Bishop 9/26/16 Very little beta going into this canyon. We spoke to Rick Green who could tell us about the dark section(headlamp required), long silo section and that it was “spicy.” I had a write up that is now lost so I no longer have exact times but we hiked down to the exit point and set our rope to ascend out. Peter was using the day to scout a few things and hang out on the rim. Plan on about 1.5 hours to hike, find and set up the exit, add another 30-45 min to retrace and find the entrance to Bishop. Angus and I hiked back to the head of Bishop with our Lep packs, geared up in standard X fashion and headed in. The initial upper section is quite tame and hardly worth mentioning. I would lean towards an R with fairly low stemming. Middle section gets more difficult with increasing exposure(R+/X-). I remember an open section with a large boulder and that from there the canyon quickly progressed. High stemming, awkward climbs and everything else you would expect. There are three large drainages that enter from the LDC. As each of these enter you notice the canyon cutting deeper and features getting more bizarre as you go along. The difficulty also increases as you progress. I don’t remember any of these showing much if any promise of an exit unless someone else descended a drainage and set a rope. Exposed stemming will lead you to an obvious point where the crack goes over a ledge and the bottom drops out leaving you in an elevator style shaft 40+ feet to the ground. I take the packs while angus anchors in to provide a hand line while I investigate. “Better than it looks” I shout back up to Angus. A short walk presents you with a rockfall with a small hole going into darkness. It looks like a cave. Above is a very difficult looking climb that we didn’t even attempt. I wouldn’t rule out a potential alternate route higher. It would be one of the most heady climbs we have seen thus far by looks alone and unexplored territory in the canyon. Headlamps go on, into the dark we venture. The pinching and convoluted walls above prevent any light from entering. Walking/crawling at first but the canyon floor cuts away and now stemming in an otherwise pitch black environment. We both agreed only Sleepy Hollow has a dark section that compares. That itself is a distant second to the seriousness and amazement both felt in here. There is a turn or two that allows a very slight bluish hue of light into the canyon but not enough to navigate. There is difficult micro route finding in here through a black maze that pinches above and below at various spots. Bombays at times and a few unwelcome silos with unknown heights to cross. A few times were are shut down, have to retreat and find a higher route. I remember climbing into a passage with chest deep water that went for about 30 feet. The ceiling slowly comes to meet the water line confirming its a dead end. At some points we are barely squeezing through 25-50 ft sections. More of these go our way than not preventing some otherwise undesired retracing and climbs. Light starts coming back into the canyon and a ground touch is made. A long up climb ensues that is exposed with moderate moves. Very difficult to say given the illusions of distance but I think 60ft is more on the conservative side. There is lateral movement during this up climb but looking back from the top, the starting point cannot be seen due to darkness. As you get to what you think is the top, a silo to the ground presents itself. Going another 5 feet up makes this crossing less sketchy. Either way I remember this transition to be very uncomfortable with potential falls on each side of you. To exit the silo you must transition by wedging yourself into a constricting of the walls to find safety from the void below. Beyond this constriction is another few silos with difficult moves. This was the hardest section up to this point in the canyon but would be trumped by the coming silos. The next remarkable section is Silo Row. Convoluted walls, silos to the ground, sickening exposure and as Rick Green said, “spicy." We found ourselves climbing down into silos to seek better features for crossing, climbing back out only to have another silo waiting. They are stacked on each other and relentless. Some silos must simply be crossed with wide uncomfortable stances. Every man for himself basically, mostly un-protectable. These are no doubt the highest and most serious silos we have ever encountered. They are a level up from any other canyon. Even PINTAC or Long Branch might have a comparable problem or two but never stacked so closely and consecutively. This area is short but takes a considerable amount of time. In this section while attempting to get out of a silo and into the safety of the walls I made a miscalculation that left me in a precarious situation. What appeared to be a simple transition into a body wedge i found myself a foot lower than expected, 6 inches too wide for a solid wedge. I was left hugging a bulge with my back pressed against a wall that was sloping downwards and away from me. A foot placement I was counting on crumbled when pressed. It was also sloping more than it had originally appeared, now a slick and featureless wall. Below me is a now very apparent bombay. A position I could have held for perhaps 10 minutes max. A dynamic move had to be made. I’m 95% sure I can make this move, I look down and see an uncatchable fall that would only be slowed by bouncing off the curves of the walls that trailed 50+ ft below. I decide that 1/20 carries an unacceptable risk and call to Angus a few feet ahead to come back and provide some protection. He braced himself in a back to feet stem and provided a hand line which I used to improve my situation. This is why we both carry short coiled ropes in these canyons. Had I been the only one with a coiled rope, Angus would have been unable to help me. I find “safety” on a tiny ledge perched high above. I look down at the hole I just escaped and became quite shook up. Peering into it and the open space below I start to ponder what exactly the hell we are doing in here. The idea of retreating is more illogical than pressing forward. I know that if there was an escape at that moment I would have taken it without hesitation. Its a dangerous thing for one to consider other options when you really have none. Angus and I make small talk, dinner plans of the evening and such. Smothered burrito with fries at Cowboy Blues sounds like our best bet, shower at the Outfitters afterwords. I focus on my breathing to prevent any more adrenaline from being released. As the catecholamines taper I move from the perch to cross the next silo and into a safer position in the next pinch. Wash, rinse and repeat. The canyon eases slightly and begins to tease of the telltale signs that it is losing its ability to maintain its complexity. Subtle features start becoming apparent, things you notice in a X canyon after looking for them enough. Another turn and another silo section similar to the previous but not quite as bad…still very bad and only dwarfed by the previous run. My gopro battery has been dead for a while, I know I should change it to catch these sections but it isn’t a priority to me at this moment. I start to notice a large wall visible DC right. I’m convinced this must be near our exit given the sharp turns and big walls we noticed while setting our ropes. We let out a few shouts to see if Peter can hear us. He yells back down and we know the end is near. One last turn, touch the ground, manage the boulder field and see our rope. After a rest we ascend the rope as we escapes Bishop’s last attempts to keep us locked inside. Peter greets us with smiles and jubilation. As for the rest of the day, we respected the plan made on that tiny little ledge far above the ground exactly as it was discussed. The burrito was excellent. Video - I do apologize for not having the silo sections...next time!