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Thread: Neon

  1. #1

    Neon

    I will be down in Escalante, descending Neon later this month. Has anyone been through recently? What is the condition of the keepers? How much water is in the canyon? Any input is appreciated.

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  3. #2
    We did it 2 weeks ago... The last keeper was full of sand and pretty easy to get out of... although farther up was a pothole quiet a bit more challenging to get out of... maybe 11 or 12 feet, just enough to make a partner assist difficult... a bit of water but not much, we took wetsuits...

  4. #3
    Jon

    You have several groups headed in there this coming weekend and the following week so you should have your pick of solid data. I will be in there April 13-15. I will post a preliminary trip report on conditions once we have wifi. You can also private message me and I will update you with what beta I have.

    Ken

  5. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by spinesnaper View Post
    Jon

    You have several groups headed in there this coming weekend and the following week so you should have your pick of solid data. I will be in there April 13-15. I will post a preliminary trip report on conditions once we have wifi. You can also private message me and I will update you with what beta I have.

    Ken
    Thanks Ken. I will definitely hit you up. I would like to take my 11 year old down, and want to make sure I understand the conditions before making the call.

  6. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by nielse2 View Post
    We did it 2 weeks ago... The last keeper was full of sand and pretty easy to get out of... although farther up was a pothole quiet a bit more challenging to get out of... maybe 11 or 12 feet, just enough to make a partner assist difficult... a bit of water but not much, we took wetsuits...
    Thanks for the info. How much swimming is there?

  7. #6
    hmmmm, 2 short swims and perhaps a handful of short wades... but the water was very cold...

  8. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by nielse2 View Post
    hmmmm, 2 short swims and perhaps a handful of short wades... but the water was very cold...
    Thank you!

  9. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by nielse2 View Post
    We did it 2 weeks ago... The last keeper was full of sand and pretty easy to get out of... although farther up was a pothole quiet a bit more challenging to get out of... maybe 11 or 12 feet, just enough to make a partner assist difficult... a bit of water but not much, we took wetsuits...
    nielse - thanks for the info. Was the challenging pothole 11-12 feet deep, or in diameter? Was there any water in it? What kind of partner assist did you use? Your insight is appreciated as we are heading there this Saturday with a group of 2. I've done the canyon one other time but in that case the main keeper was an easy swimmer and there weren't any other significant challenges. Thanks!

    -Jason

  10. #9
    10-12 feet deep, this will give you an idea... the person taking the picture is downstream.

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    With all our wetsuits on it was a tough climb out, not really anything to hold on too... the main keeper at the end wasnt bad at all though...

    it looked like this...

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  11. #10
    there were 4 of us so we basically threw the smallest guy out

  12. #11

  13. #12
    That's about how it was at the beginning of August last year. An entirely different animal than what I saw the first time I did Neon. Still awesome, though!
    --Cliff

  14. #13
    Thanks for the info and pictures, that helps a bunch! We only have two people, do you think we will be able to get out of the troublesome pothole if one of us stands on the shoulders of the other?

  15. #14
    Content Provider Emeritus ratagonia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SuperDolph View Post
    Thanks for the info and pictures, that helps a bunch! We only have two people, do you think we will be able to get out of the troublesome pothole if one of us stands on the shoulders of the other?
    I'm not sure how much more anyone can do for you, SuperDolph. The pictures show the problem really well.

    Two Sumo-wrestlers? probably not. Two Olympic quality gymnasts - that would work. One of each - sure why not?

    You can see a rope coming down. Probably tossed a pack up there, maybe filled with rocks. Tied a rope to it. You have the tools for climbing a rope, and know how to do it, right?

    Heck, if a bunch of guys who aren't even smart enough to wear helmets can do it I think pretty much anyone can probably manage a way to get out of the hole.

    Double Heck, what you want? You want me to be there to personally coach you through the problem. Be there to pull you out? --- well, just might happen as I plan to be there on Saturday. I'm the one in the Orange Prison Jumpsuit.

    Tom

  16. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by ratagonia View Post

    Heck, if a bunch of guys who aren't even smart enough to wear helmets can do it I think pretty much anyone can probably manage a way to get out of the hole.

    Tom
    Tom

    You are so kind and diplomatic. I mean you could have called them something mean like dorks, dim wits, or some other mean spirited thing. Very impressive. However I was so interested to see their photos and to read there descriptions about the conditions in there as I am headed out there in about 10 days, I have to confess that I did not even notice their head gear faux pas.

