Canyonlands: Tales from Narrow Places

Adventures in Escalante, PART V – Egypt 3

Posted in Utah by canyoneering on March 26, 2010

Egypt 3, 3BIII
approximately 5 miles
Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument


Egypt III lived up to the hype, it was challenging, exciting and narrow. David had been raving about Egypt III since his  trip a year ago and was eager to share the experience with Eric and me. (Click here for the previous Egypt III descent.) He had previously gone down Egypt II and up III. This time we were going down III.

We awoke Monday to a morning enveloped in fog and mist. After successfully negotiating an extremely muddy road, we arrived at the trail head and began hiking down the upper part of the drainage that is Egypt III. Walking to the edge of the rim we were greeted with a magnificent view of the canyon and the surrounding area. As we took in the view the last of the fog lifted out of the slot and the sun returned.

Egypt III is the narrowest canyon I have ever been in. Many sections of the canyon required us to walk sideways while carrying our packs to the side. We encountered some water and a block of ice and a snow drift in the canyon bottom.

The last section of Egypt III was new for all of us. After the one and only rappel we encountered a lot more water. If the entire canyon had as much water as the lower section did, we would have been forced to turn around. This bottom section of the canyon was as narrow as the previous sections with the added intensity of being forced to swim sideways through the icy slot. The canyon was so narrow you could not use your arms to tread water and we were forced to use the canyons walls to prop ourselves and keep from sinking. It was beautiful to see the back lit steam coming from our bodies as we willed our way through the tight frigid passage. It was a great  relief  when we rounded the corner and saw the slot open back up into the real world.

A slick rock hike back to the car and just like that our trip was over. Dinner at Subway, a search for an Escalante magnet (for Eric’s collection which he did not find) and we were back on the road.  We made one final detour to check out Bryce Canyon. We rolled into one of the scenic overlooks just as the sun was setting.



2 Responses

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  1. […] comment « Adventures in Escalante, PART III – Coyote Gulch Adventures in Escalante, PART V – Egypt 3 […]

  2. Stephen Schwartz said, on March 28, 2010 at 1:24 am

    Beautiful stuff as always. I just got a look at your last 3 sets. (I was in Mississippi all week rebuilding a “Katrina” house. – No computer access.)

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