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Thread: Bulloch Gulch. 7/25/15

  1. #1

    Bulloch Gulch. 7/25/15

    Kyler and I were planning on doing a canyon this weekend. We didn't have any definite plans yet, we just were going to do something. Shaun emailed me looking for something to do and after for a little bit decided upon Bulloch. None of has done it and it had been on our radar for while now. I sent out some texts and emails trying to recruit some more people, but they were all either out of town for the holiday or maybe smart enough to not get themselves into this Trek. That is all but Eric. Having a short memory is sometimes good and at about 11 the night before he got his stuff worked out and decided to join us.

    All was going well, I took Friday off work to drive Kyler to Orem to get some his housing stuff taken care of and we would be back in plenty of time to get ready. Well, as they usually do, the canyon gods threw in wrench in the plan and the computer in wifes Grand Cherokee went out about halfway between Payson and Spanish Fork on the way back. Luckily we got a tow truck to come get us on the 24th and take it into Payson. We hung out for a bit trying to decide what to do, but came to the conclusion that even if I found some parts to fix it, the dealer would have to reflash the new computer so we sere out of luck. Should we cancel the canyon? Should we stay the night? Call a buddy to come get us? I call the St. Geroge Shuttle and they have 2 seats left. Done, we book the seats, except the pickup point is in Springville and not for 2 hours. We get lucky and manager of O'reilly is just leaving work and he lives in Sprinville. Zach is awesome and gives Kyler and I a ride to the Flying J where the shuttle pickup location is at, which also has a Denny's in it. Another life lesson that you try and teach your kids. Where there is a will there is a way, and sometimes you just have persevere some of the bullcrap that comes along.

    The shuttle ride goes smoothly and we get back to St. George about 11:15. Now another life lesson that didn't go my way. We get home, walk in the house and see all our gear still laying out in the Family room from our last canyon. Kyler's comment "good thing we didn't put all of our stuff away like you wanted to." I agreed, procastination did help us this time.

    3:45 alarm came really early and fast, we threw our gear in, drove to Eric's and picked him up and headed out. Good thing Maverick is open at 4:30 and has breakfast food made and sandwiches ready because we didn't have time to prep anything. We were supposed to meet Shaun at the VC and 5am, but were a little late and didn't make it there until 5:30, but close enough for the kind of day we had previously. Gear was sorted quickly and we headed out.

    We turned off on Forest Service road 92 and headed towards the little meadow that signifies the parking point to start the hike to Dakota Ridge. I had heard rumors that the road had been graded out onto the mesa a ways and instead of parking and heading hiking out Dakota, we decided to see how far the road went. So we drove my 4runner to the end of the newly graded road clear out to the ponds that the ranchers have been building, which is basically at the head of Esplin. We would find out later that this was going to be a mistake. BTW, the road is already getting really washed out and will not be travelable very much longer. We were in lifted 4 runner with lockers and after a few more rainstorms, I don't think we could even make it out there.

    The hike in Bulloch was quick and easy and we made our way fairly quickly through the fast overgrowing oak in the area. Yes it burned, and yes it is better, but it won't be forever. I think the oak has grown 2 or 3 feet since we did Checkerboard last year.

    Bulloch canyon was a lot of fun. There were quite a few anchor challenges as it didn't look like anyone had been there for quite a while. The very first rap had webbing on it that was cut 80% through and we had to either replace, rebuild or flat out make new anchor for prob 10 of the 12 raps in the canyon. Anyone coming behind us soon, it is in pretty good shape anchor wise, but same as always, check them out for yourselves first as this canyon is a long ways from everything. There are a lot of downclimbs and partner assists which made the canyon really fun. We encountered a ton more water that we had anticipated. No swims, but maybe 10 or 15 waist deep pools. A few 2 stage raps so don't pull your ropes early and/or confirmation that your next anchor is still available. We had to move rocks twice.

    We were about 10 hours to get through the canyon we figured and that was at a pretty relaxed but keep moving pace. I'm sure we had at least 2 hours of that time spent on anchors though.

    Now for the worst part of Bulloch, going back to get your car left at the top if you didn't have a shuttle to drop you off. An hour ride back the VC to get the 2nd vehicle and then all the way back up the North Fork road to to Forest Road 92 and then to get the 4runner. Now the problem, Shauns crossover SUV can't get very far down the road. Well, I guess we could have tried a lot harder, but it is his wifes car and he did still want a place to live when he got home. I rarely use a GPS, but I had brought one on this trip just in case we had a hard time finding Bulloch, which we didn't, it is fairly easy, but I had marked a waypoint at the car and it was 3.1 miles as the crow flies from where we could drive to and it was almost dark. We put it in high gear and headed out Dakota ridge to find the car. We spotted a pond from the ridge that we parked by, dropped off the ridge and headed to it, found out it wasn't the correct pond, but knew were close and bushwacked our way over the next small hill and found the car just at dark.

    Anybody wanting to Bulloch definitely should go do it. It is an awesome canyon with a very remote feeling and a lot of fun. The raps, downclimbs, slots, etc are as good as any canyon out there. And you get to do the best park Orderville also.

    But it does come at a price. 2.5 hour drive in. 2 hour approach hike. 7 hours through Bulloch. 1 hour down Orderville. 1 hour down Narrows. 1 hour on the Riverside/Shuttle. 1.5 hour drive back up. 2.5 hour drive back to St. George. Total day of 18.5 hours not including our extra 3.1 mile hike to retrieve the car.



    Dropping of the ridge to Bulloch drainage




    Head of the canyon



    1st rap - awesome and it has a little flow in it


    Kyler downclimbing into a pool.

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  3. #2
    Moderator jman's Avatar
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    Phew...what a trip! That's a LONG day. I drew out a "canyon path" within Google Earth and it does look pretty involved. It's on the hit list for one of these up coming years...

    Thanks for the TR and pics Toyota.
    ●Canyoneering 'Canyon Conditions' @ www.candition.com
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    "He who walks on the edge...will eventually fall."
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