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UT: Zion Cleanup on Aisle Englestead

Discussion in 'Trip Reports' started by ratagonia, Sep 5, 2022.

  1. ratagonia


    Mount Carmel, Utah
    Saturday, September 3, 2022

    A local friend Chris Stevens was looking for partners for Englestead, and I thought - hey, here's a chance to do my cleanup project finally.

    A month ago, before all the rain, I pulled rope for some friends in E, and on the hike out (the steep way) noticed a pile of trash I surmised was a Hobo Camp... well, more like a Hobo Bivy! A cheap sleeping bag, an ensolite pad (they still make those?) and, importantly, no smell of a decaying body. I noted it as something I should round up some 2-armed persons to help me clean up... and finally my opportunity has arrived.

    2-armed? You ask. I tore my right arm's distal bicep tendon back on April First, and am still in the recovery phase. Thus picking up a disgusting sleeping bag and stuffing it in a pack is something that would be very very bad for my arm. So help would be required, especially since, really, it would need to go in a trash bag and THEN into a pack, a two-person job. Especially if really icky. Thankfully, the spot is not too far from the car, if you do the ATV-Trail / Steep Hike version to get into E.

    Then again, I would have preferred to DO Englestead, but the weakness of my right arm limits me to just the mellowest canyons at the moment. So I took the opportunity for a little exercise, to put some coin in the karma bank, and to help out a few friends with a shuttle and rope pull.

    Beautiful Morning for a walk in the Ponderosas...

    We got a decently early start, and it was a beautiful morning. Cool temps, sunshine, and no clouds. After 3 weeks of rain, rather welcome. About 10 minutes down the trail, there it was, perched on a steep hillside. I half-expected it to be washed away by the rain, or at least made super-disgusting, but neither of these expectations came to pass. Surprisingly dry. Maybe it did not rain here at all?

    Trash in the Woods...

    Looking straight up the fall line removes any sense of steepness. A very unusual place for a hobo camp/bivy and... it is all just rather peculiar.

    "We" loaded all the crap in two trash bags ("We" being Chris, Braxton and Eli) and then Braxton, with the blessing that falls upon youth, quickly ran it up to my truck for later disposal. Thank you all!


    We then mozied on down to the top of E, which included Tom getting lost on the approach; thus we bushwhacked around a bit... just a little bit... To the first rappel...

    Chris ready to go down first... no water, but a bit of sticky mud.

    These are the directions I have for the first rappel on the CanyoneeringUSA website:
    "Walk about 50 feet (15 m) along the left edge to a tree overlooking a steep wall. Rappel from this tree to a 1st pothole ledge, then further to a 2nd, larger pothole. Total length is 300 feet (91 m)."

    I wandered over to "the wrong tree" and found (only) two pieces of webbing. Clearly, the next color to be added would be RED, but alas I had none of that, so I cut off both pieces. (It is "the wrong tree" for two reasons: A. This is not the tree in the beta, though apparently people think 5 feet is the same as 50 feet. People have used this tree and then are surprised that the rope does not reach for the second stage. 2. I have used this tree at least twice, and discovered that it has a small ironstone protrusion right where the rope crosses the edge. I core-shot two ropes here, thankfully close to their ends. Oh, and continued use of this tree will eventually kill this tree - "the right tree" is more-robust.)

    Slings on the wrong tree.
    I use one of the big trees adjacent to the watercourse that gives a nice line of descent, when the rope does not have to be recovered from below.

    The three rappelled, and I pulled up the rope, which was rather slimy. The line of rappel I chose still had a bit of slime on it from the previous week's rains. I bundled the rope into my pack and in an effort to delay starting the steep hike out, strolled over to the right tree, to see how the rigging was on that one.

    But of course, no Cleanup Effort is complete without finding more to clean up. At least it was not a used diaper, as found on a previous occasion. Only a substantial coil of rope and a skinny little pull string.

    More 'booty...'

    Not too bad a rope, actually, but it looked like one end was cut off. Still close to 300 feet. Looks like someone had a bad start to their day. I presume another group pulled both rope and string up and out of the way, and left them here for someone like me to carry out. (in other circumstances, it makes sense to carry trash you find in canyons all the way out. But at the top of the first rappel, 10 pounds of rope? Long day ahead? yeah, not so much).

    Thankfully, the hike out went well. I did not get lost in that direction. I want to thank the people who had a bad day for improving my leg-day workout, and changing it to a power workout rather than an aerobic workout. Your rope and string, should you choose to claim it, can be picked up at the Zion Guru - although an explanation of the event and a six pack of beverage is considered polite when making the exchange.

    Tom Jones
    Mt. Carmel Utah
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2022
  2. Brian in SLC

    Brian in SLC Brian in SLC

    Salt Lake City
    Thanks for the cleanup, Tom.

    Yeah...having cleaned up a few abandoned campsites, checking a tent and/or sleeping bag is always a bit daunting. Glad I haven't had to report anything. Still...that apprehension...

    'Preciate ya!
    Rapterman, hank moon, Kuenn and 2 others like this.
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