Behunin Canyon Zion Anchor Cleanup

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Hadn't done Behunin for a few years. Kinda needed to, to check on the anchors and maybe fix the 2nd to last, which was a mess; and maybe add a high-water anchor for the last rap, out of the watercourse, since people seem to keep getting stuck up there. I hadn't done a canyon with my fellow Imlay employee and friend Shirlz, and we had fine weather, not so many orders to fill, and... why not! So off we went. In canyon, we ran into The Dude, who was soloing Behunin. He seemed OK, so he joined us, or, we joined him...  First rap, I took the webbing off the Kelsey bolts, and got one of the bolts out, but the other would not come. We re-rigged the anchor on the left and rapped on down. Carefully measured at 100 feet. Next rap, removed lots of slings; replaced with one black sling. Next rap - same.  Fourth rap had chains on em, seemed to be working there.

Shirlz setting up Rap 1

Shirlz setting up Rap 1

Further down, same story. Replace tat with new black 1" tubular. Repeat.

Had lunch. Avoided water.

The two-stage rappel

The two-stage rappel

At the second to last rappel - time to get to work.  This rap has had two anchors. "Under the Rock" involves climbing down either side of a large boulder and hooking into the crazy stack of webbing under an arch under the boulder. The downclimb is not hard, but it does have 100 feet of exposure below it, so the easy downclimb tends to collect webbing for a handline. On this day, there was one, nice piece of webbing on the pinch, which I removed. Plus a big pile of webbing on the downclimb. The other rap is up top - a small tree and a bolt, which always have webbing that is too short, and which results in many stuck ropes. The webbing could be longer, but then the start is kinda awkward and scary, so people don't.

Drilling bolts for a new anchor, 2nd to last rappel

Drilling bolts for a new anchor, 2nd to last rappel

We found a good place atop the boulder, which would offer a clean pull and an easy start. Drilled two bolts, set up an anchor. While the Dude and Shirlz were setting that up, I rapped down and started on the lower one. I walked the ledge around to its end, where I could just find a line of rappel that would be totally outside the watercourse. I stepped over as far as I could, and picked a place for a bolt. And drilled, which took about 10 minutes. Not a good sign - holes usually take 20-30 minutes to drill. I put in a 1/2" bolt and tightened it up, and clipped myself in. I looked around for some better rock. Up down, over there, right here. Drilled another hole. Put another bolt in it, even worse than the first. Looked around further out, higher up... no go. Not working.

Final Rap

Final Rap

Oh well. These were good enough, right? Uh, well. I might rap off them NOW, but I would not rap off them a year from now. I pulled the bolts out best I could, tucked in my tail and headed back around the corner. The other two were just coming down from above. We rerigged the last anchor, rigged the ropes, went on down! Hiked out. Hopped on the bus. Back to town.