Send us a suggestion!

FreezeFest 2008

Discussion in 'Archives - Yahoo Canyons Group' started by davewyo1, Jan 3, 2009.

  1. davewyo1

    davewyo1 Guest

    Just a quick report before the gang gets back... Thanks to Ram and Tom for organizing and hosting another fantastic gathering. The temps were challenging but not impossible. Ram always tries to keep things moving and offers a couple of options per day if possible. On the 28th everyone indulged me, drove for miles, and took part in a very small exploration. You could call it a mini-slot. Thanks to Ram, Aaron, Ryan, Tim, and John for being there. Detailed route information will be coming out in a couple of months. pics: http://picasaweb.google.com/davewyo1/ProjectCanyon# On the 31st, we did Woody. pics: http://picasaweb.google.com/davewyo1/WoodyCanyon213108# Most canyons had ice water pools. Some were avoidable; some not. Happy New Years! Drive safe; Dave
  2. Bill

    Bill Guest

    Ditto that for me. I would never have guessed what fun it is to spend a day in and out of ice-filled water. A very refreshing take on canyoneering. Wonderful to meet new friends, learn from the pros and see the canyons dressed in their winter glory.

    I am sincerely grateful to Ram and Tom for making this happen, and to all of those whose teaching, sharing and caring made it a memorable event for me.

    Bill



    --- In Yahoo Canyons Group, "davewyo1" <davewyo1@...> wrote:
    Just a quick report before the gang gets back... > Thanks to Ram and Tom for organizing and hosting another fantastic > gathering. > The temps were challenging but not impossible. Ram always tries to keep > things moving and offers a couple of options per day if possible. > On the 28th everyone indulged me, drove for miles, and took part in a > very small exploration. You could call it a mini-slot. Thanks to Ram, > Aaron, Ryan, Tim, and John for being there. > Detailed route information will be coming out in a couple of months. > pics: > http://picasaweb.google.com/davewyo1/ProjectCanyon#
    On the 31st, we did Woody. > pics: > http://picasaweb.google.com/davewyo1/WoodyCanyon213108#
    Most canyons had ice water pools. Some were avoidable; some not. > Happy New Years! > Drive safe; > Dave >
  3. adkramoo

    adkramoo Guest

    --- In Yahoo Canyons Group, "Bill" <wmjaho@...> wrote:
    Ditto that for me. I would never have guessed what fun it is to spend> a day in and out of ice-filled water. A very refreshing take on> canyoneering.

    Yeah, even us veterans of the FF saw the desert world dressed differently. More snow than all the past 6 FF's combined and yet it didn't limit us. It just made the world prettier. Ok, wetter and colder too! ;-)

    Wonderful to meet new friends, learn from the pros and > see the canyons dressed in their winter glory.

    Like John, Bill is one of those fellows that takes his friends canyoneering and has the primary lead role. Takes care of everything and everyone in their group, who are mostly novices. Many, including these two gentlemen commented on the joy of not having to be the "lead dog" and just soak in the experience, often in new canyons to them and in their beautiful winter dressing.. Bill is one of those genuine "nice guys." He also has this big smile on when he slips to the front, curious and driven to see what "is around that next corner." He did more than his share of "ice cutting."
    I am sincerely grateful to Ram and Tom for making this happen, and to> all of those whose teaching, sharing and caring made it a memorable> event for me. > Bill

    And thanks for adding your upbeat energy to the fine mix. R
  4. Randi

    Randi Guest

    I started a TR, but prolly won't get around to finishing it any time soon (if at all). Too busy! But I want to thank Ram and Tom for being crazy enough, fun enough and generous enough to put this together every year.   This is my 4th year attending and I had the most wonderful time. The drive out was incredible. Tom saved my life in more ways than one. And friends old and new made the experience one that I keep wanting to repeat every year. I finally got to see the Mapleton Crew in action with their awesome dutch oven dinner! I've missed them every previous year arriving a day or two too late (thought they always had leftovers for sharing). Imagine coming back to camp starving, wet and cold after and arduous day of canyoneering and having a delicious hot potroast, roated potatoes and vegetables and TWO deserts: Peach cobbler & a raspberry/chocolate cobbler waiting for you!

