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Escalante Recommendations

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Canyonero, Oct 12, 2019.

  1. Canyonero

    Canyonero

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    Going to Escalante next week with a decent sized group including kids from 10-15, a couple of relatively new but athletic adults, myself and an adult that has led some class 3 canyons. Almost everyone on the trip has done at least one class 4 canyon with some stemming, potholes, challenging anchors etc, but I'm the only one who has ever really led one or done a lot of them. Temps are 70s high and 30s low. We'll have 3-4 days to do canyons and/or hikes. I've done Kaleidoscope/Choprock, at least two variations of Neon, Egypt 2, Egypt 3, Ringtail, Peekaboo, and Spooky in the area. I have (or have access to) all needed gear. We won't be backpacking.

    What do you recommend for routes and cold protection?

    My initial thoughts are one casual day doing Peekaboo and Spooky (there are kids on the trip younger than 10 too but they'd be with a sitter for any more serious canyons than these.)

    Also considering an easier day in Egypt. Down 2 and up 3, or perhaps 1 and/or 1.5.

    Then a long day out to do Neon, either the shortest possible route or perhaps the second entrance. Maybe could add on Ringtail, but probably not given the approach, temperatures, and long hike back to the car.

    Any other great options I'm overlooking? What are your thoughts on Egypt 1 vs 1.5 vs 2/3? Thoughts on Sandslide Canyon?

    Any recent condition reports for any of these?

    How much water can those 4 Egypt canyons hold? Everything has been so dry this Fall so far and no rain predicted between now and then that I'm assuming the only one of those that should have significant water will be Neon.

    I've only ever done the Fence Canyon approach down to and up from the river. Is it worth trying to figure out a better way down there to do "just Neon"?

    Trip Report Coming!
  2. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    Location:
    Mount Carmel, Utah
    Check out the Neon map here: https://www.canyoneeringusa.com/map-download-center

    The Direct or almost-direct routes are about 1/2 hour faster than through Fence. My preference is to approach via Almost-Direct route, then to hike out via Fence (less soft sand).

    Tom
    carla merrill likes this.
  3. Canyonero

    Canyonero

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    Yes, looking at the map the navigation on that doesn't look too bad. I know where that play slot is at and it's easy enough to ensure I'm on the right side of Fence down lower.
  4. zul

    zul

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    Location:
    Sedona, AZ
    Neon - car to car - is rough for any human. If you have smaller/younger peeps, might be too much? Are you planning on an overnight to split the miles? I find that there are many Egypt options with less demanding mile-age ... but I'm no expert. Just thinking Neon - car to car - is a big push.

    Looking forward to the TR!
  5. carla merrill

    carla merrill

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    I second Ratagonia's suggestion. Take the direct route to Neon and return via Fence Canyon. A LOT less sand. Makes a huge difference on already tired legs.
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  6. Canyonero

    Canyonero

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    We certainly won't be doing as much of it as I did with you! We'll probably drop in at the first opportunity. My recollection is that if you push hard, even with a pack, it's just over an hour to the parking lot from the river, so with kids, maybe two.

    No overnight though, just an early start and of course headlamps just in case.
    zul likes this.
  7. John Diener

    John Diener

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    Location:
    Salt Lake City, Utah
    If down at Spooky/Peekabo, I recommend as an option for those interested in more, going up lower Brimstone as far as possible (be prepared that kids may be able to go farther up than you ;)).

    Egypts are good, especially since it has been dry (do not go into E1 right after rain!).

    I really don't recommend Sandslog, err, I mean Sandslide.

    I might give some consideration to Headless Hen. If, like pretty much everything else right now, it is fairly dry, it shouldn't be an overly cold experience, and it would have the potential to expose your group to all sorts of anchors and techniques. With you there Canyonero, any problems can be easily defeated if issues crop up.

    -john
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