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UT: Cedar Mesa FreezeFest XI- Black Hole 1-1-13

Discussion in 'Trip Reports' started by Ram, Jan 15, 2013.

  1. Ram


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    We saw New Year's in for all the time zones, from the Maritime (on the 1/2 hour) to the Pacific. A Dog owner...A LARGE dog owner informed folks that any more load noises that scare and chase his dog away, will be repaid with the lose of face. Nose, eyes, mouth, all gone. The puppy was found a few hours later down by Blarney. A couple of fizz bombs were all that materialized, as everyone had their orignal faces at the end of the evening.

    any stayed up late. Many indulged in high spirits. Many woke up the next day not feeling well. Many noted the temperature at 9 degrees that morning. Many knew the temperature may get into the [SIZE=3]high 20's.[/SIZE]. [SIZE=3]Many chose to pack up and head home. [SIZE=3]M[/SIZE]any decided to do the Black [SIZE=3]H[/SIZE]ole. Few decided to do another canyon that day. This was unusual. It was almost an "all or nothing" proposition. Some old [SIZE=3]veterans[/SIZE] made a last minute change and joined the [SIZE=3]H[/SIZE]ole crew. When do you ever regret deciding to go, when the day is done? [SIZE=3]M[/SIZE]any would say never.

    [SIZE=3]A marginal car shuttle was pulled together[SIZE=3].[/SIZE] [SIZE=3]T[/SIZE]he obligatory photos were taken. A pair of late arrivals added to the count. Twenty to go! A little snow on the [SIZE=3]north exposures up h[SIZE=3]igh, then no snow. With it having been c[SIZE=3]ol[/SIZE]d for some time and in the teens now, lots of and lots of and lots of ice decorated the canyon. And [SIZE=3]I[/SIZE] mean it when i say decorated. Its many patte[SIZE=3]rns are a highlight for me. Just [SIZE=3]gorgeous[/SIZE]!

    [SIZE=3]F[SIZE=3]ive[/SIZE] different places have been used for suiting up, over the years. [SIZE=3]It a[/SIZE]ll depends o[SIZE=3]n where the water starts. [/SIZE]We made the next to last furthest spot, before dressing up. Not because the canyon was dry....The ice squ[SIZE=3]eaked. It creaked. It cracked. It held. We had had a big and fa[SIZE=3]ncy meeting for the first timers, back at camp, trying to ensure no one did anything stupid due to inexperience or...from being stupid. There has to be at least one, every year. It had never bee[SIZE=3]n me, so [SIZE=3]I[/SIZE] guess it was time for me to take [SIZE=3]my[/SIZE] turn. [SIZE=3]I go light wet suit wise normally. A 6/3 mm two piece combo has proved to work for me. I [SIZE=3]accessorize[/SIZE] well, so [SIZE=3]I[/SIZE] get away with it. On with the suit. On with the shorty over the top......[SIZE=3]Ahhhhh, why is it not going on? Ahhh, [SIZE=3]I[/SIZE] see! It's my skinny daughters shorty! Good. [SIZE=3]I[/SIZE] always wanted to know if one could survive the Black Hole in sub freezing temperature[SIZE=3]s on [SIZE=3]N[/SIZE]ew Years, with just one medium wetsuit!

    [SIZE=3]I DO accessorize well! Saved my b[SIZE=3]ehind[/SIZE]! A puffball underneath. A shredded dry top over the top helped..I think? The dish glove/[SIZE=3]garden [/SIZE]combo works. [SIZE=3]G[/SIZE]ood new neo[SIZE=3] socks. A good hat! And lots of steaming chai tea. Yeah, [SIZE=3]I[/SIZE] was fine in a 4/3 mm suit. [SIZE=3]I[/SIZE] could feel the conductive power of the cold water, through the t[SIZE=3]hinner protection. A pall of chill upon ex[SIZE=3]iting the water[SIZE=3] blankets my core. But th[SIZE=3]e [SIZE=3]C[/SIZE]anyon God[SIZE=3]s are kind today. No canyon wind to speak of. flows down its hallways

