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UT: Escalante Choprock/ Kaleidoscope

Discussion in 'Trip Reports' started by RossK, Nov 13, 2019.

  1. RossK

    RossK

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    Choprock/kaleidoscope was near the top of my want-to-do list but I felt my lack of experience meant that’s where it would stay.
    Some very fortuitous timing for my flight to the US coinciding with a trip where I’d be lucky enough to be in the very capable hands of Anthony & Jeremy Dye & Jared Robertson, plus a well-timed trip report on the very low water levels making conditions favourable, meant 4 hours after landing in Vegas & checking into a motel the alarm was set for a 4am drive to Egypt TH.

    The next morning I think the plan was to get up not much later than that 4am start for a hearty breakfast before a potential 11 hours in Choprock.
    While jet lag had me up at 4am, getting out of tents in the dark and below freezing conditions after a tough previous day for the others understandably was a little less enticing.
    Further handicapped by their frozen solid breakfast water, wetsuits like solid armour, & shoelaces like sticks, we missed our planned start by a long time & then a couple of us initially walked past the easiest ascent spot (to me not really obviously easy) up the slickrock which was still pretty steep.
    I guess everyone was a little concerned we might end up exiting by headlamp by now, but the canyon was in kind mode & conditions could not have been easier for catching up lost time - enabling us to be back in camp in under 7 hours with a nice lunch stop.
    The riparian section proved quite a challenge.....in the sense of completely avoiingd contact with the amount of poison ivy overgrowing the trail. Perhaps because of the lack of monsoon floods? Any wetsuits went on early rather than wear shorts.

    Then the happy section which did not disappoint.
    I was then bracing myself for the infamous Grim Section & long tiring freezing swims and potential nasty logjams and climbs.
    But on this occasion it was to be “The Almost as Happy” section for me, such was its low water levels. And before I knew it I was being told we were at the last rappel out the narrows and after descending into the pool wetsuits came off with a little, albeit not very warming, sun still on our backs.
    It felt good ticking Choprock off my list - feeling sun, & getting the Down Jacket on, & dinner cooked before dark. So much so that we had fun chatting at camp til around 11pm, the equivalent of staying up through til 7am for me just arrived from the UK.

    On a more nerdy note this was my first Canyon with the TG5 & I must admit to being a little disappointed with the sharpness of these shots compared to some non-waterproof compact cameras I’ve used. Wondered what others’ thoughts were. Still, the canyon was a great experience.
    It was certainly nice to be able to dive into water without worrying about the camera getting wet & not facing the constant hassle of un-dry bagging & the re-drybagging a non waterproof camera. And good not to regret the odd shot because you didn’t want to hold up partners because of that process.
    The other thing is the mixed light in a narrow dark slot with high bright orange walls in the same frame. Few people have time or wish to carry tripods for bracketed shots so it means getting the contrasting dynamic range as good as possible in one shot. The TG5 does have HDR in its scene mode, but it describes it as for backlit subjects. Ie probably a dark face in the middle of shot with light behind them and so a brighter scene around them. This is clearly different to a canyon where the bottom 2/3 is dark perhaps & the top 1/3 bright. So I wondered how people rate this HDR for saving shots like this?

    (Tapatalk has loaded the pics as if doing the canyon backwards & going up canyon)

    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]


    This shot had me wondering if the stoney floor at this point would be covered after wetter summers, as there’s a hint of a reflection on the right & I like the walls here, so a fuller pool could create a reflection that would make a wonderful shot

    [IMG]https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20191114/7b5cb7a4c5d4b7092641d33211a9945a.jpg

    [​IMG]

    https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20191113/fae6bd8523618291564a687e3cb9e401.jpg[/IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2019
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  2. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    "I’d be lucky enough to be in the very capable hands of Anthony & Jeremy Dye & Jared Robertson..."

    Ram and I now refer to this as cheating... in the positive sense.

    Tom
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  3. RossK

    RossK

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    I suppose all downclimbing adds to useful experience, although I should perhaps do a few more shorter ones that are not expected to take all day to get more time to practice the rope challenges more. Mind you, Choprock had very few rappels & no real anchor or pothole dilemmas to figure out, at least on this visit.

    (Still it’s reassuring to think there’s someone as strong as an ox & a very good upclimber along should anyone get into troubles as originally there was going to be someone less experienced than me too. It might be pushing it to ask him to bridge as a human tree trunk if a logjam were to give way though!!!!! )


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
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  4. Dan H

    Dan H FNG

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    In regards to the TG5 - I too was excited to get this camera only to be let down by grainy images. My companions using iphones consistently got better shots. So I just bit the bullet and bought a waterproof iphone and will keep it in a chest pocket. so far so good. It handles the variable lighting conditions much better than the tg5 and it is even faster to whip out and get the quick shot.
  5. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    Waterproof =/= canyon proof. I hope you are keeping that in a waterproof cover.

    Tom
  6. Bosco

    Bosco

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    Good report - thank you!

    I ended up selling my TG5 about 6 months ago. I was happy with the photos and video but found its performance in varying light conditions sub-par. It truly was a bomb-proof point and shoot, but I did find it lacking in performance.
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  7. Ram

    Ram

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    An old and oft used quote
    "If you can't be good....bring people who are!"
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