May 19, 2018
I had a free weekend and met up with a group for Robber's Roost.
We started the day with Mindbender. Kind of a weird choice if you ask me. Turns out the decision to do the canyon was a bit of a misunderstanding but we did it anyway.
Since this was a short, beginner-friendly canyon, we decided to spice it up a bit and ghost it. Assessing the situation, we determined that a toggle around a large chockstone would be the best way to accomplish this. We pulled it before LAPAR when we realized it was down climbable.
After a couple of enjoyable down climbs and shallow pools, we arrived at the final rappel. We opted to inspect and use the existing cairn anchor instead of ghosting it with a sand trap. Why? I didn't want to have to move the cairn for an easy pull. However, after people were on rappel I realized that we should have used the sand trap. Immediately after the cairn anchor and before the actual drop, there was a perfectly contoured pothole. It would have been simple. Oh well. Another time.
A hot and scenic exit followed and before we knew it we were finished wondering what we should do next.
We had planned on doing Chambers the next day but since we finished Mindbender quickly we opted to do Chambers that afternoon. Did you know that those canyons are only about 4 miles from each other but over an hour drive to get there?
It was the afternoon by the time we repacked and hiked down to the bottom. Looking at the rain clouds over the Henry's, Richie got nervous and chose to hike back to the cars. Considering the conditions I opted to do the canyon and the others did as well. Richie really wanted to do Chambers and chose to back out at the last minute.
"No matter," I reassured him. We would do it again tomorrow.
We squeezed and grunted through the top section and were blown away by the light rays illuminating the subway section.
We descended the boulders into the lower section. At the crux we noticed someone had scratched an arrow into the wall.
We soon crawled through the exit crack and hiked back up to the cars, satisfied and hungry.
The next day Richie and I descended Chambers again while Kyle and Nico did Little Bull.
When I had done it the day before I was definitely regretting my decision to do it. It had been a while since I did a skinny canyon that didn't involve stemming over it. I remember a few times I really didn't want to be there and told myself I would never do this canyon again. Apparently 12 hours was long enough for that feeling to go away.
I'm actually glad I went in a second time for the following reasons:
Richie is much skinnier than the rest of us so he flew through the tight sections. It was kind of cool to see how fast he went. We blazed through the upper section and quickly arrived at the crux. I brought a talon, SQWUREL, and a couple of slings to fish the helmet out. After a few minutes of struggling, Richie hooked a hidden helmet strap and reeled it up. Success!
While he was fishing, I attempted to get rid of the arrows that had been scratched into the rock. I did the mud trick where you rub some mud on the graffiti and hope it goes away. Didn't work - the scratches were just too deep.
Again we reached the end of the canyon and headed back to the cars. Nico and Kyle arrived just as we crested the plateau.
We opted to hit Zero Gravity in the afternoon. I needed to get back home that night and it was on the way. The others agreed to accompany me.
Zero Gravity was my first canyon so it holds a special place for me. It had been 6 years and over one hundred canyons since I did it last.
It was very nostalgic revisiting the canyon. This time I chose to go high in a lot of places I didn't realize it was possible to go high before. I went down at the semi-keeper because I wanted to see how difficult it would be to climb. Much easier than I remember.
When we got to the end I was still too scared to go under the chockstone. One member of the group who is slightly bigger in the chest than I am made it though so next time I'll give it a try.
That canyon is just as amazing as I remember and I can't wait to go there again. It's amazing how different it is from the rest of the canyons in its vicinity. It really is quite the anomaly.