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UT: North Wash Burr Slot 11/11/17: a first encounter with silos

Discussion in 'Trip Reports' started by Austin Farnworth, Nov 13, 2017 at 8:17 PM.

  1. Austin Farnworth

    Austin Farnworth

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    Location:
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    I had read on Road Trip Ryan that Burr Slot was a good segway into harder type high stemming canyons but never got out there to do it because I didn’t want to devote a whole day for a canyon with a technical section lasting 30 minutes. We were planning a trip to Ticaboo Mesa over thanksgiving break do some high-stemmers and I wanted to fit in a prep canyon before the trip. Burr Slot was only a three and a half hour drive from home so I figured it would be a doable day trip. I got together Christian, Jake and Thomas, who are my trusty crew when attempting harder canyons, and we started driving down at 5am Saturday morning. The 10 or so miles of dirt road out to Burr point were in good shape and we parked right at the head of the canyon. LRM_EXPORT_20171111_175533. It took us about 15 minutes of hiking down the wash until we hit the start of the slot and put on body armor and harnesses. It is possible to down-climb into the slot and squeeze through it for a short distance but we didn’t want to do the up climb and opted to do some wide stemming and bridging over top of the first section. LRM_EXPORT_20171111_175909. The canyon then deepened and narrowed significantly, putting us at about 30ft above ground. This section had fun and easy stemming with little consequence because the slot was tight enough underfoot that even if you were to slip, you wouldn’t be able to fall down it. LRM_EXPORT_20171111_201107. While we stopped to take some pictures,Thomas, cruised ahead of the group and out of sight. We heard Thomas announce that he was at the silos and he asked for beta on how to cross and I shouted what beta I had read. We heard Thomas yell that he made it across and then heard lots of grunting and sounds of struggle. We made our way to the silos and saw Thomas safely on the other side, clear at the top of the slot just after the second silo. Thomas remarked on how difficult of an up-climb there was after the second silo and I informed him that the up-climb wasn’t necessary and that it could be passed through much lower. We all got a good laugh out of it and I was pretty impressed he did the up-climb, which looked like it had an off-width move or two. The two silos mark the crux of the canyon and the first can be crossed at height with the second requiring a 15ft down-climb between the silos to cross. I crossed the first silo which had a very good ledge to place my feet, good enough that I could stop in the middle and look down 40 or so feet to the bottom. LRM_EXPORT_20171111_200906. LRM_EXPORT_20171111_200645. After crossing the first silo, I started on the down-climb which was the only part that carried some decent risk in my opinion. The constriction between the silos was a bit small so it carried the risk of ejecting you into either silo but I took it slow with a lot of contact and made it down just fine. LRM_EXPORT_20171111_200531. LRM_EXPORT_20171111_181030. Christian crossed the first silo at the same place that I did and Jake decided to spice things up and down-climbed into the first silo, crossing it at mid height, making a tough move into the constriction. The second silo carries almost no risk crossing it due to the slot being about a foot wide underneath it. We did a short section of tight high-stemming and met back with Thomas when it opened up. LRM_EXPORT_20171111_181753. LRM_EXPORT_20171111_182153. The rappel was only a few down-climbs away and it had taken us 30 minutes from the start of the slot to get there. The rappel was very awkward and I was in the slot for the first 100ft feet of the rappel. We pulled our rope from half way up a little hill and avoided sticking it in the crack. LRM_EXPORT_20171111_200412. The hike out started with 45 minutes of sandy wash walking before we spotted a possible shortcut via the slick-rock on the west side of the canyon, a bit before reaching the standard exit at the first possible spot to climb out. We aimed for a notch in the final layer of cliff bands and made it out without much climbing involved. Then came a full hour of walking across the flat sandy plain back to the car. LRM_EXPORT_20171111_183757. When we made it back to the car we all came to the conclusion that it was quite a bit of hiking in the sand to justify 30 minutes of good canyon. I think Burr is one of those canyons that you do once and don’t have to do again. The technical section itself is really good and fun but the hike out is a bit longer than others i’ve done in the area. We all felt pretty confident with the stemming in the canyon and are looking forward to trying some longer and more sustained canyons out at Ticaboo Mesa.

