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Anyone doing Heaps soon?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by ratagonia, May 4, 2017.

  1. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    We stuck a rope in Heaps. If someone is going there soon, please contact me.

    Oh, and... Heaps is flowing about 5 garden hose worth. Very wet, quite cold. No ice or snow, but... The water is very clean.

    Tom
  2. Brian in SLC

    Brian in SLC Brian in SLC

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  3. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    Yes. There is a story. Not mine to tell, but there is a story.

    Tom
  4. Dan Ransom

    Dan Ransom Staff Member

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    GC called out for a short haul? Everyone ok?
  5. Canyonero

    Canyonero

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    Hmmm...might have to work in a trip if there's a free rope involved. :)

    I'm curious if this works most of the time to get your rope back. My luck and observation is that you generally never see abandoned/forgotten gear again if you don't retrieve it very quickly.
  6. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    Varies widely with the leaver's karma.

    Short Haul did not work, so they all ended up rapping down on NPS ropes. Everyone OK. A little hypothermia, a night near the end of the canyon, a tedious effort to get everyone out.

    Tom
  7. Brian in SLC

    Brian in SLC Brian in SLC

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    Sounds like everyone ok though?

    Cold and clear water...nice...
  8. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    I am not so concerned about getting the ropes back; more concerned about leaving litter behind in canyons. Especially conspicuous litter.

    Tom
    Rapterman and wsbpress like this.
  9. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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  10. sail2fast

    sail2fast

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    give us the story, and I'll go get your rope back (as soon as I can).
  11. pagerocks

    pagerocks

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    Did Heaps last Thursday, but just saw this now. Canyon was flowing, but cold and clean.

    When we got our permits, the desk ranger told us there had been a rescue the week before. According to him, someone's dry suit punctured and they got...chilly...

    We found a space blanket, evidence of a recent fire, stacked and sorted firewood in the sandy areas after the 3rd narrows. At the exit there are two ropes tied together hanging down the watercourse. We didn't have long enough ropes for the watercourse exit (and didn't have the beta) otherwise we would have gotten it.

    I hope everyone made it out without lasting damage, but I agree that the rope should be cleaned.

    The canyon's full! Get after it!
    ratagonia likes this.
  12. Phavant

    Phavant

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    I will be there on the 10th. Hopefully its cleaned out by then.
    ScottM likes this.
  13. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    Looks like I have a crew going through this weekend, assuming the weather straightens itself out.

    Update next week.

    Tom
  14. LonePeak

    LonePeak

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    Let's follow Tom's example of discretion and not push inquiry.
  15. Sonny Lawrence

    Sonny Lawrence

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    A Heaping dose of Hypothermia


    On May 3rd, I descended Heaps canyon with four friends. I have descended it twice before. Over the years, I have had many discussions about the final corridor, up climb and final rappel sequence. I tend to run cold. So, for Imlay and Heaps I have always used a drysuit. I did so this time. My drysuit functioned perfectly in a swimming pool a few months ago. Not so this time. Once I was into the deep, dark, cold, wet section; I felt water entering at the level of the pee zip. I stopped, took off my harness and operated the zipper back and forth a few times. There was no obvious problem. However, I would discover the next morning that the end stop for the zipper had become separated from the drysuit. This resulted in a toothpick sized hole that let water in. In the attached picture please note the toothpick under the end stop. The defect was not visible to me while I was wearing it. It was worse when I swam. As the canyon progressed, I was getting increasingly wet and cold. In the sections that involved a lot of movement out of water, I felt fine. In the water, I was not. I mentioned twice to one of my friends that I was cold. A few minutes later the group asked me if I should stop and warm up. The location they chose on canyon left did not look inviting. Hence, we continued for a few minutes. They asked again. This time the location looked reasonable. I climbed up a short distance above the water and sat down. The next think I knew, I was sitting with a space blanket wrapped around me and an emergency candle between my legs. That felt great! My friends built a small fire and coaxed me to leave the candle. I slept for a while. Lovely hard rock mattress. I think there must be a mathematical equation that describes the longer a person lays on a rock, the harder it gets. Over the next few days I became aware of what had happened as my friends gave me bits and pieces of information. After I sat down, I became incoherent. They had to fight me to get my wet clothes off. They feared I might die of hypothermia. One of the individuals who stayed with me had experience with death, hence he and another got to share the hard rock bed. Two others finished the canyon and called for rescue.


    As the sun came up, I closely examined my drysuit, discovering the problem. Duct tape would easily make an emergency repair. We considered finishing the canyon. However we knew the rescue team had the GPS waypoint of our location. So we waited. After a few hours of deliberation, two rescuers descended from the rim to our location. The plan was for all five of us to finish the canyon. They each brought 300 feet of 11 mm rope. Neither had done any canyoneering. Neither had ever been in Heaps before. Off we went. Eventually we got to the end of the final corridor. There was a blue webbing anchor tied around a log on canyon left. I backed it up while the other four descended 60-ish feet. Now they were looking down the 500 feet to Emerald Pools. Opps, I had misdirected them. However they discovered that my two friends the day before had also gone this way. They had tied together 500 feet of rope and descended, leaving it attached to the anchor. While the two rescuers and my two friends were in the exit slot, I did the standard climb up the usual exit route. My apologies were clearly not enough. The four had to ascend back up. One of the rescuers would not allow my friends to untie our 500 feet of rope. We finished Heaps in the usual way using one shorter canyon rope plus the two 11 mm ropes.


    Once the ropes were pulled and people were leaving the Emerald Pools, one rescuer took down my name, etc. He asked with hindsight did I think the rescue was needed. I gave a rather convoluted answer. When I was hypothermic and incoherent, my friends made a determination that rescue was needed. But then I warmed up and discovered the cause of the leaky but fixable drysuit. At that point no rescue was needed. However we had no way to communicate that until the rescuers arrived. But if the three of us would have exited the canyon without the rescuers on the usual route, we would have discovered there was no rope. At that point rescue would have been needed (or at least we would have needed 500 feet or rope). Perhaps we would have figured out that our two friends the day before had taken the other exit route.


    Lessons learned: drysuits can fail. That’s not new news. I was prepared with repair material. But the cause was not obvious until many hours after I became hypothermic and rewarmed. The greatest concern is why I missed the usual exit up climb. I appreciate I had been hypothermic. That has some lingering effects physically and psychologically. I had little food or water for the previous 12 hours. I had little sleep. And there was the blue webbing around the log. It was like a huge magnet that pulled me to it. I became tunnel visioned on that anchor, ignoring what I knew about the canyon. Ultimately only inconvenience occurred due to my error. And of course my name is “Mud” with the two rescuers.

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    darhawk, Ram, Kuenn and 8 others like this.
  16. Kuenn

    Kuenn

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    Sonny, glad things worked out, eventually, scary story though.

    "11mm rope" in canyon country? That's inconceivable!! (Got to be SAR influenced.)
    Good thing you had recent experience with fat rope...and at 586'!
  17. Sonny Lawrence

    Sonny Lawrence

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    Thanks Kuenn, the rope is the SAR team's. It was very heavy when wet.
  18. Canyonero

    Canyonero

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    Thanks for sharing. That's always been my worry with drysuits. I've seen what canyons do to my packs, shoes, drybags etc and can't imagine relying on a watertight drysuit in a canyon, even the less abrasive ones in Zion.
  19. Sam Serna

    Sam Serna

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    Hi, I'm scheduled to run Heaps this Saturday.
    hank moon likes this.
  20. Kip Marshall

    Kip Marshall

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    The rope is no longer hanging out of Heaps. A small team of SAR members descended the canyon on the 31st and removed the rope.
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