Results 1 to 12 of 12

Thread: Thanksgiving weekend in Escalante

  1. #1

    Thanksgiving weekend in Escalante

    This year I was consumed with work and didn't get out to do much hiking or canyoneering. I had 5 days off over Thanksgiving weekend and I wanted to do something fun. During the summer my wife had signed up to run The Thankful 13 Half Marathon so we weren't able to leave until Friday morning. I was concerned that my wife would not want to go hiking all weekend with me since she ran a half marathon on Thanksgiving. But, she agreed to go since we hadnít spent much time together during the previous 2 months due to my job.

    We left Friday morning and headed for Escalante. We stopped at Hell's Backbone Grill for lunch, only to find that they were serving a special Thanksgiving meal for people who had reservations and were not open for drop-ins. They informed us that most places had already closed for the season and this would be the last open weekend for them until next season. However, we were able to make a reservation to come back for dinner later in the evening. We had to settle for burritos from a gas station in Boulder for lunch. We then went and hiked Lower Calf Creek Falls. Temps were in the 40ís and felt nice with just a light jacket on. This is a beautiful hike and as it was early winter it was a great way to experience it for the first time. I will need to go back in the spring. I had known that since it was going to get cold at night I would have better success talking my wife into going on this trip if we had a room to stay in versus staying in a tent, which was my first plan. After the hike we went and checked into Circle D Motel. I was again informed that most places had closed for the season. I had not planned for this and was counting on getting hot breakfasts and dinners. We then went back to Hellís Backbone Grill for Dinner where we had amazing food and atmosphere.

    When we left the room on Saturday morning it was 12 degrees in Escalante. The Subway restaurant in the gas station opened at 7:30 and this is where we found breakfast. To get the most out of the daylight we were waiting for them to open, grabbed breakfast and headed down the road. We got to the Dry Fork Trailhead about 8:15. The plan was to hike Dry Fork, Peek A Boo, Spooky and Brimstone. I didn't intend to do any canyoneering but had seen pictures of Spooky and knew it got narrow so I brought elbow, knee pads, gloves and a short rope for a hand line.
    Dry fork is an easy walk through slot and we hiked in the bottom and out the top. Then hiked over to the Top of Peek A Boo and went down it. This is a short easy hike and has some cool Arches. We then hiked to the bottom of Spooky and went up it. This was my favorite slot on the trip and although it does get narrow, it is still a walk through slot. Once we got to the top of Spooky we started hiking toward the head of Brimstone.

    We hit the top of Brimstone about noon. We dropped into the slot and started hiking down canyon. We immediately came to a long, deep pool. It was a sunny day and I would guess the outside temps were mid 40ís. I felt the water and decided I didn't want to swim. We went back up canyon and climbed out and hiked down canyon on the rim looking for a spot to drop back in. I was looking for a spot that I could also climb back out on my own if needed. We didnít have to look for long, soon there was a spot that we were able to drop back into the canyon. Now heading down canyon, the scenery was getting awesome. It got deep and narrow immediately. I was really enjoying myself and taking pictures. I was wondering why didn't this canyon doesnít get talked about more in the route description on Climb-Utah. It says quote (Hike up the wide
    wash a short distance to where the canyon narrows quickly to become a deep and skinny slot canyon. Hike upstream as far as you wish, but use caution, at least one hiker has become wedged in Brimstone and had to be rescued. The secret to success is not to force your way into any extremely tight constriction. Once you are done exploring Brimstone hike back up Dry Fork and return to the trailhead.) It doesnít say anything about not doing it from top down or by doing so could be extremely difficult. I didn't think much of it being tight and someone being rescued because that happens every year somewhere. I have been in several tight canyons that have required people to be rescued from.

    Shortly after that, I put the camera away as the canyon became all business. We were doing some serious squeezing and I was thinking that we should have brought helmets. I could see my wife was wearing down physically and not having as much fun. She kept a positive attitude and never complained, but she was losing energy. I got to a spot that was the tightest of anything I had ever seen. I couldnít see that stemming up high would get me more space to continue down canyon. I have done Chambers and Middle Leprechaun and this was much harder. I had been working my ass off for about 20 minutes in this one spot and moved down canyon about 10 or 15 feet. It was so tight that I could not turn my head to look back up canyon. I was about five feet off the ground stemming and could totally relax and would not move or fall. My wife was maybe 50 feet behind me and I told her to wait where she was.

