Monday, September 19, 2011

Cursed canyon?

Amos Richards saved after crawling 4 days across Utah desert in the same canyon where Aron Ralston amputated his arm in May 2003.

RELATED:  I visited Blue John Canyon in spring 2006 with EWU geology grad JL and his girlfriend.  Here's JL in one of the larger, upper parts of the slot canyon (click to enlarge):
It's a fascinating and sporting canyon system, with enormous chockstone boulders lodged seemingly dangerously overhead in many places.  If this were a Road Runner cartoon the Wile E. Coyote would almost certainly be guillotined by one of these babies:
This narrow section is below, but very close to, where Aron cut his arm off to free himself after five days of entrapment by a rotating chockstone:
At the end of the slot one emerges onto one of the coolest ledges in canyon country, where a 70 ft rappel must be rigged in order to continue down canyon.  Imagine doing this with only one arm after you've just amputated the other:
About six miles further down canyon you pass through the Horseshoe Canyon section of Canyonlands National Park, passing the Grand Gallery, one of the finest rock art panels on the Colorado Plateau:
It's clear why this is a popular canyon to explore, but solo hikers should be (1) extra cautious and (2) let others know their plans.  I certainly do.

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