Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Canyoneering Trip Sundance Canyon & Bear Canyon Same Day

If you want a complete day of canyoneering you can take on Sundance Canyon and Bear Canyon in the same day. Both canyons are outside Camp Verde, AZ. The unique aspect of these two canyons is that they are right next to each other.

When you finally get to your place to park, you have Sundance Canyon on your right and Bear Canyon on your left. Both of the canyons end up in West Clear Creek Canyon, and you follow the same up hill path back to the truck for both.

You do need to start early. You have to give yourself at least 4 hours each to get through the canyons. That is 8 hours total of just canyoning time. If you group moves slower than you need to keep that in mind.

Both canyons are technical canyons that require rappelling and wetsuits. Sundance Canyon finishes a dramatic 180 ft rappel that will get your heart pumping. Bear Canyon starts slow, though it finishes with a great narrows section that is tons of fun. Bear Canyon is a little deeper and colder than Sundance Canyon so your hands will feel great.

If you want a full day of canyoneering I highly recommend Sundance and Bear Canyon.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Canyoneering Gear for Getting Out of Keeper Pot Holes

Keeper pot hole, probably the most deadly part of canyoneering. Unprepared canyoneers can find themselves stuck in pot holes with no exit with out specific skills and gear.

Pot Shot by Imlay Canyon Gear is a sturdy and light weight pack that you can fill with sand, water, or rocks to throw over the edge of the keeper pot hole.

Imlay Canyon Gear make gear designed specifically for canyoneers by canyoneers. Imlay Canyon Gear is named after Imlay Canyon in Zion National Park which is one of the msot technical and dangerous canyons in the United States. Imlay Canyon has deadly keeper pot holes without the right gear so you know the people who know what it takes to get out of Imlay Canyon know how to design gear that can get you out of the keeper pot holes you find yourself in.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Canyoning Bear Canyon Photos - Rappel & Swimming Canyon Slot Narrows

Canyoneering Bear Canyon - Keeper Pot Holes & Rappelling into Ice Cold Pools

Bear Canyon is right next to Sundance Canyon. You actually park in the same spot and find your way back to the truck using the same route for each canyon. After getting done with Sundance Canyon by just after noon we decided to take advantage and head down Bear Canyon.

The trick to getting into Bear Canyon is that there is a short gully in the way. Many people think they are in Bear Canyon only for it to end with no where to go. You have make your way through gully and over the next ridge to get into Bear Canyon.

Bear Canyon starts with a canyon hike through fallen trees and boulders. After just rappelling 180 feet out of Sundance Canyon we started to wonder if Bear Canyon had anything to offer. Then you hit Bear Canyon's narrows.

Bear Canyon has a cool section of narrows which require multiple rappels and swims through even colder pools than Sundance Canyon. An excellent section of pot holes leads you into the depths withoug obvious places to set anchors. After a keeper pot hole there is a bolt placed in the wall for the largest rappell of 40 feet.

The pools in Bear Canyon are colder than Sundance Canyon just next door. The slot canyon walls are higher and lack even more sunlight. This is also obvious with the presence of snow and ice we found deep in the canyon. I highly recommend wetsuits as you make your way through the narrows.

The narrows of Bear Canyon make it a fun canyon well worth the trip.

180 ft Rappelling Sundance Canyon - On Rappel Video

Sundance Canyon Canyoneering Photos - Narrows, Pot Holes, & Rappelling

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Sundance Canyon - Canyoning Arizona Slot Canyon

Sundance Canyon is a neat slot canyon outside Camp Verde, Arizona in the Coconino National Forest. Sundance Canyon is know for its 180 foot rappel at the end, which is the best climax to a canyon that I have done.

Entering Sundance Canyon is a steep hike down into the canyon where we found cow bones. The cows were not able to find a way out though we were hoping to be luckier.

Sundance Canyon has an interesting narrows section that has consistent scrambling, down climbing, swimming through pools, and rappelling. There are 4-5 short rappels into freezing cold pools. Wetsuits are required in all of the conditions.

One the best treats in the canyon was a short jump into a freezing cold pool. If you were awake yet you were now. There is nothing like completely under water that is ice cold to get the senses moving.

The highlight of Sundance Canyon is the 180 ft drop into West Clear Creek Canyon. What makes the drop even more impressive is the keeper pot hole you have to maneuver just to get to the edge. It is amazing to be in a narrow slot canyon and freezing cold pools of water with a 180ft drop just over the other side.

The final 180 ft rappel is awesome. The final 130 ft are a free hang where the ground just looks so far away. I don't recommend this rappel for anyone who has a heart condition as I promise your heart will be beating a little faster as you drop into the gorge.

To get back to the truck is a short hike in West Clear Creek Canyon which is a 25 mile canyon hike that I would like to do as some point.