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UT: Robber's Roost Alcatraz Canyon 11/4/17

Discussion in 'Trip Reports' started by Austin Farnworth, Nov 7, 2017.

  1. Austin Farnworth

    Austin Farnworth

    Messages:
    22
    Likes:
    50
    Location:
    Mapleton, Utah
    I’ve heard a lot of good things about Alcatraz Canyon and have been trying to get back into the roost to do it for a while now. My wife and I had set a Saturday aside so we could take her parents and 5 siblings canyoneering. They have been down a few canyons with us before and they wanted to do a canyon with big rappels and lots of stemming, so Alcatraz Canyon naturally fit the bill. We left Mapleton at 6:15am and made the long drive out to the roost, only encountering one section of deep sand on the last stretch of dirt road that we were able to pass over without much issue. When we arrived, there was another vehicle backed up to the first rappel, and another car soon showed up. Alcatraz must be a popular canyon on Saturdays.
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    We started sending people down the first 150ft rappel and right off the bat my wife’s 9 year old sister got her hair caught in her figure eight about half way down and I had to go down and cut her hair. When she reached the bottom she remarked that the rappel was “the funnest she has ever done”, definitely not the response you would expect to hear from a 9 year old girl who just got an impromptu hair cut. LRM_EXPORT_20171104_203617.

    The rest of the family made it down without incident and the younger siblings took off down the canyon with the rest of us trying to catch up. The beginning of the canyon had some really fun down-climbs that looked like some people rig them up as rappels, but all in the family handled them just fine. We reached the only rappel in canyon and it turned out to be a little bit tricky. There is a pothole about 7ft deep with a rappel off the rim. The anchor must be rigged before entering the pothole and a partner assist is required to exit the pothole and rappel. We made it work though it took us quite a while to get everyone past it. LRM_EXPORT_20171104_203409.

    After the pothole rappel, the canyon deepened and got narrow but not anything as tight as leprechaun or chambers. We encountered a few pools and we all had fun finding creative ways to get past them. We had to use headlamps in much of the 2nd half of the canyon and it definitely added to experience. There was one 20ft section that was too tight for even my wife’s younger siblings to fit through, so we up-climbed and passed over it. Other than that one spot, we really didn’t run into anything super tight and it was mostly just fun down-climbs and hallways.
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    As the canyon opened, there was one last pool that required a full bridge to cross and some of the family opted to get wet in the waist deep water rather than attempt the stretch. We took a break past the pool and assessed how everyone did at the “don’t get wet game”. The winner was my wife’s father, who had at one point stemmed 30ft up just to avoid one pool and ended up with only one foot wet to the ankle. We continued down canyon to where the earthen dam rappel was supposed to be and we didn’t end up having to do it thanks to recent rockfall that has made it an easy down-climb.
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    The hike out was longer than expected but had amazing views and a gradual grade that made it quite enjoyable. We made it back to our cars completing the canyon in 5 hours with everyone ready to go get a burger. While there is quite a bit of dirt road to get out to Alcatraz, it is well worth the drive. It offers nonstop action without ever getting too intense and has some very unique features. The canyons of Robbers Roost are quickly becoming my favorites based on the overall experience you get from being out in the roost. I definitely think I'll be back to do this canyon again in the future.
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  2. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    Location:
    Mount Carmel, Utah
    Excellent trip report, thanks. You capture the feeling of the canyon well.

    Tom
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  3. Mountaineer

    Mountaineer Is that an X slot?

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    Nice job! I agree, the hike out IS a bit longer than you expect. Ha.

    Great report.
    Austin Farnworth likes this.
  4. Austin Farnworth

    Austin Farnworth

    Messages:
    22
    Likes:
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    Location:
    Mapleton, Utah
    Yeah we were considering taking advantage of our two cars to do Larry Canyon afterwards but the hike out convinced everyone to call it a day.

    Sent from my SM-G920T using Tapatalk
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