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UT: North Wash Utah State Univ. canyoneering club inaugural trip

Discussion in 'Trip Reports' started by scottensign, May 11, 2018.

  1. scottensign


    Last fall, I showed my general chemistry class a picture from my recent trip through Kolob creek and asked if anyone would be interested in forming a canyoneering club for Utah State University. A group of students came to see me after class expressing interest. They put together a club charter, met with risk assessment and USU officials to discuss safety issues, and got the club rolling in January of this year. About 30 students signed up and attended weekly meetings for discussions, instruction, and to practice techniques. USU has a fantastic climbing wall in their new ARC building with a large rappel station that we used to teach students rappelling techniques.

    The leaders planned the first trip for the club to take place May 7-9, the week after final exams. The destination was North Wash, basing out of Sandthrax campsite. The club leaders put a huge amount of work into planning the logistics, including gourmet dinners and breakfasts for all attendees. About 21 student members attended, along with myself as the "faculty adviser" for the club. The club leaders also arranged for Tom Jones to attend to lead groups in a volunteer capacity and provide expert instruction.

    We arrived at Sandthrax early Monday and Tom led the entire group (23 people!) on an epic Blarney adventure. We ascended the east fork of Blarney, then descended the west fork, practicing and mastering upclimbing and downclimbing skills. Very fun!

    On Tuesday, the club split into three groups to do canyons like Hogwarts, Morocco, Leprechaun, etc. I led one group, Tom led another, and two advanced student canyoneers led a third. Rumor has it Tom's group took a late afternoon side trip to the Colorado river for some swimming in the 90 degree weather.

    We all rolled out for home on Wednesday, with some members doing some short canyons before heading home.

    The club trip was a great success; everyone had a great time, and behaved responsibly and safely. A good number of first timers were introduced to canyoneering and they loved every minute of it. A huge thanks to Tom for taking time off from his busy work schedule to attend and provide invaluable instruction. Some pictures from the trip are posted below.
    campfire relaxing.
    enchilada dinner.
    Dutch oven enchiladas!

    Camping in style

    top of hogwarts.
    Top of Hogwarts

    hogwrts arch.

    meat anchor.
    Meat anchor in Leprechaun

    tinfoil dinners.
    Tinfoil dinners

    squeezing in leprechaun.
    Squeezing through Leprechaun

    top of morocco.
    Top of Morocco

    shadows on canyon.
    Canyon shadows
    Last edited: May 11, 2018
  2. Brian in SLC

    Brian in SLC Brian in SLC

    Salt Lake City
    Tom works? Who knew? Ha ha...(lotta in field product testing to be sure...).

    Nice TR and...welcome to the club!
    scottensign, Yellow Dart and Kuenn like this.
  3. Sandstoned


    trips look GREAT! Lucky students and participants!
    And of course Tom is pretty in pink ...whilst chatting and hydrating 'round the fire
    scottensign likes this.
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