    Thanks so much to Scott Card, John, Spidey and Kody! You guys are wonderfully generous and sweet.   Here are some pictures from the first couple of days: Woody & Woodsy on the 31st and Black Hole on the 1st.

    http://picasaweb.google.com/advntrinxs/FreezeFest08?authkey=n-7dAflRfh0#

    still to come: pix of Cheesebox on the 2nd! Wild and crazy for sure...and maybe even a new tradition? :)~

    ~Randi
  5. Tom Jones

    Tom Jones Guest

    --- In Yahoo Canyons Group, Randi <advntr_inxs@...> wrote:
    I started a TR, but prolly won't get around to finishing it any time soon (if at all). Too busy! > Thanks so much to Scott Card, John, Spidey and Kody! You guys are wonderfully generous and sweet. >   > Here are some pictures from the first couple of days: Woody & Woodsy on the 31st and Black Hole on the 1st.
    http://picasaweb.google.com/advntrinxs/FreezeFest08?authkey=n- 7dAflRfh0#
    still to come: pix of Cheesebox on the 2nd! Wild and crazy for sure...and maybe even a new tradition? :)~
    ~Randi >

    NICE PICTURES!! Tom
  6. Reporting for myself and Edgar, I assure you we had a most excellent time. We drove all 12 hours home talking about how fortunate we were to share that great place with the greatest people. "Our greatest trip ever" was mentioned once or twice.

    Thanks to Ram and Aaron for teaching us "the way" and sharing hidden gems with us, Tom, Malia, John, Randi, Rob, Matt, Bill, and others for being nice people. Maybe most of all thanks to Aaron for helping me learn/re-learn about the group dynamic with what he said one night at the campfire. Sometimes (possibly often), you aren't gonna make that hard move and you need to take that hand in assistance. Everyone has their place, the goal is getting the group down safely.

    No pictures from me, 2008 claimed 2 cameras before the trip began. Hey not big deal, casualty of the canyon.

    --- In Yahoo Canyons Group, "davewyo1" <davewyo1@...> wrote:
    Just a quick report before the gang gets back... > Thanks to Ram and Tom for organizing and hosting another fantastic > gathering. > The temps were challenging but not impossible. Ram always tries to keep > things moving and offers a couple of options per day if possible. > On the 28th everyone indulged me, drove for miles, and took part in a > very small exploration. You could call it a mini-slot. Thanks to Ram, > Aaron, Ryan, Tim, and John for being there. > Detailed route information will be coming out in a couple of months. > pics: > http://picasaweb.google.com/davewyo1/ProjectCanyon#
    On the 31st, we did Woody. > pics: > http://picasaweb.google.com/davewyo1/WoodyCanyon213108#
    Most canyons had ice water pools. Some were avoidable; some not. > Happy New Years! > Drive safe; > Dave >
  7. watea192

    watea192 Guest

    Brendan here, with my huge thanks to Ram, Tom, Aaron, and everyone else for making me feel welcome and for such a great time.

    I've put a few pictures on my site at http://www.sfsail.com/freeze08/freeze08.htm

    Sorry, the photo album feature of Front Page is a bit tedious--click on the (bad) thumbnails for a larger image... I will try to get a better album up there soon.

    Malia, Matt, and I were the final stragglers on Sunday and went for an abbreviated Hog Fest (despite much bravado the night before, one hike up-canyon was enough). We did Hog 2, and I found the first rap can now be downclimbed (thanks to a safety belay from Malia) due to a new large boulder that has fallen into the crack below the rappel.

    9 canyons in 6 days, and I can't wait for more...

    --brendan
  8. Malia

    Malia Guest

  9. matt brejcha

    matt brejcha Guest

  10. don186000mps

    don186000mps Guest

    Still unpacking and doing laundry. I'll write up a full TR and post pictures this week. I just wanted to say thanks for letting us newbies hang around the campfire and ask questions. We may not have done the full meal deal (Black Hole) but we had a great time! We got some good advice on canyons and conditions and learned some new tricks by doing a couple canyons with Matt, Jeff and Malia. Thanks everyone; great time.
  11. Heres a little TR I wrote up for Paradisio and Inferno. John has a couple pictures from this canyon in this thread. I don't have any myself. Anyway:

    Ram sat over the fire tossing logs and speaking in some kind of code to the knowledgeable. "We could do a 34" "Oh right we could" "Mmm but we could also do a 13, 25, or dare I say a 31" "Right you are" Edgar and I had no clue but that was ok. Finally Ram turned to us and said, "I could show you guys the canyons, but then I'd have to kill ya"

    "Sounds fair." Replies Edgar.