    It was very dark and I could not see very well. The next 15 ft in front of me looked like it was not possible for me to get through. I didn't want to make the effort to get my headlamp out to look for a spot to squeeze through. At this point mind was starting to mess with me and I was getting freaked out about getting stuck. I knew I had to keep my calm to get us back out. My wife was now feeling extremely nervous. When we dropped in the canyon there was not a cloud in the sky, however, now I heard a super loud rumble and looked up to see dark clouds. I was nearly on the edge of a full on panic attack. The noise was of a plane flying over but I imagined the worst: a 50 ft wall of water coming toward us. I have never wanted out of a canyon so badly in my life. I told my wife we were done and to start going back up canyon. It is a lot easier to squeeze through a tight space when you can use gravity to help push you through. Going back up canyon is much more exhausting. My wife was out of energy now and I was having to physically help push her up the canyon.

    After what seemed like hours it got wide enough that we could walk straight. I wanted to full on sprint up canyon to get out. My wife was too tired to run so I kept encouraging her to walk as fast as she could. Finally we got to a spot that I could climb out. I threw a rope down for my wife to use as a hand line since she said she could not climb out where I did. Back on the rim I took a deep breath and thought to myself: holy shit! We had burned 3 hours and didn't make it far down canyon at all.

    This is a serious canyon and I wondered if it was even possible to descend from the top. I then thought to myself I should have read more about this canyon. We hiked to the bottom of the canyon on the rim dropped into the wash and started back up canyon from the bottom. This canyon is very deep and amazing. Within 500 ft from where it narrowed up I came to a long section that would require swimming. I turned around and headed out. I was glad we hadnít pushed through if it was even possible,only to have to swim at the end of the canyon. I thought that this was a good day of hiking and some unplanned canyoneering. We got back to the trailhead by 5 pm and headed for Cowboy Blues for dinner since it was the only place open.


    Sunday morning we woke up to 2 inches of snow on our car. I thought my plan of hiking Upper Calf Creek Falls was out of the question. Everything was closed including the Subway restaurant. We loaded up on gas station cookies and muffins for breakfast. The skies had cleared for the moment but everything was covered in snow. We started for home going toward Boulder. As we drove we could see large areas that didn't have much snow. We stopped to see if Upper Calf Creek area was covered. It was not and we were able to hike to the Falls. It is a beautiful place and a short quick hike. This is definitely a must see for anyone visiting the area.


    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1NH4teI3cdg

  2. # ADS
    Circuit advertisement
    Join Date
    Always
    Location
    Advertising world
    Posts
    Many
     

  3. #2
    Great writeup @hikster11

    Middle Brimstone is known as 'The Beast'. In my mind, it is the ultimate skinny canyon. Only a small handful of canyoneers have descended The Beast at ground level.

    Over the past year I've lost 20lbs. I lost the weight partly because I was tired of being a fatass, and partly because I would like to do The Beast. May I ask your height and weight? If you were a few pounds lighter do you think you would fit?
    THE MOST TALKED ABOUT CANYONEERING TRIP OF 2017 - WEST CANYON VIA HELICOPTER.
    TRIP REPORTS: TIGER | BOBCAT | OCELOT | LYNX | SABERTOOTH | CHEETAH | PORCUPINE | LEOPARD

    DON'T BE A STRANGER, LEAVE A COMMENT AND/OR SUBSCRIBE.
    WWW.AMAZINGSLOTS.BLOGSPOT.COM



  4. #3
    I'm 5' 9'' and 180 lbs. If my wife was not with me I may have kept trying to move down the canyon. I'm sure if I was 20 lbs lighter it would be less work but still hard. My chest was the part I was having the hardest time squeezing through the canyon and I measured it this morning at 40'' around. I honestly could not say if I could or couldn't fit through. The section where I got to was very narrow and I could not see more than 15 ft because the canyon turned. If someone knew how long the really very difficult section was I would consider trying it again.

  5. Likes Slot Machine liked this post
  6. #4
    Thanks for sharing @hikster11 , that is very helpful information. I'm 5'9" and 155 lbs, so your assessment gets me motivated to try. My wife is 110 lbs, and is happy to be in front to assess whether I can fit, so that helps too.

