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Shenanigans

North Wash beta posted by Dan Ransom
  • The Hype

    North Wash is famous for tight, physical slots. And perhaps no canyon epitomizes the "skinnies" more than Shenanigans.

    Even when you fit, it's frighteningly narrow. And if you don't? Well, let's just say, you're gonna have a bad time.

    The general rule of thumb is if you weigh roughly 180 pounds or less, or have a 34 inch waist or smaller, you will be able squeeze and grunt your way through at ground level. If you find yourself too large to get through down low there is an optional high route, but it involves a challenging upclimb followed by sustained stemming that requires significant strength and endurance.

    But the canyon isn't just a subterranean squeeze fest. It's also an extremely beautiful and photogenic route, with very long narrows, natural bridges, corkscrews, and a final rappel into a pool-filled grotto.

    Getting There

    Access Road: All of the canyons in the West Fork of Butler drainage are accessed from Cedar Point road, which heads east from Highway 95 at mile marker 25.5. Follow the main track of Cedar Point road for 3.9 miles to an intersection with a clump of trees, known as the "4 way." Continue northeast on the main track 1.5 miles to another small intersection, where an old faded seismic survey road cross Cedar Point Road. There is parking for a handful of cars here.

    Optional Car Shuttle: You can spot a car at the 4 way if you exit via the Kelsey Exit. Or, follow the track heading south from the "4 way" an additional few hundred yards, and spot your car there. This eliminates 20-30 minutes of hiking at the end of the day.

    From the Trailhead: Follow the seismic survey road east. About 10 minutes in, you will cross the first drainage (Monkey Business.) The second drainage is Shenanigans, around 20 minutes from the car. Head down canyon to the first drop, and either rappel the awkward 10 foot overhang, or follow the canyon left rim around 50 yards and downclimb to the canyon floor.

    The Canyon - Rating: 3A III R   Longest Rap: 50'   # of Raps: 1-4

    Skills Required: Natural Anchoring, Stemming, Downclimbing

    Rappels:
    Shenanigans has a variety of obstacles, some of which can be downclimbed depending on your skills. The final rappel is the longest, and requires a very careful traverse on tiny ledges to avoid going into a pool.

    Exposure Risk: R (for those who weigh more than 180 lbs.)
    The canyon gets an R rating for large-framed canyoneers, and also for one sections of high stemming. Generally speaking, the stemming is straight forward, but if you are inexperienced or risk averse, consider descending other North Wash canyons first, and get a taste for the effort and exposure involved. This canyon is not recommended for beginners.

    Water
    Shenanigans rarely holds any water, except for the few days following significant rain, and the pool at the final rappel which can generally be avoided. Wetsuits are not necessary, even in the coldest seasons.

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

    Gear Recommendations
    Technical Canyoneering Kit - including helmet, harness, rappel device, ascending gear
    Webbing - 30'
    Rapides - 3
    Pads - Knee, elbow
    Bunny strap

    Flash Flood Danger: Low

    The Exit

    After the final rappel and spring filled grotto, begin hiking downstream. A few minutes downstream Monkey Business enters the middle fork on canyon right. After roughly 6/10 of a mile from the final rappel, a large canyon enters on canyon left - this is the Foolin' Around drainage. Another 1/4 mile below that, a fault line canyon crosses the main drainage, and gives passage back to the rim due west.

    The Kelsey Exit: This fault line canyon is known as the Kelsey Exit, and looks rather unlikely at first view. But it all goes, with 4th class climbing and a traverse out to the right back on to slickrock to gain the final rim. Be careful, wear a helmet, and route find carefully. Once at the rim, hike cross country back to your car spot.

    Optional Exit: There is an option to spot a car at 3 Forks on Hwy 95, and exit directly down Butler to the road. If you like long walks in the sand, this is for you.

    Red Tape

    BLM Land: Shenanigans 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.
  • Access Road: All of the canyons in the West Fork of Butler drainage are accessed from Cedar Point road, which heads east from Highway 95 at mile marker 25.5. Follow the main track of Cedar Point road for 3.9 miles to an intersection with a clump of trees, known as the "4 way." Continue northeast on the main track 1.5 miles to another small intersection, where an old faded seismic survey road cross Cedar Point Road. There is parking for a handful of cars here.

