nearly a once in a lifetime amount of water in Palisades!

Down I went, I discovered if I faced out I wouldn't get plummeted by the majority of the water. Even with that I was thankful when I got the few feet down to the first pool and was able to get out of the waterflow for a bit. I quickly saw that this wasn't a rest break it was a rope management break. The rope had landed in the pool and the swirling of the current had twisted the rope up into a nasty mess. I struggled a bit and got it loose but I could never seem to get it completely untangled since there was probably 100+ feet of rope. I tossed the lose mess over the lip and hoped for the best. I knew that if I had a knot lower down there was the chance I would be stuck in the flow of the water fighting a knot while being water boarded. A situation that was likely life threatening. Thankfully the length of rope I needed had stretched out clean. I was able to continue. The force of the water shot me off a ledge and then slammed me against the rock face crushing my rappel hand beneath me and my pack. Little did I know the crushing also bent one of the supports of my pack, more on that later. I continued the rest of the way down making sure to take deep breathes just in case I got into a steady flow of water and was unable to breathe. I also went a lot faster down the rope than normal to reduce the amount of time it would take to get to the bottom. I never did feel out of control but it definitely was a rush. Finally, I made it to the pool at the bottom. I could touch so I was able to get off rappel without much trouble. I then struggled over to the edge of the pool and clamored out. I was exhausted. I fumbled for the radio and let everyone know I was off rappel. I'm sure there was a collective sigh of relief at the rappel station. I told them to face out and which side to rappel on. Since was below I could help them avoid some of the waterflow that got me. I grabbed the rope and prepared to give the next person a fireman's belay. Typically, once the third person was down two of us would move on to the next rappel however it was hard to leave until we were sure everyone was down safety.

Josh and I went to set up the next rappel while Joel still was rappelling. Little did I know that Joel ended up flipping upside down and had to fight to get upright.

At the top of the second rappel someone had left a message in rocks 'No Rope'. Someone must have done an incredible bushwhack to get to that spot!

We used our 8 mm rope on the second rappel. This is the waterfall that I affectionately call the firehose. From the top we could see most of the rappel. You go down a crack then with an abrupt turn you exit the chute for the firehose and if you are lucky you can get into the pool that is behind the firehose and take a break (and maybe a photo). Then you duck under the firehose and and continue down. I found that the speed of the 8 mm was advantageous for speeding through any flow that might cause me breathing problems. At the bottom of this fall is a nice sized bottomless pool. Typically this is a cold, placid pool that you swim across and get up on a steeply sloped beach. Not on this occasion! What I saw below was a wave pool! I got to the bottom of the rappel and found that the bench for disconnecting was thankfully still above water. I probably should have stayed on the bench and did a belay but I was concerned about whether or not we could easily exit the pool. If we couldn't, I would want someone to deploy the emergency pool float and send it down to me for me to use while I waited for help. I fought the current and got to the lowest lip where the water flows directly over a cliff. I struggled my way up on the lip taking care to keep my balance so that if anything happened I'd fall back into the pool instead of being swept over the edge. Then I wiggled myself up on the steep side away from the waterflow. I radioed up and let everyone know they could come. Joel came next and he stayed below to do a belay.

As Josh and Carole came down, Joel swam over to me. I gave him a foot to help him climb up. Then we discussed our next rigging for the third rappel. Someone would have to swim against the current over to the anchor (a couple of old pitons) with the rope, examine the webbing replace if necessary, thread the rope through the quicklink, and then swim back. Since I am the better swimmer, I went. I had to grab the webbing and do a pull up to see all of it. With my Grade 4 arthritis and torn labrum in my shoulder this task was quite daunting. We had decided that instead of doing a releasable rigging we would just do a biner block, so once I deemed the webbing was in good condition I was able to quickly untie the rope from my harness, thread it, and retie it while hanging from the webbing. I swam back and scampered up Joel's legs to relative safety. I was freezing in my 5 mm wetsuit. Down below I could see some spots of sun and was excited to proceed.

I got on rappel and started my descent. Not being able to see the lay of the waterfall I ended up going directly down the water line. As I rappelled I was facing out with a left handed brake, I used my right arm and core to brace against the rope to keep upright. It was a very unusual way to rappel.

After giving a belay, I found some sun to bask in for a few minutes. Then we had a decision to make. We identified two anchors for the fourth rappel already set up (a third was found later way off on one of the sides). The first was a huge rock and the second a skinny tree. The webbing around the rock looked best so Josh rigged to it. He went first so I could continue enjoying my spot of sun. I was off to the side and got to watch him rappel. As the wall became more vertical towards the bottom the water was a solid wall of white. I saw him enter it and held my breathe. I started to feel anxious. Still he didn't appear. I yelled over to Joel to hurry pulling the rope, but over the sound of the water he didn't hear me. Finally, I saw him! Exiting the pool on the other side of the waterfall. Relief flooded me! He got over to the edge of the pool and then called me on the radio. We discussed the situation and decided that we should move to the tree anchor which from his view was mostly out of the flow. Joel cut off the existing webbing and them rebuilt the anchor. I disconnected the rope via the quicklink we had added (damn those who use hollow rap rings which are not rated for single use and are intended for single use only). Then I brought the full setup over to Joel and we just had to connect the quicklink. Carole went next making this break for me a bit longer. This rappel ended up being one of the most relaxing ones since we were able to mostly stay out of the flow of the water.

