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Thread: Ranking Capitol Reef Canyons

  1. #1

    Ranking Capitol Reef Canyons

    Capitol Reef has always been a mixed bag for me. Some canyons are great, some are meh. How would you rate the following canyons? Top 5?

    A-Door-Able
    Arch Nemesis
    Beaver Bay
    Cassidy Arch
    Ex Wife
    Fire Canyon
    Nighthawk
    Na-gah
    Reef Ramble
    Smokestack
    Stem School
    Stone Dagger
    Strike 2
    Sunglow
    Timpie
    Tou-Can
    The Wives
    Watson
    Wonderland
    Wingate Wander

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  3. #2
    No Pandora's Box?

    Hard to make a top 5 list of Capitol Reef without it.

  4. #3
    So, how big is too big for Pandora's Box? I'm 6'2" and 210. I've done Alcatraz, Middle Lep, and a bunch of other tight canyons, going high at narrow spots. But people make Pandora's Box sound quite tough if you're barrel-chested. I've also excluded some other canyons from the list just because I've done them already.

  5. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Iceaxe View Post
    No Pandora's Box?

    Hard to make a top 5 list of Capitol Reef without it.
    X2

    Was gonna say the same thing. Pandora's is easily in my top 5 all time list.
    Office Spacing
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    When a worker in a menial, white collar job simply skips a day (or several) without explanation to his boss or coworkers.



  6. #5
    If you've done Alcatraz, you ought to be able to complete Pandora's Box. There are two obstacles in PB that are a little trickier and require some unique skills, but still doable.

    The last time I went through there we had two rather barrel chested guys in our group, and they made it through with some partner assists.
    Office Spacing
    verb

    When a worker in a menial, white collar job simply skips a day (or several) without explanation to his boss or coworkers.



  7. #6
    Moderator jman's Avatar
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    Keeping tabs on this thread as I haven’t done any canyoneering in Capitol. (Shocker I know). I know all about the canyons, where they are located, some of the “better” ones to do, but one day I will spend the time there and do the top 5 list.


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    "There are two ways to die in the desert - dehydration and drowning." -overhearing a Park Ranger at Capitol Reef N.P.
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  8. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by rockgremlin View Post
    If you've done Alcatraz, you ought to be able to complete Pandora's Box. There are two obstacles in PB that are a little trickier and require some unique skills, but still doable.

    The last time I went through there we had two rather barrel chested guys in our group, and they made it through with some partner assists.
    ^^^What he said.

    My chest measurements 43" and I can do the route and those slightly larger should be able to do the route. Large frame canyoneer will have to work harder as you must climb up and over many of the squeeze obstacles.

    6'-2 @ 210 should not be an major issue.

    The big killer with Pandora's Box is folks getting a late start. You want to be hiking before the sun comes up.

    And for what it's worth... I consider Cassidy Arch to be the Pine Creek of Capitol Reef if that helps your list.

    Ranking best canyons is always difficult because my criteria is probably different from yours.

  9. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Iceaxe View Post
    The big killer with Pandora's Box is folks getting a late start. You want to be hiking before the sun comes up.

    ^^^YES^^^

    This is a good point. As I recall, when I did it, our group left camp in the dark (4:45 - 5:15ish) and we got back to camp just as the sun dropped below the horizon....and we had a pretty competent group. Had we dilly-dallied at all or if we were just a slower group in general we would have been hiking back to camp in the dark. It's a long hard day that requires over 10 hours for most folks. If you're taking n00bs be sure everybody has headlamps and I would recommend taking along a good gps.
    Office Spacing
    verb

    When a worker in a menial, white collar job simply skips a day (or several) without explanation to his boss or coworkers.



  10. #9
    FWIW: Here is the Pandora's warning directly from my beta, which is why quality beta is valuable:

    From http://climb-utah.com/Capitol/pandora.htm

    Warning: Pandora's Box is rated 3A R IV using the Canyon Rating System. Large frame canyoneers will have a difficult time descending Pandora's Box. My chest measurement is 43" of solid muscle. I found it necessary to climb up and over obstacles that Smurf sized canyoneers could squeeze through. If you have moderate climbing ability and help from friends you should not get trapped in this canyon if you are my size or slightly larger. Large frame canyoneers will have to work much harder than Smurf sized canyoneers to descend this route. Most of the squeeze obstacles can be defeated by climbing up and over them. Bring as small of pack as possible. You have been warned!


