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Slot Canyon Recommendations
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By T Howes
From Bozeman, MT
Jan 22, 2013

I'm heading to the desert this March and looking to break up a climbing trip with some slot canyoneering. I just picked up Kelsey's Technical CO Plateau guide.

I am an experienced climber, though totally new to technical canyoneering. I'm looking for some recommendations of fun canyons, mostly things that would take <8 hours roundtrip. Would prefer some climbing/scrambling and minimal water obstacles.


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By Austin Baird
From SLC, Utah
Jan 22, 2013
Me scaring years off my mom's life

Robber's Roost? San Rafael Swell? Zion? Where exactly are you looking?


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By T Howes
From Bozeman, MT
Jan 22, 2013

I'm not looking anywhere specific, still planning the trip.


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By Steve Levin
From Boulder, CO
Jan 22, 2013
Guiding in RMNP

A popular locale for first-time canyons is North Wash. Leprechaun will give you a taste ... it's easy, and it's in Kelsey.
Look here for good info: www.canyoneeringusa.com
Avoid White Canyon system ... mostly wet.
Roost is good, lot's of driving though.
Not much good stuff near Moab, and pretty mobbed.


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By T Howes
From Bozeman, MT
Jan 23, 2013

Steve, thanks for the info, that is exactly what I'm looking for.


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By Wally
From Denver
Jan 23, 2013

Tom - lots of good stuff in Zion - checkout Tom's Canyoneering. Although March might be on the wet side.

Wally


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By Greg G
From SLC, UT
Jan 23, 2013
The route in it's entirety.

The southern Swell has some good starter and technical slots. Do Ding and Dang canyons for your first one, it's really fun.


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By rging
From Salt Lake City, Ut
Jan 23, 2013
CoR

I have detailed beta on 50 or so canyons in Utah from Moab to Zion to Robbers Roost to North Wash. There is a lot of stuff in North Wash that you can do without a shuttle that will be fairly dry. Let me know what area and I can send you some details.

I have combined trips when in the Moab and Zion/St. George areas.


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By Austin Baird
From SLC, Utah
Jan 23, 2013
Me scaring years off my mom's life

March isn't really a good time for Zion canyons. You'll hit snow in anything worth doing (although that can add to the adventure!) I'd recommend any of the Leprachauns in the North Wash (Main Lep being my favorite) and Shenanigans if you're not claustrophobic or too big.

I'd also recommend posting up on bogley.com. Lots of canyoneers over there and they're usually happy to partner up. Let me know (PM on here) when you're planning on heading down and maybe we can meet up down there. We like to hit the North Wash in March.


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By Steve Levin
From Boulder, CO
Jan 23, 2013
Guiding in RMNP

Another good intro canyon near North Wash is S. Fork Maidenwater, very easy, lots of chockstone downclimbs or short raps.
Both Maidenwater and Leprechaun are short, half-day affairs, accessed from the highway and with no car shuttles.
If you do Lep at North Wash, I recommend going up-canyon after the last short rappel into the bottom of Left and Middle Forks (Shamrock and Shimrock) through what is called "Belfast Blvd", very tight, dark, and will give you an idea of what some of the narrow stuff around there is like.
The San Rafael Swell, north from Hanksville, has a lot to offer, including nice non-technical hikes like Little Wild Horse/Bell (avoid it on weekends and holidays unless you want to hang with a 100 boyscouts). The technical stuff here, even intros like Zero G and Eardley, often hold water, more of pour-over/pothole canyons than the tight, climbing/chimneying stuff in the Navajo at NWash.
There is climbing in the general vicinity of all these canyons. Some Wingate downstream from North Wash and Hog Springs (neat pictograph "Cleopatra" near here), although somewhat limited, but with a couple desperates. Prob. best skipped if you're looking for Indian Creek-like concentrations. And further in that direction Jacobs Chair and some obscure towers. There is bullet hard metamorphic rock at Black Table very near Maidenwater, no guidebook, but faces south and would be a good exploration for a cold day.
There is also a bunch of adventure slab climbs in the San Rafael Reef area of the Swell. Jeff Achey did an article in a Climbing mag last year. Good stuff if you like to mix it up.
All these canyon/climbing areas are on the opposite side of the Green/Colorado River complex from Moab, so around 2 hours from Moab, faster going north, west to Green River, then south; or if you're at Indian Creek, then better south through Blanding etc.
Lot's to do over there and a lot quieter than the Moab side.


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