Saturday, June 28, 2014

In a Quandary

Rained out of what would have been a showpiece canyon and epic pothole thrash of Knotted Rope we 
reorder the days and jump the unplanned Quandary Canyon. We already know the entrance trail as it's shared with Knotted Rope but we are down to just Deathrider and I. Neil is enjoying a personal day with his bike and the wide open range of Utah's BLM. 

Quandary is so named because of a very serious section that we needed to avoid or risk getting trapped and an exit boulder that asked us to climb exposed technical rock. That may not be entirely true but the exit is so committing and risky that you may get into a quandary pulling your rope and committing to the route.
 I don't have a lot of photos of Quandary. It's a nice canyon but we were moving fast. Most of the scenery was similar to others but the exit scramble was better then the proper canyon.

We have to avoid a 1/4 mile section of very deep potholes in the main canyon because it's just a bit too serious for 2 people and our known skills. That's to say, we played it safe and took the 'escape' route up and around the bad section. This is the walk back into the main slot.
This wall is on the route description but I forget what they called it. I wanted to climb it but without any gear it would have been slow and a bit risky (rule #2). If anything happened the rest of my trip would be sitting at camp or worse. Rule #2: Don't get stupid. Rule #1: Don't let logic get in the way of fun. (see the quandary)
I can't really get into geology, I have a book but it's just so dry..., but you have to appreciate the coolness of this feature.
 The exit slot necks down and gets steep as it winds in tight bends. The route is not in front of us anymore. We are just about to reach a dryfall (waterfall sans water). See the ramp on the left (below)? We have to hike up that and back down a bit to circumvent the dryfall. 
 More small ramps and dryfalls follow as the canyon gets 'slotty'. I enjoy this part of the route the most. The primary canyon was cool but nothing awesome, as we exit the route improves considerably.
We have to climb an exposed 5.6 exit boulder in order to finish the route. Deathrider scouts, finds, and hikes it before me. I got a hand line from him (no reason to both risk broken legs) but it was still spooky and even the hand line didn't guarantee safe passage but it helped mentally. 

Once over the boulder blocking the canyon we find the road to camp and it's less then 2 miles away. Time to beat antiques and get some dinner.

Happy at home and in record time. We finish door to door in 6 hours. 

This is a proper back-country, car camp, cooking station and spa.
Not a Quandary is how to recover after a long day of hiking. Food and Bev. This is how I like to set up if I have the space. It blocks the wind, covers your corners, tables nice, you can lean over the stove for heat and everything is very close so you don't need legs (cuz they are ham and almost useless). To the right is food and small items. Left is large gear and water. In front is anything you may want to get ready for tomorrow as you wait for water to boil. An extra coat for a lap blanket if nice even if it's warm out. Remember you're burned out and your liver is out of sugar so you're literally running on you don't have the calories to waste on heat and get cold easy and need a thick jacket and that's no quandary.

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