Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Cameltoe Canyon canyoneering

I read in a couple of online reports about a short, seemingly straight-forward canyon near Moab. This would involve finding the route without trail markers, but we're pretty OK with map reading. Relying on my memory of what I read, maybe not as confident. But we decided to try it out and see if we might get in our first canyon rappel.

It was called Cameltoe Canyon - when I saw this, I decided we must be in the right place!


Looking down at what we suspected (correctly) was to be our rappel spot. We went up the canyon along the top, followed a couple cairns down into the canyon, and then came down the canyon back to here:


John the Eagle-Eye spotted Jeep Arch in the distance - nice catch, John! I thought I had seen it from up above during our Gold Bar/Golden Spike bike tour too. You might have to "big" the picture to find it:


John checking out a very small natural bridge:


"And now for my next trick..."


We jumped down one 7-foot drop into a bit of water (well, John jumped and then helped me down - what a sweetheart), plus figured out another down-climb that had me briefly in a tree (!). Canyoneering is turning into a more interesting sport all the time.

One of the easier challenges:


Short section of slot canyon:


The last pool, right before the rappel. John brought his pack across and came back to help me (what a gentleman):


Prepping the rope for the 50-foot rappel:


I went first, managing to bang my right arm on a rock in the process (it's now pretty colors but at least it mostly doesn't hurt). Plus we forgot our gloves, so the rope was a little hot. But otherwise it was a straightforward drop:


Looking back at the cliff we had come down:


Our first bit of technical canyoneering, and with our own rope! Woo hoo!

Heading home through a culvert:


This week we're in Colorado where John is taking a hands-on solar course, and he's really enjoying it. I'm enjoying a bit of running and exploration of the area, nothing too exciting or noteworthy. Next up: The final weeks of Desert Winds training and southern Utah exploration.

Our latest "View out the back of Howie" shot, at the farm where we're parked for a few days:


Today I was treated by our hostess to a wine tasting tour of the local vineyards, yay! Life is good :)
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