Bad weather across the state forced us to cancel our plans for a canyon trip to the King Mesa slots, so we opted to head down to Ticaboo Mesa instead. Though I had really wanted to get into some of the King Mesa slots, I have also been very interested in doing Montezuma Canyon ever since I camped at the head of the canyon on a previous trip. When we got down to Ticaboo Mesa, we were greeted by dark skies and hoped they would clear up soon like the weather report had suggested. As soon as we dropped into the top of the slot there were signs that the canyon had flashed recently and every spot that could hold water was full. My wife Olivia and her cousin Kenna had opted to not bring wetsuits because of how warm the day was while the rest of us put on our neoprene. I put the option of going back up to get the wetsuits out there but both of them were convinced that they would be fine. Upper Montezuma had some really fun downclimbs and I wished that I had not put on my wetsuit so early because the upper section doesn’t hold much water and it was a very warm day. The water was chest level at its deepest point in the upper section, though a committed stemmer could stem around all of the pools without getting wet. We reached the open area the marks the end of upper, and the start of lower Montezuma. The clouds were now gone and the sun was out in strength. From this point on the canyon transitions from the somewhat shallow slot it was in the upper section, to the deep, beautiful and twisty one that it becomes in the lower section. Soon after starting the lower section, we hit our first swim across a full pothole. We got a good laugh out of watching the shock on Kenna and Olivia’s faces as they hit the cold swim without wetsuits on. Following the swim was an awkward down climb off of an overhanging spout-like pour-off to a ledge 6 feet below, with another 6 foot drop below that. It was a tricky place to give a spot but we discovered a hand hold near the lip that allowed one to hang and drop with the assistance of those below. The first rappel was next and it deposited you into a dark swim with an amazing arch that kinda resembles a miniature golden cathedral overhead. The water there was deep and 12 year old Sam jumped instead of rappelling. The earthen rock dam that was holding the water in the pothole we just crossed started to give way and water started pouring down canyon. The next section of canyon was tight and dark with great lighting. The flow of water beneath us added to the atmosphere, causing me to get lost in the moment and I didn’t take any pictures. We reached a beautiful pothole with maiden-water ferns growing thick around it. Sam immediately jumped in and swam to the other side, struggling and failing to get up the exit lip on the other side. It was funny watching him attempting the beached whale maneuver to no avail so we let him struggle for a while before his sister Elsie jumped in and helped him escape. I traversed around the pothole while Olivia gracefully slipped in and Kenna wall ran across. After this short open section, the canyon pinched down for one last dark and narrow section. There were two deep potholes in this last section that were completely dry and could be spanned by all but Sam, who we had to two-man-haul out of the last pothole. We had been worried that the pothole used for the sandtrap rappel would be filled with water due to the recent flood, but luckily for us it was completely dry like the two potholes we had encountered just before it. From the top of the sandtrap rappel you can see out to Lake Powell and the final rappel. Kenna and Olivia were shivering pretty good by now and I can only imagine that they were jealous of our neoprene. The rappel deposited us in a waist deep pool from which we struggled to pull the sandtrap down, eventually getting it to come down with a group effort. We walked out into the sunny open area just before the final rappel and peered off the huge drop. Gear was set out on rocks to dry and those of us in wetsuits took them off and changed into dry clothes. I tossed our 328 ft rope off the edge and waited a while for the bag to hit the bottom. Olivia went down first and was able to provide a solid fireman belay for the rest of group who were all using ATC’s with carabiners on the leg loops for extra friction. I used a radio to communicate with Olivia below, which made it a slick operation getting everyone down. Eventually I was the last man left up top and I realized that my plan to toggle this rappel with 6 mm accessory cord wasn’t gonna work out so well. The pull line was too heavy and would slowly pull the toggle out of the stone knot as I tested it. So I went for plan B and extended the webbing a good 2 feet over the edge, setting up a standard pull. I had Olivia test the pull from the bottom and it went smooth. Now I had quite the awkward start on my hands, I had to climb down the webbing off the edge before I could even start rappelling. To do this safely, I hooked up my critr and completely locked off on it before climbing over the edge and down the webbing. Once I got down in position, I hung my pack 6 ft beneath me and set my descending device up for rappel. This operation normally wouldn’t be an issue for me, but doing all of this hanging almost 300ft in the air got to head a bit. I started down the rappel and was free hanging pretty much right off the bat to the end of the rappel. A really cool hanging garden is encountered on the way down and the views out to Powell are awesome on rappel! I have done longer rappels before, but this one felt much bigger and airy than the others. I landed safely and we were able to get a clean pull on the rope, packing up and hiking down to the lake. The water in the inlet was pretty nasty so we took off for the chute exit, encountering low 5th class climbing en route. The hike out took us two hours, stopping frequently to enjoy the views we had of the lake. When we arrived at the car, we devoured sloppy joes and set up camp at the top of Montezuma, enjoying a beautiful sunset over lake Powell and a calm wind free night. We had planned to do Hard Day Harvey the next day but were shut down by storm clouds in the morning and did a quick run through Fiddlestix Canyon instead. We packed up and got off the dirt roads before the storm hit with everyone feeling satisfied. Montezuma is definitely my favorite canyon right now and I am happy that we got to see it in full water conditions. It is definitely a canyon I recommend for anyone who hasn’t done it. There is still lots of Ticaboo Mesa canyons I want to do so i’m sure i’ll be back soon.