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UT: Escalante BFS aka Big Freaking Silo 3-4-17

Discussion in 'Trip Reports' started by Tom Collins, Mar 5, 2017.

  1. Tom Collins

    Tom Collins

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    Location:
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    I got off work Wed. night already packed up and ready to go and rushed down to NW to meet up with Wayne and a friend of his to go through Sandthrax.

    Angus in the lead with Wayne in the middle
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    Wayne crossing a silo
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    Angus crossing the crux up high
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    We made pretty good time through Sandthrax and so we decided to do Angel Advocate to finish off the day and then Angus headed over to Escalante to meet up with another friend while Wayne and I headed over to Capitol Reef to do Timpie the next day. I forgot my camera in Timpie so no pics.

    Wayne and I then split up as he was headed down to St. George while I had plans to do some scouting over in Escalante, but I decided to take up Angus on his offer to join him instead. When we had parted ways Thursday evening the plan was to do Headless Hen and Raven, however when I got there Friday night I found out that the plan had changed and we were going to do what MRK referred to as Tightest slot east of Sandslide canyon.
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    This canyon wasn't done by MRK since this silo is pretty much right at the beginning of the canyon. Given the nature of other canyons in the vicinity (SOS) and what we could see from the rim we were a little wary of what we might find further in the canyon, but we decided to see if we could at least cross this silo first. I was volunteered to go first across the silo with a belay from Angus.
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    Once down to the ledge on the left the silo wasn't too hard to cross, especially with the comfort of being backed up just in case. Angus who came down last with out the belay said it was pretty scary and that it makes the canyon a XX, I'll let him have it since I didn't have to do it. Aaron came down in the middle also on belay from Angus.

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    This was one of the other challenges in canyon, deciding whether to go high over this airy silo or go low and see if you could fit through down low around the corner. While I did see a potential route that went high with some small ledges for your feet just under that bulge on the left, I felt that going low was the better option. Getting down wasn't easy though, straight down the chute didn't provide many features and the crack up canyon was just a little too narrow for a good arm bar all while trying to spit you out into an ankle breaking drop if you blew the moves. For me that way down was to get my right leg into the chute around the corner with a knee on one side and my foot wedged on the other side of the chute, then I just had to commit and shove off with my left leg so I was all the way in. Then it was an easy elevator down. Once down though it didn't look too good around the corner, fortunately it was just barely wide enough to squeeze through and the upclimb into open space was not very high.
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    Aaron popping his head up after climbing down through the silo
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    Once again I forgot to get a picture of the end of the canyon, but while the canyon isn't very long it certainly packs a punch, it had some great scenery and was lots of fun, I think it deserves a 4 star rating (out of 5). The best part is that the crux is near the beginning and so if you get to it and decide its too much for your group its easy to reverse out and once across finishing the canyon is nothing out of the ordinary for an X canyon. Since Kelsey hadn't actually done the canyon Angus wants to rename it if it turns out to be a first descent. We talked to Rick Green that night and he hadn't heard of it and neither has Ram so we are hopeful. Angus wants to name it B.F.S. canyon, and I think I've been outvoted on that, but I wanted to name it Airhead since there were a couple of places where you get some air in that canyon and also I had an airhead piece of candy in one of my pockets that fell out halfway through the canyon in an unretrievable spot.

    We finished the canyon around 2:00pm and having a little time to kill Angus wanted to see if we could find a way in to SOS below the hardest section to scout out the ending. He's planning to do the full canyon in the next couple of days and the hard section ends by dropping to the ground and crawling on your belly through a very narrow tunnel. He had done brimstone the day before he headed over to Sandthrax and there were some unexpected swims near the end and he was worried that the crawls might be submerged.

    The 2nd Walking section of SOS heading up to check out the end of the crux section
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    This was one of the better crawls, there were 3-4 each short maybe 10-15' long and opening into a small room you could stand up in, the worst one was little more than shoulder width and had me on my belly and just barely able to rise up enough to inch forward a little at a time. There was a little water heading up to the crawls so Angus removed his shoes so he wouldn't have to hike back with wet feet.
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  2. Ram

    Ram

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    Awesome TR!
    Is this what BFS stands for? IF so i LOVE it!
    Benign fasciculation syndrome (BFS) is a neurological disorder characterized by fasciculation (twitching) of various voluntary muscles in the body. The twitching can occur in any voluntary muscle group but is most common in the eyelids, arms, legs, and feet. Even the tongue may be affected. The twitching may be occasional or may go on nearly continuously. Usually intentional movement of the involved muscle causes the fasciculations to cease immediately, but they may return once the muscle is at rest again.