From this rappel we had to down climb about ten feet to get to the fifth rappel. Joel went first and Carole after him. I was surprised she didn't ask for help as I typically cannot get down that without some sort of help whether verbal or physical. She has come a long way since our Memorial Day trip down Lemmon Canyon! After Josh and I had everything pulled I took off. As usual I struggled to get down but finally made it with a few verbal pointers. Then I swam across the pool to the anchor. Joel had it ready so I just attached my rappel device and went.

The fifth rappel was especially wet but we were getting used to it so it was more fun. Carole had taken to hooping and hollering down the waterfalls definitely having a lot of fun!

The rope pull on this one was especially difficult. Josh and Joel were pulling with all their might. Finally, we packed things up as we had a bit of a canyon hop to get to the next waterfall. As we walked away, I made sure to take some pictures as this view shows the majority of the falls and is breathtaking to say the least. It's fun to look back to think of what we just gone through. And there was still two waterfalls to go!

The canyon opens up and you get good views downstream. At that point I knew we were close to the sixth rappel and I looked over and saw Joel rigging. Josh went down first. He had to do some rope management as this is a two stage rappel. It was nice as we were again mostly out of the water flow. I went second rappelling in the traditional style. Midway, I followed the rope and scampered up the rock which would ensure positioning out of the majority of the water. I worked to place the rope on the rock as quickly as possible to make it so I wouldn't pendulum over to the side. A lot of canyoneering is knowing some physics. Angles, friction, and swing potential all are part of the calculation.

Once Carole was down, Josh and I went to the next anchor a short canyon hop away. I was nervous as I knew the canyon narrowed up at that point and I wasn't sure if we would be in the flow. I was relieved to see the chockstone was dry! We typically break this rappel up into two because of the danger of getting a rope caught. I went down the short seventh rappel by sitting on my butt and inching off the edge. Stupid! My pack got hung up! My pack is new and has an innovative design which allows you to disconnect the shoulder straps if your pack gets hung up. I never got to test that feature as another feature - the hip belt is attached via Velcro to the pack - released itself. I finally got my feet on the chockstone below me and then saw that my pack had pretty much come apart! No time to deal with that, so I pushed it aside and checked out the rigging. Oddly, someone had tied the webbing so the waterknot was right where the rappel ring goes (which is not recommended) and they did an overhand so you couldn't adjust it. The other webbing in place just looked crunchy. Josh came down and I explained what I saw and we decided to rebuild the anchor. We had attached our safety tether to the existing webbing so we planned to put ours in place using a frost knot, transfer our safeties, and then cut off the old webbing and trim our webbing. This all took some time. But soon Josh was rappelling down. As he left, Carole joined me. Since this was her first time down this canyon I told her to look for the cactus growing upside down under the chockstone we were standing on. Josh radioed up and so Carole then was off. Joel came down to me. He pulled the top rope and I stuffed it. By then I had my pack back together and so I got on rappel. Using traditional style of rappelling I started to lower myself off the rock backwards. It's an overhang so I knew that I needed to make the L then keep lowering myself until my feet are above my head in a V and then let go. Ever since I slipped doing one of these at a pit I have been scared of them. Abnormally scared. More scared than rappelling down waterfalls with fast moving water. After some cursing, I managed to let go and was low enough that I didn't smash my head. Success, but that was definitely a trial for me. I saw the cactus and with a smile I completed the eighth and final rappel.

We took a break and refilled our water. Then we started on the rock hop out. My shoulder had taken such a beating I felt like I could barely move my arm and it hurt really bad. I also found out on my next scoot that the Velcro didn't have enough strength to handle a scoot. It looked like the weakness caused by the support being bent and not in the right spot was causing the pack to be off centered which probably allowed for one side of the Velcro to have more weight causing it to fail. I reassembled my pack and worked on avoiding scooting. Next I jumped off a rock. The jar of me landing also caused the Velcro to fail. Ugh! Between my shoulder and my pack issues, this was going to be a slow mile or so to the trai. I finally found a happy medium between mini scoots and tiny jumps and didn't have any other failures. Luckily, the pack manufacturer is a friend so I will be able to go over the design flaws and have him repair it. When I'm done field testing this pack it will be a masterpiece! However, I was greatly annoyed at the time!

Finally, we made it to the trail. Now only about 6-7 miles left to go! We took a break once we got to the top if the Sabino Canyon road. From there it was a power walk out. I chuckled to myself when I was able to keep pace with the road walkers while carrying about 40 pounds of wetsuit, 200 foot rope, harness, helmet, and numerous prices of hardware!

