Dante's Inferno

November 6, 2009

A challenging techncial slot canyon descent in the Lake Powell area

Preparing for our second canyon of the day

Dominic, Steve, Roger and Aron prepare for the day's second round of canyon fun while CP prepares for a nap. After a day and a half of rough, narrow slots Dominic fears he'll have to sit out the remainder of the outing because he is down to bare skin on his behind! These canyons are unimaginably brutal on clothing. Steve literally saves his ass by graciously offering him his special snakeskin print pants! Now Dominic is back in the game and looking cooler than ever.

Dropping into Inferno

Ram playing the role of meat anchor, giving Dominic a handline for a tricky downclimb into the depths of Inferno.

Squeezing into Inferno

The group squeezing down into Inferno, a very narrow slot canyon that is part of what has come to be known as the Dante System.

Stemming in Inferno

Aron and Roger stemming down the narrow canyon. It was often too narrow at the floor for passage at ground level.

Easy stemming

Aron and the crew doing some easy stemming above the canyon floor.

Crack downclimb

Aron prepares to downclimb a vertical crack.

Human cams

We made like human cams, inching our way down the drop.

Steve high above the floor

Steve stemming high above the floor in Inferno.

Tricky downclimb

Steve negotiates a tricky downclimb while Aron waits for his turn.

A spot from below

Dominic spots Steve for the bottom part of the tricky downclimb.

Aron tackling the downclimb

Aron taking a different approach to the tricky downclimb.

Preparing for a rappel

Steve and Aron prepare for a rappel.

Multi-stage rappel

Aron starting a multi-stage rappel through a series of minor potholes.

Strenuous travel

Some sections of the canyon were relatively strenuous and required tight movement off the canyon floor. A slip could mean becoming seriously stuck in the narrow canyon below.

This ain't easy!

Dominic fighting his way along an attention-getting section. My stamina is beginning to wane at this point and I hope I can hold out long enough to finish it up!

Easier ground

A wide, scenic section of canyon provided a welcomed breather between all of the strenuous squeezing and stemming.

A spicy, extremely strenuous workout

Back at it again, spicy and very strenuous. Slipping would not be good.

When is it going to end?

We're pretty exhausted at this point. When is it ever going to end?

Pothole jumping

Steve jumps over small potholes near the end of the canyon.

Negotiating the small potholes

There's a potential keeper pothole at the end of a rappel here so Ram takes a rope and heads upward. We're running out of daylight and need an efficient solution. Most of us will walk past the pothole up high and rappel back into the canyon past the difficulty. The rappel anchor will be of the human variety again. Steve will then do the in-canyon rappel from an existing anchor and be assisted out of the pothole if necessary.

Steve amongst the potholes

Steve is standing above the keeper pothole waiting to rappel. It turns out that he and Roger were able to climb out unassisted, but keep in mind that they are extremely good climbers.

Dominic on rappel

Dominic starting a straightforward rappel near the end of the canyon.

Steve on the final rappel

Steve dropping into the final rappel of the day.

Final rappel

The colorful final rappel at the exit of Inferno.

Dominic after a tough day

Dominic hiking back up to the mesa after a rewarding day of canyoneering.

Desert sunset

We were treated to a lovely desert sunset as we approched the top of the mesa.

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