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Mindbender Exit Status 1-10-16

Discussion in 'Trip Reports' started by davebuc, Jan 11, 2016.

  1. davebuc

    davebuc

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    Mindbender canyons exit is currently impassable due to snow and ice.

    On Sunday, January 10, a group of 3 ZAC staff descended the canyon named "Mindbender Fork 4AIII" on canyoneeringusa.com, aka "Little Middle Fork" (Kelsey).

    Snow and ice blocked the "North Fork Moki Exit, 5.4 Hueco wall to ledge."

    The group searched for alternate exits by continuing downcanyon in the N. Fork of Robbers Roost Canyon and later traveling up-canyon in the Middle Fork. The group found no viable safe exit. Wayne County Search and Rescue was called in and safely extracted the group.

    I don't have much other info at present as I was not in the group. They are enroute from Hanksville to Zion today. My aim in posting is to pass on the current condition info.
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  2. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    Last edited: Jan 16, 2016
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  3. Mountaineer

    Mountaineer Is that an X slot?

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    I would rate it around a 5.7...but anyway...not safe without additional preparation in many winter conditions for sure.

    The collective has some good threads on what to do (or not do) when canyoneering in the winter.

    Last time I was there (summer time), a group asked us if we had fixed a rope. We said we didn't, that it was possible to pass in good conditions with a confident climber in the group. They still decided to take the extra 1-2 hours and fix a rope to be safe. No shame in that at all, and I commended them for their preparation.

    In the winter, I can think of a few other spots before and after the wall climb that could prove slippery as well.
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  4. Scott Patterson

    Scott Patterson

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    The thing about the Moki exit is that you can check it out before hand and leave a fixed rope if needs be. I've always done this in winter (which is actually the only time I've done the route). In winter, it's not a good idea to plan on using the route as an exit unless you check it out before hand.
  5. Jenny

    Jenny

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    Thanks for posting this Dave. This kind of report may save someone's life. 'So glad that the good folks at ZAC are safe.

    Everyone, next time you get gas in Hanksville (and we all do, eh?) remember to thank those SAR folks that work so hard for us all.

    Jenny
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  6. Taylor

    Taylor

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    Nice job WACOSAR
  7. digby

    digby

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    These folks were ZAC staff? Knowing this exit is not easy even in good conditions? IMHO irresponsible. If this were a group of newbies would ya'll be so forgiving?
    Will they be charged for the rescue? Tom?
  8. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    I have not yet been briefed on what happened. I am, of course, disappointed. Seems like a rookie mistake. While I am supportive of ZAC staff (collectively and individually), I am also supportive of professionalism.

    They will not be charged for the rescue. This is not something that is done in Utah, except in Summit County.

    I will encourage ZAC to make a substantial donative to Wayne County.

    Tom
  9. Taylor

    Taylor

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    Actually, Wayne and Grand counties do charge for rescue. Most counties in northern Utah, Summit being the exception, are members of Mountain Rescue Association and as such, cannot charge.

    Sent from my SM-G900P using Tapatalk
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2016
  10. Jenny

    Jenny

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    Whoa!!!! Hang on!

    Please, let’s not be so quick to judge these Zion Adventure Company associates! It seems there's a whole lot of assuming going on, here.

    With little to no factual information to base your conclusions on, do you really think it fair to call them “irresponsible”, “rookie” and “unprofessional”?

    In my judgement (and fully aware of my hypocrisy here), we ALL have made decisions that don’t turn out so well, result in misses, or near-death incidents and offer opportunity for others to learn from our mistakes. If I am mistaken, and you are a perfect one, my apology to you.

    When skill runs out, conditions surprise, and mishaps occur, we can thank Lady Luck for giving us another chance.

    With the number of deaths and major accidents happening in this growing “sport”, let’s celebrate that these people are safe, there is a SAR system that works, and look for the lessons within.

    Respectfully but with a dash of irritation, I am,
    Jenny
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  11. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    Yes.







    I am the house scold - in both houses involved here.

    :moses:
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  12. canyoncaper

    canyoncaper

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    Tom,

    The way I read this thread, the post was offered to provide the community with a warning about current challenging conditions in a canyon.

