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Album Left fork beyond das boot

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Craigcrow, Mar 4, 2021.

  1. Craigcrow

    Craigcrow

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    Anybody explored left fork up from das boot that could provide some beta?


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  2. 2065toyota

    2065toyota

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    More of the same thing, we as many others have done the full left fork from the top down
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  3. Ram

    Ram

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    One of the best water parks anywhere, but not deep or entrenched. The areas above Das Boot are quite wet, but sunnier and friendly than the Boot. Das boot is only 0.8 miles long while the parts above are miles long. The full package is fun but quite the long day. The Upper Left Fork drains the country above Wildcat Canyon and is not often reasonable before May, in an average snow year. It would be treacherous or suicidal in anything more than the mildest flow. A few spots up there funnel into a small and potentially turbulent spaces.

    Accesses include going left before dropping into the start of Das Boot and going as far as you can before a rib blocks easy passage. The traverse is very against the grain and requires crossing gully, after small rib after gully after small rib and repeat.

    Normal entry is often at the Seeps, following the Right Fork approach route from Lava Point down into Wildcat Canyon. This is long thrash at times with up and down bypasses, out of the canyon bottom. The last major fork coming into Wildcat, above Wildcat's junction with the true Left Fork, comes in from the west. This is the highest quality "walk in" spot, for the best package. Suit up and go....for a long scenic cold time. Interesting is that you arrive at the Das Boot section later in the day than normal and there is more light in that section later in the day. The day is dawn to dusk, with a large calorie burn. Prepare well and stay on task.
    Ram
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  4. Craigcrow

    Craigcrow

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    Thanks are there any rappels or KP’s


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  5. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    Ram tells me this. I believe him. Quality and Quantity.

    My only foray into Upper Left Fork was brutal. A missed meeting had me starting from the Wildcat Trailhead at 10 am. In July. The canyon was not completely dry, but fairly close. It was not much fun. I exited at the entrance to Das Boot.

    Still on my list of canyons to do, in appropriate conditions. You can also take the Elktrap Approach to the Seeps, which benefits from starting from Wildcat rather than Lava Point... A bit of "real" bushwhackery to get over the bump to the actual ridge, but pretty cruiser after that. http://canyoncollective.com/threads/elktrap-approach-to-seeps-full-left-fork.22184/

    Tom
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  6. Ram

    Ram

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    One pothole that has always had water flowing out of it. Very likely spring feed. Yes, rappels. At least 2, as many as 4. All short. Lots of short captures. Tom's post of the Elktrap approach good option too. You can pick up my suggested high entry from that route methinks. If you go further south, you will have a short rappel to get into the canyon above or below the Seeps.
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  7. Craigcrow

    Craigcrow

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    Thanks I’m thinking of soloing it, do you think that’s doable or foolhardy. Thanks for the info ram


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  8. Ram

    Ram

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    Thoughts without judgment.
    It is such a beautiful place and sharing is such a big part of that for me.
    It is what? 25,000 steps for the day? More? Nice to have someone there if one of those steps go wrong.
    It becomes much harder without partners helping each other
    The upper part is not visited often. By the time you get to Das Boot and the Subway, the traffic of the day is long gone too.
    If a solo was my aim, I would pick other places
  9. Scott Patterson

    Scott Patterson

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    Or at least it can be like that. My brother and cousin did it several years ago and called it disappointing. When they went everything above Russell Gulch was dry. Supposedly in dry conditions, it isn't that good. Or at least they said so.

    If weather patterns don't change, this year seems like another candidate for having the canyon be dry.
  10. Ram

    Ram

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    Yes it would be a huge drop in aesthetics if dry. I suppose it is always a matter of being in the right place at the right time, and of course, with the right people. I assume that the Lava Point area is deep in snow as I write this? How much I don't know but I bet it is a consequential and it can be looked up. It will melt soon. When it melts, much of it will go down Wildcat Canyon, then make the turn and flow substantially down the Left Fork. The Goldilocks timing is to be there the day the flow stops plus or minus a few days. Early May most years but can be plus or minus a month, sometime even more, depending on the snow year. The other month I have historically gone, with good results is October. A favorite of ours since 1987.

    Now a bonus piece. It is reasonable to do the route via the Hammerhead too. Go right on bench just before the left turn, below all the Hammerhead raps and find a tree to walk across the jungle in the drainage bottom , then up the lowest hill and right into the flat upper south fork of the Left Fork. Stroll one mile to the Seeps.
    Lets see if I can find a few pictures of what we called "The Upper Upper Left of North." Yes we were poking fun at Kelsey names.
    :tongue:

    A few from an October
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
  11. Scott Patterson

    Scott Patterson

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    I doubt it, but I guess it could depend on what you mean by "deep". The Lava Point weather station doesn't record snow depth, but the one on top of the mountain north of there does. It's more than 2000 feet higher than Lava Point is reporting 3' of snow (which is 36% lower than average), but that's at a much higher elevation. There was one good storm a while ago, but before that snowpack numbers were even more dismal.