At the cars, I checked in with our emergency contact. Then practically stripped in the parking lot to get out of my wet clothes.

We spent a few minutes rejoicing in our success and then collapsed into the car happy not to have to do any car shuttling!

What an awesome way to spend a Sunday!

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 Palisade Canyon Heavy flow Heavy flow
Epic!
_____________________
Oct 12 2014
RedwallNHops
avatar

 Guides 1
 Routes 10
 Photos 498
 Triplogs 1,251

46 male
 Joined Dec 22 2003
 Tucson, AZ
Palisades CanyonTucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Canyoneering avatar Oct 12 2014
RedwallNHops
Canyoneering13.60 Miles 5,050 AEG
Canyoneering13.60 Miles   13 Hrs   15 Mns   1.03 mph
5,050 ft AEG
Intermediate Canyoneering - Difficult or dangerous; Tech Climb; rope reqd; descent anchor; exit technical;
C - Strong current; wading/swimming; waterfalls; possible wet/dry suit
IV - Long, full day, bivy possible
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners partners
GrottoGirl
See Belinda's triplog
_____________________
Jun 25 2014
GrottoGirl
avatar

 Guides 3
 Routes 311
 Photos 11,581
 Triplogs 1,357

46 female
 Joined Sep 18 2009
 Tucson, AZ
Palisades CanyonTucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Canyoneering avatar Jun 25 2014
GrottoGirl
Canyoneering7.22 Miles 1,935 AEG
Canyoneering7.22 Miles   7 Hrs   18 Mns   1.42 mph
1,935 ft AEG   2 Hrs   13 Mns Break
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
SAHC - Group
It had been a while since I did a SAHC hike so since I had the time I went with them on Wednesday. We took the Palisades trail past Mud Springs and then bushwhacked up and then down into Palisades Canyon. It was a very brushy and extremely steep bushwhack.

From there we went and checked out a box down the canyon where the canyon segment starts. Then we rock hopped and log jumped and limboed up the canyon. This is in an old burn area and in some sections there is a lot of downfall which made travel a bit interesting.

I will look forward to visiting this section of the canyon again when the rains starts since it is pretty even though it's difficult to access and travel.
_____________________
Apr 20 2014
GrottoGirl
avatar

 Guides 3
 Routes 311
 Photos 11,581
 Triplogs 1,357

46 female
 Joined Sep 18 2009
 Tucson, AZ
Palisades CanyonTucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Canyoneering avatar Apr 20 2014
GrottoGirl
Canyoneering10.92 Miles 1,756 AEG
Canyoneering10.92 Miles   9 Hrs   10 Mns   1.93 mph
1,756 ft AEG   3 Hrs   30 Mns Break
Intermediate Canyoneering - Difficult or dangerous; Tech Climb; rope reqd; descent anchor; exit technical;
B - Up to light current; wading/swimming; possible wet/dry suit
III - Normally requires most of a day
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners partners
RedwallNHops
Last year we did Palisades Canyon and had some drama, you can read the details of it on my earlier triplog. That trip is what prodded Joel, Josh, and I to take a canyoneering workshop. Now we were freshly educated and we wanted to conquer Palisades!

We met at Sabino Canyon and then were shuttled up to Palisades TH by my regular airport towncar driver. Joel and I had a tight schedule since we had dinner plans so I opted to pay for someone to do the shuttling.

We hit the trail and pounded out a 3 mph pace to where we dropped into Palisades Canyon.

Joel and I rappelled off our packs for a short 10 foot drop to avoid having to get wet any earlier than necessary. We stopped at the top of the first rappel to suit up.

Our goal was to practice efficiency. Get to each anchor, inspected it and then rigged it as necessary. At the bottom we would quickly pull the ropes and stuff. Everyone was to participate one way or another as a true team of four.

For the first two rappels, we set up a munter mule releasable rigging as we wanted to try to feed out only what rope was necessary for the rappel to help avoid the twisting that can occur. At the top of the second rappel, I filled up my pool float to be over half full since I knew to expect the lovely, deep, COLD, round pool at the bottom. I was a little disappointed that the firehose wasn't active as I rappelled down but the slides made up for it. The rope length was perfect so we didn't have to do any adjustments. I swam across the pool and started to inspect the anchor for rappel #3. Joel was the last one down and had a problem trying to swim and pull the rope so Steve jumped back in to assist.

Rappel #3 was the source of our drama last time, so we were a bit apprehensive. Because the nature of how the webbing and rope laid, we didn't set it up to be releasable. Instead we just made sure to have our second rope near by in case of emergency. We got down successfully without any events! Relief! As I rappelled down, Josh threw out my pool float so that I landed right in it and was able to disconnect easily.

From there we did Rappel #4 and 5 again without any hitches except that we were freezing even in our shorties. For some reason clouds had rolled in and were block our only source of heat!

I packed up my pool float and we headed off down canyon to Rappel #6, I went first on it and had do a some rope management. In one spot, I kicked down a rock so that the rope wouldn't accidentally toss it on top of my head. At the bottom, I enjoyed some sun while I waited for the others.

