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UT: Zion Middle Echo Conditions / Pothole

Discussion in 'Trip Reports' started by sbradshaw, Jun 29, 2018.

  1. sbradshaw

    sbradshaw

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    Location:
    Telford, Pennsylvania
    Friday / June 29th - Our group had completed Middle Echo two times previously (June '16 & June '17). Today's trip through Middle Echo observed less water than previous attempts (no swims required although some places were up to chest deep - 5'11"). Our group all used full wet-suits. Just our group's perception, but the water did not seem as cold as in previous years.

    Keeper Pothole - Prior to our day through Echo, we inquired with the Zion rangers and with Zion Adventure Co. as to any reported recent conditions. Word was that water was low and that there was approximately 2 feet from the water surface to the exit slot. What was reported was close to what we found (see pic). Previous years the pothole was a swimmer, but this year the water was about chest high at the point of climb out (see pic). two hand-lines were present...one knotted and one knotted with small loops (barely big enough for a hiking boot). Climbing out with the existing hand-lines would have been possible, but taken a little extra effort. We were prepared as if there would be no hand-lines. We had a pot shot, 50 ft. of webbing and an aiden ladder. To allow a smoother exit, we clipped in the aiden ladder to the existing hand-line. This allowed us to get two good steps up (one under water and one at water surface level). A hand assist helped the rest of the group members through the keeper with no struggles.

    Another fun day through Middle Echo!

    Echo Pothole 1.JPG Echo Pothole 1b.JPG Echo Pothole 3.JPG
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  2. Chasetharp

    Chasetharp

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    Location:
    Salt Lake City
    We came through it last year near that water level, when pine creek was almost completely dry other than the cathedral. Was the pothole a challenge at all on your previous trips? I don't recall it being possible to throw a potshot for it.
  3. sbradshaw

    sbradshaw

    Messages:
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    Location:
    Telford, Pennsylvania
    Our first trip in June '16 was the most difficult. We were not as prepared, the pothole was a swimmer (could not stand at the exit) and there was no existing webbing. We had our tallest, best climber make his way up the exit then we used our webbing and created loops for hands and feet. Our first man up assisted everyone else in the group. The following year the water levels were similar, but a strap existed. We were better prepared with a pot shot and webbing. It is always fun to imagine what it will be like with each subsequent visit.
  4. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    Location:
    Mount Carmel, Utah
    Pothole Escape Boat.
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  5. Anthony Dye

    Anthony Dye

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    Location:
    Springville, utah
    It is possible to make a potshot throw from the bottom of the rappel into the keeper. (On the ledge before stepping into the pit/pool). The walls overlap in a way that gives you a small window both horizontally and vertically but I threw a rope bag through it first try, so a few tries with a potshot should get you there!

    Wouldn't take much sand either. Just heavy enough to make her fly. The chock stone past the keeper has pinch points on both sides. The knot alone would do all the holding you would ever need.
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2018
  6. Chasetharp

    Chasetharp

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    Location:
    Salt Lake City
    Good to know. Middle echo was one of my very early canyons and I recall the pothole being quite intimidating at the time. Unless my memory is just fuzzy, it’s quite impressive to get a toss at that angle. Think it would take me more than one try! Haha.
    Anthony Dye likes this.
  7. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    Location:
    Mount Carmel, Utah
    Anthony is a talented canyoneer.
    ScottM and Anthony Dye like this.
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