    When you come to a difficult turn and don't know what lies ahead the imagination runs wild, doesn't it? Will it be worse? Irreversibly worse?? That happened to me in Shenanigans and Trachyotomy. Also, I'm not sure I'd trust anyone's measurement of that section since time and space tend to warp when you are under that kind of stress.

    An aside, when I lost 20 lbs of weight I also lost 10 liters of volume. 10 liters!! My first canyon after losing the weight was Hard Day Harvey and it sure seemed easy. I can't wait to go back and give Chambers and Shenanigans a try, just to compare the difficulty.

  7. Likes accadacca liked this post
  8. #5
    Curious, when you got to the part that stopped you, did you have to take off your helmet?

  9. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Slot Machine View Post
    Thanks for sharing @hikster11 , that is very helpful information. I'm 5'9" and 155 lbs, so your assessment gets me motivated to try. My wife is 110 lbs, and is happy to be in front to assess whether I can fit, so that helps too.

    When you come to a difficult turn and don't know what lies ahead the imagination runs wild, doesn't it? Will it be worse? Irreversibly worse?? That happened to me in Shenanigans and Trachyotomy. Also, I'm not sure I'd trust anyone's measurement of that section since time and space tend to warp when you are under that kind of stress.

    An aside, when I lost 20 lbs of weight I also lost 10 liters of volume. 10 liters!! My first canyon after losing the weight was Hard Day Harvey and it sure seemed easy. I can't wait to go back and give Chambers and Shenanigans a try, just to compare the difficulty.
    Yes I think at that weight your proably of getting through should be good. And yes imagination can get a little crazy when it that tight. This was the first canyon that I really felt like I might get myself stuck.

    Sent from my SM-G930V using Tapatalk

  10. Likes Slot Machine liked this post
  11. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Slot Machine View Post
    Curious, when you got to the part that stopped you, did you have to take off your helmet?
    We never had helmets with us. I was thinking everything I planned to do was really just hiking through a canyon and nothing more.

    Sent from my SM-G930V using Tapatalk

  12. Likes Slot Machine liked this post
  13. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by hikster11 View Post
    We never had helmets with us. I was thinking everything I planned to do was really just hiking through a canyon and nothing more.

    Sent from my SM-G930V using Tapatalk
    LOL, I watched your video, that was really good BTW, and did not even notice the lack of helmets. Apparently, in my mind, everyone is wearing helmet all of the time.

    Thanks for the information!

  14. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Slot Machine View Post
    Thanks for sharing @hikster11

    An aside, when I lost 20 lbs of weight I also lost 10 liters of volume. 10 liters!! My first canyon after losing the weight was Hard Day Harvey and it sure seemed easy. I can't wait to go back and give Chambers and Shenanigans a try, just to compare the difficulty.


    Going from 175 to 155 is significant. I'm usually 170 - 175 but its the season for stuffing your face so Ive gained some. Just curious what you did to lose 20 lbs not really being that over weight? Ive tried several times over the years to be healthier and slim up some. It only last the 3 - 4 months that Im denying myself so many things I love and feeling like a starving child. Exercise is not the problem for me its all the foods I eat. I just haven't been able to find permanent will power to pass up good tasting food.



    Sent from my SM-G930V using Tapatalk

  15. #10
    I'll just leave this here http://www.math.utah.edu/~sfolias/ca...s/ram/?i=beast

    More info here:
    http://canyoncollective.com/search/1...imstone&o=date


    Drop Ram a line for the nitty gritty.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  16. #11
    The weight lose portion of this thread now has a new home here:
    http://www.bogley.com/forum/showthre...76-Weight-lose

  17. #12
    Great video

Similar Threads

  1. Thanksgiving weekend?
    By Mtnseeker1 in forum Motorcycling
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 09-26-2013, 08:04 PM
  2. Thanksgiving weekend
    By Mtnseeker1 in forum Motorcycling
    Replies: 86
    Last Post: 11-26-2012, 01:29 PM
  3. What are your thanksgiving weekend plans?
    By accadacca in forum General Discussion
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 11-21-2012, 09:11 AM
  4. On my own program, Thanksgiving weekend
    By Deeps in forum Canyoneering
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: 11-25-2009, 11:23 PM
  5. What are your Thanksgiving weekend plans?
    By accadacca in forum General Discussion
    Replies: 34
    Last Post: 11-25-2009, 09:05 PM

Visitors found this page by searching for:

Outdoor Forum

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •