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UT: North Wash Hog Slaughter!

Discussion in 'Trip Reports' started by Anthony Dye, Jan 18, 2019.

  1. Anthony Dye

    Anthony Dye

    Springville, utah
    Hog Slaughter at Freeze Fest XVII

    This was my first Freeze Fest, and man was it awesome! Such an incredibly high ratio of friendly, capable, and A+ personality people, in this eccentric group.

    Someone had posted the desire to do all 4 of the hog canyons in a day. That person didn't end up coming, but that still sounded pretty fun to me. I like long days, and I hadn't done any of them before! We talked around the campfire, and Ram helped us with the best order to descend the canyons. I mentioned that Hogwarts also had the name "hog" in it, so I joked that it must be included in order to say that we really did "all of the hogs" in a day. This was mostly a joke because of the snow on the ground, the late sunrise and early sunset. I was assuming it would be difficult to get even the 4 main hogs in...but in the back of our mind we knew if there was time, we wanted to try.

    7:00 the next morning we rolled out. It was me, Leigh Hawsler, and Tom Collins. We left a car at the Hog Springs parking lot for our shuttle and carpooled up to the Hog approach.

    The first canyon on the docket was Hog 4 "Miss Piggy". I think we hit the ground at close to 8:00. There was scattered snow, never more than 1 inch deep, and I was trying to imagine what stemming on snow covered walls was going to be like, but was surprised to find the canyons themselves had even less snow, The canyon was fun and surprisingly short. With the approach it took us about an hour.

    We exited the wash, climbing up the nose between Hogs 1&2. I wasn't feeling very strong, and got winded a lot easier than normal. I think because I wasn't fully warmed up yet, and partially from the freezing 35mph wind blowing directly in our faces on the hike up. We made it to the rim and Opted to do Hog 2 (Swine Flue) next. It was a lot of fun, but Again, really short. The canyon and approach took just over an hour.

    Leigh's and my camelbacks had both frozen on the approach hike in, so we opted to ditch the extra weight since we hadn't been able to drink from them up to this point anyway, and left them in the sun to hopefully melt. Tom was nice enough to share a few swallows of his water which he was smart enough to bring in a thermos. Lesson learned.

    Now up the steep nose between 1&2 again. This time I was feeling more in the groove and it was much more pleasant.

    The next canyon is Hog 1 (Boss Hog)! I was excited to see the stemming sections I had read about from other's TRs, and they did not disappoint! Though short and easy, this would be a great introduction canyon to high stemming. Also some fun, straightforward downclimbs to practice on. I think Boss hog was my favorite of the main 4.

    I don't remember how many times during these canyons we rapped and how many raps we downclimbed, but I know we downclimbed a lot of the drops which helped to speed things along.... We had now finished 3 out of the 4 hogs and it was 12:30. Doing Hogwarts was starting to seem more and more realistic! After lunch and climbing that exact same steep approach for the 3rd time (Why are we doing this again? ha ha) we made our way down to hog 3 (Razorback).

    Along the way I asked if there were any other hog themed canyons in the north wash. Tom said "well there is Merry Piglet". I laughed and said mostly serious "Well, we have to do that one too, or someone else is going to. Then we would need to come back and do it again anyway" They talked about it and agreed that we should try for it, If we could do it before dark.

    Down hog 3 which was another really enjoyable canyon with some craftier downclimbs and some medium stemming and ended the canyon back into the wash in about 80 minutes, including approach. We turned downstream (and away from that blasted exit) and hiked the winding 3-ish miles, trying to avoid the water and thin ice, down to the hog springs parking lot where we picked up the longer rope and trekked up to start hogwarts.

    I had done Hogwarts one time before and I remembered the approach being very long and steep. Tom had done it multiple times and remembered it being really short and steep. It was right in the middle which was nice because the sun was starting to get low on us. Hogwarts was as awesome and beautiful as I remembered. Rappelling right down to the arch and the final rappel from the big rock that looks like it wants you to die, ha ha. We had forgotten to check the beta for the Merry Piglet approach so we hiked back to the car, and drove it back to Merry Piglet. We found our way up the approach, and started the canyon. The sun was down but there was still residual light. We hustled down. Tom and I opted to downclimb all of the drops. The final two "raps" were especially crafty, I'd bet ranking in my top 15 hardest downclimbs. It was fun to "free" the canyon, and the extra personal accomplishment probably made this my favorite canyon of the day. We made it down and back to the car right as it became too dark to continue without our headlamps.

    Tom came up with the name "Hog Slaughter" for doing All of the pig themed canyons in a day, and Leigh and I thought it was a perfect fit. This was a fun and adventurous day, doing 6 canyons (the most I've done, and 5 being new to me) with these great guys. The perfect day to start off our Freeze Fest trip!!

    We drove back to get our shuttle vehicle, and screamed RANDY!!! at the camp as we drove by :joyful:

    Video to come! Tom and Leigh, Do you have any pics?

    Thanks for reading!

    Quick recap of the Canyons in order:
    Standard approach
    Hog 4
    Nose Exit
    Hog 2
    Nose Exit
    Hog 1
    Nose Exit
    Hog 3
    Hike down Hog Springs wash
    Merry Piglet

    Hogs 2 and 1 can be switched however you fancy!
    Steve D, Jared Robertson, Ram and 3 others like this.
  2. Tom Collins

    Tom Collins

    Woodland Hills, UT
    I already posted this in the main FF page for this year, but I'll post it again here. This is the only pic I got since I forgot my camera and just had my phone.

    Part of me kept hoping there wouldn't be enough time to do all 6, mostly before we got to Hogwarts though. After we did Hogwarts I really didn't feel like doing another approach, but I was glad it worked out since I hadn't done Merry Piglet before and knew I probably wouldn't be down in the area to do it again any time soon. Also it was great to say we did all 6 when we got back to camp since they were expecting 4 with maybe a 5th.
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2019
    Steve D, Jared Robertson, Ram and 3 others like this.