No Kidding Canyon for DarkHorse Leadership Canyoneering Rendevous, North Wash, UT


Went to the DarkHorse Leadership Canyoneering Rendezvous down in North Wash, 4-19 through 4-22, 2018. Spidey and Clark put on an awesome event. Duke in Hanksville got the Emergency Center facility for the event, and it was actually quite a good place to do this. I arrived Thursday night and it was COLD, so having a large room inside was really helpful. I hung out and chatted with people and retired to a tent on the large lawn about 11pm. A bit of rain was coming down, as it was in the morning. About the Seattle Sunshine level.

Hanksville Fire House, dirt track and camping area

The First Day, I set up a trip to Morocco to make and destroy cairn anchors, using instrumentation to actually measure what it takes to knock anchors out. Alas, the instrument I left at home proved not so useful, and the one I brought along, with new batteries, declined to turn on. But I get ahead. We drove down to Hog Springs, and it was raining lightly. Not too hard, but hard enough to make approaching the canyon not a good idea. Channelling Dr. Ramras, we sashayed over to the adjacent large overhang and the large flat sand field and played with webbing, rocks, SandTraps etc. for an hour or more, until the sun came out and chased away the wet. Hurrah! Then we did Morocco, and did some anchor stuff, and that went well. But I did not take pictures.

The GANG, April 21, 2018

After a fabulous meal and some excellent conversation and story-telling back in Hanksville, Saturday dawned bright and sunny and quite a bit warmer. My second training canyon trip was for No Kidding, a great place to train in the craft of SandTrapping. We parked as for the Leprechauns, cut across the grain of the land and found our canyon. After a warmup lap, going UP the narrow slot from the start of No Kidding, we went down. Training occurred with the whole gang at the first rappel, rather than fixing a rope. Then we broke into two groups, Brent taking the first half and Tom taking the second half, operating as separate teams, as this would give everyone a chance to set and pull plenty of Traps.

SandTrap on the first rappel, Tom backing up.

My team was great. Laughing at all my jokes is, of course, required, but they also did a good job of choosing SandTrap locations and doing the whole SandTrap/backing up dance, with only subtle hints from me. I did not figure out the best set of ropes when we left the car, so we had to borrow a rope from the front team on one rappel (100′), having left the 150′ rope from the first rappel at the start… meaning Kelly kindly ran it up at the early exit point.

Tom is not so good at teaching knots

Down our team went. The Trap is an excellent indicator of how smoothly people rappel, and training in this subject also took place. We caught up to the front team at the ‘keeper pothole’ which fortunately was fully dry. We had a couple hard pulls, but did not get a trap stuck. Lots of things were learned by lots of people. Our final Trap was sticking pretty good – looked like the biners getting stuck on rugosities in the rock, until we took the rope all the way out and pulled almost horizontal, which proved to be the trick. The climb out went without incident, and we were soon back at the car. Great day out, thanks Team.

Kassina going over the edge on the last rappel.

Back in Hanksville, we got the last of dinner, sitting outside now on a beautiful desert night. Live music was good. Much chatting into the night. In the morning, many of us felt like we were worked, so many of us drove home. Thanks Spidey, Clark and the whole DarkHorse gang for putting on an excellent event.

Dark Horse Rendezvous