We scurried on down to the final rappel which we split into two the last time. We decided to do the same to make the rope pull a lot easier. I went down first and then set the rigging. I started by setting up a biner block, but then decided that I wasn't sure I threw down enough rope. So I rerigged it with my new Totem rappel device, which I was just carrying as an extra. The nice thing about it is that it's easy to set up and you can still release in the event you need to lower someone. The chockstone start is a bit rough but you forget right away because you get to see the hanging cactus underneath! Then I spotted some poison ivy and hoped that the rope wouldn't be drug in it. At the bottom I spotted an ATC in the pool and told the others. Josh decided to retrieve it and then we laughed at him because he was excited about his new gear. Do you use gear found at the bottom of a pool?

We took off our gear and dried off a bit. We were all excited about how well we traveled the canyon.

I was dreading the next section because my memory of it was that it took forever since we had an injured party with us last time. This time we were through the boulder hop in no time and found ourselves on the trail to the Sabino Canyon tram.

We paid our $8 and road the tram down. I felt like I was cheating but I wasn't about to walk the road :)
_____________________
Apr 20 2014
RedwallNHops
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 Guides 1
 Routes 10
 Photos 498
 Triplogs 1,251

46 male
 Joined Dec 22 2003
 Tucson, AZ
Palisades CanyonTucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Canyoneering avatar Apr 20 2014
RedwallNHops
Canyoneering10.92 Miles 1,756 AEG
Canyoneering10.92 Miles   9 Hrs   10 Mns   1.93 mph
1,756 ft AEG   3 Hrs   30 Mns Break
Intermediate Canyoneering - Difficult or dangerous; Tech Climb; rope reqd; descent anchor; exit technical;
B - Up to light current; wading/swimming; possible wet/dry suit
III - Normally requires most of a day
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
_____________________
Sep 21 2013
sirena
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 Guides 2
 Routes 4
 Photos 3,873
 Triplogs 362

47 female
 Joined Feb 12 2008
 Tucson, AZ
Palisades CanyonTucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Canyoneering avatar Sep 21 2013
sirena
Canyoneering9.60 Miles
Canyoneering9.60 Miles   9 Hrs   30 Mns   1.01 mph
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
In 2010, I was looking at pictures on HAZ when I came across a photo of Palisades Canyon by nonot that took my breath away. I have looked at it many times over the years, it’s one of my favorites. http://hikearizona.com/photo=156012

Such an incredible place, and right in my own backyard in the Catalinas. The colors and textures of the canyon walls, the person rappelling in a beautiful waterfall into a large, black pool. It was before I had ever gone canyoneering and when I checked the route description I saw that it was a strenuous route that takes 10-14 hours to complete. The picture is of the second in a series of seven rappels, many 100 feet or more. I have looked longingly at the falls in the canyon visible from the nearby Box Camp Trail.

Since my first canyoneering trip I have been totally taken by the pools, waterfalls, strenuous routes, and exciting rappels that come with it. Early in September I saw trip reports and pictures of Palisades and contacted a friend to see if he was planning on doing it anytime soon. He said he wasn’t going to be able to go, but a friend of his who had been through several times before would probably be interested in doing it again. I got in touch with Russ and we planned a trip for September 21st.

I hadn’t gone canyoneering in a little while, so before the trip I had a practice session hanging from my tree in the backyard. I was more nervous than I’d been in a while. A couple of groups that I knew had gone through the previous weekend and had epic 19 and 15 hour adventures.

Russ Newberg and I were met at the Sabino Canyon parking lot by my dear friend Tom who graciously shuttled us up the mountain to the Palisades Trailhead. Tom is the leader of Tom’s Sawyers, a volunteer group that goes into the wilderness in the Catalinas and Chiricahuas and removes downed trees on the trails with 2-man crosscut saws. He even has a website where you can report downed trees for the Sawyers to work on. http://tomssawyers.azurewebsites.net/Tree/Create We reached the Palisades trailhead and were hiking by 7 am.

We set a good pace down the mountain toward our turnoff point, descending first through pines, then through oaks and junipers. The trail rounded the rocky promontory I’d taken a long break at during my hike of the Palisades Trail to Prison Camp in 2011. Soon after the trail switchbacked down through the grasses, we reached our turnoff and took a gully into the creekbed. There were some ledges for us to get into our wetsuits, I wore a 3/2 full and was glad I did- made the time spent in the water enjoyable rather than merely tolerable. We had a short hike to the first 150 ft. rappel.

Russ went down first so he could provide a fireman’s belay from below. He whistled that he was off rope and it was my turn. I rigged my belay device, double-checked everything, took a deep breath and started lowering myself down the slippery first drop into a pool. Sliding down on my side made the slick rock manageable. The second part of the rappel was down a waterfall black with slippery algae. I made my way down to the pool below and then we were at the top of the second rappel, the one in the picture.

