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CA: Sierras JUMP CANYON AND THE SEVEN TEACUPS

Discussion in 'Trip Reports' started by Austin Farnworth, Jul 31, 2018.

  1. Austin Farnworth

    Austin Farnworth

    Messages:
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    184
    Location:
    Mapleton, Utah
    A few months ago, I received an invite from Nathan Ellison to join his group on a trip to Lower Jump Canyon and the Seven Teacups. I jumped at the chance to get some class C experience from a group that has had quite a bit of it. Our group numbered eight people total with Nathan Ellison, Seth Ellison, Scott Hansen, Caboalta, Josh Allen, Dakota Belliston, Olivia Farnworth, and myself. After making the 13 hour drive to the trailhead, we got a bit of sleep before waking up at sunrise to get a head start on any other groups in the area. IMG_7581.JPG
    (Photo Credit: Josh)
    The approach was very short and in no time we were at the 55 foot entry exam jump into the canyon. I volunteered to rappel in with goggles and check the depth because I was not about to start the canyon off with a heinous jump like that! I found that the water was plenty deep and Nate, Seth, Coboalta, and Josh made the massive jump as the rest of the group rappelled. IMG_9622.
    (Photo Credit: Scott)

    Almost immediately after the entry exam we were greeted by a waterfall without any anchor options, so I meat anchored Olivia down to check the depth, which turned out to be jump-able. IMG_7599.JPG (Photo Credit: Koda)
    Everyone did the 30 foot jump but I hesitated, I have had little experience with jumping, so I chickened out and went for a sketchy hand-line down to a lower jumping point. After jumping, I realized it was not that bad and did the following 25 foot split falls jump without an issue. IMG_9643.
    (Photo Credit: Scott)
    Our first rappel came soon, which was pretty slick, down 110 feet into a massive pool. LRM_EXPORT_20180728_191053. IMG_9684. (Photo Credit: Scott)
    Next came the pool slide, which shot you off a small drop into a pothole, and then the bumpy slide. The bumpy slide is fairly long and has its history of injuries due to people not keeping their legs up, so we kept our legs high and got away with only two bruised butts. The 33 foot black hole jump was up next and I was surprised how powerful the circulating pool was at the bottom as I depth checked. IMG_7641.JPG (Photo Credit: Koda)
    From the black hole jump you swim right over to the lip of the 130 foot falls where there is a small stance for a few people, so sequencing is necessary unless you like treading water. The 130 foot rappel has a rebelay station on it that takes you out of the flow. We all used the rebelay station and all agreed afterwards that it was unnecessary with flows of 9cfs and that we should have rappelled direct. IMG_9715. (Photo Credit: Scott)
    As we approached the rainbow room, we did the big jump down to the staging area and I had a hard time talking myself into jumping. The rainbow room had been the only feature in the canyon that had worried me because it forces one to swim through a narrow slot and then under the full force of the waterfall. The rainbow room has created a hydraulic in the past, pushing a canyoneer 10 feet underwater. Our first swimmer made it through the rainbow room without an issue so the trick seemed to just be keep swimming. After I rappelled into the rainbow room, I stemmed up a little on the walls and was able to jump through the flow into safer waters without having to swim through it.
    (Picture: Nate rappelling into the rainbow room as Seth finishes his swim out of it.) IMG_9746. IMG_9731. (Photo Credit: Scott)
    The rainbow room marks the end of upper section and of most of the goods. The middle section had some really long swims that got old pretty fast (i’m going to bring flippers next time). There was not much canyon in the middle section, just plenty of boulders and some tasty black berries on RDC. After the seemingly endless middle section, the walls got high again and the final 300 foot rappel sequence presented itself. We were all super exhausted from the long middle section so we missed the toboggan while walking over to the rappel. Luckily, we were able to spot the slide in-time for Koda to do it, sliding 15 feet into a free-fall for another 15 feet. We couldn’t find the anchors for the final rappel sequence so we just hiked around it in frustration, making our way through the final boulder section, cooling off in any water we could find. The power plant soon came into view and we did the final 30 foot jump down into the exit pool. Hiking around the power-plant was a bit nasty, so we will definitely opt for the dam route out next time.

    We spent the rest of the day driving towards the seven teacups, where we spent the night. The next day with a early start, we made it to the Kern river crossing in 40 minutes, which we managed to do at just chest deep. Most of us put on wet-suits at the river crossing and hiked the last 400 feet up with them on.
    The Seven Teacups starts right off with two short jumps and then a short rappel right in the watercourse. IMG_7764.JPG
    (Photo Credit: Koda)
    The rappel can be jumped if you can find an appropriate launching point, a few in our group climbed back up after doing it on the LDC and did a 30+ foot jump. 20180729_082228.
    (Photo Credit: Koda)
    The next teacup can also be jumped, followed by some rappel sequences. Near the end of the canyon I depth checked a feature called the toilet bowl and the rest of the group did 35+ jump down into what is sometimes a tricky pool to escape due to current. IMG_7790.JPG (Photo Credit: Koda)
    One last rappel and a slide deposited us back at the Kern river. We had taken our time and had still got through in under two hours. At the point where the Seven Teacups meets the Kern river, it is a full swim across the river with rapids above and a class IV rapid in view down river. We swam hard and no-one had an issue making it across, though I would not suggest this route when the Kern River is flowing any higher, there is a safer crossing further up-stream.
    The Seven Teacups had been a lot of fun for its short length, but still doesn’t even compare to Lower Jump Canyon. Jump has all the goods of the seven teacups but with bigger raps, jumps, and a lot more canyon. The Seven Teacups is a great canyon to add on if you are driving back to Utah, but not a destination canyon in my opinion. Jump Canyon is easily some of the most fun I have had in a canyon anywhere, you won’t be disappointed if you go check it out!
    IMG_7792.JPG
    (Photo Credit: Josh)

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  2. Scott Chandler

    Scott Chandler Wildness is a necessity-John Muir

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    For stinking coooooool!
  3. nkanarik

    nkanarik

    Messages:
    1
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    Location:
    Los Altos, California
    Great pix.
    I'm sooooo envy. This is on my to-do list for the longest time!!!

    I live in bay area CA, but all of my canyoneering experience is in UT (lead many trips in ZION, Moab, SRS, Escelante).

    I'd love to join any canyoneering trips anyone might plan in Northern CA / Sierras
    Austin Farnworth and hank moon like this.
  4. Benjamin Pelletier

    Benjamin Pelletier

    Messages:
    68
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    12
    Location:
    Sunland, California
    I was one of the group behind you guys I think. Thanks for the nice writeup :) The single-bolt anchor for the large waterfall near the end was missing its nut and hanger (just a stud) and so it's hard to find if you don't know where it's supposed to be. I updated RopeWiki with more info, and we found a decent knot chock placement LDC. Second stage is also off a single bolt, but it seemed in reasonable condition.

    Anyone going in the near future should bring a (probably) 10mm stainless steel nut + stainless steel hanger + quick link for the first part of that waterfall.

    Here's our video:

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