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Thread: West Canyon hiking +new return invite

  1. #1

    West Canyon hiking +new return invite

    I finally got to see West Canyon - described by many as arguably the South-West's "best" - but not the easiest to access, so here's some photos which I hope will whet someone's appetite as I enjoyed it so much that I plan to return during a 3-day Lake Powell trip Aug 21-23 & we have one of the 6 spots available to anyone who'd like to go.

    First, regarding August, 5 people are signed up & the aim is to see Face the 21st, West the 22nd, Labyrinth 23rd. The cost is $168 which covers 4 water taxis to get us out to Face, Face-West, West-Labyrinth, and Labyrinth-Antelope Pt, and three 2-person kayaks (gas and tax included).
    That's the plan, but anyone thinking about it, there's no guarantee it will go perfectly as it's totally weather-dependent being monsoon season, plus there's a possibility of flood debris or quicksand at canyon entrances, however the lake level is predicted to be near perfect for Face & Labyrinth and for that price if we have to do something else on the lake it's still pretty good. (any ideas anyone where to visit on the lake if weather forecast looks too dodgy to enter canyons?)

    Anyway back to the report. Many thanks to Anthony D, and Byron for making it happen, and the good company of Dave and Evelyn who made up our trip group. One reason why I'm returning is that 3 cameras failed us because of water and sand damage, so there are no DSLR shots (at least no re-sizing for this TR) and the compacts' focuses gradually deteriorated, hence a few of these being rather too blurry even after sharpening..
    In a nutshell, we didn't do the whole canyon at the bottom on the way up - instead getting up on the rim early. It's a longer hike but supposedly quicker as it avoids getting wet in several cold swims with wetsuits going on and off. However, when unexpected rain fell for hours on our first night's camping, the two without tents suffered badly but were strong enough to bounce back next day despite no sleep.
    When my tiny one man tent ended up with unexpected shivering visitors - put it this way, i don't get that cosy with my wife that often, let alone a guy who hasn't showered for 4 days! Not that I noticed the smell as I was worse.
    When we did drop down the sheep trail to the head of non-technical West it was a great walk down the bottom of the canyon with ever changing scenery on our return to the boat. (note to anyone interested in the above offer - as it will be only a day hike, we won't get all through the canyon in August, just as far as we can in a few hours and then turn round but that will definitely cover the first attractive narrows, and hopefully more nice bits, and we're looking to see the shortish east Fork which I didn't do last time. nothing technical on the agenda).

    The only downside was on our return to the boat we found it half submerged after a fault led to it taking on water, and quite a bit of my stuff ruined. Luckily my passport survived a soaking, and US dollars I happily discovered are washable. Cameras on the other hand do not like internal cleaning with silt and sandstone replacing machine washing powder.
    We limped back to Wahweap slowly with the boat breaking down a few times more and needing some water baling, but were thankful to get there. A major rushed clean of everything in my room and then I was back on the lake with another group for 3 days for a great trip having just caught them seconds before they pulled away from the marina.

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  4. #2
    Moderator jman's Avatar
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    Mar 2006
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    Thanks for sharing!

    And sorry about the series of unfortunate events!

    The full West adventure is on my bucket-list for sure. Itís just the logistics that make it difficult...but very rewarding Iím sure.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    ●Canyoneering 'Canyon Conditions' @
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    "He who walks on the edge...will eventually fall."
    "There are two ways to die in the desert - dehydration and drowning." -overhearing a Park Ranger at Capitol Reef N.P.
    "...the first law of gear-dynamics: gear is like a gas - it will expand to fit the available space." -Wortman, Outside magazine.
    "SEND IT, BRO!!"

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  6. #3
    there were some unfortunate events that happened but I do hope you still enjoyed the trip

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  8. #4
    This looks so incredible. I wish I would have seen this. Please let me know if you do another trip down there. Maybe we can drag that YouTube guy that snorkels/scubas and rescues equipment that falls in the water along for the ride to see if he can find any of your gear. My husband is loving watching those videos.
    Happy Hiking

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