Capitol Reef National Park, Utah – Part 3-B

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Continued from 3-A – Hiking the Slot Canyon at Burrow Wash.

After another ½ mile the canyon started to get tight enough that our shoulders were rubbing on both sides, and the walls were getting higher, certainly high enough that the choices were go on, or turn around and go back.  No getting out here!  This section was chockstone free and maybe 2 to 3 tenths of a mile long before it opened back up in preparation for the really narrow (cramped, tight, restricted, limited, constricted…use your imagination) part of the canyon. The last section was so tight that we often had to remove our packs and slide sideways through the narrow 12 to 20 foot walls.  This is the last section of the canyon that is still accessible to mere mortals (ie. not rock climbing gods) like us. It was slightly longer than the previous section and just about as tight as a slot canyon can be, and we met up with 2 major obstacles and several slightly scary boulders stuck between the walls over our heads ( I kept having visions of that movie) .  The first obstacle was a kind of over / under thing where we had to scoot under an overhanging rock and squirt ourselves up over a chockstone.  The last one, which nearly did us in, was a canyon width boulder that leaned out towards us so that we had to friction climb up, and back away from the boulder, before finding a handhold and sliding our bodies over the rock.  Whew!  Fun!  Really! …and we’ve got the scrapes to prove it.  That was it, the next obstacles was for the pros and we decided that  with a four mile hike out, including re-navigating 3 chockstones in reverse, we had better save some energy and head back out.  Navigating to obstacles on the way out was much easier as we had gravity on our side (mostly a good thing) and we had already learned where the hand and foot holds were.

Here’s some pictures from the wash trail.

As we were hiking out we discussed how many of our loyal followers would have enjoyed the hike and came to the conclusion that probably not many…but there are a few, Eh, Sandy?

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