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Smallcatraz

Robbers Roost beta posted by Dan Ransom
  • The Hype

    Smallcatraz, aka "North East Fork of Twin Corral Box Canyon" is a short but sweet half-day adventure between Hans Flat Ranger Station and Ekker Ranch.

    For such a short canyon, it packs a surprising amount of physical fun and aesthetic beauty, as well as a very bizzare limestone vein that cuts through the canyon horizontally, leaving a wild little figure 8 style downclimb.

    While relatively short and fun, this canyon is narrow, squeezy, and physical. Be prepared to go high when in doubt.

    Getting There

    Sometimes, just piecing together all the roads in Roost is the hardest challenge of the day. Smallcatraz is no exception. The trailhead for Smallcatraz is near the Ekker Ranch in Robber's Roost.

    Getting there
    From roughly mile marker 135.4 on Hwy 24, head east on the unpaved, but fairly well maintained Maze Road for 24.4 miles to what is known as the "Big Tee." There is an information kiosk at this intersection, and it is a significant landmark in the Roost. From this intersection, travel south on the Maze road towards the Hans Flat ranger station, arriving at another signed intersection in 7.1 miles. This is the "Little Y." Veer left at the sign, and travel an additional 6.9 miles to another significant intersection that heads west. This track eventually leads to the Ekker Ranch, and then continues on to Larry Canyon road and Angel Point. You only need to follow it for .2 miles though, and then take a dirt track on your left another .8 miles up the hill to a drill hole site. Park here. 38.276373,-110.292752 http://goo.gl/maps/FLVo0

    From the Trailhead
    Keep an eye out for an old sandy track that runs almost directly due south from the dill hole, and find your way into the drainage bottom. The track can be hard to follow, but you can't miss the drainage if you head south, and proceed to the start of the technical narrows.

    The Canyon - Rating: 3A II PG   Longest Rap: 50'   # of Raps: 0-1

    Short and sweet, this canyon has a little of everything. And depending on your climbing skills, you might want to leave a rope in the car. The only really tricky spot is climbing back up into the slot from the belled out "chamber" before the canyon's big drop. You do not want to go down the big final rappel at the end of the slot, simply turn around and climb back up the slot, and exit to the north just upcanyon of the "figure 8."

    Skills required: Stemming (PG), Partner Sequencing, Squeezing, Downclimbing

    Rappels: 0, but a 50 foot rope can be used to anchor and assist upclimbing to the exit

    Exposure Risk: PG
    This canyon gets a PG rating because it requires a bit of off-the-deck stemming, and squeezing. Barrel-chested canyoneers might want to find another option for the day.

    Water
    Smallcatraz holds almost no water, except a few minor pools.

    Natural Anchors
    Robber's Roost is considered a "natural anchor" area. Please be competent with natural anchor evaluation and plan accordingly. Smallcatraz should not have any fixed anchors left behind.

    Gear Recommendations
    Helmet
    Pads - Knee, elbow
    Old clothes
    Gloves
    Very small pack

    Flash Flood Danger: Low, watch the sky.

    The Exit

    Retreat back up the small slot at the back of the chamber. You might need a partner assist to make the move up into the crack. The climbing is relatively straight forward, but a competent climber is required. After climbing back through the figure 8 section, locate the first likely looking exit to the north (left looking up canyon), and begin scrambling up the slickrock towards the rim of the canyon. Micro-route finding will be required. Once at the top, find an old sandy track and follow that back to your car.

    Red Tape

    BLM Land: Smallcatraz 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.
  • Sometimes, just piecing together all the roads in Roost is the hardest challenge of the day. Smallcatraz is no exception. The trailhead for Smallcatraz is near the Ekker Ranch in Robber's Roost.

    Getting there
    From roughly mile marker 135.4 on Hwy 24, head east on the unpaved, but fairly well maintained Maze Road for 24.4 miles to what is known as the "Big Tee." There is an information kiosk at this intersection, and it is a significant landmark in the Roost. From this intersection, travel south on the Maze road towards the Hans Flat ranger station, arriving at another signed intersection in 7.1 miles. This is the "Little Y." Veer left at the sign, and travel an additional 6.9 miles to another significant intersection that heads west. This track eventually leads to the Ekker Ranch, and then continues on to Larry Canyon road and Angel Point. You only need to follow it for .2 miles though, and then take a dirt track on your left another .8 miles up the hill to a drill hole site. Park here. 38.276373,-110.292752 http://goo.gl/maps/FLVo0

    From the Trailhead
    Keep an eye out for an old sandy track that runs almost directly due south from the dill hole, and find your way into the drainage bottom. The track can be hard to follow, but you can't miss the drainage if you head south, and proceed to the start of the technical narrows.
  • Short and sweet, this canyon has a little of everything. And depending on your climbing skills, you might want to leave a rope in the car. The only really tricky spot is climbing back up into the slot from the belled out "chamber" before the canyon's big drop. You do not want to go down the big final rappel at the end of the slot, simply turn around and climb back up the slot, and exit to the north just upcanyon of the "figure 8."

    Skills required: Stemming (PG), Partner Sequencing, Squeezing, Downclimbing

    Rappels: 0, but a 50 foot rope can be used to anchor and assist upclimbing to the exit

    Exposure Risk: PG
    This canyon gets a PG rating because it requires a bit of off-the-deck stemming, and squeezing. Barrel-chested canyoneers might want to find another option for the day.

    Water
    Smallcatraz holds almost no water, except a few minor pools.

    Natural Anchors
    Robber's Roost is considered a "natural anchor" area. Please be competent with natural anchor evaluation and plan accordingly. Smallcatraz should not have any fixed anchors left behind.

    Gear Recommendations
    Helmet
    Pads - Knee, elbow
    Old clothes
    Gloves
    Very small pack

    Flash Flood Danger: Low, watch the sky.
  • Retreat back up the small slot at the back of the chamber. You might need a partner assist to make the move up into the crack. The climbing is relatively straight forward, but a competent climber is required. After climbing back through the figure 8 section, locate the first likely looking exit to the north (left looking up canyon), and begin scrambling up the slickrock towards the rim of the canyon. Micro-route finding will be required. Once at the top, find an old sandy track and follow that back to your car.
  • BLM Land: Smallcatraz 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.
Nick Woolley likes this.

Condition Reports for Smallcatraz

  1. penmartens
    Apr 9, 2013
    penmartens

    Difficulty:

    NA

    Skill Level:

    NA

    Water:

    NA

    Thermal:

    NA

    Group Size:

    NA

    Total Time:

    NA


    4/6/13 Smallcatraz was dry except for the pothole in the final section of the canyon. It looked difficult to avoid so we backed out missing the final awesome view from the big drop.

    Posted Apr 9, 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.