Shenanigans Canyon!




This is one that I've been wanting to do for quite a while, but, because of just how tight it is, I thought I was going to have to wait until I was skinnier. All of the warnings posted before trip reports and beta shout "DO NOT ATTEMPT THIS CANYON IF YOU WEIGH MORE THAN 180 POUNDS!" Normally I take warnings with a little bit of flexibility when coming from park services or the general public, but not so much from experienced expert canyoneers. So, I had relented that this canyon was just not for me (yet).


It was January, The last technical canyon I had done was Sandthrax in October and my cabin fever was reaching an all time high! The only small fix for my cravings were to read other's trip reports. @slotmachine posted a great report "Return to Shenanigans" with incredible pictures which, instead of curbing my appetite, only made me starving to get into a canyon.


It may have been my delirious canyon withdrawal state that made me think I could do this, or it may have been @slotmachine telling me that I could probably high stem over the tightest section or climb my way back up the grim crawl in retreat. Regardless the reason, I contacted all of my skinniest canyoneering friends and planned a day!


At the time I didn't even realize that I had planned shenanigans and Leprechaun on St. Patrick's day weekend. This trip was meant to happen!


I couldn't help but weigh myself the morning we left. 216.5lb at 5'11".....gulp. up 10 lb from a few months previous. There's no backing out now though, we embark! There were 9 adults and my 6 year old niece. On the drive down I had the expected doubts. Should I even try to do the tight sections and chance getting stuck? or perhaps just try the high stemming from the beginning? Doubts gave way to excitement as they always do and the next morning we began!
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I downclimbed the first rappel to make sure I had the dust brushed off from the winter and that I was ready for some high stemming before it was absolutely necessary. IT WAS SO NICE TO BE IN A CANYON!!

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My 6 year old niece walked easily through a lot of the parts of the canyon where we had to stem up a few feet. It's crazy how every canyon is different for every person that does it!


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I was amazed at how long the canyon was taking us, I always expected to see the next section sooner than we got there. This could have been from reading the beta too many times or from anticipation for the skinny end!
It was a very cool canyon with a lot of cool features!


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Finally we made it to the slanted hallway. Long, dark, long and awesome. Did i mention it was long? If anyone ever asked me how to train for shenanigans aside from being skinny, I would tell them to put your feet 30" from a wall and do one armed push ups with one hand while holding a 20lb weight straight out in the other. When you can do this for 15 minutes without getting tired, you're ready! Ha Ha, It really was a beautiful and unique section.


We stopped at the early exit for lunch where two of our friends headed out and back as planned. I think I ate 3 bites of my sandwich. Here we go!


The Grim crawl was very cool. My brother and I meat anchored, while the others rappeled from us. Then my brother rappeled off of me. I did the grim crawl and the downclimb. The down climb is a little wide but not very difficult back to feet.
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And now for the skinnies! I decided that I would go as far as I could, then retreat and attempt the stem up and over the crux. I put two of my skinniest friends (I'm talking Woolsey is 110lb and 5'7". God built him specifically for caving and this canyon) in front of me to find the tightest spots and to let me know if it was even worth trying for me. I can hear them up ahead laughing and grunting....grunting?! I almost weigh twice what Woolsey does. I'm 4 inches taller but somehow I don't think that ratio evens out...I just keep pushing. I've been rubbing both chest and back simultaneously for the last 150feet or so. What is incredible is how consistent the spacing is here! Woolsey is waiting for me up ahead. He says that the next 10 feet is considerably tighter and he's a little skeptical. Sure enough as soon as I get near him I get wedged and can't keep pushing. From my Neck to my upper thighs there isn't a part of me that doesn't have considerable pressure. But this is what we came for, right? Exhale push, exhale more, push. Nothing! I have never been claustrophobic up to this point and I am feeling fine so I just keep working. I pull on my own pants and gain a little with my lower body. I then lunge forward with my upper body to gain a little ground there. Progress! After some of this and some of that I pop out! Not stuck yet! I was fairly wedged for probably 1-2 minutes but that was expected.
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I am anticipating the next and even tighter section when we walk out onto an anchor point and can see the final rap to the pool below...wait..I made it? At ground level? Awesome!


I downclimbed to the final chockstone anchor where I decided that this downclimb was a little beyond my skill level. I thought it would have been cool to do the whole canyon with no ropes but ended up using one here. Maybe next time, ha ha. I was not good enough to stay on the hidden ninja ledge the entire time and got wet to my waist. For the rest of the group we pulled them out as they rappeled and other than three shoes everyone else stayed dry!
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We took the Kelsey exit which my niece climbed up by herself after all day in a canyon (what an animal). We got to the shuttle vehicle. 7 hours and 50 minutes. Longer than I thought. We refilled water and snacks and Jeremy, Woolsey and I did a quick (1h40m) run down east Leprechaun. The next day we did hogwarts and headed home.


Thank you all of my friends who were MY support on this one and to @slotmachine for your take on things!


Hope you enjoyed it!


Anthony Dye
Utah Canyoneer