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Crystal Canyon - 2 members in 5 triplogs have rated this an average 3.5 ( 1 to 5 best )
5 triplogs
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Apr 08 2016
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 Guides 7
 Routes 54
 Photos 13,163
 Triplogs 577

59 female
 Joined Aug 19 2011
 Scottsdale, AZ
Crystal CanyonGlobe, AZ
Globe, AZ
Canyoneering avatar Apr 08 2016
outdoor_loverTriplogs 577
Canyoneering4.00 Miles 700 AEG
Canyoneering4.00 Miles
700 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
II - Normally requires a half day
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Partners none no partners
When I did an Ankle Test in Pinto, apparently I didn't Test it enough... I needed to Ricochet around in some Rocks and Bash the Ankle against a Boulder or two to see if it would hold up.... ](*,) I was also reminded of something on this Crystal Trip. It's never over, until it's over... :?

We did not use the Hiking Route. There is a Canyoneering Route on the other Side of the Canyon that everyone uses. From where you Park the 4x4 Vehicle, it's only .18 Miles before you Drop into the Canyon. You're roughly 1 1/2 Miles Upstream from the Tech Section when you hit the River, but overall, the Route is about 2 Miles shorter. One of the Guys ran a Track, I'll see if I can get more Accurate Mileage and AEG from him. It's still not an easy Approach by any means. The Slope going down is very Steep and once you hit the River, the Route along the River is negotiating through a Boulder Field most of the way... Although I was a little slower than usual (Is that Possible??? :o ) the Ankle held up very well...We got to the Beginning of the Technical Section and started off with a Slide into a Pool, a Swim and then a 25 foot Jump into the next Pool, followed by another Swim. And then we were at the 2 Rappels...

The Water was flowing very well... :sweat: But, it was doable to stay out of the Main Flow if you worked against the Rope's Fall Line and stayed Canyon Right on both Rappels... It is supposed to be 2 Separate Rappels. You Rappel the First Fall and then stay connected to the Rope so you don't get swept over the 2nd Fall. The Anchor for the 2nd Rappel is right at the Edge of the 2nd Fall on Canyon Right and not easy to get to from the Water as it's High on the Wall. You can stand on a Ledge just before it in the Pool, but the Ledge ends before you can reach the Anchor... :sweat:

One of the most Experienced Guys went first. He stayed on Rope in the Pool and finally managed to reach the 2nd Anchor and clip in his Safety Line. He determined that the 2nd Anchor was no longer good enough to Rappel on, it was not safe to use on it's own Merit. But that had been hinted at when Researching this Trip, so we were prepared for that Scenario. We had brought enough Rope to Rappel both Falls off the same Rope. We did thread it through the 2nd Anchor to try to take a bit of the Load off the Top Anchor. 150 Feet of Rope was barely enough for a Single Strand Rappel. If we had needed to "Pull" the Rope, we would have needed 300 Feet. But we didn't need to Pull it since you can go around and get back to the Top Rappel to collect your Gear. We took 300 Feet for Safety Reasons.

As the rest of us went down, we Rappelled the first Fall, got off Rope in the Pool, but clipped our Safety to the Rope when Swimming through the Pool to the 2nd Fall. We had someone "Man" the 2nd Fall Anchor and help people reach the Anchor to clip in...Then, we'd get back On Rope and Rappel the 2nd Fall. If you didn't go against the Fall Line and stay Canyon Right on the 2nd Fall to a Ledge around the Corner near the Bottom, you were going to get absolutely Pounded with Water. One of the Guys who is heavily experienced in Class C Canyons, called the Water Level ok to run, but just shy of Hazardous... :lol:

I was the 3rd one down. The first Guy had made it to the Bottom without getting into the Main Watercourse, so we knew it was doable. The second person stayed at the 2nd Anchor to Assist everyone else. I had a great Rappel down the first Fall, staying right and getting into the Pool. Clipped on the Safety and swam over to the 2nd Anchor and managed to finally get up and get hooked in there. Then I was back On Rope. I was surprised to learn that the 1st Person down, didn't stay at the Bottom, but was instead, on his way back up and around. But I went anyway... It was harder for me to fight the Rope's Fall Line on this one, especially since I was Rappelling Left-handed. There were times where I needed to grab that Right Wall and it was awkward for me to do so. I was right on the Edge of the Main Water and the Edge of the Fall still came up to my Waist, but I made it around the Corner and was standing on the Ledge. I had made it! The Ledge went back more and I decided that I needed to be away from the "Edge" a bit more, so I fed some slack through my Device and took a couple of more Steps to get further into the Ledge. And then it happened... Something happened and I can't even tell you what or why, it happened so fast. One minute I was standing on the Ledge and the next second, I was being Whipped to my Right, right into the Base of the Main Fall. Because I was now entering the Natural Fall Line and I must have still had a little Slack, I was not only being Whipped Right, but I was also Falling DOWN some and I fell off the Ledge. So I'm now almost in a Horizontal Position and then the Water hit me, flipping me the rest of the way Upside Down. Luckily I still had both Hands on the Rope, with one hand above, so I was able to right myself. I didn't quite hit bottom, so the Rope swung forward into a more Vertical Position which allowed me to travel through the Fall and end up BEHIND it, where I grabbed onto a Ledge above me and stuck there. I managed to find Vertical Footholds to help keep me there because I couldn't free up my Brake Hand without Falling the rest of the way... I still had Water coming down on Top of me, but not nearly as much and I could Breathe and I could see... And then the Pain hit...Somewhere in that whole Mess, I trashed the Ankle. I can't even tell you how. I either smashed it up against something or caught it somehow and Torqued it to where even having the Brace on couldn't save it... :(

