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Solo Suitable Canyons...????

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by hedup, Jul 31, 2014.

  1. hedup

    hedup

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    Hi! I'm looking for some suggestions for good canyons that can be done solo. I'll be passing through Utah with enough time for a few days worth of canyons. I'd love to find some canyons that have some swimming...or wading...involved as well as some fun challenging problems....but nothing that can't be handled solo.

    I have canyoneering experience, but it isn't extensive...BUT, I'm an avid rock climber and mountaineer. I am comfortable free climbing up to 5.7. I'd love to do some rappels...but again, not into anything I can't get out of. Fitness level is high so that shouldn't be an issue.

    Any suggestions???

    Thanks!
  2. Earwig654

    Earwig654

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    Orderville gulch...
  3. Bootboy

    Bootboy Atwood Gear

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  4. hank moon

    hank moon kinetically bulbous

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    Zions canyon

    But seriously...safer and funner to go w/a partner or two, and relatively easy.

    what are your dates and desired location(s)?
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2014
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  5. Brian in SLC

    Brian in SLC Brian in SLC

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    With enough skill and experience, I think any thing in Zion in soloable. Boils down to risk, though. No partner for partner assist. No belay. No one to double check your riggin'. No tossin' you the rope after an up climb. No one to hear you cry...

    I've soloed Boundary, Mystery, Keyhole and Pine Creek. FWIW.
  6. hedup

    hedup

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    Thanks for the suggestions! Keep 'em coming!!

    I'm leaning toward Zion...but haven't ever been there. Can you guys tell me if there are fees/permits/anything else required to explore the canyons there.

    Also, how busy/crowded does it get there? I'm REALLY looking forward to getting the F-bomb away from other humans on this trip...I love the solitude that Southern Utah has to offer.

    Thanks again!
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2014
  7. hedup

    hedup

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    Yeah, Hank...I get the safety thing. I know it'd be ideal to go with a partner...but...that doesn't always work out. I'm planning on being down there from the 3rd through about the 5th or 6th. Area is undetermined. I was originally thinking the Escalante, but now, due to some timing changes, I'm not sure. I'm leaning a little more toward Zion though...hopefully catch the first stage of the Tour of Utah bike race!
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  8. hedup

    hedup

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    Hey Brian...Define "enough skill and experience"! I'm not at all averse to risk....but not to a fault, I don't think. Thanks for the suggestions...any extra intel would be appreciated!
  9. Brian in SLC

    Brian in SLC Brian in SLC

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    Well...its hard to know what your skill and experience is. I find that people who say they climb at a certain level...well...that can mean a bunch of different things. Being able to climb 5.7? Could you lead Crescent Crack in Little Cottonwood? Maybe...but...most current "5.7" climbers can't. It ain't a gym climb and those skills are different than climbing vertical to slightly overhanging plastic.

    When you say "comfortable free climbing up to 5.7" does that mean comfortable free soloing? Or climbing a well protected sport route with a partner (which, if you don't use the rope to rest or grab a quickdraw, also "free climbing")? Anyhoo, the point is, there's a lot of wiggle room in the statement when a person claims comfort at a certain grade.

    So, its hard to know. Can you figure out how to get out of a keeper pothole solo? Do you have and carry the requisite gear and know how to use it? Could you self rescue if a rope got stuck or you got hurt or stuck on rappel? Can you comfortably ascend a rope if need be, mid rappel? Can you self belay? Do you have a dialed system you've used for self belay?

    And on and on. Coming from a climbing background, I found some or most of my skills translated well to canyoneering. But, I've aid climbed a bunch, soloed with a rope a fair bit, and, been a steady climber for over 30 years. Which includes fairly remote cragging and alpine climbing and a bunch of silly anchoring stuff over the years.

    Anyhow...hard sayin' not knowin'...you know?

    Cheers!
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  10. hank moon

    hank moon kinetically bulbous

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    Sticking w/Zion trade routes and early starts might help increase your safety in a solo situation. If you get into trouble, at least others will likely be coming behind you at some point in the day.

    Are your dates in August? If so, check this out: http://canyoncollective.com/threads/zion-this-weekend-aug-1-5.19694/

    Semi-agree with Brian's statement, but conditions can play a significant role in terms of difficulty.
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  11. hedup

    hedup

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    Brian...totally get it. Way too hard to estimate skill and experience...and I'm sure a lot of people inflate themselves on the Internet. To elaborate a bit, yeah...free solo 5.7...toughest sport climb lead on granite was a 5.10b. I'm good to go with ascending and self rescue in crevasse situations...also on a tech rescue team in my job. But...to your point, without knowing me I think it's a waste of time trying to explain my experience level in order to get good route suggestions.

    So...all good points and thanks for the suggestions! If ya have any others I'll definitely pay attention!
  12. hedup

    hedup

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    Yep...dates are in Aug. I'll look into this! Thanks for the suggestion!
  13. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    Part of the problem, Hedup, is that it is just too darn hot to canyoneer elsewhere (with a few small exceptions) in August. Zion is the ONLY reasonable place to canyoneer in August, or Ouray.

    If your desire is to not mingle with the masses... well, technical canyons are not a good choice for that, as one is at a serious disadvantage in technical canyons without a partner. It is very hard to make a recommendation to you, without knowing your skill level. So far, you have shown a lack of sophisticated canyoneering skills, which means we don't want you to do anything other than the most basic canyons. The good news is, there is a good selection of basic canyons in Zion. Yes, there are permits, fees, quotas - all the usual hassles.

    My best recommendation is to come to Zion and find some partners and learn the skills - some other time. If you want to come now, in August, you can find a lack of crowds in straight-forward, basic canyons (good canyons) but getting a really early start. You can likely have most canyons to yourself by starting an hour earlier than other people will manage. One person usually moves faster than most groups.

    Keyhole, Pine Creek, Mystery, Subway, Echo, Orderville - this would be my starting set.

    Tom
  14. hedup

    hedup

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    Makes sense, Tom. I'm on my way to Zion right now. Figure it out when I get there!
  15. hank moon

    hank moon kinetically bulbous

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