    The night continued with at the fire with a dirty joke, interrupted by a detail or two for tomorrow, followed by more dirty jokes. So it was at our first night at Freeze Fest. We couldn't bring ourselves to laugh much; we were still in a driving induced coma. Ram had taken to calling me "Styles" in reference to email address, but I hoped I could earn the nickname in the slots tomorrow.

    In the morning, most of us were on time. With a good nights sleep behind us Edgar and I were ready to go. We stop at a gas/food market where the surprised employees offer to cook us anything we want. I usually hate it when partners make a big scene in the morning whether it be ordering a big breakfast or packing slowly, but I couldn't resist ordering a large batch of biscuits and gravy. Well, make that hamburger buns and gravy, but that's what I get for slowing down the mornings progress.

    We head out on a convenient 4wd road that deposits us at the top of the canyon system with a grand overlook high above, well, high above quite a scene I will tell you. First canyon up: Paradisio. Ram, Aaron, and others were the first to explore these parts, now they were sharing the goods. In a time choked with beta sites and cram packed books, it was refreshing to see some areas were still off the record.

    Soon we are on top of the first handline/downclimb. That is, everyone handlines, leaving Aaron to downclimb. At first I'm nervous for him, it's a good height, and the moves down don't make sense in my head. After Aaron makes the first couple moves, I say to myself, "Oh, ok then". Clearly this was not very challenging for him and the moves were executed without any worry. Down lower the canyon became deep and we were getting some great light. Soon came a squeeze. Fun and short for some, but Rob, being the bigger guy of the group had to get down on his belly and wriggle through. He seemed to have an easy enough time, but later at the campfire we'd learn that the belly crawl really did get to him. From the squeeze, the canyon is nothing but fun and beauty. Near the end we hit a frightening rappel. Frightening because it drops straight into a deep black keeper pothole. Aaron was first down. I watched closely as he paused on a small ledge, made a dynamic reach to the other side of the hole, somehow switched feet, and bounded across. Now it was my turn, oh boy! I pause on the ledge, Aaron offers a hand of assistance, but wanting to see if I can make the same moves he just did, I give it a try. I put a foot across the hole, scooted forward, now I was in a nice and awkward position. My next move felt 50/50 at best. I scoot a bit more and stop kidding myself. I reach out and grab Aaron's hand and its over. I have a rope so I decide to make myself useful and go set the next rappel. Very quickly I find myself at another pothole. Not exactly a keeper, no real exposure, but I'm fearful of getting wet or struggling to get out without someone around to help out. Aaron walked up behind me, commenting that it was "a bit of a stretch". He floated across; I think he didn't even use his hands. Again he reached out to help me across. A pool of unknown depth protected the last rappel. We stayed dry this long, no sense in messing that up. We meat anchored everyone past it, letting the long people do the stretch over the pool. Soon we were heading back up to the top of the next days canyon.

    As we continued higher, I felt more and more reluctant to go into another canyon. Almost everyone waited at the drop in. Rob said he'd had enough and continued out. I debated a bit with Edgar, finding excuses.

    "I'm out of water" "You can have some of mine", says Ram. "We may get wet in this one, I don't have a wetsuit" "Neither do I", says Tom. "You'll be around the 20th person to go down this canyon in history", say Ram. Edgar looked at me and said, "Well there it is."

    There it was indeed, no excuses now. I do love those short lists. Soon we were making our way down the early downclimbs to meet up with the rest of the group. It didn't take long before we were wet up to the crotch, but it really didn't feel too bad. This canyon, dubbed "Inferno", had a different nature about it. It stayed skinny for longer, but it also had plenty of downclimbing, potholes, and exit rappels. Basically it had it all. I was positioned out in front with Ram and John. Tom, Aaron, and Edgar were bringing up there rear. We hit some somewhat strenuous chimneying. Around the next corner I hear Ram say, "Ok this is the silo." Silo?! I think to myself. I'd never dealt with such a thing before, only read about them. The "Tom fall silo", "deep yawning silos", these were not friendly places. On the drive over, I had been telling Edgar about the dangers of the mystical silo. But if ever there were to be a "first silo" this would probably be the one to do. It had maybe 15 feet of exposure, and with Ram right there coaching me through, the moves felt easy. Down past the obstacle we waited for the others. Eric, John, Ram, Tom, and soon Aaron poked around the corner. But where is Edgar? Ram sent Aaron back to find him. Later I would learn that Edgar had gotten to the silo by himself, made a couple moves toward it and then backed off. He was a bit confused about what to do and was feeling pretty nervous about it. Aaron came just as he committed to it and was making the crossing.