    I'm not sure if you already know this (maybe you do), but Pine Creek has been dry most of (or maybe all of?) the winter. People have been going through it for a few months now without getting their feet wet. I assume that this is highly unusual for winter. It was still dry except for a few puddles as of March 1:

    https://candition.com/canyons/pine-creek

    Edit: someone posted a TR on FB today. It's still dry as of yesterday.

    This winter, people have been doing Imlay without wetsuits because it is dry or almost dry (though cold protection is still needed for the Zion Narrows). I assume that this is also unusual for winter. (Update: as of March 1, the canyon had one short swim at the beginning and a few other knee deep pools, so it must have gotten some precip in the last couple of weeks).

    Last December Echo was dry; I don't know how it is now since I haven't seen any recent reports.

    Of course Pine Creek, Imlay, and Echo aren't Left Fork, but this does show just how dry Zion has been.

    Upper Left Fork still will have water in it when the snow melts, but it might not last long unless the weather patterns change.
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2021
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  12. deathtointernet

    deathtointernet

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    Mid-September back in '11 turned out really well with quite a good-sized group of us. The monsoon (ha, that must've still been a thing back then) left the canyon with a bunch of swims. Came down the Hammerhead and went all the way through the Subway. Took 12 hours trailhead to trailhead, even with a very strong group. I remember enjoying it quite a bit.

    P1020320.JPG


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  13. CRNPRES

    CRNPRES

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    I have done it all the way from the west rim trail. I personally don't think it is worth it to drop into anywhere above the where Blue Spring comes into it. This route takes a longer rope to get into the canyon at the head that I consider Upper Upper Left.

    Many have been doing an extended das boot (upper left) to come in higher below Blue Springs that takes same rope lengths as das boot. You can figure it out on a map pretty easy. This makes das boot longer but the pretty sections to me are still in the normal das boot.
  14. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    Just a point of nomenclature - Blue Springs is the reservoir up near the road that feeds into Kolob. The named spring at the turn where Wildcat Canyon becomes the Left Fork is called "The Seeps". The creek in Wildcat Canyon is Blue Creek. The side fork that one can descend from the Trail closer to the West Rim Trail I called "Little Blue" in my beta from a long long time ago. So do you mean The Seeps?

    And do you mean descending that wide brushy drainage that ends at the Left Fork / Seeps, which can be considered the true top of the Left Fork, which I would call the "Upper Upper Left Fork" from the West Rim Trail? Ramoo did that fork many moons ago and said it was a dud.

    Tom
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  15. CRNPRES

    CRNPRES

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    My maps refer to it as blue creek or blue spring. The park refers to it as blue springs when you cross it at the park boundary on the Lava Point road.
  16. Ram

    Ram

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    Thanks for clarifying for everyone Tom. Little Blue/Blue Creek is a short tech section WAY up high in Wildcat. After those narrows it is a long way to the sustained goods, one trib up from the Seeps and the Left Fork-Wildcat confluence. Bucky, Stevie B and I did Left Fork from the West Rim trail and yes it is a dud. One rap of 60 feet, that involved bushwhacking while on rap.

    On the day we descended that, Brian Cabe and Tom did the first known Hammerhead descent. Pitney, Youth and Gendron went off one the ridges into mid Wildcat, after bailing on one of the forks north of the Left Fork. The idea was for the 3 groups to meet at the Grand Alcove. Tom and Brian got the initial plum, in the Hammerhead (say thank you, everyone who has since been). BUT our dud gave us the chance to be first in for the first modern descent of the "Direct" in the Right Fork. A fair trade. Tom, Brian and the Gendron followed down the Direct in the later afternoon and we had a wonderful gathering at the Alcove for the night, before hiking out the next day. Is it really 18 and a half years ago? Sheesh
    https://www.canyoneeringusa.com/rave/right-fork-fest-zion-national-park-oct-2002
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2021
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  17. Brian in SLC

    Brian in SLC Brian in SLC

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    Crazy how time flies...

    Speak no, see no, hear no beta...too funny. Good times!

    Zion speak see hear no beta.
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  18. Scott Patterson

    Scott Patterson

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    Wildcat Canyon itself has several sections of really good narrows. Has anyone been through all the sets of narrows. They have been really wet evertime I have been there. I have been through a lot of them, but maybe not all. It seems that almost everyone just bypasses them.


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
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  19. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    Well... surprise surprise... whereas I have seen Blue Spring Reservoir overflowing into Kolob, the actual outlet of the Blue Spring Reservoir (which is fed by Blue Spring) is Blue Creek which flows into Wildcat Canyon.

    It is Blue Creek that flows under the Lava Point Road at the Park Boundary. The Park, and employees of the Park, can both BE misled and BE misleading.

    Tom
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  20. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    Further Clarification:

    The Creek in Wildcat Canyon is Blue Creek, which does indeed flow from Blue Springs Reservoir, the reservoir that overflows the Lava Point road in the spring. The side canyon to that, that runs north toward the West Rim Trailhead, is the one I descended Back In The Day, with two rappels which were already bolted... and applied the name of "Little Blue" to. And yes, from there the bottom of Wildcat Cyn is choked with roses for quite some way, and the usual path is up on the bench to the right.

    18 years ago...
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