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  2. Tom Collins

    Tom Collins

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    I think this one is good for those who have some experience with stemming, but are wondering if they are ready for the easier X's. It's not that hard by itself, but it does give you an idea of what it's like to cross a silo with some serious air underneath you.
    ratagonia likes this.
  3. Austin Farnworth

    Austin Farnworth

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    It was definitely different then the R's that we had done before and I'm glad that I did it. We are looking at doing Psycho Damage next week and another one with some good high stemming if we can find the right one. I have read that the silos in glaucoma aren't that bad but would you say it is an easier X canyon?
  4. Tom Collins

    Tom Collins

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    Psycho D is a good easy X, in fact I feel that one is mostly R until right near the end it gets a little higher and of course you have the final silo that can be tricky if you approach it facing the wrong direction in the narrow hallway leading to it. Glaucoma is a mid range X, not knowing you I would caution against that one as one of your first X's, but not flat out say no. With that warning, there are two spots that really stand out to me, the first is a tricky down climb that can be meat anchored for all but LAMAR, and you can even do a partner assist for the hardest part of it for the last man, but the stance isn't great. The second is a longish stem over a bombay so you can't protect it and for me at 5'8" I get a little extended doing it back to feet. Overall Glaucoma is very physical, with a lot of up and down route finding in tight spaces. When are you going to be down there? I'll be down at North Wash 24-27th as part of a larger group, but I might be able to pop over for a day if that's the same time you'll be there.
    Austin Farnworth likes this.
  5. Austin Farnworth

    Austin Farnworth

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    I'm gonna be down there from Monday the 20th to Wednesday the 22nd, so it looks like we will miss you. Its too bad, it would have been great to go with someone who's been there before. Do you have any recommendations in the area if I didn't do Glaucoma?
  6. Tom Collins

    Tom Collins

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    Sinusitis and Tinnitus make for a great day as well and you'll get some stemming practice in, nothing X, but some good R stuff. If you do Glaucoma make sure you bring a headlamp, it makes the DC I was talking about a little easier since it's not well lit at that spot. Also if you do Psycho D I would recommend having a second canyon in the area you can add on that same day just in case you finish quickly or do it the last day so you can be on the road home early, when I did it I was 4 hours car to car. Pothoez is right next to Psycho D, I haven't done that one, but it sounds okay. Another option that is nearby and that I really enjoyed, but requires a short drive to another TH is wormhole. That one will offer you a little more stemming practice as well.

    I've found that pretty much every time I did a new X canyon I had over hyped it in my mind and it turned out to be easier than expected, but in these types of canyons its better to over estimate the canyon than your own ability. The most important thing is to have fun and be safe, but don't let these canyons scare you into second guessing yourself either since only you know what you're capable of.

    And if you can make it to FF say hi, I'll be there.
    Austin Farnworth likes this.
  7. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    I see Luke has an approach to Wormhole from way up Smith Fork, but Wormhole and Psycho D are very very close together.

    Tom

    PD area.
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  8. Tom Collins

    Tom Collins

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    Yeah I saw that when I was down there, but I wasn't sure what was in between wormhole and psycho D and if going up canyon would be possible. I think approaching Wormhole from the Psycho D TH is about the same distance as from Lukes other TH, but if you're already down in Smith Fork having done Psycho D its closer to just stay down there and head up canyon if that's possible.
  9. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    Using the Psycho D upclimb from Smith Fork, one walks easily to the top of Wormhole. As it was originally done.

    Tom
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  10. Austin Farnworth

    Austin Farnworth

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    If I were to do Psycho Damage and then WormHole in the same day, would I just walk up smith fork after finishing Psycho D and climb out somewhere near wormholes?
  11. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    There is a convenient upclimb right at the mouth of Psycho D, as shown on the map. Just use that, then stroll along the slickrock 1/2 mile to Wormhole.

    T
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