Send us a suggestion!

Neon Canyon Conditions? The Anatomy of a Pothole

Discussion in 'Archives - Yahoo Canyons Group' started by adkramoo, May 6, 2009.

  1. adkramoo

    adkramoo Guest

    I remember doing Neon in October of 2001 and the pothole was and had been laying under the gravel. No one I knew, knew about it. I wonder how long it had been filled and who if anyone knew it was down there? Its ice cream scoop shape a stunning surprise when it revealed itself the following March. What is interesting during the 5 months between the descents, there was no recorded precipitation in the town of Escalante. Yet 25 miles to the SE, sometime in that period, a non monsoon period, a major flood came through and scoured the thing, leaving the present geometry. My point, aside from my propensity to story tell? Escalante is big country and events occur here and there without anyone knowing

    But Neon is a popular destination and there has been several trips there recently. Reports had the pothole being knee deep. Has it changed? Well, probably not much, but.......

    Lots of new information, helping those concerned about the pothole, has come available, from information researched and shared on this group. One.... Ranger Bill W. shared that if one exits the moki steps, on the left, looking down canyon, just below the lowest entry and the moki's on the other side, one can hike the rim and look into the pothole, with a 10 minute walk, each direction.

    Okay, that is great, but how does one intrepid that information? Last year, Kurt did a descent of Neon and found the pothole in keeper condition and effected a retreat up the narrows above the pothole successfully. A nice effort involving some moderately challenging climbing.

    This led to several groups chomping at the bit to go and test themselves against the monster keeper. The fact that Kurt is a seasoned and talented canyoneer, only added to the fever. The Doc Rosen group got to it first, with a small army and a dozen ideas.

    But "keeper conditions" in this pothole is a fleeting experience. The water seeps into the sand and rock and evaporates to the sky and in just over a week or two, Doc found the spot no longer a true keeper.

    We define it being a true keeper when no one can stand at the down canyon lip or climb out from swimming. Doc's group proceeded to do a massive research project on the spot and his information is valuable.

    If I recall it correctly.... There is bedrock at the downcanyon bottom of the pothole. It can't get deeper there. The distance from the bottom to the sloping, featureless and sandy lip, is approximately 9.5 feet.

    Other information.... It has been found that folks can slip out of the pothole from swimming, if water is less that 2 feet below the lip, often with a swimming shove from a partner and the minimal help a pack or sandbag offers on the sloping lip and beyond. This was found out on previous trips. More than 2 feet from the lip? Hard or impossible using these methods. So if you have someone 6 feet plus, who can stand at the bottom, below the lip, you can generally get someone to climb up that person and get out. As long as the bottom person can stand and breath air.

    What does that leave? If the pothole is too deep to allow someone to stand and the water is still 2 feet or more from the lip, you have this place in "True Keeper Condition." If my numbers are right, as well as my math, that is about an 18 inch range of water depth.

    Conclusions....One can check before from the rim. Also if one encounters true keeper conditions and can't solve the problem, one can, with some effort for sure, retreat back up. True keeper condition is a narrow window and likely only lasts for a few days at a time.

    Excuse the long winded reply. Two other folks wrote me in the last day asking the same question and I thought it would be a good time to put all the information into one post. Your primary question was can two people get out by themselves. If not in true keeper condition, two folks have gotten out before, although three people is considered ideal and MUCH easier. Question? How tall are you? Big and strong? How tall, light and athletic is your daughter? You get it. Hope everyone continues to report back after descents of Neon. Seems there are always people who want to know. Enjoy the pothole while its out. Someday it is likely to fill with sand and/or gravel again. Doc or others, please correct any errors I may have made on the distances used. Oh and ideas have been tossed around for effective exits when in true keeper state, but no one idea has gained acceptance as sure fire. Thank you to all the people who helped gather all the information on the pot. I love this sport! Ram

    --- In Yahoo Canyons Group, "tboaks2" <tboaks@...> wrote:
    Can anyone give me recent conditions in Neon Canyon? > Specifically the keeper pothole near the end. > I'd like to go there this weekend with my daughter (a climber) and myself (experienced climber and canyoneer) but don't want to get stuck at the pothole if more than two are needed to exit. > Anyone? >
  2. Kurt

    Kurt Guest

    As always your recollection is very good. I might add that our retreat was hastened by a group member going hypothermic in the pothole. An amateur mistake on our part, but a lesson very well learned. It's always funny to talk with people who walked across the keeper on sand and wonder what in the world your talking about when you mention keeper pothole.

    adkramoo wrote:
    > I remember doing Neon in October of 2001 and the pothole was and had > been laying under the gravel. No one I knew, knew about it. I wonder > how long it had been filled and who if anyone knew it was down there? > Its ice cream scoop shape a stunning surprise when it revealed itself > the following March. What is interesting during the 5 months between > the descents, there was no recorded precipitation in the town of > Escalante. Yet 25 miles to the SE, sometime in that period, a non > monsoon period, a major flood came through and scoured the thing, > leaving the present geometry. My point, aside from my propensity to > story tell? Escalante is big country and events occur here and there > without anyone knowing
    But Neon is a popular destination and there has been several trips > there recently. Reports had the pothole being knee deep. Has it > changed? Well, probably not much, but.......
    Lots of new information, helping those concerned about the pothole, > has come available, from information researched and shared on this > group. One.... Ranger Bill W. shared that if one exits the moki steps, > on the left, looking down canyon, just below the lowest entry and the > moki's on the other side, one can hike the rim and look into the > pothole, with a 10 minute walk, each direction.
    Okay, that is great, but how does one intrepid that information? Last > year, Kurt did a descent of Neon and found the pothole in keeper > condition and effected a retreat up the narrows above the pothole > successfully. A nice effort involving some moderately challenging > climbing.
    This led to several groups chomping at the bit to go and test > themselves against the monster keeper. The fact that Kurt is a > seasoned and talented canyoneer, only added to the fever. The Doc > Rosen group got to it first, with a small army and a dozen ideas.
    But "keeper conditions" in this pothole is a fleeting experience. The > water seeps into the sand and rock and evaporates to the sky and in > just over a week or two, Doc found the spot no longer a true keeper.
    We define it being a true keeper when no one can stand at the down > canyon lip or climb out from swimming. Doc's group proceeded to do a > massive research project on the spot and his information is valuable.
    If I recall it correctly.... > There is bedrock at the downcanyon bottom of the pothole. It can't get > deeper there. The distance from the bottom to the sloping, featureless > and sandy lip, is approximately 9.5 feet.
    Other information.... It has been found that folks can slip out of the > pothole from swimming, if water is less that 2 feet below the lip, > often with a swimming shove from a partner and the minimal help a pack > or sandbag offers on the sloping lip and beyond. This was found out on > previous trips. More than 2 feet from the lip? Hard or impossible > using these methods. So if you have someone 6 feet plus, who can stand > at the bottom, below the lip, you can generally get someone to climb > up that person and get out. As long as the bottom person can stand and > breath air.
    What does that leave? If the pothole is too deep to allow someone to > stand and the water is still 2 feet or more from the lip, you have > this place in "True Keeper Condition." If my numbers are right, as > well as my math, that is about an 18 inch range of water depth.
    Conclusions....One can check before from the rim. Also if one > encounters true keeper conditions and can't solve the problem, one > can, with some effort for sure, retreat back up. True keeper condition > is a narrow window and likely only lasts for a few days at a time.
    Excuse the long winded reply. Two other folks wrote me in the last day > asking the same question and I thought it would be a good time to put > all the information into one post. Your primary question was can two > people get out by themselves. If not in true keeper condition, two > folks have gotten out before, although three people is considered > ideal and MUCH easier. Question? How tall are you? Big and strong? How > tall, light and athletic is your daughter? You get it. Hope everyone > continues to report back after descents of Neon. Seems there are > always people who want to know. Enjoy the pothole while its out. > Someday it is likely to fill with sand and/or gravel again. Doc or > others, please correct any errors I may have made on the distances > used. Oh and ideas have been tossed around for effective exits when in > true keeper state, but no one idea has gained acceptance as sure fire. > Thank you to all the people who helped gather all the information on > the pot. I love this sport! > Ram
    --- In Yahoo Canyons Group <mailto:canyons%40yahoogroups.com>, > "tboaks2" <tboaks@...> wrote:

    Can anyone give me recent conditions in Neon Canyon?
    Specifically the keeper pothole near the end.
    I'd like to go there this weekend with my daughter (a climber) and > myself (experienced climber and canyoneer) but don't want to get stuck > at the pothole if more than two are needed to exit.
    Anyone?

    > ------
    Teach InfoWest Spam Trap if this mail is spam: > Spam > <https://spamtrap.infowest.com/canit/b.php?i=263173822&m=65e257013e0a&c=s
    Not spam > <https://spamtrap.infowest.com/canit/b.php?i=263173822&m=65e257013e0a&c=n
    Forget previous vote > <https://spamtrap.infowest.com/canit/b.php?i=263173822&m=65e257013e0a&c=f
    > *REMEMBER:* Never give out your account information, password, or > other personal information over e-mail. > ------ > ------
    > No virus found in this incoming message. > Checked by AVG - www.avg.com > Version: 8.5.325 / Virus Database: 270.12.20/2100 - Release Date: 05/06/09 06:04:00
  3. adkramoo

    adkramoo Guest

    --- In Yahoo Canyons Group, Kurt <cougar@...> wrote: > It's always funny to talk with people who walked across the keeper on > sand and wonder what in the world your talking about when you mention > keeper pothole.

    Or swim out past the thing. Once you top the lip with water, it doesn't take a ton of water to create a swim yards beyond keeper lip, with many having no clue of what lay below them, in the depths. R
Similar Threads: Neon Canyon
Forum Title Date
Trip Reports Neon Canyon Jul 2, 2019
Trip Reports Neon Canyon update? Jun 26, 2019
General Discussion Neon Canyon Water Level Jun 19, 2019
Trip Reports Neon Canyon - Finally Nov 15, 2014
Trip Reports Neon Canyon - Escalante, UT 8-30-2014 Sep 9, 2014
Archives - Yahoo Canyons Group Neon canyon May 28, 2001