Clear Creek Canyon, Glen Canyon

Found ourselves out in Glen Canyon, doing a couple slots just for fun. Last day, we decided to do Clear Creek into the Cathedral in the Desert. Access is provided by landing at and climbing up the Hole In The Rock, then following the road, then cross country to Clear Creek.

David Lewis and Butch Lodder at the base of Hole In the Rock.


Sign at the bottom.

A short section of cut steps near the bottom.

Looking down the slot from the top. I was surprised by how LITTLE sign there was of the pioneer efforts.

Sign at the top.

Our crew for Clear Creek: Butch, Ram, Steve, Mark, Randy, Jason, Hal, David and Drue. Managing 3 boats today: Sterling and Russ (many, many thanks for this).

Ram leads the crew across the slickrock and sand, in search of a canyon with many potholes…

Birdcage Evening Primrose – lots of this about.

Ah, there we go – a canyon with many, many potholes, mostly human friendly. Arriving at the canyon.

Clear Creek has a string of maybe 60 potholes, many human-sized and friendly, a few requiring a bit of struggle to exit. Seems to be spring-fed, as it seems to always have water.

The light was somewhat challenging, as the canyon worked the sun/shadow line (so I ‘fixed’ the shot in Photoshop, with some Gala color).

I didn’t take many shots in the pothole section, as fun as it was. After the potholes, the bottom starts dropping out.
First rappel anchor: what’s wrong with this picture?

Hmmmm, where to start?

1. Webbing: most of that webbing is some white, flat polypropelene webbing (maybe left by some boaters). PP webbing is quite weak, not suitable for making anchors with. (The webbing underneath is a nice piece of Bluewater 1" Climbspec webbing, very nice).

2. The bolts themselves, the one on the left is a Star Dryvin bolt, not very strong, and considered these days not a reliable anchor bolt. With a Leeper hanger! The one on the right looks like a Rawl (Powers) 5-piece, probably pretty good.

We stripped the 1" PP flat webbing from the anchor, and the BW Climbspec looked good.

Second rappel anchor. Much to criticize about this…

1. Bolts: 1 Star Dryvin, 1 3/8" Rawl 5-piece (probably), 1 old sleeve sticking out, 1 old bolt sticking out, tied off with webbing;

2. Webbing: bunch of pieces of webbing, some a bit chewed up;

3. Rings: a couple of rings and rapides, looks not so good.

Nice rap, about 90 feet into a nice alcove. Rope grooves from people who did not want to use the anchor (I guess) and used something else further back.
Given the ‘tourist route’ nature of the route, Ram and I decided that improving the bolt anchors would be a good idea. Thus, I installed a Powers Powerbolt 1/2″ x 3-3/4″ bolt with an Altus hanger at this station.

Here’s the anchor as we left it. I try to leave the old stuff in place as I consider them important historical artifacts… thus I left the old bolts as is, and re-rigged the anchor using the beefy new bolt and the pretty-good old bolt.

Couple little raps in the lower canyon. Here Jason performs admirably as Meat, while Drue rappels. Jason downclimbed some marginal (gringo) moki steps with help from below. Thanks Jason.

Final drop into the lake can be downclimbed (like I did) or jumped. Here’s Ram, jumping…

Ram still has a pretty good turn-around jump. Shot (by Tom). Love that sports-action mode.

…and so forth…

… and into the Lake.
Swim to the boat.

Ah, then… a quick lunch and the drive back to Bullfrog through the technicolor canyons of Glen Canyon.
(Again, bad photography prompts even worse photoshopping to make an image that is at least “interesting”).