Canyonlands: Tales from Narrow Places

Winter canyoneering in Black Canyon

Posted in Northern Arizona & the Mogollon Rim by canyoneering on May 6, 2009

Black Canyon, 3CIVR
12.5 miles
Prescott National Forest, drainage of Mingus Mountain
02/21/09

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I am not really sure why we wanted to go canyoneering at elevation (5,000-6,000 feet) in the middle of February. We certainly didn’t come up with the idea. In fact, the photos we had seen of previous canyoneers rappelling 100 plus feet down a frozen waterfall was probably what planted the seed in Chris and I to follow in their footsteps. It looked just too gnarly not to try ourselves. Our experience lived up to the hype we had created in our minds. The flow was aggressive, the upper rappel was partially frozen and even with six millimeters of neoprene covering my body the water slowly drained the life out of me. This trip would also make my list of top five most strenuous day hikes and I believe the cold water’s draining properties was the leading contributor to placing this trip on that prestigious list.

-David

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