Trachyotomy Canyon, North Wash, Land of Oz

Recently, there had been some posts on the Yahoo Group about a nice little area called the Land of Oz. Apparently, the canyons were paved of gold, home to munchkins, and even a witches cauldron could be found. In fact, these canyons were said to be among the best in the North Wash area... Would they live up to the hype? Along for today's ride would be Eric, who had scouted the canyon and nearly made it through in it's entirety a couple of times before, along with Malia, Nick Wilkes from Springdale, Brandt, Brian, Dan, Penny, and of course, the birthday boy himself, Tom.

Tom getting a birthday hug in Trachyotomy.


The first interesting downclimb obstacle. The canyon has a couple of warmup sections before the business really begins, all of which can be easily bypassed.

Brian Frankle, stemming over the top of the canyon’s uvula. (y’know, the dangly thing in the back of your throat?)


The uvula. Or Washing Machine. Very interesting pothole, for which this picture does no justice.

The end of the very mild first section. This downclimb is much easier than it looks from above. Nick Wilkes making easy work of it.


Mr Eric Godfrey, Brandt with the spot.

Some nice light in the middle narrows. Great canyon for winter light, just be prepared to get wet.


Ah yes, the business. Really good stuff down in there.

I’m a sucker for nice warm light. The south facing slot is good for the short days of winter.

Farther along, in the early stages of the slot. Pretty skinny down low, but it is passable for munchkin sized canyoneers.

Munchkin sized Malia, down low.


Trachyotomy Canyon features some very beautiful narrows.

Tom and Nick, after coming down to ground level.

Stemming the Dairy Farm. Named for reasons that will be very obvious when you see and/or smell the place.


More fantastic light after the second section of narrows. Malia on camera duty.

Nick rapping down the only mandatory rappel.


More warm light on the rappel.

Shortly after the rappel, there is a very challenging section of narrows, aptly named the "Witches Cauldron." The canyon drops quickly into a couple of potholes, that can be in a keeper condition. Immediately following the potholes, there is a super tight section of high stemming, before the slots final release. Be prepared to swim. I put my camera away here, but Eric put together this nice video showing the place.

After the rappel, the canyon gets super skinny, and dark. Everyone has to stem a section of about 60 feet. Very narrow, very strenuous, but very short.

The glow of the exit beckons Nick downward. Very fun and challenging downclimb leads to the exit room, which is simply stunning. Definitely worth the hype.

Going deeper into the exit crack of Trachyotomy Canyon.


Loving this canyon.

More of the same.

The final exit from Trachyotomy Canyon. The low angle of the winter sun makes this a gorgeous canyon this time of year. One of the more scenic spots in the North Wash.