It was that time, when the weather in your town is totally normal for December, and you’re looking for ways to suffer.
Oh just me. Ok. Well anyway..
-Noun, where a group of hooligans between the ages of 7-mentally 7 get together and bring in the new year with the best kind of festivity possible: canyoneering.
Southern Utah got socked in with snow, so why enjoy the northern skiing when I could enjoy the suffer of snowineering? Great question. South it is.
Waking up is a struggle. Getting into bed is a struggle. Drinking water is a struggle. Feeling your toes is a struggle. Some pals setup a cooking tent with space heaters, others cooked in their souped-up trailers, others in the windy.. barren.. cold.. I’m not complaining. I’m fine. Everything’s fine. This is fine.
I ran around the fire my first night, anxious to hear how everything had been, conditions, life updates, canyon plans. The leprechauns had been thrown around as mild options. Perfect.
My goal was to get to 100 canyons by the end of the year, so linkups were the plan. Northwash has a variety of linkups that go, yet the amount of ice that formed on upclimbs, and snow and potentially melted snow had me second-guessing my proposed amount of volume within each day.
The Leps were wonderful, with West being my favorite.
Sometimes freezefest is about hanging out. Other years it’s about really getting after it. This year was more the former, as few wanted to get snowed out of canyons, and even fewer wanted to get wet, so the options were few and far between.
Tom Jones and I bailed out of the East fork early as water was to be expected. Phew. The next day, a huge group of us did the Shillelaghs and Tom and I did the second one just the two of us. Thanks Tom!
We stemmed through cinnamon-sugar snow (snow+sand) and kept warm on the rappels. I could finally feel my feet by the end of the day. Back to camp to replenish and chillax. Oh Northwash. What short trip, and only had me itching for more.