    A major key to success with this slot canyon is to be hiking at first light or a little before. Many of the problems and rescues associated with this slot canyon are the result of canyoneers falling behind schedule for any number of reasons and running out of daylight. Don't be one of those canyoneers. So once again, You have been warned!

  11. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Iceaxe View Post
    FWIW: Here is the Pandora's warning directly from my beta, which is why quality beta is valuable:
    My chest measurement is 43" of solid muscle
    What year was this written

  12. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Sombeech View Post
    What year was this written
    Suck it bitch... not bad for 59 years old... all the females are now probably sporting lady boners :-)

    When do we get to see your swimsuit pics?


  13. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Iceaxe View Post
    When do we get to see your swimsuit pics?
    If only you would have swiped Right on my Tinder profile


  14. Likes rockgremlin liked this post
  15. #13
    ^^^SWIMSUIT???

    That looks like something my grandpa wore to the beach in 1912.... How are the women supposed to get lady boners if you won't show your abs?

  16. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Iceaxe View Post
    Suck it bitch... not bad for 59 years old... all the females are now probably sporting lady boners :-)

    When do we get to see your swimsuit pics?

    I gotta admit that Ice looks pretty decent considering the age factor.

    As I have struggled to maintain a lean physique beyond the age of 40, I have discovered how frustrating it is to lose fat and maintain muscle. When I was in my 20's and 30's I could eat garbage all day, every day and look like a Calvin Kline underwear model, with 5% body fat and a 6 pack. Nowadays, I bust my ass every day exercising and limiting my sugar/carb intake and my body insists it wants to augment my love handles and get rid of my muscle. It's like my body just gives the middle finger to my efforts to stay fit. It's exceedingly difficult to stay lean and fit beyond 40. So for Ice to maintain the physique in that picture while flirting with 60 years is to be commended.
    Office Spacing
    verb

    When a worker in a menial, white collar job simply skips a day (or several) without explanation to his boss or coworkers.



  17. #15
    Back on subject.......

    I think Fire Canyon and Ex Wife are one and the same canyon? Stegosaur slot is missing from the list.
    Don't believe everything you think.

    -Borrowed from a bumper sticker I believe

  18. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by french_de View Post
    Stegosaur slot is missing from the list.
    Stegosaur slot is a great "girlfriend canyon".... certainly one of the best girlfriend/beginner canyons in Capitol Reef, it just depends on how you are ranking your slots.

    Burro, Five Mile and Cottonwood are also missing from the list.

    Burro is probably on many top five lists for Capitol Reef.

    Poe, Happy Dog and Baboon Laughs are also considered by many to be Capitol Reef Slots, Depending on how you group your canyons. If you need rescue it's probably the Capitol Reef rangers coming to save your butt so that's a good enough reason for me to group them with the other CR canyons.



  19. #17
    My list is stuff I haven’t done yet. I’ve done cottonwood, burro, etc.

  20. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by french_de View Post
    I think Fire Canyon and Ex Wife are one and the same canyon?
    Good to know. Thanks.

  21. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by rockgremlin View Post
    If you've done Alcatraz, you ought to be able to complete Pandora's Box. There are two obstacles in PB that are a little trickier and require some unique skills, but still doable.

    The last time I went through there we had two rather barrel chested guys in our group, and they made it through with some partner assists.
    While we’re on the subject, how does Chambers compare for a barrel cheated guy?

  22. #20
    Chambers is a different story. It's all fun and games until the last section of the main slot, where is put up or shut up time.

    That last stretch requires that you upclimb about 30 feet, and then high stem off deck for over 100 feet. It's pretty labor intensive, and it can be nerve wracking if you're afraid of unprotected heights.

    It's already required an SAR callout to rescue some dude that couldn't stem anymore and succumbed, sliding down into the crack and requiring his friends to go get help.
    Office Spacing
    verb

    When a worker in a menial, white collar job simply skips a day (or several) without explanation to his boss or coworkers.



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