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The Ghosts of FreezeFest's Past

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Ram, Nov 20, 2014.

  1. Ram

    Ram

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    With FreezeFest XIII just 35 days out and it my next day off from work, I am going to post a pictures FreezeFest's past when I can, to keep my stoke from overwhelming me. Please, others jump in with your own pictures from "The bad idea that caught on."

    These from FreezeFest II. One of the 3 coldest ones. Nine people attended. Tom in this one
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    l to r...Dave Black, Vladman, Jarad Hillhouse starting toward the Black Hole and the new log jams
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    Log jams. next two pictures by Tom Jones
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    Log soup
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  2. VillainousTurtle

    VillainousTurtle

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    Just wetsuits, not dry? Brrrrr


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
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  3. Ram

    Ram

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    The Black Hole on New Year's Day.....It runs about 50%-50% with wet suits vs. dry suits. Wet suiters move through the canyon a tad faster making up about 2/3 of the folks in the first half of the group, but folks using both methods are in the front and back both. Some even wear a wet suit under a dry suit, but really as long as you prepare well with food, warm drink, good flotation and warm accessories, it really is quite comfortable in a wet suit. The group is generally made up of folks who have done the Hole on the 1st, some many times and those who have never done the canyon at anytime. Converts are made every year. The thought of doing it is much worse than the reality
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2018
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  4. VillainousTurtle

    VillainousTurtle

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    Well I plan to be there, but all I have is a 4/3 and 5mm boots and 3mm gloves. Can't afford better at the moment, but I mostly want to make some canyoneer friends and keep to canyons doable with my gear. So we will see. Just a nice winter camp will be worth it.


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  5. Ram

    Ram

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  6. Ram

    Ram

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    Here is today's birthday boy, Chris Hood, being a meat anchor, from FreezeFest VIII when he lived in Canuckastan. This from Maidenwater Canyon during the snowiest FreezeFest of them all. The usual 5-13 raps was reduced to 1-3, as there was so much snow "in canyon" that few raps were needed. 12/30/09
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  7. Chris Hood

    Chris Hood

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    That South Fork Maidenwater trip stands out as one of the most stupidly fun days of my life.
  8. Mike

    Mike epic blarneys

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    Yep that was one of the best.

    Trail the next day was something else too. I think this is Ram's photo.

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  9. Shooter McCanyon

    Shooter McCanyon

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    Hot Damn! Nice work guys, looks like quite the experience if you are prepared for it.

    I'll take some of this

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    Not so much this

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    Definitely some of this

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    Shooter
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  10. Ram

    Ram

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    Shooter

    Nice website. Water only gets so cold, so its no big. Never seen an avalanche in a canyon be much more than spindrift, except that picture above. Mind you it was still pretty mild, but it dd have a few pounds of weight to it.
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  11. Ram

    Ram

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    Yes that was something special. We had to approach from all the way on the backside of Maidenwater. What stood out for me that day was that the spot right after the 2nd rap was drifted deeper than any unconsolidated snow I have ever been in. Plowing through is one thing, but even going third I was actually scared that I would just keep sinking down lower than the surface that I was concerned about whether I would be able to breathe. That drift was over a dozen feet deep (much more?) and I just sunk and sunk while racing to get out the other side. Swimming in snow is the best i can do to describe it. Only spot i have ever experienced that.

    While we played in this canyon, on the last day of the year, Dave Black set up fixed lines at the exit from the Black Hole, making the exit possible and saving this twisted New Year's Day tradition.

    Rapping in the normal walk in spot into Trail.
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    Top of the first rap
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    Denali Mike sliding in
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    It requires a smooth uncommitted probing with each step, unsure when and on what you will land
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    Breaking ice for the deep wade
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    Static entry
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    Pushing on the walls
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    Not recommended
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    You can't fall from the bottom. Thou shall not get hurt avoiding water
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    Nearing the tight part. To squeeze through I stripped down to a single layer, top and bottom, stood on helmets to edge above the tightest spot
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    Standard evening fare
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  12. Ram

    Ram

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    FreezeFest IV was pretty mild weather wise. It was the fest where the idea gained real traction and more people started showing up. The ideas of bigger shelters, better food and sharing it was first done. No Kidding got a 3rd descent, coming 2 months after Jason's bold bid. I think it was the gangs first descent of Hog 3 (Hog 2 also done in tandem). We would find out that Dave Black had done it before. During FF II we had descended Stair Canyon all the way to the road, including stripping down for the swim in the Wingate section down low in the canyon. Some came to realize that day that skin is the fabric that dries fastest. During this fest we cherry picked the top part of the canyon, doing our first run thru what now gets called Upper Stair. Shenanigans was also visited, but the centerpiece of the fest was the 2nd FF descent of Pandora's Box. At altitude, physical, snowy and super long just days after the winter solstice, we enjoyed doing this burgeoning FF tradition. We were rewarded with a wonderful experience.

