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Camp and Larry Canyon

Richard Lintermans and I flew down to Utah to do a couple days of canyoneering before "The Post" (high school outdoors group) was to show up. We camped on the Rim above the main fork of Robber's Roost.

I planned descents of Larry and the Not-Mindbender fork. However, on the first day it snowed and rained in the morning so we both had a long morning nap. In the afternoon we explored Larry canyon down to the rappels then returned up canyon. Not enough time for the full descent.


Second day was clear but cold air temperatures. We drove a couple miles down the road from camp, parked, and walked into the Not-Mindbender fork. It has this name because it is not the Mindbender fork in Steve Allen's excellent guide to technical loop hikes in Utah. Mindbender is so called because, from a narrow slot, you do a 144ft free rappel. I descended this canyon in 2008 with "The Post".

We dropped into the "South Prong" and descended a narrow slot. This slot was completely dry, which we took to be good news as it had been a wet year and water seemed likely. With air temps in the 50s and no wet suits we were hoping for a mostly dry canyon.

The south prong narrows ended, we passed the north prong junction, the mid-canyon entrance, then entered some new narrows. We went down a couple drops which would be difficult to ascend then encountered a pool. I switched to neoprene socks and rolled my pants up in hopes of it being shallow. It was up to my belly. From here on we were in and out of pools with water from waist to armpit depth, mostly in narrow slots.

Mid slot the canyon opened up to a beautiful chamber. I got my camera out here and took a few photos. From here there were several chambers - not fully appreciated as we hurried forward to avoid hypothermia.

We came to a 20 ft ramp - to high to comfortably jump and too steep to climb down but no sign of rappel anchors. I set a large loop of webbing in the mud behind the lip - a "mud bollard". On testing it seemed to hold. The sling pulled through the mud, but slowly. Richard descended. I reset the webbing and descended. It provided just enough hand line that I was able to execute a controlled slide down the ramp. A little more pulling and the webbing came out of the mud.

At the rappel I was shivering and decided I needed a new approach to clothing. I could not wear my warm layers in pools, but I decided it was time to start putting my warm jacket on during the dry sections and take the extra time to shift it to the pack for pools.

Soon after the rappel we came out into open canyon and took a break in the sun to warm up. The canyon remained wide and easy walking until just above the final rappel. There it slotted up and dropped through two pot holes. The second had water. Not knowing the depth I took my shirt off. In the process I dropped my helmet into the pool. When I first looked it was floating but by the time I lowered my self in it had disappeared. The water was only waist deep. Though bitter cold this only registered distantly. I swept the bottom for my helmet but didn't find it. After 30 seconds I felt my core temperature dropping too low to remain in the pool.

The rappel is from natural anchors. We brought a lot of webbing in case we had to re-build the anchor but found a good anchor constructed of two separate chokestones (one underwater) and two pieces of protection.

From the bottom of the rappel we walked down canyon, ascended the moki step exit, and returned to camp.

Photos from Punneh

I didn't take any photos of the trips with the post. Here are some from Punneh.

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Page last modified:  Sep 05 19:07 2010  by  Tom Unger