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Discussion in 'Tech Tips and Gear' started by ratagonia, Oct 18, 2014.
Fat Man's first rap:
Thanks for posting. Been reviewing the beta for the canyon as I plan to do it this week or next. I see mixed reviews of the bolts for that canyon...some beta sites seem fine and others not so much....
For this rappel, there is a perfectly fine pinch that is slung back about 5 feet.
There are a couple other single-bolt anchors in the canyon, most of which are somewhat modern. There are things that look like rappels in the canyon that can be meat-anchored, then caught. This is a good place to practice this technique as the captures are fairly easy, though not trivial. We built and anchor on one that turned out to be a 7 foot rappel - easy capture with a team of 3.
Thanks for the beta.
Since you posted this photo yesterday, did you do this canyon recently? How was the water flow?
RT bolts in lower refrigerator
Canyon was fairly full, no water flow. Couple-a swims. 4/3 wetsuits worked well. Tom
Great. Thank you. I keep trying to get out of having to bring them so I can carry my smaller Imlay pack...but I guess I need to realize its that time of year where I just have to wear them.
We did Orderville a few days ago and Keyhole and there was no possible way to be without a wetsuit. I was cold at the end of the day in Orderville.
Those bolts eroding out of the sandstone.... just goes to show how bolts are not really always "permanent" and also those bolts appear to be speeding up the process of erosion right around where they were placed. It looks like they might be in/near the watercourse? The erosion pattern around them together with the tiny bit of dead grass around the bolt make me suspect flowing water is removing the bit of sandstone that used to be there. This is sad because those bolts will eventually fall out but the scars caused by them will be around a heck of a lot longer.
I don't remember the rock looking like that last year when I did lower refrigerator. I'll have to dig up my pictures to confirm. But wow, lots of wear.
The issue is that are limited options for anchors on the wall, especially at the last bolt station where you are free hanging. For the first set, a couple hundred foot sling from the trail? Sling from the boulders up/side canyon? These options, and others as I recall were not very practical.
There was a second set of bolts that was bomber.
Ah yes. That is why I lived that day. ;-) So definitely, your pic are bolts you should probably not rap off (unless I'm stuck on the wall with no other options).
Those bolts still felt surprisingly solid.
Just to clarify these bolts were on the last ledge before the final rap to the canyon floor. Not the much better RT bolts up canyon.
We ran across a pair of brand-new, shiny, bomber-looking bolts in Upper Telephone quite a few years ago. My buddy wiggled them out of habit. One came out in his hand ... so we gave him a ration for "ruining the anchor" ...
holy %^&*$, sketchy !!
Petzl long life limestone bolts. Not suitable for sandstone but only very hard rocks. Did telephone this past weekend there was only one left that could almost be wiggled out by hand. Many bolt holes left from them.
From an old TR...
Summary: The following is a description of a canyoneering descent of Telephone Canyon. The route starts ½ mile north of the West Rim Spring and follows down Telephone Canyon for approximately 11 rappels. Compiled by Brian Cabe following his and Tom Jones’ trip on 30 September 2000.
Getting started… Note: features referred to are located on above referenced map and directions "right" and "left" are assuming a hiker is facing downstream. Distances and descriptions are an estimate.
We ascended the West Rim Trail from the Grotto Springs parking lot, leaving the shuttle bus at 9:30am. After sniffing around, we refilled our water bottles at the elevation 6710 spring on the West Rim Trail and hiked the signed trail to Telephone Canyon. As the established trail bent to the west, we bushwhacked the short distance to the stream course and followed it to the head of the deep canyon gorge arriving at around 3:00pm. Leaving our heavy packs with overnight gear, we rigged a short rappel off a couple of stout, charcoal laden pine trees just a few feet to the west of the head of the precipitous chasm.
1st rappel: A short, 30 foot drop over the west side rim led to a stout pine tree standing guard over the big, steep drop into the head of the gorge.
The second rappel was the longest, steepest drop in the canyon. Looping webbing around the tree, we rappelled down, vertical to free air, for 100 feet then continued the rappel for the full length of our two 200 foot ropes. The full-length rappel made it difficult to pull the rope through the 5/16" rapid link left on the webbing sling but negated having to build another anchor in the canyon. The drop into the canyon gorge passes through some stunning, pothole and narrows scenery. The third rappel was a short, steep drop from a single bolt anchor (left side of canyon at the rim of the drop-off) which continued down a diagonal slot for 40 feet. Near the bottom of this slot, we rigged another rappel off a small jammed tree stump and rappelled for 50 feet. This rappel was low angled and precluded thoughts of down climbing a slippery, varnished ramp leading to a nice, undercut alcove.
After a short 100-foot (or less!) hike, we arrived at the next rappel: a large log that we girth hitched with sling for the short 40 foot drop below. This drop was into a dark, watery snake pit, chock full of deadly vipers. OK, so there was only one small gray snake (possibly a regal ringneck) which Tom freed from captivity. This foul water hole was avoidable by careful gymnastic rappelling technique. The sixth rappel was at a precipitous drop off from a two-bolt anchor located in a shallow flat spot several feet back from the edge up at mid height on the right side of the canyon wall. Dead vertical for 70 feet then extended another 30 feet down a slippery bowl. We walked a short ways down the canyon and at a slight widening of the canyon walls, came to another pour over where we used a live pine tree on the right side for an anchor for the 80-foot rappel ending in another avoidable, shallow waterhole. At the next pour off, we looped the rope around a large log and rappelled 30 feet. The ninth rappel was from a sling around a dead tree, which pointed down the drainage but was apparently still firmly anchored by the roots to the canyon floor. We rappelled off this scratchy friend for a steep 30 feet then continued for another 70 past a couple of short drops.
Digging in the dirt debris behind a chockstone, we escavated a hole for a sling and rappelled for 30 feet off another pour over. After a short hike through fresh rock fall, we noted the exfoliating wall above. This impressive feature, a diagonal demarcation of light and dark rock located on the steep wall below the rim, can be seen from the trail. As the canyon bent to the left, we hiked through a small opening under a large boulder. Standing nervously on rock debris, we added a sling under a pinched rock stack and completed the final rappel in this surprising canyon for 70 feet. As the slot became shallower and opened up, a game trail on the right led out of the drainage and around to the view of the trail. We quickly hiked the short distance back to the trail over easy ground. At 7pm, we rejoined the West Rim trail. By 8:30pm, we were reunited with our packs and enjoyed a somewhat chilly night on the West Rim.
Post hike notes…
The number of rappels and scenic beauty of this short canyon amazed us.
There was no swimming or wading. Visible watermarks and a couple of smelly potholes indicated that this canyon might have a significant amount of standing water in wetter times. Due to the captive nature of the bottom of the canyon (an often tight "V" slot), we elected to do single rope rappels to reduce the chance of the rope getting stuck. Since most of the rappels were from natural anchors and were short drops, this method worked very well and we didn’t "stick" our ropes.
Several rappel anchors of dubious nature were from uninspiring pinching stones, chockstones, dead trees and loose, jammed stumps. In one location, we rappelled from a single bolt anchor. Subsequent parties should consider backing up and testing any rappel anchors in this canyon.
Temperature for our hike was around 90 degrees F or more. I drank 6 liters of water but still felt dehydrated. We were glad the West Rim spring had running water.
Time: We spent 4 hours in the canyon from the canyon rim to the exit. Would probably be an 8-hour day "car to car" from the trailhead.
I've tried taking those out. They are amazingly solid, at least, the bolt is - not so much the hanger.
Time to the lop off and pound in method...