Send us a suggestion!

UT: Escalante X Fest II

Discussion in 'Trip Reports' started by Tom Collins, Oct 30, 2017.

  1. Tom Collins

    Tom Collins

    Messages:
    440
    Likes:
    601
    Location:
    Woodland Hills, UT
    The second year of X Fest was a great success, we had a larger crowd this year and we split off into two groups, with half going for the hardest thing they could find, and the others building their skill set in somewhat easier fare. We started the show off with a bang and went for SOS on day one with Me, Wayne, Adam, Taylor, Guy, and Angus. We knocked it out in 7.5 hours car to car.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The upper section is no joke
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    A nice resting spot
    [​IMG]

    Taking too many photos I fell behind a little bit
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Guy heading into the middle section of SOS
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The lighting is a little better in the spring in this section, but its still really pretty
    [​IMG]

    What the heck am I doing here? Oh yeah the scenery is great
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Where do you go from here?
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Finished with the middle section and glad for a rest
    [​IMG]

    Looks like the canyon still has some teeth in the lower section and by this time you're tired
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Once done with SOS Taylor, Guy, and I headed back to the cars to take a nap and not burn ourselves out at the beginning of X Fest, while Wayne, Angus, and Adam decided they hadn't had enough of a challenge for the day and went for a lap through BFS
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2017
  2. Tom Collins

    Tom Collins

    Messages:
    440
    Likes:
    601
    Location:
    Woodland Hills, UT
    Day 2

    The rest day, I hadn't done Frosted Flakes yet so I thought I'd check that one out. Angus had to leave and Wayne had already done the canyon so he sat the day out, but Anthony and Kelton showed up the night before and Patrick who was in the area but resting a sore ankle the day before joined us bringing the group size to seven for the day.

    Fall is here bringing some great colors
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Anthony is nuts, no pads for X fest and old falling apart tennis shoes and he still killed it.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Its a boy!!
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Farming sand for the sandtrap
    [​IMG]

    Meat anchor while we get the trap ready
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
  3. Tom Collins

    Tom Collins

    Messages:
    440
    Likes:
    601
    Location:
    Woodland Hills, UT
    Day 3

    Dean, Stephanie, Melissa, and Cassy came out the night before and joined with Wayne and Adam to do Headless Hen and Raven. Taylor, Guy, Anthony, and I headed out for something a little spicier and boy did we ever find it. Taylor and Guy had scouted this canyon 2 years previously and had to back out since their crew at the time was not up for the challenge and it had haunted them ever since, they gave it the name Bad Neighbor. The FD was snagged 4 days earlier by Angus, Adam, and Patrick, and their stories had us excited to see it for ourselves (and to be honest just a little nervous). Both groups feel that while it was very short this one was spicier than even SOS and Bishop canyons.

    Heading down a side canyon to rig the rope for our exit jug out after Bad Neighbor
    [​IMG]

    Nothing serious, but certainly a good warm up for the day
    [​IMG]

    A preview of what we get to come up at the end of the day
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Anthony's got the moves
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Anthony chose to go up the pillar
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I have to get to there
    [​IMG]

    My way was faster I beat Anthony up the climb
    [​IMG]

    I was a little freaked out and didn't get any pics in the middle section which was a shame since it was really pretty, this is near the end
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Coming up
    [​IMG]

    Just chillin 80' in the air looking back at the canyon we just did
    [​IMG]
  4. Tom Collins

    Tom Collins

    Messages:
    440
    Likes:
    601
    Location:
    Woodland Hills, UT
    Day 4

    Tired, a little sore, blisters on my heels, I say to myself "I can make it through one more day". Whats on the docket? Bishop of course, starting at the top this time and doing sections 1-3 since my last trip through we only did sections 3-4 (section 3 is the hard section). Joining me for the day were Guy, Wayne, Adam, and Anthony (still with no pads:eek:)

    Section 1 is pretty mild not much that is picture worthy, only got 2
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Section 2 gets a little spicier but still not too serious
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I think we had made it to section 3 by this point
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Just a 50' downclimb
    [​IMG]

    The little white dot is a helmet just to give a little perspective
    [​IMG]