    The canyon changed shape and we found ourselves in a narrow slanted chimney position. These would be the most physically exhausting moves for me. There was no way around it; I was fighting my way through without much style or grace. I was trying to move as fast as I could, then I'd stop to catch my breath, turn around and see Ram right behind me smiling. He showed me a great shoulder technique, which would take some getting used to, but I would find it very useful in the coming days. The drainage opened up, and we scrambled up to a shelf on the side. It looked like a possible exit above, and a possible drenching below. Being ignorant about the terrain surrounding me, I suggested we might keep from getting soaked and climb out. Ram reminded me that although the immediate surrounding area looked easy enough, there was no telling if it would make it or dead end. Better to stick with the known canyon and exit below. I suggested we might meat anchor people down the canyon from this shelf, so that not everyone would have to negotiate the keeper/swimmer above. Soon most of us were down below rigging the last rappel, while Eric and Aaron made some hard climbing moves around the pothole above. After a beautiful rappel to non-technical ground we made the climb back up to the shelf with the cars. There was a long bumpy ride back, where we mostly sat in silence. Once in our own vehicle Edgar and I erupted with talk of the day's events. I thought the rap with the pothole and the strenuous sideways chimneying was hardest, Edgar thought the silo was hardest for him. Still later at the campfire we found John had other parts of the canyon they felt most difficult. "Squeeze your own slot!"

    Later that night at the campfire Ram took to calling me "Denali Mike".

    --- In Yahoo Canyons Group, "davewyo1" <davewyo1@...> wrote:
    Just a quick report before the gang gets back... > Thanks to Ram and Tom for organizing and hosting another fantastic > gathering. > The temps were challenging but not impossible. Ram always tries to keep > things moving and offers a couple of options per day if possible. > On the 28th everyone indulged me, drove for miles, and took part in a > very small exploration. You could call it a mini-slot. Thanks to Ram, > Aaron, Ryan, Tim, and John for being there. > Detailed route information will be coming out in a couple of months. > pics: > http://picasaweb.google.com/davewyo1/ProjectCanyon#
    On the 31st, we did Woody. > pics: > http://picasaweb.google.com/davewyo1/WoodyCanyon213108#
    Most canyons had ice water pools. Some were avoidable; some not. > Happy New Years! > Drive safe; > Dave >
  12. Michael, Sounds like the sales pitch I got two years ago when I did the same two canyons. Ram and I were scheduled to head to Capitol Reef to do two canyons but had heard someone come into the Sandthrax campground in the middle of the night. Early the next day we sauntered over to find that Tom was there, one day ahead of schedule. They started talking about 34, 13, 24, etc. and asked if I was game. Not having a clue as to what they were talking about what could I say. We had finished Paradisio and hiked back up to the top where I thought we were going towards our cars. "Unh, unh" said Ram. "We are taking you into your first 'R' canyon". "But I'm out of water", I countered. "No problem you won't need much and by the way, this will probably be the only time in your canyoneering life that you'll have Tom in front of you and Ram behind you." I had a blast and thank the two of them for a great adventure.

    bruce from bryce

    On Thu, Jan 15, 2009 at 12:36 PM, Michael Schasch mikedstyles@yahoo.com>wrote:

    > Heres a little TR I wrote up for Paradisio and Inferno. John has a > couple pictures from this canyon in this thread. I don't have any > myself. Anyway:
    Ram sat over the fire tossing logs and speaking in some kind of code > to the knowledgeable. > "We could do a 34" > "Oh right we could" > "Mmm but we could also do a 13, 25, or dare I say a 31" > "Right you are" > Edgar and I had no clue but that was ok. Finally Ram turned to us and > said, "I could show you guys the canyons, but then I'd have to kill ya"
    "Sounds fair." Replies Edgar.
    The night continued with at the fire with a dirty joke, interrupted by > a detail or two for tomorrow, followed by more dirty jokes. So it was > at our first night at Freeze Fest. We couldn't bring ourselves to > laugh much; we were still in a driving induced coma. Ram had taken to > calling me "Styles" in reference to email address, but I hoped I could > earn the nickname in the slots tomorrow.
    In the morning, most of us were on time. With a good nights sleep > behind us Edgar and I were ready to go. We stop at a gas/food market > where the surprised employees offer to cook us anything we want. I > usually hate it when partners make a big scene in the morning whether > it be ordering a big breakfast or packing slowly, but I couldn't > resist ordering a large batch of biscuits and gravy. Well, make that > hamburger buns and gravy, but that's what I get for slowing down the > mornings progress.
    We head out on a convenient 4wd road that deposits us at the top of > the canyon system with a grand overlook high above, well, high above > quite a scene I will tell you. First canyon up: Paradisio. Ram, Aaron, > and others were the first to explore these parts, now they were > sharing the goods. In a time choked with beta sites and cram packed > books, it was refreshing to see some areas were still off the record.
    Soon we are on top of the first handline/downclimb. That is, everyone > handlines, leaving Aaron to downclimb. At first I'm nervous for him, > it's a good height, and the moves down don't make sense in my head. > After Aaron makes the first couple moves, I say to myself, "Oh, ok > then". Clearly this was not very challenging for him and the moves > were executed without any worry. Down lower the canyon became deep and > we were getting some great light. Soon came a squeeze. Fun and short > for some, but Rob, being the bigger guy of the group had to get down > on his belly and wriggle through. He seemed to have an easy enough > time, but later at the campfire we'd learn that the belly crawl really > did get to him. From the squeeze, the canyon is nothing but fun and > beauty. Near the end we hit a frightening rappel. Frightening because > it drops straight into a deep black keeper pothole. Aaron was first > down. I watched closely as he paused on a small ledge, made a dynamic > reach to the other side of the hole, somehow switched feet, and > bounded across. Now it was my turn, oh boy! I pause on the ledge, > Aaron offers a hand of assistance, but wanting to see if I can make > the same moves he just did, I give it a try. I put a foot across the > hole, scooted forward, now I was in a nice and awkward position. My > next move felt 50/50 at best. I scoot a bit more and stop kidding > myself. I reach out and grab Aaron's hand and its over. I have a rope > so I decide to make myself useful and go set the next rappel. Very > quickly I find myself at another pothole. Not exactly a keeper, no > real exposure, but I'm fearful of getting wet or struggling to get out > without someone around to help out. Aaron walked up behind me, > commenting that it was "a bit of a stretch". He floated across; I > think he didn't even use his hands. Again he reached out to help me > across. A pool of unknown depth protected the last rappel. We stayed > dry this long, no sense in messing that up. We meat anchored everyone > past it, letting the long people do the stretch over the pool. Soon we > were heading back up to the top of the next days canyon.
    As we continued higher, I felt more and more reluctant to go into > another canyon. Almost everyone waited at the drop in. Rob said he'd > had enough and continued out. I debated a bit with Edgar, finding > excuses.
    "I'm out of water" > "You can have some of mine", says Ram. > "We may get wet in this one, I don't have a wetsuit" > "Neither do I", says Tom. > "You'll be around the 20th person to go down this canyon in history", > say Ram. > Edgar looked at me and said, "Well there it is."
    There it was indeed, no excuses now. I do love those short lists. Soon > we were making our way down the early downclimbs to meet up with the > rest of the group. It didn't take long before we were wet up to the > crotch, but it really didn't feel too bad. This canyon, dubbed > "Inferno", had a different nature about it. It stayed skinny for > longer, but it also had plenty of downclimbing, potholes, and exit > rappels. Basically it had it all. I was positioned out in front with > Ram and John. Tom, Aaron, and Edgar were bringing up there rear. We > hit some somewhat strenuous chimneying. Around the next corner I hear > Ram say, "Ok this is the silo." Silo?! I think to myself. I'd never > dealt with such a thing before, only read about them. The "Tom fall > silo", "deep yawning silos", these were not friendly places. On the > drive over, I had been telling Edgar about the dangers of the mystical > silo. But if ever there were to be a "first silo" this would probably > be the one to do. It had maybe 15 feet of exposure, and with Ram right > there coaching me through, the moves felt easy. Down past the obstacle > we waited for the others. Eric, John, Ram, Tom, and soon Aaron poked > around the corner. But where is Edgar? Ram sent Aaron back to find > him. Later I would learn that Edgar had gotten to the silo by himself, > made a couple moves toward it and then backed off. He was a bit > confused about what to do and was feeling pretty nervous about it. > Aaron came just as he committed to it and was making the crossing.
    The canyon changed shape and we found ourselves in a narrow slanted > chimney position. These would be the most physically exhausting moves > for me. There was no way around it; I was fighting my way through > without much style or grace. I was trying to move as fast as I could, > then I'd stop to catch my breath, turn around and see Ram right behind > me smiling. He showed me a great shoulder technique, which would take > some getting used to, but I would find it very useful in the coming > days. The drainage opened up, and we scrambled up to a shelf on the > side. It looked like a possible exit above, and a possible drenching > below. Being ignorant about the terrain surrounding me, I suggested we > might keep from getting soaked and climb out. Ram reminded me that > although the immediate surrounding area looked easy enough, there was > no telling if it would make it or dead end. Better to stick with the > known canyon and exit below. I suggested we might meat anchor people > down the canyon from this shelf, so that not everyone would have to > negotiate the keeper/swimmer above. Soon most of us were down below > rigging the last rappel, while Eric and Aaron made some hard climbing > moves around the pothole above. After a beautiful rappel to > non-technical ground we made the climb back up to the shelf with the > cars. There was a long bumpy ride back, where we mostly sat in > silence. Once in our own vehicle Edgar and I erupted with talk of the > day's events. I thought the rap with the pothole and the strenuous > sideways chimneying was hardest, Edgar thought the silo was hardest > for him. Still later at the campfire we found John had other parts of > the canyon they felt most difficult. "Squeeze your own slot!"
    Later that night at the campfire Ram took to calling me "Denali Mike".
    --- In Yahoo Canyons Group <canyons%40yahoogroups.com>, "davewyo1" > <davewyo1@...> wrote:

