Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Smell'n the Cheese

Cheesebox canyon: Day two on the "Utah Super Trip III". Day one was mountain biking in Grand Junction but I left my camera behind and have nothing to show for it so we dive into day two of trip 3. Followers of this blog are wondering about what happened on trip 2 (c. 2013). Well, I never posted on it but I plan too.

Just before we drop into the great gorge we restock at the Hollow Mountain in Hanksville UT.

A simple night under the stars close to entrance. 

To start this is County Road 2271 and it's on my standard Garmin SatNav but its so burly we have to improve the road by packing rocks into ramps and fill holes just to crawl our way up the 20% grade.

We all get out for a team road building event. We have 10 miles of this. Two years ago we biked this with backpacks and it took 2 hours and it sucked.

We drop all terrain bikes about where we expect to exit the canyon so we can ride back to the truck.

The gear prep is intense. All our gear is packed tight for travel in a way that compresses well and in no way repacks quickly for a hasty rappel and commitment to a challenging canyon like Cheesebox.

We down climb some long high angle ramps and other easy technical drops before the committing rappel and rope pull. Beyond this we must finish the 'route' and all the challenges it requires.

We find a pothole and it's a play time. It's hot out and we are overheating in the wetsuits we need to use to prevent hypothermia in the cold swims we find from time to time but it's been a while and we need to cool off.

Deep and narrow is the only way I can describe Cheesebox canyon. Notice the sun is about high noon or maybe 1pm and it's just a spot.

Cheese Boxed!

Full swim, no touching bottom for 100 of feet of thin passage.

Lunch Time

Nasty, and this is the nice stuff.

Water Water Every Where.

We get out after 7 hours of ground pounding and swimming. It was probably the best canyon we've ever done. We now drop packs, bike back to get the van and return to set up a back-country camp.

Camp 2. 10 miles from nothing but we are still next to/on CR2217. Tomorrow we get ready to go into Grand Gulch for three days.

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