    The wonderful winter sunrises
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    becoming civilized
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    Eric's tastes remained primitive
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    breakfast sometime during the fest with Big Rob, Tom T and Tom J partaking
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    On to Pandora's Sunrise Rock at....sunrise
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    Aaron at age 14. He was already the gun, leading the slab between the Hogs earlier in the week
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    Few have done as many winter canyons as Tim Hoover.
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    FreezeFest regular Rob Heineman in the upper section of Pandora's
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    Like the previous year, we found the open sections snow covered, contrasting wonderfully with the green of pinion and juniper trees
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    And we found the tight sections essentially free of snow and emitting reflected orange light
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    Then back into the snow
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    Big man, tight canyon. He worked hard
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    Tim on the penultimate rap
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    And perhaps the best treat of the day is the spring below the grand finale rap, which forms large icicles in the winter.
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    And the sun set on FF number IV
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    Last edited: Nov 23, 2014
  13. Kuenn

    Kuenn

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    Beautiful pictures... borderline crazy! :cold:

    Question: If it's 10° and you touch your tongue to your carabiner. . . .
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  14. Ram

    Ram

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    One of the treasures of Freezefest is it draws so many different people and groups form with lots of people I know and like, but who sometimes have not met each other. It was this way on a Monkey Business/Leprechaun combo platter, on a day in the high 50's temperature wise. December 28th 2007..FreezeFest VI

    Sunrise at Sandthrax
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    l. to r. Mark Burnham , Ray Ford, ???? help me out here, POFR Jeff Burnham, Randi, Dan and a few down in the canyon. Tom Tallboys?
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    Tim Hoover, of course
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    Mark dancin
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    Spidey span...how does he do that?
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    Giles Wallace
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    Landon Michaels
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    Landon and Malia
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    Dan the expressive man
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    Michelle Nilles on the left. Who is the big guy? The dutch oven champion!
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    Rob Heineman. Mr. Tallboys on the far right. Me on a rare cameo. Aaron taking the picture? Who is between Rob's legs?
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    A warm, fun day with folks from Colorado, Utah, California, Idaho.
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  15. SCard

    SCard

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    In your second photo, Ram, is John - the dutch oven master wearing the camo pants. He appears in the last photo and the second to last photo (as you have identified).
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  16. Ram

    Ram

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    right, John. I don't know if i ever was told his last name, but I have a vague recollection of you folks calling him something like Crookshank, Hermione's cat? Nickname? Close to his last name? Faulty memory? :help:
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  17. Ram

    Ram

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    What a difference 2 years can make. After the lovely Monkey Business of 12/28/07, we returned 12/28/09, two years to the day, under slightly different conditions to find the place stunning in its new white outerwear.

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    when snow drifts into a canyon, it can plaster against the walls. Afterward and I am not sure what conditions are required for this to happen, but it starts to peel off the wall, like delaminating paint or dry mud curling up from a mud hole. It is quite stunning
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    Dan, mike, Chris
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    we had to tunnel through
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    Where is that camera?
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    here it is!
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    The Kipster makes an appearence
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    Is that our pal from the Great White North? Eh?
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    A slick capture
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    Out we go
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    Ice makes its own unique and pretty images
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    Mike on the Grand Finale
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  18. SCard

    SCard

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    You have the best memory of anyone I have ever known. Crookshank was a nickname that Clark gave him. His last name is Crookston.
  19. Ram

    Ram

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    FreezeFest III was the tradition's most lightly attended trip, with only 8 folks, 4 of them only attending day one Pandora's Box then leaving. Kip, Matt, Rhett and Randi coming then going. That left Tom, Ryan and I for five days, then Dave Black joining us for the Black Hole and finally Tom in I in Not Mindbender, my first time there. Those 5 days in the middle started with the exploration of what is now called the Ho-Hum Fork of the NF of Robbers Roost. Then the rains came. What to do when it rains?? GO TO ARCHES of course!! We spent 3 days while it rained and then dried out just a little bit....back in time for the Black Hole, we found it flowing at 3 cfs. Pictures by Tom and I

    On the way in. With the log jams, ropes and harnesses were taken for several years ...and NEEDED
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    A rare Ram sighting in a drysuit. The Log Jam still in place
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    The sun finally out..reflections in the Hole
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    The man. The myth. The only one to succeed giving doggie CPR. Dave Black stuck to the knees in quicksand
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    ready or not!
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    The first jam, just outside the Hole proper and the passage under. It never was found closed in the 3 years or so it was present
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    The 2nd jog jam, within the Hole proper was a different story. Right from the start it was eroding...dangerously. You could move tons of wood with one finger, so precariously was it perched in places. It was great fun figuring all the rules of this new environment. The log soup was nearly impossible to get through
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    Dave showing a bare head and acrobatics
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    It was flowing and every time you got to even the smallest little falls, the noise was huge. I don't know how many times I turned around to see if a surge of more water was coming. No, just the racket of waterfalls in an echo chamber
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    Dave had to rush off, when we hit the road and in the bustle....yeah, that is my car key, in my locked car, on january 1st, 55 miles from the nearest town. DOH!!
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    The story of the day and how i got back into my car can be found here
    http://www.canyoneeringusa.com/rave/black-hole-jan-2005/
  20. Scott Patterson

    Scott Patterson

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    It's a good think that we're all canyoneers and can relate. If this thread was shown to the general public they'd all think we're a bunch of idiots. ;) Some people just don't understand "fun".

    Anyway, I think I was there (at least part of the time) for II, III, and last year's. Sadly, I won't make it this year. Maybe next year.
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