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  1. #1

    High Spur, No Mans & Blue John

    Ran through a few canyons in the Roost this past week…quite the crowds at Granary Springs! Started with an old favorite on Thursday…High Spur! Completed this canyon last Fall when the water was 15 feet deep down in the Corkscrew area presenting us with a 2 minute swim. The water is almost all gone in that area…a mid thigh deep wade and some stinky mud for 30 yards is all that remains. The canyon is otherwise dry. Some pretty and at times threatening clouds through out the day…only a few sprinkles though. Set things up with a bike shuttle before descending the canyon. How sweet it was to not have to walk the road back to the start!

    Friday we went for No Mans. First time for me in this canyon. Some nice short down climbing action through out and some nice narrows and raps at the end. Had heard differing information on the final rap length where Louis was killed last year. We completed the rap with a 9.5 mm x 200 foot Sterling Canyon Tech rope. Unweighted several feet on one end of the rope laid on the ground. After rapping we did attach another rope to one end to get a better pull angle from the other side of the small pond at the bottom. The lip above is definitely a rope eater. Saw the small memorial to Louis there at the bottom…also saw the interesting spot up on the ledge before the last Rap where David accounted for his time awaiting rescue. A somber and sacred section for sure to tread where a Canyoneering brother passed away and another suffered for so long waiting rescue.

    Lastly, Friday we completed Bluejohn Coast to Coast (Granary Springs and the Main Fork clear through to the Horshoe Canyon Trailhead). Had a few guys in our group that had never seen the famous Great Gallery. Again no water through the upper Bluejohn sections…some refreshing water in Lower Bluejohn and Horseshoe. Saturday was smoking hot but we enjoyed the many cool panels in Horseshoe. Hiking those last 8 miles has always left me in amazement…amazement that Aron R. was able to hike all that way after his ordeal in Bluejohn.

    A few pics!

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  3. #2
    Bogley BigShot Taylor's Avatar
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    Apr 2012
    Nice, beautiful pics. We also went through Bluejohn Saturday and my photos are crap compared to yours. What camera are you using?

  4. #3
    Content Provider Emeritus ratagonia's Avatar
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    Feb 2005
    Quiet and charming: Mount Carmel
    Nice Pics, Steve. Thanks for sharing.

    “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

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    salt lake city
    Wow, those pics REALLY are good Nice TR.


  6. #5
    Outdoor Guru Scott Card's Avatar
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    Dec 2005
    Mapleton, Utah
    Excellent photos.
    Life is Good

  7. #6
    Bottom Tier Superhero Iceaxe's Avatar
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    Mar 2005
    City of Salt
    Great pics.

  8. #7
    It ain't the camera its the computer-pseudo high dynamic range photography. The right question is: which program did you use to tweek these photos? They look awesome by the way.


  9. #8
    Trail Master hikster11's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    South Jordan
    WOW those are great pics. We did this same route last year. It was a long day but worth it.

  10. #9
    Ken is spot on! Most of the pics are HDR (High Dynamic Range) other words I bracketed my shot is underexposed, one shot is right on and one shot is overexposed. I basically then stack the photos one on top of the other enabling a greater visual range...closer to what our eyes will see...many single exposure canyon shots will have totally dark shadows or totally blown out highlights...the over and underexposed shots better bring out these qualities that a single exposure will lose.

    A few camera companies are now including HDR as an "in camera" option. Several companies make HDR software including Photoshop 5 and higher. I utilize HDR Efex Pro. Can be used stand alone, or as a photoshop or lightroom plugin...good controls and pretty simple to use. Does take some time to process but fun to play around with. I'm currently using a Canon 5D Mark II with a f 2.8 24-70 mm lens and a manfrotto tripod. Camera and lens alone weigh nearly 5 pounds...heavy gear for sure!


  11. #10

    Thank you for sharing a photo of my signature and hash marks that I carved during my 6 days in that section of No Man's in March 2011. It's rather surreal for me to experience the visual impact of those images. Perhaps, someday I'll venture again into that slot, place my hand on those carvings, and complete the trip.

    David Cicotello
    David Cicotello
    Murfreesboro, TN

  12. #11
    Hi David,
    Can't imagine what all you went through on that many emotions and the physical hardship during those lonely days! By the small rock at the base of the last rappel there in now a small memorial stone with your brother's name probably have seen it. Just next to it though is a small stack of rocks. As we sat nearby and reflected one of our group members said "hey there is a baseball under those rocks". Sure enough there hidden was a baseball and other notes that Louis' friends had left over the last year. The ball said something along the lines of "thanks for teaching me how to score a baseball game". Very touching for me as I love baseball and scoring a game is such sweet icing. I think it's safe to say your brother is missed and loved by many...I do hope you are able to make the trip back to No Mans one day. My heartfelt condolences to you.


  13. Likes NebraskaCanyoneer liked this post
  14. #12
    Hi Steve:

    Thank you for sharing further details of your No Man's trip report. The memorial was placed there in October 2011. A group of four hikers, including Louis' wife, made their way to that spot by way of the exit route and constructed the memorial. Your picture of my signature and hash marks is the first one that I have seen posted on any internet site. I appreciate your kind and thoughtful remarks. Sincerely,

    David Cicotello
    Murfreesboro, TN

  15. #13
    Magnificent pictures, Steve. I'm intrigued by the photo with the climber in red on rappel in No Man's (first stage of the exit rappel). Focusing on the background wall and moving to the right of the climber, there is a ramp. Follow the ramp upward and notice the area in shadow where the ramp wall's meets a ledge. That ledge space between the ramp's wall (visible in the photo) and the opposite canyon face is where I spent most of my time...

    By the way, Louis and I completed High Spur (once). We also hiked Blue John to one of the exits before the junction with Horseshoe and then returned over the mesa back to the parking lot.
    David Cicotello
    Murfreesboro, TN

  16. #14
    Rookie msmnificent's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Salt Lake City, UT
    WOW! I now know one of the primary features I'll be looking for in my next camera... I could be wrong, but I think the sony waterproof camera does this. Maybe the latest waterproof Panasonic too? I've heard High Spur is very pretty, but your pictures have bumped it up near the top of my list! Thanks for sharing.

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