The second rappel has a chute that diverts the flow sideways and you have to pass through after rappelling down it. I stopped a second to take it all in- here I was at last! I continued down the rest of the rappel to an immense circular black pool. My drybag buoyed me up in the water and I took a bit to happily float around in the pool, looking up at the waterfall- It’s one of my favorite things in the world to do! Immediately afterwards, we had another 85 foot rappel followed by yet another 100 footer. There was a small downclimb and my foot slipped and I came down on my knee. It hurt a bit, but was mostly scary.

We were able to look at the cascades above that we had just descended. Incredible. Any one of these falls would be a worthy destination in and of itself.

We checked the time, surprised that it was still so early. If we got done early enough, we just might be able to catch the Sabino Canyon Tram for the last 4 miles instead of a hot, crowded roadwalk at the end of our day. Russ set up the fifth rappel and as I descended, the water splashing off my helmet made rainbows all around me. What a treat!

We packed up the ropes and rock-hopped toward our next rappel, two stages measuring 160 feet. The view from the top of the rappel was fantastic. It took a little maneuvering to get down the first part, then yet another stunning slippery waterfall.

There was one last challenge before the technical section was complete- the last rappel had a notorious reputation for sticking ropes. Russ found a small stick and wedged it in the rope-eating crack. He went first and I followed. There was an overhang, then a free rappel for a moment underneath a chockstone with a hedgehog cactus dangling precariously by its roots. A short stop on a ledge with a tree, then down the rest of the way, rejoining the watercourse into a pool.

And now, the moment of truth- Russ and I looked at each other, took a deep breath and pulled as fast as we could, whooping with joy when we realized it was a clean pull- no stuck ropes today! We high-fived and then took a break to refuel and change out of our gear, our concern now was trying to stay cool instead of warm.

After eating and repacking all our soggy gear and ropes, we scrambled down Palisades Canyon, dunking ourselves to stay cool. The Sabino Basin got ever closer and finally we hit the East Fork Trail. Hello, Arizona Trail!

After a quick break to put away our helmets and grab some calories, we checked the time and realized that we could make the tram if we kept a good pace, so we booked it up the Sabino Canyon trail. Not sure where I got all that energy, but the idea of a long hot roadwalk certainly was a great motivator. At 4:30 we saw the tram below and ran to catch it, thinking it was the last one. It was the second to last one of the day, I was just happy that we were riding the road instead of hiking it. Interestingly, we sat right behind a group of guys who’d just come down Lemmon Canyon for the last two days. We shared canyoneering stories all the way to the parking lot.

I had a post-adventure endorphin-induced giant grin on my face as I drove home. Everything went smoothly in the canyon and the next day I was going to leave on an Arizona Trail business trip up to the North Rim and Flagstaff for a week. I walked in the door, eager to share my day with my husband Brian when I was met with news that my dog Zeus was not doing well. He's a big dog- half German Shepard and half Wolf- and at 15 1/2, this was not a great surprise. But something in Brian's face told me that it wasn't just the ordinary old-dog stuff.

My mood went instantly from elation to despair- it finally hit home that Zeus wasn't going to be around much longer. I stayed home for two days and he seemed to stabilize, but when I left on my trip he went downhill again.

I spent the last week at home, getting in a last bit of quality time with him- massaging his tired old body, thinking about all the adventures we'd had together, and feeding him anything he wanted to eat.

We took Zeus and our other dog, Bailey on one last hike in the desert. As we walked, the dogs turned off toward a labryinth I'd forgotten was there. I thought Zeus would just wander around and get tired and go back to the car. Instead he got a burst of energy and we had a great time hiking into the wash near some petroglyphs. Zeus was a big part of me getting into hiking, I'll have to write about it sometime.

Brian and I made arrangements for a vet to come to the house so that he didn't have to get all riled up on the drive. It was a wonderful decision. We were all on the futon together, hugging Zeus as his heart finally stopped. We buried him out in Picture Rocks on a friend's land- he's got a great resting spot in the desert with a view of the mountains. I don't know when I've ever been so heartbroken.
Fauna
Fauna
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Sep 15 2013
GrottoGirl
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 Guides 3
 Routes 311
 Photos 11,581
 Triplogs 1,357

46 female
 Joined Sep 18 2009
 Tucson, AZ
Palisades CanyonTucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Canyoneering avatar Sep 15 2013
GrottoGirl
Canyoneering12.98 Miles 2,820 AEG
Canyoneering12.98 Miles   15 Hrs   47 Mns   0.82 mph
2,820 ft AEG
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners partners
RedwallNHops
Epic Canyoneering Trip in the Catalinas

Five hardy people met up at Le Buzz at 5 AM to begin the trip. To start we dropped cars off at Prison Camp and then proceeded up to the Palisades trailhead. We hit the trail at 6 AM.

After departing from the trailhead, there is a fine example of the destruction caused by fire. It seems like this was an area that had severe fire because the regrowth I've noted in other areas isn't as apparent. One of our party thought it was odd that the trail is called Palisades when it leaves the side of Palisades canyon so quickly and it does return for a few miles.