    [SIZE=3]Early in the wet sections, all drips turn to ice [SIZE=3]instantly. [SIZE=3]H[/SIZE]arder and harder climbing options become necessary. Later in the day, the rising tem[SIZE=3]peratures will mitigate this. [SIZE=3]Rockfall beyond the Hole proper leaves [SIZE=3]4 inchs of dee[SIZE=3]p powdery sand, from [SIZE=3]what[/SIZE] [SIZE=3]had once been rock. The final swimming pools were long. They also had thick plates of ice, that made us sweeping the rear image that breaking this ice a major chore. [SIZE=3]L[/SIZE]ater that would be confirmed. by the folks[SIZE=3] that were up front.[/SIZE]

    [SIZE=3]As we cleared the swimming sections, we decided to leave our suits on [SIZE=3]and hike ourselves warm. One of the cute cuddly Bear [SIZE=3]B[/SIZE]rothers marked the exit. Some strip down here. Others climb the hill to the cars first. The last [SIZE=3]stragglers[/SIZE] come into the parking lot. This spot is a favorite. Victory chips and beverages shared all around. The sun is warm, the [SIZE=3]place [/SIZE]fully in the sun. [SIZE=3]S[/SIZE]miles for all, from all. We all linger, skin warm but tingling. Stories fly. [/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE]
    [SIZE=3][SIZE=3][SIZE=3][SIZE=3][SIZE=3][SIZE=3][SIZE=3][SIZE=3][SIZE=3][SIZE=3][SIZE=3][SIZE=3][SIZE=3][SIZE=3][SIZE=3][SIZE=3][SIZE=3][SIZE=3][SIZE=3][SIZE=3][SIZE=3][SIZE=3][SIZE=3][FONT=Arial][COLOR=black][SIZE=3][SIZE=3][SIZE=3][SIZE=3][SIZE=3][SIZE=3][SIZE=3][SIZE=3][SIZE=3][SIZE=3][SIZE=3][SIZE=3][SIZE=3][SIZE=3][SIZE=3][SIZE=3][SIZE=3][SIZE=3][SIZE=3][SIZE=3][SIZE=3][SIZE=3][SIZE=3][SIZE=3][SIZE=3][SIZE=3][SIZE=3][SIZE=3][SIZE=3][SIZE=3][SIZE=3][SIZE=3][SIZE=3][SIZE=3][SIZE=3][SIZE=3][SIZE=3] No one wants it to end. [SIZE=3]M[/SIZE]any timers and first timers share in [SIZE=3]camaraderie. The suns sinks lower. Time to go.

    [SIZE=3]On the way back, a few of us speak to the ranger. They knew we were coming for the annual rite. They had seen us at [SIZE=3]S[/SIZE]andthrax earlier in the week. The boss asked the underlings...."Will they do the Black [SIZE=3]H[/SIZE]ole on New [SIZE=3]Y[/SIZE]ear's again? It is assumed they will. The rangers gathered and watch old Dan Ransom FreezeFest video[SIZE=3]s on [SIZE=3]N[/SIZE]ew [SIZE=3]Y[/SIZE]ear's [SIZE=3]E[/SIZE]ve, [SIZE=3]unbeknownst[/SIZE] to any of us. They confirm it that afternoon and the stats of viewing the videos, show the spike. Eleven years of the "bad idea that caught on."

    [SIZE=3][SIZE=3]B[/SIZE]ack at camp, a smaller group surrounds the fire. The next AM, several more leave, as other [SIZE=3]individuals[/SIZE] divide into 2 or 3 groups for more canyons. I join Denal[SIZE=3]i Mike and Eric [SIZE=3]G[/SIZE]odfrey for a casual Shamrock descent sans ropes and harnesses. Then it is time for me to go. Others will stay several more days before the event closes out after 11 total days. Aside from the one [SIZE=3]"bump"[/SIZE] in the Hogs, the Fest's crew and compliment, head home healthy and whole. A happy and healthy 2[SIZE=3]013 to all.[/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][/COLOR][/FONT][/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE]
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