Black Canyon

black-canyon

If you were to tell me that doing a technical canyon at 6,000 feet of elevation, in February, was a good idea, I would probably consider you insane.  If you mentioned the foot or two of snow on the approach, similar levels in the canyon, frozen pools, hanging sheets of ice, and an entire wall covered in snow and ice, I would probably decide to sit this one out.  Yet these are the conditions that make Black Canyon so special.  In most conditions, Black Canyon is a pleasant trip but not particularly overwhelming or special.  But given its elevation and the time it usually peaks in flow, which is early spring, ice and snow and freezing water is what you get.  Be warned, this is a hard and difficult route that will take you the entire day and will wear you down by the end of it.  The gorge itself drops off steeply and quite fast over the course of a mile or so.  Two big drops up to 110 feet depending on your anchor choice.  Once you think you are done with the canyon you are faced with some nice narrows – which can get quite intense with higher flow.  Full wetsuits, a high tolerance for pain and a competent crew are recommended for this venture.

-> Photos: Black Canyon – February 21, 2009

***THIS MAP IS A ROUGH ESTIMATE OF THE ROUTE AND IS INTENDED ONLY FOR REFERENCE***


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