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Thread: Choprock 2018

  1. #1

    Choprock 2018

    Has anyone gone through Choprock this season? Looking to gauge the possibilities...

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  3. #2
    I did it Apr 27th, and it was on the dry side in fairly easy conditions, although the Happy section was cold and wet. I heard that it rained shortly after I was there, not sure how hard though.

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  5. #3
    Thanks TommyBoy. I heard the same thing.

  6. #4
    One thing to be aware of, from the riparian section on watch out for poison ivy. Not a major concern in canyon since you'll be in a wetsuit, but you don't want to be brushing against it too much and getting a lot of oil on the outside. The real concern is after the final rappel, it was easy to avoid, but if you take off your wetsuit you'll want to be on the lookout.

  7. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by TommyBoy View Post
    I did it Apr 27th, and it was on the dry side in fairly easy conditions, although the Happy section was cold and wet. I heard that it rained shortly after I was there, not sure how hard though.
    @TommyBoy -- Did you camp at Fence? Approx time from Start to Finish? Any other reliable info you could share would be appreciated, since I've got this one on the radar for sometime in the next 2 - 3 weeks.
    <----I'm with Spartacus

  8. #6
    We camped at fence, water levels in canyon were on the low side, however we still needed a wetsuit in the Happy section and it has since had at least one major storm in the area. The river was running about knee deep at the deepest. It took us about 8-8.5 hrs from camp to the final rappel, then we stayed there and hid in the shade while stuff dried before hiking back to camp.

    There was a LOT of poison ivy in the riparian section and in the more open sections after that it popped up from time to time, all the way through the final rappel.

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  10. #7
    Any recent beta? I have plans to head this way next week.

    Down south has been getting a lot of rain this last week, just wondering if that may have drastically changed anything...
    <----I'm with Spartacus

  11. #8
    Ran it on 6/3. It is currently in easy mode. The grim section has turned into an extension of the happy section. We were surprised when the canyon opened up and we checked our GPS to find that we were 500' from the final rappel. We did not put on wetsuits until what I call the Subway section, which is probably near the end of the happy section. I had a 5/7 wet suit and that was a bit of overkill, but better safe than sorry. The sand dams and log jams are all gone, but, as Tommyboy has mentioned, there are problematic log jams lurking high in the slots. Not a problem in low to non existent water levels. Plenty of poison ivy in the riparian, but avoidable, if you stick to the water course. Same can be said on the exit. Just be vigilant. You can also expect to add a few nuisance rappels to the beta because of the low water levels. Water levels in the Escalante are calf deep, and we did the approach in 3 hours (mainly because I was nursing some bad blisters), you can probably expect better. I was definitely holding our group back. Totally unrelated to Choprock conditions, whole area is turned into a shit show of unprepared tourists flocking to see Neon. Our group was in rescue mode all weekend. The only time we had any peace was while in Choprock. It literally started when we parked at the TH. A lady dressed in a summer romper, hiking boots, and a camera asked, "Is this the way to Neon Canyon?" We had to supply water and offer directions to the unprepared masses passing through Fence Camp. Some crazy lady brought her two house dogs down there and they tore up their paws. They couldn't ascend out and we had to deal with that situation all weekend. I found out today that Rick Green of Excursions of Escalante rescued the dogs...in heroic fashion. On his only day off off he hiked down to Fence Camp to assess the situation, hiked back up for supplies, got 4 hours of sleep, hiked back down, taped up the dogs paws, and marched them up the bench. All within a period of 12 hours. That guy is a beast! Looks like the rescue resources are stretched perilously thin in the Escalante area due to the high traffic. It's nice to help people in need but it is difficult to be empathetic when the situation is caused by stupidity and a lack of respect for the harshness of the landscape. How people can look out from the bench and not be aware of the potential for danger is beyond comprehension. When you go be prepared with extra 1st aide supplies. I know it is difficult to ad weight to an already bursting pack with canyoneering/camping gear. You will be glad to have it when they come...and they will come.

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  13. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Suede View Post
    Ran it on 6/3. It is currently in easy mode. The grim section has turned into an extension of the happy section. We were surprised when the canyon opened up and we checked our GPS to find that we were 500' from the final rappel. We did not put on wetsuits until what I call the Subway section, which is probably near the end of the happy section. I had a 5/7 wet suit and that was a bit of overkill, but better safe than sorry. The sand dams and log jams are all gone, but, as Tommyboy has mentioned, there are problematic log jams lurking high in the slots. Not a problem in low to non existent water levels. Plenty of poison ivy in the riparian, but avoidable, if you stick to the water course. Same can be said on the exit. Just be vigilant. You can also expect to add a few nuisance rappels to the beta because of the low water levels. Water levels in the Escalante are calf deep, and we did the approach in 3 hours (mainly because I was nursing some bad blisters), you can probably expect better. I was definitely holding our group back. Totally unrelated to Choprock conditions, whole area is turned into a shit show of unprepared tourists flocking to see Neon. Our group was in rescue mode all weekend. The only time we had any peace was while in Choprock. It literally started when we parked at the TH. A lady dressed in a summer romper, hiking boots, and a camera asked, "Is this the way to Neon Canyon?" We had to supply water and offer directions to the unprepared masses passing through Fence Camp. Some crazy lady brought her two house dogs down there and they tore up their paws. They couldn't ascend out and we had to deal with that situation all weekend. I found out today that Rick Green of Excursions of Escalante rescued the dogs...in heroic fashion. On his only day off off he hiked down to Fence Camp to assess the situation, hiked back up for supplies, got 4 hours of sleep, hiked back down, taped up the dogs paws, and marched them up the bench. All within a period of 12 hours. That guy is a beast! Looks like the rescue resources are stretched perilously thin in the Escalante area due to the high traffic. It's nice to help people in need but it is difficult to be empathetic when the situation is caused by stupidity and a lack of respect for the harshness of the landscape. How people can look out from the bench and not be aware of the potential for danger is beyond comprehension. When you go be prepared with extra 1st aide supplies. I know it is difficult to ad weight to an already bursting pack with canyoneering/camping gear. You will be glad to have it when they come...and they will come.