    Heading into the dark section
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Getting light again
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Gotta get the selfie over the silo:tongue:
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    And another 50' downclimb this ones easier though, more of an elevator
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
  5. ratagonia

    ratagonia

    Messages:
    3,668
    Likes:
    4,184
    Location:
    Mount Carmel, Utah
    Yikes!
    Anthony Dye likes this.
  6. Kuenn

    Kuenn

    Messages:
    1,271
    Likes:
    1,284
    X2²

    Ah, to be young and foolhardy again.... Very nice report, @Tom Collins . Thanks for sharing, got muscle cramps just reading it!!
  7. miller.alice.d

    miller.alice.d

    Messages:
    83
    Likes:
    53
    Ugh these darn forums are making me soo jealous lately. Awesome.
  8. Tom Collins

    Tom Collins

    Messages:
    440
    Likes:
    601
    Location:
    Woodland Hills, UT
    There's always freezefest, it's coming soon!
  9. Erin

    Erin

    Messages:
    11
    Likes:
    27
    Location:
    Salt Lake City
    You guys make it look easy! I'm so impressed! :)


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Anthony Dye likes this.
  10. Austin Farnworth

    Austin Farnworth

    Messages:
    22
    Likes:
    50
    Location:
    Mapleton, Utah
    Awesome report! Those canyons look amazing! What canyons would you suggest as good introductions to X-style canyons?
  11. Ram

    Ram

    Messages:
    2,127
    Likes:
    3,446
    Boss Hog works as an easy entry. Then Raven (aka Foxhole), Pottymouth and Stair, which are all R's. After these, share what was comfortable and what wasn't and the entry into X- comes next. Perhaps Lower Pintac.
    Anthony Dye likes this.
  12. Austin Farnworth

    Austin Farnworth

    Messages:
    22
    Likes:
    50
    Location:
    Mapleton, Utah
    Thanks for the suggestions! I've done 4 R's and enjoy the stuff up high, I'll get after some of those canyons soon since it has cooled down enough to do those types of canyons.
    Anthony Dye and ratagonia like this.
  13. Bootboy

    Bootboy Atwood Gear

    Messages:
    1,477
    Likes:
    1,621
    Location:
    Utah

    I agree with Ram. And when you're ready to start climbing up the X canyon hierarchy, here is a general consensus of the progression.

    1. Egypt 5, Lower PINTAC, Big Tony, Psycho D
    2. Sandthrax, Glaucoma, Mumbai
    3. Frosted Flakes, DDI, Egypt 4
    4. Long Branch, PINTAC, BFS
    5. Bishop, SOS
    6. Bad Neighbor
  14. Bootboy

    Bootboy Atwood Gear

    Messages:
    1,477
    Likes:
    1,621
    Location:
    Utah
    Regarding this “new” canyon, Bad Neighbor -

    With a growing X resume and having now done SOS, I can confidently say that Bad Neighbor is on another level. It is positively diabolical and even the most deviant mind could scarcely concoct a greater conspiracy of features to create a place more unfit for human passage. Several times in the XX section I had the distinct impression that we didn't belong in there. No human does. It is a new benchmark for X canyons.

    Though the XX section is less than 100 yards long, it is, yard for yard, significantly more committing, exposed, strenuous, higher consequence, and mentally taxing than any piece of canyon I've ever done. It also has a teamwork component to it that is unique in the realm of X canyons, which are typically on-your-own type affairs. There are a few places in there where a handline or partner assist/spot are indispensable as the margin for error in a place like that is non-existent.

    It was immensely rewarding to finish this slot after having to bail 2 years ago. A mental image of the obstacle that turned us around had been burned into my mind and had haunted me whenever I thought about it. I’d be lying if I said the night before wasn’t a little restless but in the end, It was the right crew, the right plan, and the right prep that brought it all together. Fist-bumps and low-fives were shared after the long jug out and the hike back to the car felt casual and light, a sense of relief attended the remainder of the day and I slept much better that night.