I was impressed by the amount of vegetation that suddenly explodes just before Mud Springs. The spring box is nearly obscured by greenery all around. Luckily, I was watching for it and spotted it!

Just after Mud Spring, it seems as though the trail is forgotten. There is a lot of erosion present and the brush is starting to take over. At times you might lose the trail if you are not good at route finding. I actually enjoyed this section of the trail the most. The views were nice - we even were able to spot one of the waterfalls that we had previously rappelled in Pine Canyon. Finally, the trail made its way back to a ridgeline above Palisades Canyon.

We took a break and I rearranged my footware. I discovered as I was walking that I was missing a very important part of my boots! I forgot to swap the Superfeet and my carbon fiber plate over to my 5-10s! No wonder my feet were really swimming with just my wool socks. I put on my neoprene socks and then layered the wool socks over the top of them to take up more of the space. Already I was starting to feel some of the effects of not having my normal solution in place.

Soon the trail starts to switch back down closer to the bottom of Palisades Canyon. Then we took off to enter the bottom of the canyon and the fun began.

We suited up in our wetsuits (most of us) and proceed through the water to our first rappel. As we wandered down canyon, I saw that there were a lot of the Cardinal flowers present in the canyon bottom, a flower that you don't see too often!

The first rappel was our introduction to rappelling down a running waterfall. The other canyons we've done to date haven't really had much running water or we were able to avoid it. Palisades was flowing nicely due to the recent summer rains. The water also spawned the growth of algae on the wall which made descending even that more difficult. We had read in advance warning about the walls being extremely slippery so we were all very cautious.

We brought radios since we can't always ensure that we can hear from the bottom to the top of a rappel. Therefore, we were able to give each other tips after completing rappels.

I went last over the lip of the first rappel. I went down on my side since I knew I wouldn't have any thing to stick to with my 5-10s. The water pelted me in my face and it took a few seconds to realize that I wasn't going to drown if I just kept moving. I also found that when I did get on my feet, they just slid down the face of the rock. I kept on constant alert for crashing into the wall at any second. Often I just went on my side.

The second rappel I was chosen to go first. It looked like a waterslide that turned and then after that we couldn't really see what happened. After the waterslide I ended up in a dry tinaja that sported sand and it's own tree. I guess the water course had changed! In front of the tinaja the water spurted out like a facet with extreme force! It was absolutely amazing to be able to view this and not have to be subject to it's type of torture. Although moving on meant crossing it's path. At the bottom of this fall was an amazing pool. It was nearly a perfect circle. The water inside was amazingly cold. I was glad to be in my wetsuit, but it was not enough to keep me warm. I fought the cold while I checked the webbing at the pitons on the far side.

Steve came with the big rope and we rigged rappel. He took off quickly down that rappel so that we could get out of the cold. I stayed in the water in case Josh or Joel had problems as I knew that they both we're the best of swimmers. Josh didn't have a wetsuit so I knew getting him out of the water would be the first priority. He also didn't have a dry bag inside his backpack which is actually a good way to maintain buoyancy.

I kept noticing that the rope for the next rappel never went slack and didn't move. I kept checking it. Steve didn't have a radio and if he did, it would have been wrapped up in his pack during the rappel so I couldn't communicate with him. I started to feel stressed and the cold didn't help. Everyone completed the previous rappel and Josh managed to get up on the side out of the water. We had the intermediate rope so we added a quicklink to the webbing to attach the rope. During this process we finally started to hear yelling 'HELP' from below. We yelled back but Steve couldn't hear us. Doug took off down the rope and I heard him say something like 'Crap' as he descended. I continued to get colder and colder so finally I worked my way over to where Josh was sitting. After what seemed like hours, we finally saw the rope moving and then the command, "Off Rope" came on the radio. We all started to descend. I got over the edge and I saw Doug bent over Steve, who was propped up against one of the walls out of the water. I couldn't see what was actually happening so I just focused on getting down. When I got off the rope and swam over I saw that Steve had a gash on the head and several other abrasions. Steve looked horrible! I heard something about a knot in the rope and that he had locked himself off and tried to work on the rope with a foot loop and then something about when he went to release the lock off and foot loop something bad happened and he ended up inverted with his foot caught in the loop and no way to get himself upright. I'm sure i don't have the details all correct. When loading his rappel device again after being untangled there was a bit of a drop and his head hit the wall. We hung out until he was looking almost normal. (Note on this rappel: the quicklink wasn't screwed all the way shut but we didn't notice until later. We tried to screw it together but couldn't. Luckily the old rusty link is still there and provides some redundancy. A pliers would be handy for the next people who go.)

The next few rappels were more of the same slick wet conditions. By now we had figured out how to do things. We moved a bit slower due to the accident but all considering we did fairly well. It's amazing that someone could go through something like that and still have the energy to do four more rappels.

At times I would look back and see several of the falls we just descended all lined up. It is just a wonder of nature to see! I feel special in that I have the skills and endurance to undertake such a epic trip.

