North Wash Conditions Report - 10/28/10
Went out to North Wash over the past weekend; here's what we found:
The road to the Poison Springs canyons was much rougher than last year. Carefully driven mid-clearance vehicles (like a Subaru) could make it to the trailhead in dry conditions (as could a rental car... ;) 4WD's won't have an issue.
Slideanide is wet; there was more water than I had seen in there before. Plenty of wades and about 5 swimmers. Some were avoidable with skill and effort; but not all of them could be avoided. Wetsuits recommended for all but the quickest moving and warmest blooded groups.
Both Blarney forks are mostly dry; any water in them can be avoided.
Left and Right Leprechaun forks are dry to the confluence; then there is one waist deep pool which is unavoidable (unless you want severe effort and risk) at the dark subway section before the large subway section. The rock breakdown section in Belfast Boulevard has also changed this year, and it's a much tighter squeeze to get up and out.
Morocco is holding a bunch of water too. The first rappel (which we bypassed) drops you into water, and there are three pools before you even hit the arch. We dropped in just past the arch, and still found a decent amount of water. (There were several wades and one unavoidable swim.) If you have a larger or slower group; you will likely want wetsuits.
There was a short, but powerful, rainstorm on Saturday night; so conditions could be a little more wet than stated above for all canyons other than Morocco (which we did on Sunday.)
I'll have pics and a trip report much later; working on finishing house projects - then need to catch up on photos since May trips...
Hope that helps,
11-01-2010 07:47 PM
Content Provider Emeritus
We were out there too, and found some of the same. We being me Tom, Alicia, Malia, Heather and Carol. The south road out to the Poisons, is rough and rocky (cobbles) in the first half mile, and then not so bad.
Constrychnine - I added a bolt (1/2" x 3-3/4" w Fixe bolt hanger) to back up the single drilled angle, at the 3rd rappel. We found not all that much water, some wading to maybe jewels deep. On the last obstacle, one might go fully under on the downclimb/slide; but we chose to put in a deadman to do it under control. Exit in the brief squall was exciting. We cleaned up the anchors and removed two fixed ropes, about 15 lbs of crap altogether. Argh!!!
Hogs - Sunday we did Miss Piggy and Hog 3. I had not done either in a long time, and man, they were way more fun than I remembered! The road up to the top of the Hogs was a mess - deeply rutted in sections, definitely HC-4WD only (but not bad for capable vehicles). The Hogs we did were fun and held very little water.
Pictures and TR to come.
“Ideas on earth were badges of friendship or enmity. Their content did not matter. Friends agreed with friends, in order to express friendliness. Enemies disagreed with enemies, in order to express enmity.”
― Kurt Vonnegut, Breakfast of Champions
I was in the same area. Did Shenanigans on Saturday, was very concerned about the 30% rain forecast after noon. Hit the road at 0730, re-slung the first anchor, which was around a juniper tree for no good reason - there's a suitable boulder at the lip of the drop. Much easier pull, and easier on the tree. Unfortunately, the gear mule of my team was already at the bottom before I decided to re-sling - he had all the neutral colored webbing, so I had to use a spare length of webbing I keep in reserve. Bright neon yellow. I meant to go back and clean it after we finished, but the rain changed our plans.
The rest of the canyon was uneventful and mostly dry. Several sections of deep and slippery mud, or even worse, mud hidden under a dusting of dry sand. Did a couple gainers. No ice, one avoidable pothole in the first narrows. Saw our first cloud while at the Final Exam, the front came boiling in while I was at the bottom of the final rap. We moved with purpose.
Lost a CRKT knife somewhere along the way. If anyone finds it please let me know, I will reward you!
Took the Kelsey exit out, gained the rim and made it back up to the car just as the rain got to us - definitely glad it didn't catch us in the canyon or while on the scramble.
For future reference, Batman costumes do not hold up well in Shenanigans, but thrift store denim outfits fare great.
Wanted to do Merry Piglet on Sunday but the timing did not work out. The road was fine.
Hope for the best
Rain coming in