    I believe that it is extremely "irresponsible" of you to instantly shut down open-communication by introducing shaming into the thread. It is also extremely "unprofessional" of you to assume so much about something you admittedly have no information about. Tom, you are not a "rookie" in this world of social media; you are responsible for the words you write and the tone that they create.

    A Leader leads by supporting and encouraging growth and communication; not by slashing the heads of anyone that steps into view.

    Felicia
  13. Brian in SLC

    Brian in SLC Brian in SLC

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    I dunno...Tom started with the facepalm statue (very classy). Then progressed towards musing about the situation saying he was disappointed and that it "seemed" like a rookie mistake. Then, when pushed, he solidified his position.

    I blame ya'll for pushin' him into a corner...!

    Concur that its great everyone is ok. But...we discuss accidents with great vigor. Near misses shouldn't be immune to that too. Lessons to be learned here. And...that's ok.

    Even experienced folks get in over their head. If anyone gets called out for a preventable SAR call out, well, take your lumps and be glad the helicopter didn't crash or a rescuer get hurt or killed. We'd be having a bit different discussion otherwise.
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  14. Jenny

    Jenny

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    I can see how it looks like Tom's was backed into a corner. That was not my intention, in any way. Thanks for adding your salt and pepper to this Brian. I'd come to Tom's corner as well (and have), if I thought he needed it!

    To further clarify my point; do you/we know that this SAR was "preventable"?
    Do you know that these folks have not already taking plenty of "lumps" and that they don't feel gratitude?
    I'd bet they have and do!

    Again, I'd love to see that these vigorous discussions go on w/o the labels and assumptions flying around.
    Can we just play fair and be nice?

    Game on!

    Jenny ( the ol' schoolyard referee)
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  15. Brian in SLC

    Brian in SLC Brian in SLC

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    Until we know otherwise, I'd start with the premise that pretty much any SAR is preventable.

    We know from a number of sources, that its very common knowledge that the egress to the canyon in winter conditions can be "interesting".

    The Moki Step exit may be the most challenging part of this adventure. The exit faces north and is low-down, so it can be snowy and impassable in winter, even long after storms.

    I think most folks would prepare for the exit in winter unless they had specific knowledge that they didn't need to. To not, would be a mistake, beginner, newb, rookie, seasoned vet, whatever.

    We've been discussing winter canyoneering for a while here, and, the consensus amongst seasoned folks, even lightly seasoned folks, is that the season raises the bar a bit.

    Gratitude, sure, I bet they're happy they got home to a warm bed. Maybe if they realized the risk of putting others at risk, they'd have prepared for the canyon better? Again, lessons learned. A vicious tongue lashing on the internet probably doesn't leave too big a welt on anyone. Gettin' called a "rookie"? Pretty mild.

    There but for the grace...sure. We all make mistakes. And I'm super glad no one got more than their feelings hurt or had to feel gratitude for the help of others (the HORROR).

    Ok then, let's have some details! How'd they notify SAR? Overdue and their peeps called it in? Did they activate a Spot? Did they (gasp), update their facebook page requesting a rescue? How 'bout a pic of the exit conditions?

    I am super glad they're ok. Maybe with some help, they'll get through this. Ha ha.
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  16. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    I talked with one of the three participants yesterday. I encouraged telling their story in public, and in a couple of days they might.

    They had a SPOT.

    Tom
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  17. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    Further discussion today. Interesting story. Did a lot of things right. Choice of canyon not so much.

    My original facepalm post was MEANT to be "I am embarrassed WITH and FOR you", but it was taken more as a shaming. Yeah, I can see that. Sorry for that.

    Tom
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  18. trackrunner

    trackrunner

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    Hopefully this serves as a reminder to have a game plan by discussing before hand the risks and solutions. We should definitely talk about exits and alternate exits. How does weather impact everything from the descending the canyon, exit, if delayed are you prepared for the extra hours, and any obstacles.

    Sent from my SM-G900V using Tapatalk
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  19. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    Just a reminder - there are many perils in Winter Canyoneering, even doing relatively straightforward (in summer) canyons...

    Tom :moses:
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  20. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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