The second to last rappel had the best conditions for descending. We were able to place our feet on near dry rock and actually feel in total control! Before going down this one, I nearly lost my pool float. I was distraught! We had tried to toss it over the cliff but the wind had caught it and jammed it in a spot below ere there wasn't enough water to push it forward. I was sick thinking that I had littered. When the last guy came down, he brought my prized pool float with him!

The last rappel was a bit of a puzzle. We had read how people had jammed rocks in a crack to ensure their rope didn't get stuck. We debated on how to do it and decided that a single rope would be less likely to get stuck so down I went. As I went down, I saw the exact spot for concern. Since we recently had a sheath cut on a long rappel I was not happy to see that. However, just about 10 feet down I found another anchor. The guys rigged the short rope on the first part and then I had Joel come down to help me with the second rope. From that station, you immediately go into an overhang. It's a bit hard to start in an upright position and then immediately get ready for a swing. Success, no pinched fingers! On down I went and discovered a cool cactus in the crack growing upside down! Next I found our rope entangled in an agave and had to fight to get it out. Then, I was done! I was relieved! This was the hardest trip yet! (Note on this rappel, again a screw link was open - only one of us noticed - we need to do a better job of checking!)

Next to get back to a trail! We still had a mile of canyon to navigate through. At some point we decided to skip a few pools by going high on the left side at the junction with another drainage that is between Box Canyon and Palisades. Steve thought a bushwhack would be easier on him than the rock scrambling. Finally we researched the East Fork trail as the sun was setting. The colors were really nice!

The hike out to Prison camp was long and we were weary. We sent Joel and Josh to finish the car shuttle, while we finished up our break. Then we hit the trail stopping only a few times for water/snacks. I was amazed at Steve's stamina! We managed to get to the cars just before 10 PM. What a long, amazing, stress, epic adventure! I'm ready for some trail hiking like the normal people do!!
_____________________
Sep 15 2013
RedwallNHops
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 Guides 1
 Routes 10
 Photos 498
 Triplogs 1,251

46 male
 Joined Dec 22 2003
 Tucson, AZ
Palisades CanyonTucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Canyoneering avatar Sep 15 2013
RedwallNHops
Canyoneering12.98 Miles 2,820 AEG
Canyoneering12.98 Miles   15 Hrs   47 Mns   0.82 mph
2,820 ft AEG
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners partners
GrottoGirl
Wow.
_____________________
Sep 07 2013
azflyguy
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 Guides 1
 Routes 2
 Photos 337
 Triplogs 311

37 male
 Joined May 31 2009
 Scottsdale,AZ
Palisades CanyonTucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Canyoneering avatar Sep 07 2013
azflyguy
Canyoneering9.60 Miles
Canyoneering9.60 Miles   7 Hrs   15 Mns   1.32 mph
Intermediate Canyoneering - Difficult or dangerous; Tech Climb; rope reqd; descent anchor; exit technical;
C - Strong current; wading/swimming; waterfalls; possible wet/dry suit
IV - Long, full day, bivy possible
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Super fun canyon and caught it with a nice flow. Paid $8 for the 4 mile shuttle to the visitor center.
Flora
Flora
Sacred Datura
_____________________
Canyoneering gear beta tester and supplier. Visit http://www.shadowcatadventures.com for canyoneering, climbing, hiking and backpacking gear.
Jun 22 2013
knmurphy
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 Photos 281
 Triplogs 222

41 male
 Joined Aug 03 2008
 Chandler, AZ
Palisades CanyonTucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Canyoneering avatar Jun 22 2013
knmurphy
Canyoneering13.60 Miles 5,050 AEG
Canyoneering13.60 Miles
5,050 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
_____________________
Sep 10 2011
iborrego
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 Triplogs 348

28 male
 Joined Oct 13 2012
 Tucson, AZ
Palisades CanyonTucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Sep 10 2011
iborrego
Hiking8.00 Miles 2,500 AEG
Hiking8.00 Miles
2,500 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
_____________________
1 archive
Sep 18 2010
nonot
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 Guides 96
 Routes 236
 Photos 2,001
 Triplogs 483

male
 Joined Nov 18 2005
 Phoenix, AZ
Palisades CanyonTucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Canyoneering avatar Sep 18 2010
nonot
Canyoneering13.60 Miles 200 AEG
Canyoneering13.60 Miles   10 Hrs   45 Mns   1.27 mph
200 ft AEG
Intermediate Canyoneering - Difficult or dangerous; Tech Climb; rope reqd; descent anchor; exit technical;
C - Strong current; wading/swimming; waterfalls; possible wet/dry suit
IV - Long, full day, bivy possible
 
1st trip
Partners partners
Vaporman
:y:
Flora
Flora
Cardinalflower
Named place
Named place
Palisade Canyon
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Isolated
_____________________
http://hikearizona.com/garmin_maps.php