So now, I'm clinging to a Ledge about 4 Feet off the Deck, using my Brake Hand to keep from Falling the rest of the way and possibly sweeping back out into the Main Flow, and I'm using both my Feet to try to help keep me there as well, with that wonderful Initial Pain coursing through the Brain. To say that there was a Stream of Expletives and Unmentionables streaming forth is an Understatement of the 3rd Degree. And as the Pain starts to ease after about 5 Minutes, I'm wondering how in the Hell I'm going to get out of the Mess I was in. I didn't know how Deep the Pool was below me or whether there was a Hydraulic Situation or not. I couldn't reach my Whistle and even if I could, I didn't think they would hear me above. The Fall was Deafening and the Ledge actually was the Bottom of a large Alcove. So I clung there trying to collect myself and think...I knew that by now, everyone up top was starting to freak since I wasn't Off Rope yet, they couldn't see me and it had already been at least 5 Minutes longer than the Rappel should have taken...I also knew that it might take them awhile to Rig the other Rope and get down to me, and as Time passed, I knew I had to find a way to get out of this myself...I finally had my Wits about me enough that I started looking around more and realized that if I could pull myself up onto the Ledge, the Ledge went all the way to Canyon Left and around the other side of the Fall and I could get out without getting Pounded or risking Deep Water. I didn't want to Tie Off and try to get up, because if I fell, then I was Underwater Tied Off and I wouldn't be able to Move anywhere. So I completely Disconnected and got Off Rope. There wasn't much for Hand Holds and I was looking at the Ledge at Chin Level, so I was going to have to haul myself up a bit. Somehow with about all the Effort I had, I was able to "Beach" myself up onto the Ledge. There was Rock Overhanging the Ledge in places, so I couldn't even sit up, I had to slide on my Stomach all the way around. In one Spot it was a slightly tight Squeeze. But then I was out and beyond the Fall. I went to stand up and take a Step and something in the Ankle Popped and I almost fell again... ](*,) But I got out to the Edge of the Main Pool and was able to see and be seen by the two People at the 2nd Anchor. I gave them the OK Signal so they could relax a bit and then I jumped into the Pool to swim to another Spot so everyone could see me. I think they were relieved. I think I was glad I managed to do it on my Own, but Instant Depression set in, knowing I would have to break the bad News to them about the Ankle and knowing that not only did I ruin their Trip, but that we all had a Long Day ahead of us... :( I felt terrible when it happened before and now, twice in one Month, I was subjecting Friends and Teammates to a long, slow Exit and it was almost too much to bear. But I knew what had to be done, and for the next 5 Hours, with the help and grace of my Friends, I did it...Luckily, I was able to do it again, under my own Power. But instead of 300 Yards this Time, it was going to be almost 2 Miles over some nasty Rocky Terrain. Luckily, it wasn't Downhill this Time. The Rest of the Team divided up my Pack and one guy found me some Poles to help in places and away we went. We made it to the Vehicles just before Dark... : rambo :

A Severely Disappointing Trip, but I brought it on myself. Beautiful little Canyon that I could only enjoy briefly and got very few Photos of... I did learn a lot on this Trip though and I had some Amazing People with me once again, and for that, I am extremely Grateful. There will be no more Technical Canyons for me until at least June, possibly longer...I will be taking as long as it takes to get back fully this Time...Although I didn't wreck the Ankle quite as bad, it's bad enough and I'm almost starting from Square One again.... :(

This is a Beautiful little Canyon which takes quite a bit of Effort to get to. And I was all about the Effort, plus some and had very little Time to enjoy the Reward.... I will be going back someday and getting it right...
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Light

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 Summit Tank 76-100% full 76-100% full
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Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty & well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, totally worn out & proclaiming, "Wow What a Ride!"
1 archive
Feb 20 2012
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 Photos 12
 Triplogs 4

57 male
 Joined Apr 21 2009
 Awatukee, AZ
Crystal CanyonGlobe, AZ
Globe, AZ
Canyoneering avatar Feb 20 2012
TedATriplogs 4
Canyoneering6.50 Miles 700 AEG
Canyoneering6.50 Miles   10 Hrs      0.65 mph
700 ft AEG
III - Normally requires most of a day
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Hope this Helps: There is still no bolt at the top of the first rappel. It is easy to set up a sling on choke stone there, so no worries. There is one bolt on the large rock outcropping, on canyon left, in the pool after the first rappel. This can be used to run a guide line or for a safety anchor for making your way to the second rappel. Also, it can be used as a bolt for the second rappel if you fail to connect into the bolt at the second rappel.