    OK I see the other name in the TR title.

    I know of no one who has been through. Woo Hoo!! Nice share on some of the moves and playing around in SOS too. Y'all are gittin after it! Kudos!
  3. Landon

    Landon

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    Very nice! This one was on my list at the time we did SOS. Never got around to it. I'm surprised no one else has been out to complete it until now!

    I like the name! When we chose the name for SOS, there were a bunch of possible meanings thrown out. We just decided to kinda leave it open to interpetation. One of my favorite suggestions from Stevee was Six Ounce Sack. What better way to convey the seriousness of a canyon than quantifying the ballz required to descend! New canyon rating system, anyone? Sounds like you guys have the required equipment to attempt! ;)

    Good call checking the end of SOS. Can't wait to hear and see the TR. Good luck and be safe!
    Kevin, Jenny, ratagonia and 2 others like this.
  4. Tom Collins

    Tom Collins

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    Unfortunately? I may or may not be able to go through SOS with them since I'm working 9 out of the next 10 days to make up for time I've taken off/will be taking off. I'm waiting for a call when they decide which day they're gonna go through and see if I can get the one day off and rush down to join them. Either way I'll let them know that a TR is expected.
    Ram likes this.
  5. wisconnyjohnny

    wisconnyjohnny Lagargar pockets

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    We saw angus at outfitters after brimstone and heard the story. He is a crusher. All of you are. Unbelievable stuff. Great report.!!! Awesome pics and descriptions.
    Tom Collins likes this.
  6. Angus

    Angus Angus Wiessner

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    Location:
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    This canyon was short but sweet two silos right of the bat then manageable to the end. The crux silo requires a team to get across Im sure someone could but why try if you blew it you are going for a ugly ride into an abyss. If you decide to attemp be prepared and if your not feeling it you can go back or turn around and rap in below the silo. Be careful in this canyon I think it is the single most serious crux move I've done in a canyon this canyon is not harder than SOS or Bishop it is just vary heads up for the last person the way we did the silo. The cam really helped on the other side though!
    I also think BFS is a vary scenic slot canyon!!!
  7. Tom Collins

    Tom Collins

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    @Angus I was down there this weekend and did Rabbit of Caerbannog canyon as a warm up, but even though we didn't start till around noon we were done by 2:30 so having some time to kill I convinced Wayne and @Canyonguypat to head over and check out BFS. We slung the solution pocket at the top of that drop with a short piece of webbing and were able to handline down into and across that silo. They did it with just the handline, I was able to get down, but was in an awkward stance and so I tied off before shifting my weight across the silo.
  8. Angus

    Angus Angus Wiessner

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    Nice hopefully that little arch never breaks. :timebomb:
    What did you tie off once across? I take it You guys had no #6 cam along.
    Is Bishop Canyon all you have left for the double XX canyons ?
  9. Tom Collins

    Tom Collins

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    No cams, I just tied an overhand knot in the rope with just a small amount of slack. I was just worried about slipping when shifting my weight from leaning on the up canyon crack to being centered over the silo. I knew from the last time that once I was in that position I could make the crossing so if I fell it would only be at the beginning and I would only fall about 4-6" before the rope caught.

    Bishop is the only XX I have left.
  10. Angus

    Angus Angus Wiessner

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    Well I would like to do another lap through bishop soon just got a new head lamp that's 760 lumens it will light the whole Canyon up or we could go with the glow stick approach!!!
    Tom Collins likes this.
  11. Tom Collins

    Tom Collins

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    As soon as my May schedule comes out I'll see if I can put together some dates that might work. If I do manage to put something together it will most likely be just a day or two where I run down there one day and take it easy then do Bishop, and head home the next day for work, it will be sometime after the 6th though.
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