    Just a quick report before the gang gets back...
    Thanks to Ram and Tom for organizing and hosting another fantastic
    gathering.
    The temps were challenging but not impossible. Ram always tries to keep
    things moving and offers a couple of options per day if possible.
    On the 28th everyone indulged me, drove for miles, and took part in a
    very small exploration. You could call it a mini-slot. Thanks to Ram,
    Aaron, Ryan, Tim, and John for being there.
    Detailed route information will be coming out in a couple of months.
    pics:
    http://picasaweb.google.com/davewyo1/ProjectCanyon#
    > On the 31st, we did Woody.
    pics:
    http://picasaweb.google.com/davewyo1/WoodyCanyon213108#
    > Most canyons had ice water pools. Some were avoidable; some not.
    Happy New Years!
    Drive safe;
    Dave

    >
  13. Hey Bruce, Its probably not in anyone's best interest to pass up and opportunity like that! Cool that they were the same canyons. Maybe they serve as good "feeler" canyons.

    --- In Yahoo Canyons Group, "bruce silliman" <weabruce@...> wrote:
    Michael, > Sounds like the sales pitch I got two years ago when I did the same two > canyons. Ram and I were scheduled to head to Capitol Reef to do two canyons > but had heard someone come into the Sandthrax campground in the middle of > the night. Early the next day we sauntered over to find that Tom was there, > one day ahead of schedule. They started talking about 34, 13, 24, etc. and > asked if I was game. Not having a clue as to what they were talking about > what could I say. We had finished Paradisio and hiked back up to the top > where I thought we were going towards our cars. "Unh, unh" said Ram. "We > are taking you into your first 'R' canyon". "But I'm out of water", I > countered. "No problem you won't need much and by the way, this will > probably be the only time in your canyoneering life that you'll have Tom in > front of you and Ram behind you." I had a blast and thank the two of them > for a great adventure.
    bruce from bryce
    On Thu, Jan 15, 2009 at 12:36 PM, Michael Schasch <mikedstyles@...>wrote:
    > Heres a little TR I wrote up for Paradisio and Inferno. John has a
    couple pictures from this canyon in this thread. I don't have any
    myself. Anyway:

    Ram sat over the fire tossing logs and speaking in some kind of code
    to the knowledgeable.
    "We could do a 34"
    "Oh right we could"
    "Mmm but we could also do a 13, 25, or dare I say a 31"
    "Right you are"
    Edgar and I had no clue but that was ok. Finally Ram turned to us and
    said, "I could show you guys the canyons, but then I'd have to kill ya"

    "Sounds fair." Replies Edgar.

