View Full Version : Buckskin solo
04-17-2006, 08:23 PM
I live out east but am visiting Utah in May have a permit for Buckskin - entry on May 16. I've read through the climb-utah site on the route (and plenty of other websites as well). I can usually handle fourth classing with a pack (which will be light) with little problem, but I'm wondering if that boulder blockage is a particular problem now, or if there are any other special preps I should do for a solo trip. I was planning on bringing 40 feet of 8 mil perlon just for insurance. Should I also bring a rappel device and harness as insurance, or is that overdoing it?
Or is anybody else doing it then?
Thanks - Dean
04-17-2006, 08:31 PM
Have a great trip!! Since your going solo, what's your route and how are you dealing with transportation.
FYI, if you call the paria rangers they will be able to tell you whether the hole through the debris is open or not. :nod:
04-17-2006, 09:22 PM
FYI, if you call the paria rangers they will be able to tell you whether the hole through the debris is open or not.
Personally I have found the Paria rangers to be worthless when it comes to route conditions. Every time I have asked a question they have given me REALLY BAD info.
The rock fall is not that big of a deal. If you are concerned then toss in enough webbing to fashion a swami and a carabiner to rig a munter to rappel on. Not the most comfortable rappel setup but for one 10' drop it would be primo.
04-18-2006, 01:16 PM
From Steve Lewis
1. Rangers at Paria - an older married couple that are volunteers. They only have hearsay info re Paria and Buckskin conditions. Calls to Kanab BLM office will generate better dialogue.
2. Passage through Buckskin in May. PROBABLY will require wetsuit, Neoprene Socks,Pack that Drains, Dry Bag for all gear. 40 ft. handline or rope or 1" tubular webbing should take care of boulder climb/drop.
3. WE/I did a day passage from Wire pass down into Buckskin and then back out. Water was running. Pools that are normally ankle deep were chest/neck high. We/I ran into two out of town groups that were planning a passage. Caught both in hypothermic condition. None had any neoprene protection - NO drybags - NO extra clothing. And were totally unprepared for conditions - which would have worsened in the middle section. Buckskin with a lot of water in it is DANGEROUS for the unprepared. I was able to convince both groups to turn back - which they did.
4. Even if it warms up, the pools in the mid section are going to be deep and muddy - that area has had a lot of water in the past two months. If the visitors don't have neo outfits, neo socks and the other correct gear, they should;
a. stick to day trips in and out from wire pass.
b. hike down paria, do day trip into Buckskin
c. but don't go down paria - in high water.
d. cancel the full passage through Buckskin especially if going solo - could be worse than grim.
04-18-2006, 05:10 PM
From Steve Lewis
c. but don't go down paria - in high water.
I guess that means down Paria from the confluence?
04-18-2006, 05:14 PM
If it's that bad, I won't hesitate to change my plans.
If it is that wet, what are some normally dry canyons that might be wet enough for a good overnight visit in that general area that I wouldn't need to carry water for?
04-18-2006, 05:24 PM
I really won't worry too much about it. Plan to do Buckskin, if the weather is bad just visit The Wave instead :2thumbs:
Buckskin is pretty esy if the weather is good.
04-18-2006, 05:33 PM
With my shuttle, once I get dropped off at Wire Pass, I'm stuck. So I can't go down Wire and then decide. I was planning to leave my rental at White House for when I come out. If it's at all risky, I suppose I should rearrange the shuttle to go the other way.
04-18-2006, 05:43 PM
You will know before you are dropped off its a go or no-go. The shuttle driver has to drive across the wash to drop you off at Wire Pass. If the wash is flowing don't go, otherwise have fun. I've done the route two days after it has flashed and its not a big deal. Just more mud and water to deal with.
Also..... the Wirepass Trailhead is a popular place. If you backed out it would be pretty easy to catch a lift back to the highway and/or Whitehouse Trailhead.
You will know in your gut if you should go or not by the time you reach the Wire Pass Trailhead, so I would not waste much time worring about it.
04-19-2006, 12:13 PM
Bucksin - Depends
Shane was courteous to post a previous note I sent.
I was in Buckskin via Wire Pass March 31.
I have been into Buckskin via Wire Pass
and via Whitehouse MANY TIMES - but never,
except after a big storm and flash flood -
had I expereinced so much water as we did on March 31.
Water was NOT flowing down wire pass, but once
to the confluence of Wire Pass/Buckskin, there
was a steady stream.
Last year in May - four of my SLC friends - who
are all experienced canyoneers, and who had
wet suits and dry suits, CANCELLED their Wire
Pass to White House trip after learning of cold wet/muddy
conditions in the canyon.
Instead, they went to Whitehouse, hiked down Paria, got
caught in a huge storm, back tracked and then
climbed on the Paria East Bench prior to the Buckskin
My note about "watch the water going down Paria"
related to noting the water levels above the confluence
as one approaches Buckskin.
Granted - MOST OF THE TIME - in MOST YEARS,
Buckskin is an easy pleasant passage for the fit
and prepared. But for years, S Utah was in drought
stage. Last spring and fall, and this spring, there has
been plenty of new moisture in the canyon.
Out of town folk we ran into had parked vehicles at
Whitehouse, gotten a shuttle to Wire Pass, walked
down dry wire pass and then WALA, they met the water
which they were totally unprepared for.
If I were on my own and had a permit and planned to
do Wire Pass, Buckskin and then back up to Whitehouse,
I'd speak with the Kanab BLM office days in advance,
speak with volunteer rangers at Whitehouse Paria station
the day before and then JUDGE whether it's prudent or
safe to go through Bucksin. It's probable that it's going
to be doable and OK. But it's also possible it's going to be
a wet muddy mess.
Another easy option is to leave a vehicle at Whitehouse.
Walk down Paria, leave your heavy pack at the confluence
and then hike west into Buckskin. One can easily get to
the rockfall and beyond to near the midpoint, and back to Paria
in a day. Personally I've left whitehouse at 6 am, walked down
to Buckskin, into Buckskin to mid point and then back to whitehouse
before dark - all in a long day. Walking back "up" Paria, against
the flow in the wet sand though is a slog.
I'd be prepared to be flexible. You can register at Paria station
lottery for a Coyote Butte North - "Wave " permit. That's worth doing
if you havent' done it. And/or you can park at the House Rock Valley
Road - Wire Pass Junction, walk down wire pass to Buckin, go all the way to the near middle muddy point and back to your car in half a day.
Don't take for granted it's going to be a dry passage. I know some that
have been shocked and surprised - most though have a pleasant
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