    Optional Car Shuttle: You can spot a car at the 4 way if you exit via the Kelsey Exit. Or, follow the track heading south from the "4 way" an additional few hundred yards, and spot your car there. This eliminates 20-30 minutes of hiking at the end of the day.

    From the Trailhead: Follow the seismic survey road east. About 10 minutes in, you will cross the first drainage (Monkey Business.) The second drainage is Shenanigans, around 20 minutes from the car. Head down canyon to the first drop, and either rappel the awkward 10 foot overhang, or follow the canyon left rim around 50 yards and downclimb to the canyon floor.
  • Skills Required: Natural Anchoring, Stemming, Downclimbing

    Rappels:
    Shenanigans has a variety of obstacles, some of which can be downclimbed depending on your skills. The final rappel is the longest, and requires a very careful traverse on tiny ledges to avoid going into a pool.

    Exposure Risk: R (for those who weigh more than 180 lbs.)
    The canyon gets an R rating for large-framed canyoneers, and also for one sections of high stemming. Generally speaking, the stemming is straight forward, but if you are inexperienced or risk averse, consider descending other North Wash canyons first, and get a taste for the effort and exposure involved. This canyon is not recommended for beginners.

    Water
    Shenanigans rarely holds any water, except for the few days following significant rain, and the pool at the final rappel which can generally be avoided. Wetsuits are not necessary, even in the coldest seasons.

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

    Gear Recommendations
    Technical Canyoneering Kit - including helmet, harness, rappel device, ascending gear
    Webbing - 30'
    Rapides - 3
    Pads - Knee, elbow
    Bunny strap

    Flash Flood Danger: Low
  • After the final rappel and spring filled grotto, begin hiking downstream. A few minutes downstream Monkey Business enters the middle fork on canyon right. After roughly 6/10 of a mile from the final rappel, a large canyon enters on canyon left - this is the Foolin' Around drainage. Another 1/4 mile below that, a fault line canyon crosses the main drainage, and gives passage back to the rim due west.

    The Kelsey Exit: This fault line canyon is known as the Kelsey Exit, and looks rather unlikely at first view. But it all goes, with 4th class climbing and a traverse out to the right back on to slickrock to gain the final rim. Be careful, wear a helmet, and route find carefully. Once at the rim, hike cross country back to your car spot.

    Optional Exit: There is an option to spot a car at 3 Forks on Hwy 95, and exit directly down Butler to the road. If you like long walks in the sand, this is for you.
  • BLM Land: Shenanigans 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.
TannerT likes this.

Condition Reports for Shenanigans

  1. TannerT
    May 9, 2013
    TannerT

    Difficulty:

    NA

    Skill Level:

    NA

    Water:

    NA

    Thermal:

    NA

    Group Size:

    NA

    Total Time:

    NA


    I love this canyon! It is the jewel of the region. A word of advice, even though the canyon should be done in 6-8 hours it generally takes longer just due to the fun factor.

    Posted May 9, 2013
      Dan Ransom likes this.
  2. Aquaman
    May 11, 2015
    Aquaman

    Difficulty:

    Moderate

    Skill Level:

    Intermediate

    Water:

    Shallow (calf deep)

    Thermal:

    None

    Group Size:

    3 people

    Total Time:

    1 hour 6 hours


    Amazing canyon! Entirely dry except for the last rappel into a waist deep pool (which can be mostly avoided by carefully traversing the canyon left side of the pool). Narrows are a blast and not too squeezey if you're below the recommended weight of 180lbs. No trash and tidy anchors. Grim crawl of death looks scary, and the Kelsey exit has some hairy spots if you are exposure adverse (like me). Bring a skilled canyoneer comfortable with exposure to help out and it's a great romp.

    Car spotting where you're park for the Leps cuts out some boring road walking at the end of the day, and as of 5/10 is easily assessable by passenger car.

    Posted May 16, 2015
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.