The big day was upon us. Yes, the night was cold and we rang in the new year at the appropriate hour — for New York. Off to Hite it was, fairly early. Sort gear, prep the clothing, make decisions. EAT FOOD! Drink water. Then off to Milepost whatever for the start of that grand, silly, canyoneering adventure tradition: The Black Hole of White Canyon on New Year’s Day, aka The Stupid Idea that Caught On.
People assembled at the trailhead. Final count was 30. Questions about choices and preparations bounced back and forth. The weather was pleasant – not particularly cold, not windy, sunny. Energy levels were high. The traditional group picture taken, the mob surged down the trail to the second sign, where a second group picture was taken. We enjoyed the sunshine and strolled down the trail to the canyon bottom.
The Second Sign
Fun ensued. There’s a bit of a hike to the suit-up point, which varies from year to year. Seemed kinda dry this year. We found the suit-up spot and spent a half hour eating, peeing and then suiting up with lots of suit. Off we went into the icewater.
Swimming AND breaking Ice
What more is there to say? Another uneventful trip, really, just as it should be. Good teamwork made safe work of the obstacles. There were swims, and some sections of breaking ice. Some careful walking upon the top of the ice, in places. My clothing and gear worked a LOT better than last year, and I was warm the whole time. The mob broke into smaller groups, who bounced back and forth through the day. Late in the afternoon we came to exit and we climbed out of the canyon and back up to the road.
Tom is the progenitor of Tom's Utah Canyoneering Guide, Utah's premier canyoneering information resource, and Imlay Canyon Gear, America's #1 maker of canyoneering-specific gear. If he's not canyoneering, he's probably snuggled up with a good book.
Posted on Jan 1st, 2014
Canyoneering, Cedar Mesa, Freeze Fest, Tom Jones, Trip Report