Canyoneering – North Wash (Arrival Day)

Our Shade/Mess Tent!

We had so much fun wet canyoneering in Portugal, Dennis and I decide to try our hand at Dry Canyoneering. Another trip leader from the CMC, Jill Yarger, tells me about a trip she has done to North Wash, Utah in the past. She is thinking about leading another one and I immediately volunteer to co-lead the trip. I was so happy she was willing to take a couple of newbies out!

Prepping for our adventure tomorrow!

Back in Early May, Jill gave a canyoneering refresher training class, which went over skills such as assisted climbing techniques, meat anchors, and how to rig a single strand for rappels. After the training class, I spent the next couple weeks gathering maps, doing research, printing articles from other bloggers, and finding guidebooks (noteably, Technical Slot Canyon Guide to the Colorado Plateau, 2nd Edition by Mr. Kelsey).

I would like to thank the following bloggers and sites. Their research and clearly presented data helped to make our trip a huge success!
Tom’s Utah Canyoneering Guide, Courtesy
Todd’s Desert Hiking Guide
BluuGnome – GPS Waypoints and Pictures!

In any event, Dennis and I filled our car with our gear, Erin, and Erin’s Gear. Then, we drove the 7 hours, in a caravan with Jill (who took Kim) and also Byron, to our destination. The wind on the drive out was horrendous, but the car was so full of stuff it didn’t really matter. We got to Sandthrax campground and picked the very best spot to set up camp. Yay for early arrival during a holiday weekend!

Using a carabineer to redirect the rope, so I can use both hands to stuff it in the sack.

After we got camp set up, we headed off for a group bonding and secondary refresher class. We wandered just out of camp and clambered up on some rocks. We went over some skills and did a rappel to make sure everybody was on the same page. I think it was a helpful review.

Heading back to camp after our review. You can see camp amongst the trees.

Dinner Time! Everybody ate different stuff, but Dennis and I had something special planned!
Fried Chicken & Mashed Potatoes
Car Camping Dinner. Fabulous Fried Chicken; to honor our good buddy Dave from TX who, with the help of the CMC, managed to safely climb all 54 of the CO 14’ers last summer.

Then, Jill and I settled into preparing for our outing in the morning. First up: Leprechaun Canyon! We plugged in some GPS coordinates to our receivers and went over the maps. I was happy I purchased the USGS maps, they were very nice to have as a supplement to the online material.

All pictures, with exception of fried chicken, courtesy of Erin Thompson.

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