    Ken

  17. #16
    Tom - wow, thanks, I just thought I'd ask about their method, this being a canyoneering forum and all.

    Nielse - thanks for your posts they have been helpful.

  18. #17
    If you look closely I do have a helmet... Although I confess I have not been able to convert my freinds yet...

  19. #18
    if all else fails you could just go over the top of that first deep keeper and slide in/downclimb to the rim on the far side of it.

  20. #19
    Content Provider Emeritus ratagonia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rick t View Post
    if all else fails you could just go over the top of that first deep keeper and slide in/downclimb to the rim on the far side of it.
    So, Rick. After you rappel into the hole, pull your rope and try a whole bunch of things, then they are supposed to upclimb the previous rappel so they can chimney over the top????

    Okay, perhaps I abuse Rick for sport. But he touches on a important point.

    One is advised to leave the rap rope for possible escape, until escape is assured.

    Tom

  21. #20
    Content Provider Emeritus ratagonia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SuperDolph View Post
    Tom - wow, thanks, I just thought I'd ask about their method, this being a canyoneering forum and all.

    Nielse - thanks for your posts they have been helpful.
    Now that we have both made it through, please allow me to answer your question in a less-snippy manner.

    Your question is not really how to get out of THIS keeper pothole, but how do people get out of keeper potholes in general.

    Let me first divide potholes into two situations: wet potholes, with enough water to increase difficulty; and dry potholes, where one can stand comfortably at the bottom and do things, and the clock is not ticking more than usual.

    Dry/Dryish potholes first. A hierarchy of techniques, to be used progressively:

    1. Partner assist is the first technique to use. With good footing, two people can often lift (crane) one lighter person up the wall to the full extension of their hands (on feet).
    2. Rearranging the Landscape: if there is sufficient sand and/or rocks around, sometimes they can be piled up at the bottom of the exit - though this often is a lot of work for not very much gain. If the partner lift ends up 2-3 inches short, it might be worth pursuing.
    3. Next is probably going for a throw. If the throw is not far, often using your partner's pack will work just fine. Remove expensive breakables from the pack. Tie a rope securely to it, and toss it up there, over the edge. You might not want to let it fall too far on the other side. Pull on the rope, and see what you get, as far as resistance. Sometimes it will catch on an edge; sometimes it is just counter-balanced. For the latter, the shape of the neck makes a big difference. Now with a rope up over the edge, plus a boost, and pulling on the rope with your hands might get you up over the lip. It might not take pulling on the rope very hard, just enough to get up to the good holds.
    4. Next up is probably a bigger, heavier throw, and using rope-ascending tools to climb the rope to the good holds.
    4A. Throwing from the bottom of the potholes is often not very effective. It helps to do the throws from the rappel into the pothole. On this particular pothole (2nd keeper in Neon), it is easy enough to stem out over the keeper pothole and gently plop a sand-filled Potshot on the down-canyon side of the lip.
    4B. Partner's packs don't toss that well; so there are bags made for that called a Pot Shot.
    4C. Sometimes the throw is long and the stance awkward, in which case, figure out the heaviest Pot Shot you can do the throw with. Sometimes you might need to throw more than one Pot Shot.

    Those are the main tools. They can be used in many different ways.

    Wet Potholes create additional problems as, when the escaper is swimming, the clock is ticking on hypothermia; and partner assists are difficult to use. So, in addition to the general line of thought above, we can add:

    5. using flotation:
    5a. first stage is to use your pack as a flotation device (might involve blowing up your drybag for more float; and pre-planning to bring a larger drybag or some other things to help out). First Try: straddle the pack with your legs to get your body up 1-2 feet higher, so you can reach the good holds.
    5b. second stage is to use your pack and a swimming assist. Have your partner swim vigorously to hold the pack against the wall, while you climb up on it. Close but no cigar? Clip a couple of packs tightly together to form a better "raft".
    6. or just do the throw and climb the rope.

    If none of these things work, you CAN go nuclear! In this case, that means drilling holes with a hand-rock-drill, and putting hooks in them. Essentially aid-climbing (bat hooks in this case) to get out of the pothole. Many people consider this a 'taint': drilling holes in the canyon is not cool.

    Sufficient?

    Tom

    (perhaps Shane will part this out as a pothole escape thread)

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