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Bringing Back Beartrap... but Briefer?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Yellow Dart, May 13, 2017.

  1. Brian in SLC

    Brian in SLC Brian in SLC

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    Not many...but...probably a bushwacker...
  2. Jman

    Jman

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    Speaking of beta...

    Is Not Fat Mans any good? It looks like it may contain a pothole or two. But I may pass up that 400+ last rap though and divert earlier.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  3. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    Checked it out once a couple years ago on an off-day. Got near the end but not far enough to require climbing the rope to get out. Pretty much a dud. Intermittent, even more so that Fat Man's. A couple nice places, but not much. It started to rain so we exited. Have not been back, even though I am trying to sniff out new Zion area canyons.

    Tom
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2018
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  4. Scott Patterson

    Scott Patterson

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    Tom have you done/checked out Sweetwater Gulch? A while ago we checked out Spring Creek (I think you have done that one), but it wasn't what we hoped for. Sweetwater looked like it might be interesting though. I don't know what current access is to Spring Creek though and even then getting to the head of Sweetwater is probably a bushwhack. You could do a long car shuttle too, but it doesn't seem worth it for a short canyon.
  5. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    The land issues put me off looking at those. Tom
  6. Kip Marshall

    Kip Marshall

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    Scott, once you leave the Lower Basin Road (County), you are basically trespassing until you reach the wilderness. Sweetwater is non-technical.
  7. Kip Marshall

    Kip Marshall

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    Scott, it's not really my thing to post obscure canyons in that region but I could answer DM. I will tell you that the approach to Upper Coalpits (500+ foot rappel) is extremely challenging and there isn't much of a ROI for any of the canyons in that area. We are talking a minimum of 3 days/2 nights in very rugged territory - for the true wilderness lover. There is a route up the backside of AOS/Oak but that's a story for another day.
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  8. Scott Patterson

    Scott Patterson

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    There's a cattle trail up there too, plus another easy route. The whole area Phantom Valley to Cougar Mountain used to be grazed by sheep/cows. There's even an old sheep/cowboy camp up there. We used to like to do a lot of exploring up there, but I haven't been back for decades.
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2018
  9. Kip Marshall

    Kip Marshall

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    Having not been up there in decades, you have either forgotten the difficulty of the routes or were not carrying 600' of ropes, equipment and overnight supplies. If you are referring to the non-existent trail in Upper Terry and the heinous approach through Trail Canyon, these are not 'easy' routes. Another approach via Church Mesa is closed and enforced. That leaves only Phantom.
    Being that I have been on these routes in the last 8 months, I will stick to my earlier statement that this is a rugged area for true wilderness lovers; a minimum of 3 days/2 nights.
    Brian in SLC and ratagonia like this.
  10. Scott Patterson

    Scott Patterson

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    True, we were not carrying ropes. Yes, it would be strenuous to carry long ropes into that area. We were exploring territory rather than canyoneering (at the time I wanted to create a cross Zion route including and linking Coalpits Wash, Phantom Valley, and Wildcat Canyon).

    Yes, those are the routes I was referring to. Trail Canyon used to be a cattle/sheep route. The old cow or sheep camp I was referring to was north of the Bishopric. Yes, it is true that I haven't been on either route in several years, but I certainly don't remember Trail Canyon as being heinous at least compared to the other off trail routes we did in Zion (which we should discuss via PM sometime) and other area. Of course we were younger and tougher back then. I do remember doing a lot of heinous routes, but these two don't come to mind (others such as the South Fork of Bowdie do).

    We even found scraps of cattle trail in Trail Canyon, which may or may not be there anymore. I told Courtney Purcell about the old trail maybe 10-15 years ago, but he couldn't find it. He either missed it or floods have taken out the remaining traces in recent decades. There are or were corrals at the junction of Right Fork and Trail Canyon as well.

    At the time we were exploring that area, I had assumed that the table lands between Cougar Mountain and Phantom Valley were used only by sheep (due to the seasonality of water), but some old Zion Trip reports make it clear that it was cattle who used those lands as well. For example, the 1966 trip report for Right Fork mentions this:

    It is only in the past several decades that owners of what is now the Sunset Ranch have ceased to hunt stray cattle on the high route between Cougar Mountain and Phantom Valley.

    http://www.canyoneeringusa.com/history/right66a.htm

    Of course as you know, there are a lot of old lost cattle and/or sheep trails in Zion that are fading away into history. Some of the ones that come to mind are the one in Trail Canyon (if any of it still exist), the old trail from Parunaweap to Pine Creek, and the old cattle trail out of the Subway. Of course that’s a whole different topic.

    I only mentioned the Coalpits forks on the thread because it seems unlikely that anyone would do them even though they show up on the map. As you mention, those approaches and exits would scare most people off. It is very doubtful that I would ever attempt them. Even when I was younger I probably wouldn't either since they drop so steeply.

    Anyway, there are other off the radar canyons in Zion that I would much rather do (and which I won’t mention online), some of which have been on my list for a long time. Maybe we should get together and do some sometime. I haven’t visited Zion much in recent decades. Of course I am a lot fatter, slower, and older than I used to be as well.
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2018
  11. Yellow Dart

    Yellow Dart It's only hubris if I fail.

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    That's why you make friends with young pack mules like @Bryan...of Zion and myself. ^_^
  12. NevadaSlots

    NevadaSlots

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    Speaking of Birch Creek (not hollow) what's the opinion of those that have done er'? and do I assume correctly that the canyon would be technically illegal to get to because of the Chruch Mesa RNA section being a pretty vital part of the approach?
  13. Kip Marshall

    Kip Marshall

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    Technically yes, the mesa-top is closed. But there are other ways you can approach Birch without crossing the RNA. It's a nice back-country canyon and you would have to decide if it's worth the trouble.
  14. Jenny

    Jenny

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    Be forwarned; Kip is AKA as Bushwhacker!
  15. Scott Patterson

    Scott Patterson

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    I haven't done it, but someone who has (Brian) told me that it was a lot of work for not much canyon.

    There's a 660 foot drop at the end too that cabin be broken into two stages.
  16. Kip Marshall

    Kip Marshall

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    Jenny, I am not called that anymore, I have porters now. :)
  17. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    (reading between the lines) Kip no longer ventures out with people who are so uppity to call him the Bushwhacker. He now only canyons with peeps who have been bullied into submission.

    although, to be fair, he does still invite me. Though, also to be fair, I have informed him I am too crippled to hang with his current team, recovering from broken bones and severe sprains though it may be...... ;-)
  18. Brian in SLC

    Brian in SLC Brian in SLC

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    Well at least "the angry 1/2 inch" nickname has faded into obscurity...

    Ha ha.
  19. Scott Patterson

    Scott Patterson

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    I was curious what angry 1/2 inch means so I looked it up. The top results all had to do with nipple rings.
  20. Brian in SLC

    Brian in SLC Brian in SLC

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