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Black Hole of White Canyon

Cedar Mesa beta posted by Dan Ransom
  • The Hype

    Fabulous Fun. White Canyon is a tremendous Cedar Mesa canyon and that would be just fine. But then it narrows and deeps. You climb into the bowels of the earth, and are confronted with a pool that winds around a corner and out of sight. The water is very cold. You remember walking through the 100 degree heat and being very warm, but it does you little good now. You grab your pack and plunge into the pool, swimming around the corner, then another corner, then another corner. The frigid water spurs you on. Ahead is sunlight and gravel. You pull out of the pool and turn your pack upside down. Yeah!

    The Black Hole offers one of the longest and coolest swims of the Colorado Plateau. A rope might be helpful to aid the weakest members of the party, but with a little hunting around, non-rappelling descents can be made at all the obstacles. The exit requires paying attention, and a little bit of route finding, but is otherwise straight-forward.

    Getting There

    Trailhead:
    You will drop in near Mile Post 57, and exit near Mile Post 55. On the north side of Highway 95, near MP 57 is a large scraped off parking lot, with a cairn and a well established trail leading north. Park here. If possible, spot a car at the bottom, at about MP 54.9

    Approach:
    Follow the trail north to a side canyon. Descend with little difficulty (3rd class) to the bottom of White Canyon. If there is more than a trickle of water flowing in the bottom of White Canyon - TURN AROUND IMMEDIATELY. The canyon bottom should be dry or very nearly so.

    The Canyon - Rating: 2B III   Longest Rap: 15'   # of Raps: 0-2

    2BIII

    Longest Rappel: 15' - There is really only two significant obstacles in the Black Hole, and both can be downclimbed. The first is a 10 foot drop into a pool, that is bypassed by a traverse and downclimb on canyon right. The second is the more difficult drop into the Black Hole proper. As of January 2013, there was still half of a very large log jammed into this slot, along with a fixed handline. A rappel here may be prudent for some canyoneers, but the drop can also be downclimbed.

    Water: The Black Hole is famous for it's very long swims in very cold water. Depending on current conditions, it is not unusual to swim for over 100 yards in a couple of stretches. The water can be cold, and it is sustained. A wetsuit is typically recommended, even in the heat of summer.

    Natural Anchors: Cedar Mesa is considered a "natural anchor" area. There are currently no bolts in Cedar Mesa. Please be competent with natural anchor evaluation and building skills, and plan accordingly.

    Gear Recommendations:
    Technical Canyoneering Kit - including helmet, harness, rappel device
    Rope - 30'
    Webbing - 25'
    Wetsuit

    Red Tape

    BLM Land: The Black Hole is located on BLM land, and currently there are no regulations or access issues.

    Most slot canyons are found on public lands managed by the US Government, although a few can be found on private lands. The US Forest Service, the Bureau of Land Management, and the National Park Service manage these lands. Each area tends to have unique management issues. As a result, there is not a uniform set of rules governing our use of these lands. For current issues related to canyoneering access, please visit www.americancanyoneers.org.
  • Trailhead:
    You will drop in near Mile Post 57, and exit near Mile Post 55. On the north side of Highway 95, near MP 57 is a large scraped off parking lot, with a cairn and a well established trail leading north. Park here. If possible, spot a car at the bottom, at about MP 54.9

    Approach:
    Follow the trail north to a side canyon. Descend with little difficulty (3rd class) to the bottom of White Canyon. If there is more than a trickle of water flowing in the bottom of White Canyon - TURN AROUND IMMEDIATELY. The canyon bottom should be dry or very nearly so.
  • 2BIII

    Longest Rappel: 15' - There is really only two significant obstacles in the Black Hole, and both can be downclimbed. The first is a 10 foot drop into a pool, that is bypassed by a traverse and downclimb on canyon right. The second is the more difficult drop into the Black Hole proper. As of January 2013, there was still half of a very large log jammed into this slot, along with a fixed handline. A rappel here may be prudent for some canyoneers, but the drop can also be downclimbed.

    Water: The Black Hole is famous for it's very long swims in very cold water. Depending on current conditions, it is not unusual to swim for over 100 yards in a couple of stretches. The water can be cold, and it is sustained. A wetsuit is typically recommended, even in the heat of summer.

    Natural Anchors: Cedar Mesa is considered a "natural anchor" area. There are currently no bolts in Cedar Mesa. Please be competent with natural anchor evaluation and building skills, and plan accordingly.

    Gear Recommendations:
    Technical Canyoneering Kit - including helmet, harness, rappel device
    Rope - 30'
    Webbing - 25'
    Wetsuit
  • BLM Land: The Black Hole is located on BLM land, and currently there are no regulations or access issues.

    Most slot canyons are found on public lands managed by the US Government, although a few can be found on private lands. The US Forest Service, the Bureau of Land Management, and the National Park Service manage these lands. Each area tends to have unique management issues. As a result, there is not a uniform set of rules governing our use of these lands. For current issues related to canyoneering access, please visit www.americancanyoneers.org.
Jeff Waugh likes this.

Condition Reports for Black Hole of White Canyon

  1. Jeff Waugh
    Jun 29, 2013
    Jeff Waugh

    Difficulty:

    NA

    Skill Level:

    NA

    Water:

    NA

    Thermal:

    NA

    Group Size:

    NA

    Total Time:

    NA


    Outstanding editing job Dan!

    Posted Jun 29, 2013
  2. Jeff Waugh
    Jul 4, 2013
    Jeff Waugh

    Difficulty:

    NA

    Skill Level:

    NA

    Water:

    NA

    Thermal:

    NA

    Group Size:

    NA

    Total Time:

    NA


    Who sings the opening song Dan? Love it!

    Posted Jul 4, 2013
The information provided here is intended for entertainment purposes only. The creator of this information and/or Canyon Collective are not liable for any harm or damage caused by this information. Conditions in the backcountry are constantly changing, only you are responsible for your safety and well being.