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03-14-2012, 09:16 PM #1
Middle Leprechaun, Hogwarts and Merry Piglet
After climbing up Belfast Boulevard three weeks ago during a descent of The East Fork of Leprechaun, my buddy Will and I decided that we really wanted to make it back ASAP to do Shimrock.
Last weekend we made it down for that trip, we brought my other friend Christian along and we decided to do Middle Lep as well as some of the mini-slots on sunday.
We started hiking up the slickrock on the east side Leprechaun around 10 am on Saturday morning. We did the west spur entry to Shimrock.
The first rappel to get down past the canyon rim is optional because it can be down climbed on the right, we did it anyways, it was fun and had a deadman with a huge pile of rocks on top of it, pretty bomber. About 10 feet down from where the slot starts, there is a rappel/buttslide, the anchor was rigged about 20 feet back and out of the slot completely. We re-rigged the deadman from a buried rock just behind the lip of the rappel, no more rope grooves for now.
The canyon was awesome. The first part was lots of relatively easy and fun down climbs. The second half got tighter, very tight. At one point I had my right hand pinky on one wall and my right hand thumb on the other wall, probably about 7 or 8 inches wide. Before we knew it we came to the confluence with The West Fork and then Belfast Bldv. and the beautiful tall teardrop narrows which were lit spectacularly and it was over all too quick.... what an amazing canyon.
On sunday we set out from The Hog Spring rest area around 10:15 am for Hogwarts. The approach to Hogwarts is a hike up a side canyon of Hog canyon. On this approach hike, make sure to stay to the left (northeast) and stay high because there are a couple large dryfalls in the middle of this approach canyon.
Hogwarts was enjoyable. From what I recall there are no real narrows, the canyon is a series of rappels and at one point there is a large arch that spans the canyon, it's scenic. There is an interesting pothole in the middle of the canyon, it was easy for me(5'10) to stem over, it might not be so easy for a short person because the stemming required is pretty wide.
The final rappel is between 90 and 115 feet depending on where you find an anchor and it is a free rappel. Currently the anchor is from an oblong boulder about 15-20 feet back making the total rappel just a little too long for my 60m rope (we added 20 feet of webbing the to pull strand to remedy this).
We were back at the road at 12:15p.
Instead of taking the .25 mile walk along UT-95 back to the car, we started the approach to Merry Piglet. The 5.6 climbing required on approach is very short (10 ft max) and is easily defeated. You climb up on the right (east side) of the dryfall, then hike across the wash and up the gully/ slickrock on the west (left) side The approach is straightforward.
This canyon is a series of down climbs and potholes, not keepers, but it's fun to try and go around em without getting wet. Merry Piglet was the only one of the three we did over the weeknd that held water which was difficult/impossible to bypass(only knee deep though).
We down climbed the whole canyon except for the last three 50 foot drop-offs. These drop offs are very tight, fluted dryfall type twisty narrows. The down climbing moves look to be pretty difficult because the drop offs are flared and they seem like they want to spit you out the down canyon side. We decided to just rappel these. In between these rappels were pools and one seemed impossible to matrix-move around, we all got wet up to our knees. This canyon was awesome, I highly recommend it. We finished around 2:30p
The weather was perfect and it was a great weekend.
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03-14-2012, 10:12 PM #2
Excellent! Love the teardrop photo.Life is Good
03-14-2012, 11:20 PM #3
03-15-2012, 06:51 AM #4
03-15-2012, 07:32 AM #5
03-15-2012, 08:38 AM #6
Nice photos! I especially like how photo #2 turned out. Taking a photo that conveys what it feels like in Middle Lep is pretty difficult. Nice work!
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