    You are a Godsend, my friend. Thank you X1000 for this detailed and up-to-date beta.

    Geez, you'd think that 2.5 mile stretch of open, gnat-infested sandstone would keep the idiots away. Out of curiosity, does anyone know who owns that land from the parking area to Neon? Is it USFS, BLM or Private? Hopefully it doesn't sprout a trailhead anytime soon...
    <----I'm with Spartacus

  14. #10
    Holy Moses! I feel your pain, Mr. Suede. I've been encountering unprepared, ate up people as well. Funny...I head off into the boonies to get away from all these "spinners" as I call them, asking for help.

    I was at Gemini Bridges and a guy with a young boy rode up on their bikes asking for food. He was parked way down at the highway and didn't bring anything to eat. The boy was in bonk mode.

    I haven't been to Neon since the late 90s...it was pretty busy then, too.
    "I am Spartacus!"

  15. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by rockgremlin View Post

    Geez, you'd think that 2.5 mile stretch of open, gnat-infested sandstone would keep the idiots away. .
    RIGHT?...I wonder how many will dive down there when it gets to 100 degrees thinking the river will have swimming holes.
    "I am Spartacus!"

  16. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Suede View Post
    Totally unrelated to Choprock conditions, whole area is turned into a shit show of unprepared tourists flocking to see Neon. Our group was in rescue mode all weekend. The only time we had any peace was while in Choprock. It literally started when we parked at the TH. A lady dressed in a summer romper, hiking boots, and a camera asked, "Is this the way to Neon Canyon?" We had to supply water and offer directions to the unprepared masses passing through Fence Camp. Some crazy lady brought her two house dogs down there and they tore up their paws. They couldn't ascend out and we had to deal with that situation all weekend. I found out today that Rick Green of Excursions of Escalante rescued the dogs...in heroic fashion. On his only day off off he hiked down to Fence Camp to assess the situation, hiked back up for supplies, got 4 hours of sleep, hiked back down, taped up the dogs paws, and marched them up the bench. All within a period of 12 hours. That guy is a beast! Looks like the rescue resources are stretched perilously thin in the Escalante area due to the high traffic. It's nice to help people in need but it is difficult to be empathetic when the situation is caused by stupidity and a lack of respect for the harshness of the landscape. How people can look out from the bench and not be aware of the potential for danger is beyond comprehension. When you go be prepared with extra 1st aide supplies. I know it is difficult to ad weight to an already bursting pack with canyoneering/camping gear. You will be glad to have it when they come...and they will come.

    Rick Green's business card was attached to the trail register at the parking area, LOL.

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    I am in total agreement with you that Neon has blossomed into a complete shitshow with all of the tourists lately. On the drive out to the Egypt road, we counted 17 cars headed back to Escalante. And on our hike in to Fence on Thursday, we passed a friggin' youth group -- 19 teenaged kids with their leaders -- on their way back from hiking Neon. Can you imagine encountering a group this large in Neon? In addition to the youth group, Fence canyon was choked full of campers with their dogs all lined up to hike to the coveted Golden Cathedral. And this was on a Thursday evening. Holidays and weekends are going to see considerably more traffic.

    Despite the crowds, our Neon/Choprock trip went off without a hitch. I'll be posting a TR with pictures here shortly. Stay tuned!!!
    Last edited by rockgremlin; 06-12-2018 at 09:42 AM.
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  17. #13
    Preview of coming attractions...


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    <----I'm with Spartacus

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  19. #14
    Content Provider Emeritus ratagonia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockgremlin View Post
    You are a Godsend, my friend. Thank you X1000 for this detailed and up-to-date beta.

    Geez, you'd think that 2.5 mile stretch of open, gnat-infested sandstone would keep the idiots away. Out of curiosity, does anyone know who owns that land from the parking area to Neon? Is it USFS, BLM or Private? Hopefully it doesn't sprout a trailhead anytime soon...
    The Egypt trailhead is BLM land, formerly Grand Staircase Escalante NM. Current status - I have not been keeping track.

    The Escalante river in that area is in the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area. My impression is that one enters the NRA at the foot of the initial slickrock hill.

    Map of Glen Canyon NRA

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