There is only one bolt at the second rappel. It is on canyon right roughly 4-5 feet above water level (at the time we were there-February) Look for it by following the first crystal line to the right, coming up out of the water. This is not an easy bolt to get to. A pot hole hook would be handy as the footing below the waterline is mossy and slopes like a keeper pot hole.

Once at the bottom, I recommend the route on canyon left for returning to the rappels. The route on canyon right is a lot of work and quite risky.

Consider taking a 210 to 220 foot rope and a short rope for the first rappel. We used a 220 footer as a top belay/safety line on the first person in. The first person person then ran the rope through the first bolt as a guide line and then through the second bolt and switched it from the safety line to the rappel line for the second rappel. We pulled the rope back up with no problems once we were done.

Have fun. We did.
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Aug 23 2009
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 Photos 32
 Triplogs 470

male
 Joined Nov 05 2006
 Chandler, AZ
Crystal CanyonGlobe, AZ
Globe, AZ
Canyoneering avatar Aug 23 2009
AHOTETriplogs 470
Canyoneering6.00 Miles
Canyoneering6.00 Miles
Intermediate Canyoneering - Difficult or dangerous; Tech Climb; rope reqd; descent anchor; exit technical;
C - Strong current; wading/swimming; waterfalls; possible wet/dry suit
Extreme - Multiple Risk; errors result in injury/death; experts only
II - Normally requires a half day
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
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Aug 23 2009
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 Triplogs 72

58 male
 Joined May 07 2009
 Phoenix, AZ
Crystal CanyonGlobe, AZ
Globe, AZ
Canyoneering avatar Aug 23 2009
ChrisHikesAZTriplogs 72
Canyoneering6.50 Miles 700 AEG
Canyoneering6.50 Miles1 Day         
700 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
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Jun 04 2005
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 Photos 878
 Triplogs 74

44 male
 Joined Oct 04 2002
 Canton, OH
Crystal CanyonGlobe, AZ
Globe, AZ
Hiking avatar Jun 04 2005
HoffmasterTriplogs 74
Hiking4.00 Miles
Hiking4.00 Miles   6 Hrs      0.67 mph
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I'm surprised to see this hike on this site!
Since I did this 2 years ago, my memory of the details is a bit hazy.
I went with a group of friends and an ACA (American Canyoneering Association) member that they brought along. There were 5 of us total. This hike is on the San Carlos Reservation southeast of Globe. We got lost driving towards this canyon, even though the ACA member had been there 2 weeks prior. We spent the entire morning driving reservation roads aimlessly until something finally looked familiar to the ACA guy. We parked at the end of a road, marked the car with the GPS and set out north I think, across the desert. After about a mile we got to the edge of the canyon. A sheer cliff drops about 60 feet to a steep slope that leads into the canyon. We set up a rappel on some sort of old mining junk and descended the cliff. After scree surfing to the bottom the real fun begins. It does not take long to get to the first major waterfall in this canyon (I think there were at least 4). There were some bolts and hangers in the canyon wall on creek right to set up a rappel on. I had never done a single-line rappel down a waterfall before so I was kinda nervous. That and the fact that the ACA guy rigged the most unsafe looking rappel I have ever seen. I argued with the guy about his technique, but he said it's what the ACA taught him. What a bozo! I wish I had taken pictures. I know a thing or two about ropes and rappeling and there is no way the ACA is teaching the unsafe practices that were employed by this guy. Fortunately the rappel went off without a hitch. Rapping 30 feet while a waterfall is pounding the daylights out of you is super cool! The next waterfall was actually a series of 2 falls seperated by a 40 ft pool. The first rap was easy, but then you must undo yourself from the rope while in a deep pool. Then you swim across the pool and try not to get swept over the next fall while clipping the anchors. After I rapped the first fall, I rigged a safety line that the others could clip into so that they would not be swept over the next fall. That fall was sort of a tricky rappel. The rock was undercut, so there was nothing to brace my feet against. The water was coming down on my head with a vengeance. After this rappel I remember the rest of the canyon being uneventful. Eventually the canyon walls peter out. This is the turn around point. You can climb out of the canyon on creek right and pick your way back upstream above the canyon. Near the starting point you can cross the creek and then thrash back up the steep scree slope. To ascend the final cliff, you must either have left a rope hanging and use ascenders, or find a way to climb out that won't kill you. I think we did the latter. Then trek across the desert to the car.
Other than the stupid ACA guy, this was a cool trip. Unfortunately I couldn't find it again if I tried. This canyon is a guarded secret in the canyoneering community. Good luck finding directions to it. I'd tell you if I knew them, because it certainly isn't the most spectacular canyon. But, if you can find it, it's worth the trip.

Incidently, my friends and the ACA guy went and did James Canyon near Flagstaff a few weeks later. On a rappel, the ACA guy's anchor failed and one of my friends took a nasty fall. He survived and has recovered. My image of the ACA has been tainted because of these experiences.
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"I'm not a vegetarian because I love animals; I'm a vegetarian because I hate plants." A. Whitney Brown
average hiking speed 0.66 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.

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