Cheesebox Canyon and Explorations in Robber Roost, UT


And the call went out throughout the Land: Many Days in March, Canyons to be Done, Old Friends and New. Come and enjoy. Bring lots of gear. Gotta do some of those Roost Canyons before the Hordes of the Prophet Kelsey descend upon the desert.

Doing the Siren's job - the Ram.

First on the list is a quick run through Cheesebox, using the famous Ram/Pitney Lefty-Righty variation. Recent rains and chilly temps made it clear this was going to be a cold one.

Larry, Barbara and HelloPitney, starting in to Cheesebox. (Roost Canyons)

An intricate downclimbing route leads into Cheesebox. Ram downclimbing a bit of a crack "belayed" by the youngster in the crowd. (Roost Canyons)

Ram jumping the Cheesebox gorge.

Ram and I went down and fixed a rope on the hardest drop coming up the West Fork. Then we jump the gorge and cross over to the East Fork.

Across the slickrock, then a circuitous route drops us into the East Fork.

Walking the pleasant East Fork of Cheesebox (Roost Canyons)

Hmmmm, looks like the water might be a little cold! (Roost Canyons)

Pleasant hiking in nice temps, before the swimming begins. (Roost Canyons)

A few ruins dot the East Fork, adding a little spice to the stroll. This little ruin is well-preserved because it is difficult to get to. We admired it from below. (Roost Canyons)

And the canyon starts to get wet.

Recent rains had left the canyon full. There are no more pictures cause I was too cold and busy to bother. A bit downcanyon, we rappelled a couple times, then swam a couple times before arriving at the canyon junction. Turning right, we proceeded up the West Fork, swimming pools and climbing up obstacles. It was cold, really cold, and even though it was a great day in the canyon, we were glad to get out, into dry, warm clothes and back to camp.

A few hours later, the skies opened. It rained about one inch that night, and we got to see White Canyon in flood in the morning. The Youth went off to the canyons of Iraq.

The next day, we poked around a few ruins, then hung out. I was feeling kind of sick, and the weather report for the next few days was miserable, so I drove home. Larry and Barb followed a day later. The big storm closed the roads in Colorado for a few days, so Ram and the Coloradsters hung around Arches and had a good time.

The weather cleared five days later, and we met again in the desert, our ranks thinned by attrition, but reinforced by new blood...

Next on the agenda - a little project we failed on in January.

The Ramster, enjoying the fine weather, and preparing for battle with the classic breakfast.

The usual gear explosion in the morning sun.

The always energetic Steve Brezovec enjoys some particularly good morning victuals.

Finally in a canyon! We decided to upclimb a nearby canyon (because some friends said it was fun!). Here, Jen smiles, Larry climbs and Scott looks bored. That water is COLD!

We spend a little more effort than desired, getting out of the approach canyon, route-find across the landbridge, head the Other Canyon and drop into our target. The cairn from January's trip is still in good shape, and we make good time downclimbing and rapping the upper part of the canyon. Sooner than expected, we come to the wonderful sunny lunch spot. Huh, the canyon seemed harder last time.

Downcanyon we go, passing the previous trip's escape route. Some downclimbing and a few pools, a couple short rappels and we arrive at the obstacle that turned Steve and Mitch around last trip - a narrow, descending slot. Stevie B checked out the slot-bottom and declared it too small for the gang. So we chimneyed up and over. Some found it fairly easy; I found it hard and strenuous, though not exposed, so not scary, at least in that part. Jen reminded us she was acrophobic, and did a remarkable job of holding it together across a high, exposed traverse. Soon we were all past the obstacle, then hiking down the canyon as it opened out. Yeah, we lived another day. Back to the car by sundown.

Enjoying the rewards of a job well done.

NEXT! Fresh from victory, we head to another former project. Former because Stevie B had descended the canyon with the infamous Mr. K!

Nice solid anchors in this canyon! Throw the rope around the Subaru, and... Actually, we clipped off to the towing mounts. An excellent way to start a canyon, eh?

A steep downclimb thing in ADC (another desert canyon).

A bit of May Westing, a bit of the Elevator Move - the group makes rapid progress through the canyon.

Steve showing good downclimbing technique.

A bunch of nice narrows in this canyon, and a couple of tight spots, this not being one of them. Where it is particularly narrow, it is also particularly dark.

Building a natural anchor in a narrow canyon: move the biggest rocks you can find downcanyon. Carefully examine the geometry to find the best constriction to trap a rock in. Place webbing around the lowest rock, pile more rocks atop, so that the lowest rock cannot move.

Hanging out, waiting for the building to progress.

More downclimbing, a couple of short rappels, some squeezing through slots. Soon the canyon relents, and we exit into the sun, seeking the warmth and quickly finding it.

Another canyon just ends! These Roost canyons are cool that way.

Group shot all smiles, before the long hike out.

On to the White Roost, another nice little canyon in the Roost...

Onto another delightful canyon. The White Roost was selected, a path to the start plotted, the first, easy part of the canyon descended. Then it tightens up and begins to drop - time to put on the wetsuits, while we still can. Former underwear model Larry Halford shows how it is done.

Ahhhhh. Another heavenly day in a heavenly canyon.

The canyon gets narrow. Some climbing might be involved.

A couple of quick rappels...

And down, into a pool. Chilly.

Unfortunately, the canyon soon ends.

Ahhhhh. Another heavenly day in a heavenly canyon.

Our ace in the hole? Larry had been up this way before. But it was not really needed, as the exit was pretty obvious - an old sheep trail up to the rim, up an unusual easy canyon.

Hiking up the exit canyon...

And into a sea of slickrock, under a gloomy sky.

Morning finds us dropping into yet another canyon, the last of the trip.

Packing the packs.

Starts out mellow.

We set up a handline on this little drop, and the last person downclimbed.

Three friends of mine, in a canyon. Mellon, Ram, Larry.

Some cool little narrows.

Stevo R, the man with the smile.


Gotta keep dry...

Green stone? Grune Stein?

Gringo-steps lead us out of the canyon, after a bit of sniffing around.

and across...

The Henries, a Canyon, some Guy!

The canyon next door - more to explore!!!