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TR - Englestead Zion

Discussion in 'Archives - Yahoo Canyons Group' started by ratagonia, Aug 19, 2002.

  1. ratagonia

    ratagonia Guest

    After a day of doing nothing to recover from the Left Fork Fiasco, I hooked up with Jeff Demorris for a trip down Englestead. We chose Englestead because it offered relief from the scorching sun, and to check out (and possibly remove) some bolts that had appeared in the last third of the canyon.

    Jeff showed up pretty close to the appointed early hour, but without his harness and rap device that had gotten trapped in someone's car. Who was on Trail Duty. In the Left Fork. So I dug out a spare and we got going, driving easily to the trailhead. We followed the little path down and into the Pine Wood, then down to the other little road, and this time followed it all the way East practically to the head of the canyon, then walked down a dirt ridge a few hundred feet into the canyon bottom. Cake!

    We quickly made our way to the first, sphincter clenching drop. We chose to carry 200' ropes and break the first big rappel into 3 segments, rather than carry 300' ropes and go all the way. I rigged the drop with a biner block, and put a Petzl rope protector in place and prepared to drop over the edge. I looked at it again, with both strands inside the rope protector and thought "no way that's going to pull", and "isn't that the way we did it last time?"; etc., then rapped down anyway.

    *Mistake #1: when you think you're being a dumbass, you usually are.*

    I set up on the tiny stance in the corner and Jeff came down to join me. Then we tried to pull the rope. Nothing. With my full weight on it, it moved about 12": the distance from the biner block to the rope protector.

    "Jeez, what a dumbass" I thought.

    "Hey Jeff, you wanna jug back up there?" I said out loud.

    Jeff wasn't that dumb. I borrowed his Petzl Basic for a top ascendor and rigged up for ascending - it WAS my mistake. I jugged up a few feet and acquired the warming influence of the sun (ugh) and with the normal trials, tribulations and mild cursing climbed up to the anchor. I quickly stripped off the rope protector and biner block, and rapped back down double strand. We then rapped to the first pothole. No sweat, probably lost 45 minutes, added a little excitement to the day.

    The top series of rappels offered no further problems. I stripped the webbing of the single bolt in the first pothole, replacing with Rapides and rapped 50' to the second pothole. I still don't understand how folks can claim they can do this 230' drop with a 200' rope.

    Down down into the canyon. Engelstead is charming. We had enough sunshine to keep us warm, but not enough to be annoying. We quickly made it through the middle of the canyon and got into the final section - with numerous short drops and lots of flash-flood wood. Near the end we came to the first of the new bolts and took a break.

    The first bolt was a single 1/2" Rawl 5-piece - a classy piece of hardware. The drop was about 30', and a log is generally used for an anchor here. I remember this spring when Bill R stabilized the log by placing an 80 lb rock on one end - it seemed pretty solid to me. We unscrewed the new bolt and filled the hole with epoxy putty and sand. We left a sling and Rapide on the log in order to flag it.

    The second bolt station was at the next drop. In this case, the obvious anchor is a big ol log 50' back from the drop. Jeff was a bit surprised to use something that far back - concerned that it would be problematic to pull. Thankfully, there was a well- geometried (non-rope-eating) crack at the actual drop, so the pull was pretty cake.

    The bolt station consisted of two bolts - one 1/2" Rawl 5 piece power- bolt, and one 3/8". Odd this, until we realized the 1/2" was a spinner. Apparantly the 3/8" was also. A lot of tugging and pulling finally got the cone to stick, and both bolts came out clean. Again we filled with Epoxy Putty and sand, Jeff demonstrating his masonry skills getting a nice, clean flat finish with a wet-rock trowel.

    Then we got down to Orderville, splashed through the refreshing waterfeatures, slogged down the Narrows and headed home.

    Englestead is a good one for beating the heat. Just get an early start, and try not to get your rope stuck by being too fascinated by your gear. Like me.

  2. Shane B.

    Shane B. Guest


    Thanks for pulling the bolts and filling the holes in Englestead......

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