    The first thing I get asked by people who hear about these exploits and see a few pictures is usually "What happens if you fall?" to which I invariably and emphatically respond, "You don't"

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG][​IMG]
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2017
  15. Anthony Dye

    Anthony Dye

    Messages:
    1
    Likes:
    4
    Location:
    Springville, utah
    Great pictures and report Tom, thanks for the amazing weekend. Those canyons were more beautiful and challenging than I could have hoped for and it was a privilege to meet/re-meet all of you. These guys are super human, you don't have a clue how skilled and tough they are until you do some truly hard canyons with them. The pictures are awesome but it really can not do justice to how incredibly exposed some of these spots were.

    I agree with Taylor about bad neighbor, it was almost as if, while creating the canyon, God was thinking "and at the bottom of this flared off width 40 foot downclimb I'll throw in a Bombay while you're still 15 feet obove your "safe" ledge (which is still 20 feet off the ground). What an amazing canyon!@

    Special thanks to Adam for helping hoist me up in bishop canyon, I tried to squeeze down through a spot and got pretty wedged. Adam helped me get my shirt off and gave me a hand up while stemming. What took 4 minutes with his help could have easily taken an hour on my own!

    My camera was malfunctioning but I will put together what I got and add a link.
  16. Ram

    Ram

    Messages:
    2,127
    Likes:
    3,446
    Austin

    You have done more stemming than I was aware of. The 3 R's I suggested are great and worth it. To the list of #1 Taylor provides, I will add some commentary. The Big Tony X section is pretty short, but it is a bit wide, with a 60 foot ground fall throughout. Psycho D is a great choice, especially if you are the mid height area for the last silo. Lower Pintac ROCKS!! To this I would add the 2nd section in Bishop. I will add pictures from another thread so you can see the exit out, before the burly 3rd section.

    PS Taylor. I was on the Frosted Flakes exploration and my memory of it was that it was an X-, easier than some on the 1- list above. You were just there, so is it harder than I remember?


    These are from the 2nd X- section. Remember this is the EASY part!
    Nat here
    [​IMG]

    Me
    [​IMG]

    Bill Wolverton
    [​IMG]

    Stevee leads the way
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Stevee scouting the start of the 3rd section, maybe 100-200 feet before the drop into darkness. Taken from the exit slab
    [​IMG]

    The exit slab between sections 2-3. Bottom of pothole side canyon in view left side
    [​IMG]
  17. Tom Collins

    Tom Collins

    Messages:
    440
    Likes:
    601
    Location:
    Woodland Hills, UT
    I think I would bump Glaucoma up into the 3's. FF I would say is either a high 2 or a low 3, but certainly harder than the 1's (although for some reason I just felt a little off my game that day so that needs to be taken into consideration).
    Bootboy likes this.
  18. Bootboy

    Bootboy Atwood Gear

    Messages:
    1,477
    Likes:
    1,621
    Location:
    Utah
    A quick taste of an easy silo crossing

  19. Scott Patterson

    Scott Patterson

    Messages:
    952
    Likes:
    814
    When it comes to stemming, North Fork Trail makes a good first or 2nd step as well. Boss Hog seems more "elevatoring" than stemming, so North Fork Trail might fit nicely between Boss Hog and Raven.
    Austin Farnworth likes this.
  20. Bootboy

    Bootboy Atwood Gear

    Messages:
    1,477
    Likes:
    1,621
    Location:
    Utah
    Not in total effort.

    I think the fact that it is short and therefore less taxing in total may have a retrograde effect on one's memory of the place.

    It has all the consequence of its big brother DDI and the movement is of the same nature, plus the funnel like DC into pitch blackness - the crux in my mind. Yard for yard, Id say its on par with the tier 3 stuff. Also, special consideration for the exit rappel which is no trivial matter.
Similar Threads: Fest
Forum Title Date
Meet Up NZ Canyoning Festival Feb 2018 Aug 26, 2017
General Discussion New Zealand Canyon Festival 2-5 Feb 2018 Mar 14, 2017
Meet Up Freezefest XV Nov 17, 2016
General Discussion X Fest Sep 5, 2016
General Discussion New Zealand Canyoning Festival Jan 1, 2016
Meet Up Freeze Fest XIV Nov 18, 2015