Hike Arizona it is full of sharp, pointy, ankle-twisting, HAZmaster crushing ROCKS!!
Hike Arizona it is full of sharp, pointy, shin-stabbing, skin-shredding plants!
Hike Arizona it is full of striking, biting, stabbing, venomous wildlife!
Sep 18 2010
Vaporman
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 Guides 2
 Routes 4
 Photos 8,687
 Triplogs 931

42 male
 Joined Mar 28 2005
 SLC, Utah
Palisades CanyonTucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Canyoneering avatar Sep 18 2010
Vaporman
Canyoneering13.60 Miles 400 AEG
Canyoneering13.60 Miles   10 Hrs   45 Mns   1.27 mph
400 ft AEG
Intermediate Canyoneering - Difficult or dangerous; Tech Climb; rope reqd; descent anchor; exit technical;
C - Strong current; wading/swimming; waterfalls; possible wet/dry suit
IV - Long, full day, bivy possible
 no routes
1st trip
Partners partners
nonot
winklersh
My buddy from Tucson has been joining me up on rim for our last few canyoneering adventures, so I figured I'd switch gears and drive south and do one in his backyard. I've done all the moderate/easy published canyoneering routes down there with him, but I figured with a little more experience under our belts that we were ready for one of the Big Boy canyons in the area. :y:

We woke up pretty early, dropped a car off at Sabino Canyon parking lot, and drove up to the Palisades TH. We had 5 miles of downhill trail until our drop-in point and we made pretty good time down the mountain. :sweat: Off trailing it down to the canyon wasn't too crazy though my socks got covered in loads of sticky seeds... ;) I figured it was about 50/50 on whether the canyon would be flowing or not so I was super stoked to find it flowing knowing we'd be doing some sweet waterfall rappeling today! :y: We took a light break when we hit the canyon and gear up into our shorty wetsuits and gear and slowly made our way down creek. It didn't take very long before we hit the super sweet narrows section and the first of many wet rappels with an awseome view down canyon of at least a few more waterfalls . We had to rework the anchor on that first 150ft double drop by putting the webbing under a huge rock and stacking other rocks on top of it so that it wouldn't slip off. What a sweet rappel to start the day with and it had a 30ft slide down into a pool and then another 100ft or so over the next falls! :D Once at the bottom of that, we pulled the rope and re-rigged it for the next 100ft drop down another slide to a small ledge with the water shooting out and down another chute into a swimmer. Rappel #3 was from the slippery lip on the far side of the swimmer and after pulling the rope, I had to swim over to the 2 pitons to rig the next rappel down a mostly vertical 85ft waterfall into a swimmer. :D The next rappel was also right afterwards and we had to rig a new anchor around a huge boulder in the watercourse before making the next 100ft slippery drop into another swimmer. Whew, this has to be one of the best canyons I've done this summer and there's still more to come!!! :y: After climbing to the side of a small waterfall, Steve rigged the rope for rappel #5 from two piton for yet another super sweet 100ft slippery rappel. The view back up canyon was quite amazing and crazy to realize we just rappled down all those falls! :o We had a light break from the falls, so we stuffed the ropes and did some rock hopping downstream a bit before hitting the big 160ft double drop. It's possible to rappel out of the watercourse here, but I highly recommend going right down the slide and over the falls so you can get a refreshing shower in the overhanging section. :D The rope pull on this rappel was a little difficult but we slowly got it down and stuffed the ropes again for a bit more rock hopping. The final 85ft rappel #7 was the tricky one of the day and unfortunately the falls go down a tight chute and would have been too difficult to rappel and retrieve the rope, so we had to do a dry rappel on the right side of that huge overhung chockstone down into some bushes before droppinto a pool. Steve rammed a rock in a crack to make the rope pull easier, but it came out while I was rappeling and almost tagged me in the helmet :lol: so Scott had to put another one in and the rope pull was just fine. Once at the bottom, we were able to stuff the ropes for the final time and strip out gear & wetsuits off for the long scenic rock hop downstream to the confluence with the east fork of Sabino Canyon. It got a little toasty so we'd dunk it some pools along the way to cool off and take a break from all the bushwhacking, rock hopping, and down climbing. :sweat:

We had opted for the slightly longer yet easier downhill 6.5 mile exit down the Sabino Canyon trail & walk the road back to the parking lot. It got a little toasty along that trail, but it was nice to be back on an actual trail and at least it was mostly downhill. I nicely asked the tram driver if we could hop on for free ride since its a warm summer day but he had no simpathy for us. :roll: The scenic road walk went by fairly quickly while enjoying the sunset and it was within 3G range, so my new iPhone kept me from getting too bored while doing the easy stroll back to the car. Though pounding pavement seemed to take an extra toll on our already tired legs. :roll: Still not a bad way to end such an amazing day of canyoneering! :D
Culture
Culture
Throwing a Wendy
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Isolated
_____________________
Yea, canyoneering is an extreme sport... EXTREMELY dramatic!!! =p
average hiking speed 1.35 mph

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.

90+° 8am - 6pm kills
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