    The night continued with at the fire with a dirty joke, interrupted by
    a detail or two for tomorrow, followed by more dirty jokes. So it was
    at our first night at Freeze Fest. We couldn't bring ourselves to
    laugh much; we were still in a driving induced coma. Ram had taken to
    calling me "Styles" in reference to email address, but I hoped I could
    earn the nickname in the slots tomorrow.

    In the morning, most of us were on time. With a good nights sleep
    behind us Edgar and I were ready to go. We stop at a gas/food market
    where the surprised employees offer to cook us anything we want. I
    usually hate it when partners make a big scene in the morning whether
    it be ordering a big breakfast or packing slowly, but I couldn't
    resist ordering a large batch of biscuits and gravy. Well, make that
    hamburger buns and gravy, but that's what I get for slowing down the
    mornings progress.

    We head out on a convenient 4wd road that deposits us at the top of
    the canyon system with a grand overlook high above, well, high above
    quite a scene I will tell you. First canyon up: Paradisio. Ram, Aaron,
    and others were the first to explore these parts, now they were
    sharing the goods. In a time choked with beta sites and cram packed
    books, it was refreshing to see some areas were still off the record.

    Soon we are on top of the first handline/downclimb. That is, everyone
    handlines, leaving Aaron to downclimb. At first I'm nervous for him,
    it's a good height, and the moves down don't make sense in my head.
    After Aaron makes the first couple moves, I say to myself, "Oh, ok
    then". Clearly this was not very challenging for him and the moves
    were executed without any worry. Down lower the canyon became deep and
    we were getting some great light. Soon came a squeeze. Fun and short
    for some, but Rob, being the bigger guy of the group had to get down
    on his belly and wriggle through. He seemed to have an easy enough
    time, but later at the campfire we'd learn that the belly crawl really
    did get to him. From the squeeze, the canyon is nothing but fun and
    beauty. Near the end we hit a frightening rappel. Frightening because
    it drops straight into a deep black keeper pothole. Aaron was first
    down. I watched closely as he paused on a small ledge, made a dynamic
    reach to the other side of the hole, somehow switched feet, and
    bounded across. Now it was my turn, oh boy! I pause on the ledge,
    Aaron offers a hand of assistance, but wanting to see if I can make
    the same moves he just did, I give it a try. I put a foot across the
    hole, scooted forward, now I was in a nice and awkward position. My
    next move felt 50/50 at best. I scoot a bit more and stop kidding
    myself. I reach out and grab Aaron's hand and its over. I have a rope
    so I decide to make myself useful and go set the next rappel. Very
    quickly I find myself at another pothole. Not exactly a keeper, no
    real exposure, but I'm fearful of getting wet or struggling to get out
    without someone around to help out. Aaron walked up behind me,
    commenting that it was "a bit of a stretch". He floated across; I
    think he didn't even use his hands. Again he reached out to help me
    across. A pool of unknown depth protected the last rappel. We stayed
    dry this long, no sense in messing that up. We meat anchored everyone
    past it, letting the long people do the stretch over the pool. Soon we
    were heading back up to the top of the next days canyon.

    As we continued higher, I felt more and more reluctant to go into
    another canyon. Almost everyone waited at the drop in. Rob said he'd
    had enough and continued out. I debated a bit with Edgar, finding
    excuses.

    "I'm out of water"
    "You can have some of mine", says Ram.
    "We may get wet in this one, I don't have a wetsuit"
    "Neither do I", says Tom.
    "You'll be around the 20th person to go down this canyon in history",
    say Ram.
    Edgar looked at me and said, "Well there it is."

    There it was indeed, no excuses now. I do love those short lists. Soon
    we were making our way down the early downclimbs to meet up with the
    rest of the group. It didn't take long before we were wet up to the
    crotch, but it really didn't feel too bad. This canyon, dubbed
    "Inferno", had a different nature about it. It stayed skinny for
    longer, but it also had plenty of downclimbing, potholes, and exit
    rappels. Basically it had it all. I was positioned out in front with
    Ram and John. Tom, Aaron, and Edgar were bringing up there rear. We
    hit some somewhat strenuous chimneying. Around the next corner I hear
    Ram say, "Ok this is the silo." Silo?! I think to myself. I'd never
    dealt with such a thing before, only read about them. The "Tom fall
    silo", "deep yawning silos", these were not friendly places. On the
    drive over, I had been telling Edgar about the dangers of the mystical
    silo. But if ever there were to be a "first silo" this would probably
    be the one to do. It had maybe 15 feet of exposure, and with Ram right
    there coaching me through, the moves felt easy. Down past the obstacle
    we waited for the others. Eric, John, Ram, Tom, and soon Aaron poked
    around the corner. But where is Edgar? Ram sent Aaron back to find
    him. Later I would learn that Edgar had gotten to the silo by himself,
    made a couple moves toward it and then backed off. He was a bit
    confused about what to do and was feeling pretty nervous about it.
    Aaron came just as he committed to it and was making the crossing.

