RAM: In November, Amy and I had missed the canyon. It was the exploration of undetermined difficulty. We had been cautious. When they returned, they were an energized group. The canyon was a good, nay a great one. No need for a harness. No need for a rope, but don't underestimate it. And better bring your climbing shoes and stick to that diet!
Knowing my daughter, she would remain focused on the place, until such a time as she could descend it. The word was that it was pretty stiff, even if not a big dropping affair. I thought it prudent to take a trip down it, before bringing Amy in the spring. You know, mark all the spots that would challenge her, in my mind. Aaron told me "Watch out for yourself, big guy. It is a tight affair.
I mention to the November crew, that I plan to do it on the first day of FreezeFest. To my surprise, everyone one who went the first time, wants back again and only a month later!! Must be real good, this canyon.
The tribe gathers the next AM, the day after Christmas. Aaron and I start our drive at 1:50 AM, hook in Hank and meet our buddies before 9 AM. Its canyon time. I spy a world, half white and half the various shades of slickrock. We will be tested. The snow covered slickrock, even at the lowest of angles is not Terra firma. Worth avoiding at all costs. We weave our way in, every corner a mystery as to whether it can be crossed.
We rest right as the canyon turns challenging. Tradition gives that those who have not been before, get to go in front. A good tradition, so says I. Especially today as I am the only fella who hasn't been. First we stem, then some elevators and soon we are low and is it ever tight. Aaron offers to go in front, to model...as if...his 5'10". 135 pound frame is going to create great insight for me. "Just wait, boy, your day will come." Maybe I can stay on the ground, but in 2 places, I feel safer going up 5-10 feet. The place is nearly as tight up there. Glad to return to the ground. Then we enter the Chambers. A whole series of subway rooms. The canyon overhead is less than a foot wide. One could imagine, looking up high, a series of features conspiring to make a section that would not be human friendly. But this is not one of them. We can go low. Winter light filters in and it is magic.