Tight Spaces – A Slot Canyon Experience.

One of my main goals for this trip was to finally get to explore some slot canyons first hand.  Having seen pictures over the years of various shapes and colors this part of the expedition was what got me most excited.  After a dissapointing first day in which I was thwarted by mother nature and water that was deeper than my dry pants (read; <40F degrees and NARROW), my second attempt at different slots was much more of a success.
But of course success doesn’t come with some errors.  After hiking up the first slot of the day I encountered some rangers who just better marked a trail over the top between the 2 canyons so that the second could be down-climbed instead of the more traditional way.  Well, what I didnt expect was to spend an additional 1.5hrs wandering around a random wash in Escalante trying to find it.  Finally I back tracked and came to rest from the sun under a tree and well would you believe it there was the trail heading up to the left.  Doh!
Finally getting to the top enterance there was a rockfall that had blocked an easy entry soooooo….down climbing.  First squeezing my way on to one of the rocks before the 7′ drop to the canyon floor.  Too far to slide with my 25lb pack on so on to my belly, sliding to the edge, lower the bag as far as I could and ‘poof’, on to the floor.  Now for me.
Gaining entry to this slot was interesting however I do not think I was mentally prepared for how narrow this actually was.  For a majority of the time I was not able to carry my backpack but had to hold it by the strap and turn my body sideways and drag this ‘not so light’ pack behind me.  Every now and then stopping of course as the texture, lines and light were just amazing.  Besides the extremely narrow rock walls, because I was descending instead I would encounter people coming up!  Uh oh.  Then it was finding a spot were we could all slide by each other.  Entertaining for sure.  Admittedly, about half way down there was a point where the never-ending narrow walls started to etch its way in to my consciousness and had to talk myself down to calm.  Never a dull moment!
This particular section of rock wall had these amazing knobs on the sides, as most of this one did, and the reflected light was glowing perfectly.  Setting up a very awkward tripod position I was able to catch this ephemeral light and unique landscape.  There is one thing I know is that I could come back here for days and experience different light every day and capture something new here.  Truly a magnificent experience!

Remote slot canyon with colorful walls in southern Utah.

4 thoughts on “Tight Spaces – A Slot Canyon Experience.

  1. Been following you for a while now. Inspiring work my friend. I was here a few weeks ago and my experience was a lot like yours. Those canyons were TIGHT!! Beat the crap out of our car getting there too. Worth the trip though for sure.

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