    The canyon changed shape and we found ourselves in a narrow slanted
    chimney position. These would be the most physically exhausting moves
    for me. There was no way around it; I was fighting my way through
    without much style or grace. I was trying to move as fast as I could,
    then I'd stop to catch my breath, turn around and see Ram right behind
    me smiling. He showed me a great shoulder technique, which would take
    some getting used to, but I would find it very useful in the coming
    days. The drainage opened up, and we scrambled up to a shelf on the
    side. It looked like a possible exit above, and a possible drenching
    below. Being ignorant about the terrain surrounding me, I suggested we
    might keep from getting soaked and climb out. Ram reminded me that
    although the immediate surrounding area looked easy enough, there was
    no telling if it would make it or dead end. Better to stick with the
    known canyon and exit below. I suggested we might meat anchor people
    down the canyon from this shelf, so that not everyone would have to
    negotiate the keeper/swimmer above. Soon most of us were down below
    rigging the last rappel, while Eric and Aaron made some hard climbing
    moves around the pothole above. After a beautiful rappel to
    non-technical ground we made the climb back up to the shelf with the
    cars. There was a long bumpy ride back, where we mostly sat in
    silence. Once in our own vehicle Edgar and I erupted with talk of the
    day's events. I thought the rap with the pothole and the strenuous
    sideways chimneying was hardest, Edgar thought the silo was hardest
    for him. Still later at the campfire we found John had other parts of
    the canyon they felt most difficult. "Squeeze your own slot!"

    Later that night at the campfire Ram took to calling me "Denali Mike".

    --- In Yahoo Canyons Group <canyons%40yahoogroups.com>, "davewyo1"
    <davewyo1@> wrote:


    Just a quick report before the gang gets back...
    > Thanks to Ram and Tom for organizing and hosting another fantastic
    > gathering.
    > The temps were challenging but not impossible. Ram always tries to keep
    > things moving and offers a couple of options per day if possible.
    > On the 28th everyone indulged me, drove for miles, and took part in a
    > very small exploration. You could call it a mini-slot. Thanks to Ram,
    > Aaron, Ryan, Tim, and John for being there.
    > Detailed route information will be coming out in a couple of months.
    > pics:
    > http://picasaweb.google.com/davewyo1/ProjectCanyon#

    On the 31st, we did Woody.
    > pics:
    > http://picasaweb.google.com/davewyo1/WoodyCanyon213108#

    Most canyons had ice water pools. Some were avoidable; some not.
    > Happy New Years!
    > Drive safe;
    > Dave





    >
  14. adkramoo

    adkramoo Guest

    I stumbled on these 4 videos at the end of Randi's FreezeFest album. Somehow missed them the first time around. What fun! http://picasaweb.google.com/advntrinxs/FreezeFest08?authkey=n-7dAflRfh0#slideshow

    --- In Yahoo Canyons Group, Randi <advntr_inxs@...> wrote: > Here are some pictures from the first couple of days: Woody & Woodsy on the 31st and Black Hole on the 1st.
    http://picasaweb.google.com/advntrinxs/FreezeFest08?authkey=n-7dAflRfh0#
    > still to come: pix of Cheesebox on the 2nd! Wild and crazy for sure...and maybe even a new tradition? :)~
    ~Randi
Similar Threads: FreezeFest 2008
Forum Title Date
General Discussion Freezefest XVIII 2019-2020 Oct 26, 2019
General Discussion FreezeFest XVII- 2018-2019 Dec 5, 2018
General Discussion FreezeFest Survival Guide Dec 5, 2018
Trip Reports Aussie FreezeFest: Whungee Wheengee Canyon in the depths of winter Jul 12, 2018
Trip Reports FreezeFest XVI fireside pictures Jan 21, 2018
Trip Reports FreezeFest VIII - 8 years later Jan 8, 2018