Canyoneering – The Hogs, North Wash, Utah

CMC Canyoneers Ready for the Hogs
Byron, Clare, Jill, Kim, and Fred at the trailhead. Erin is taking the picture!

Erin and Byron Scouting Miss Piggy
Byron and Erin Scouting Miss Piggy

USGS The Hogs Canyons
Colored in USGS Map, with the Hogs

After such a thrilling time on Leprechaun, I wondered how our trip could have any more adventure. Opting to do the Hogs for day 2 was the answer! It was just one notch up on the excitement scale, while still being a very nice moderate canyon.

Mountain Biking Tantalus Flats in Utah
Dennis decided to mountain bike at Tantalus Flats, so it was down to the 6 of us.

Thanks to Byron for driving us to the trail head in his super awesome pick em up 4wd truck! I was happy we were in such capable hands. The road wasn’t that bad, but 4wd with high clearance was definitely necessary as there were some very deep ruts in sections.

Looking back at the trailhead after 10 minutes of hiking. The truck is just to the right of the mound in the foreground (but behind and to the left of Fred!).
Hiking to The Hogs

The Hogs Exit Area
Erin admiring the Hogs. The slabby exit (involving the 5.7R solo) starts on the slab in the lower left of the frame. It lines up with Erin’s knee pads.

Byron and Jill Scoping Out the Hogs
Jill and Byron scoping out the Hogs. It’s so nice to be above the canyons while planning the exits. I really prefer the hike to the Hogs over the Leprechaun for this very reason. So much easier!

Erin Admiring the Desert Vista
Erin on the hike to the Hogs. Looking back at the way we came!

Scrambling into Miss Piggy
Scrambling into Miss Piggy! It only took an hour to approach! Yay!

View From Start of Miss Piggy
Start of Miss Piggy! Isn’t the view amazing!

Entry Into Miss Piggy
Look back at the opening moves of Miss Piggy. Fun!

Erin Ready to Tackle Miss Piggy
Erin ready for Bacon! We were making pig jokes all day.

Byron and Erin Setting a Multi-Stage Rappel
Byron and Erin Setting up the multi-stage rappel.

Fred Rappeling Miss Piggy
Fred rappelling.

Kim Down Climbing Miss Piggy
Kim Down Climbing

Jill Down Climbing Miss Piggy
Teamwork is essential!

Miss Piggy Future Keeper Pothole
Obstacle – Future Keeper Pothole!

About to Jump a Keeper Pothole
Wait For It…

I Jumped the Keeper
Now! I cleared the water…Yay!

Clare Jumping Keeper Pothole
A View from the backside! White Girls CAN jump!

Erin Dwarfed by Monstrous Miss Piggy
Are those hog nostrils in the wall above Erin?

Hog Heaven
Hog Heaven!

Jill With a Big Smile
Jill enjoying the Hogs.

When we got done with Miss Piggy, we merged into Hog 1 and finished it. We decided to take a nice long lunch break in the shade. Byron looked for some water to cool off in, but there wasn’t any water in that stance of trees. We then climbed up the 5.7R rated slab, and up slabs all the way back to the rim.

For the 5.7R portion, Byron scrambled up to the top first, as per his usual prerogative. He plopped down in a sharp and spindly clump of dry grass and then gave us a hand line. I guess he didn’t notice the grass at first, but later it would come back to bite him. (Not to be punny).

Byron was apparently not comfortable at all, being the meat anchor, with the grass poking his a$$, and roasting on the slabs. He said some disparaging comments about various members of our group as they tried to ascend. His cajoling was not very constructive.

However, I could understand his frustration. It certainly wasn’t getting any *cooler* out, daylight was a wasting, and being out there all day with noobs like us can be trying for somebody so advanced!

If I recall correctly, everybody except Erin soon took to using the hand line. I think all of us could have solo’d it, given enough time, encouragement, and some teamwork. However, being in the heat of the day, I was happy to take the hand line and glad others did too. I’m glad we collectively overcame the obstacle and MOVED onwards and upwards. I was just hoping we could have had a more cohesive experience during the crux rather than having the added stress.

Jill and Clare Taking Waypoints
Here is a picture, courtesy of Erin, of Jill and I verifying we are at the top of Hog 2. When canyoneering, it is essential to get the proper drop in point.

Fred and Byron Hamming it Up
Byron and Fred “hamming” it up in Hog 2.

A Rappel In Hog Canyon
An exciting free hanging rappel in Hog 2. It looks like you’re going to land in this water, but you can swing and if you time it right, you can just perfectly avoid the water. Landing in a sandy embankment, instead. Fun!

After this exciting rappel, we had several fun “elevators”. An elevator describes the movement the climber makes as the climber descends a shaft, or chimney, of rock. Some elevators are not vertical, so you can slide down one side. Whereas others must be expertly negotiated, with a mixture of stemming and sliding. Off width climbing techniques really came in handy for me, such as chicken winging, arm barring, leg jamming, and heal toe camming.

In the picture below, is the end of a long 9 meter (or so) elevator. It was complex and involved several different techniques.

About 15 feet above the ground, there is a constriction. Below the constriction, it flares out at the bottom, so you can jump from the constriction to a big ole pile of sand. If you are too far to the left when you hit the constriction, then you get completely stuck in your abdominal region and your legs are dangling. It’s very uncomfortable!

Erin got stuck there, with her atc wedged in the rock between her back and the wall. She pushed herself out of the constriction and headed to the right a few feet. I saw it happen to her and even though I tried to avoid it, the same thing very nearly happened to me! Luckily, I was not the guinea pig on that elevator!

At Bottom of 9 Meter Downclimb
The last meter of a 9 meter elevator, in Hog 2.

Jumping at End of 9 Meter Downclimb

When we got to the rim of the Hogs, I stayed with Erin because she was very hot and exhausted. I helped her remove the canyoneering gear and then hiked with her, Jill, and Kim back to the car. Eventually, we caught up with Fred who was wondering about the best way back to the truck. He asked me if I knew how to get there and of course I did…Finally, I could do something to help!

When we got back to the truck, Byron was there waiting to give everybody high fives. I was happy and relieved to see him and his truck. I was imagining him saying to himself, as he peeled back down the 4wd road, “Those noobs, they can go $crew themselves! I’m going Hog Wild, without them!”

Map 30 of The Hogs Canyons
The Hogs, map from Kelsey’s book.

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