November 5, 2009

A beautiful and incredibly narrow slot canyon

Start of Shenanigans

Start of a techncial slot canyon known as Shenanigans. It is the middle of the three west forks of Butler Gulch and is regarded as one of the best Irish Canyons. 

Shenanigans entrance

Entrance to Shananigans. Most of us rappelled this part using a nice tree anchor but I think one or more in our group may have downclimbed it instead.

Initial rappel

Dominic making the initial rappel into Shenanigans.

Let the stemming begin

Dominic doing some easy stemming near the start of the slot.

Squeezing in

Soon the walls started squeezing in on us and the canyon was consistently narrow for almost its entire length. Good stuff!

Unexpected water

An unexpected pool near the beginning of Shenanigans. We weren't thrilled with getting wet right off the bat but what can you do? The downclimb above the pool was a bit tricky and eventually we just had to let go and splash down! Brrrrr!


Roger wades the deepest part of the pool while Landon starts the downclimb. The pool was lined with slippery mud making the wade and exit a bit interesting.


Steve preparing to negotiate some very slick mud.

Chockstone scrambling

A large chockstome blocks easy passage. Some of us went over and a few of us (including me) squeezed under.

Part two

Dominic, CP, Dan and Landon prepare for the second part of Shenanigans after a warm break in the sun.

Break spot

Looking back at the open area where we took a break.

Beautifully sculpted

Dominic pauses at a beautifully sculpted area.

Getting narrow again

The canyon quickly begins to narrow again and we're apprehensive about what lies ahead, especially some of the guys close to the 180 pound limit. The infamous "4th narrows" is lurking somewhere up there. I'm happy to be a girl right now.

Tight walls

The walls aren't much bigger than Dominic's body and its like this for a long time. Clothing and gear is quickly eaten away by the friction. Harnesses are removed after each rappel because the environment is so brutal.

Dark and narrow

Dominic squeezing through the dark slot. It can get a little creepy at times.

Slanted slot

The slot was sometimes slanted, making for tough going. Because the slot is so narrow we often had to go sideways and I felt like I was constantly doing pushups when the walls were slanted like this. Its a lot more tiring than it looks!


Dan squeezing through a very narrow section of canyon with nice light penetrating from above. Its not hard to imagine why this particular canyon has a weight limit of about 180 pounds. Larger people just won't fit! 

CP relaxing in Shenanigans

CP pauses to take in the canyon and snap a few photos.

High walls

The walls of the canyon were impressively high.

A nice little stroll

A beautiful stroll and a short break from the tight stuff.

A brief above ground stint

Ram and Aron walk along a brief above ground stint near the end of Shenanigans.

Just sitting around

Dan sitting around chatting.

Exposed traverse

Dominic and I rapped into the canyon here using Matt as an anchor. Everyone else did an exposed traverse and then downclimbed on the other side.

Deep in the canyon

Dominic deep in the canyon. It was very dusty and sand was blowing in from above. The white dots are a result of using a flash with sand particles in the air.

Happy Aron

Aron poking his head through a neat hole in a corkscrew section.

Hanging out

Matt hanging out high above the canyon floor.

I think he likes it

Dominic appears to be enjoying his first technical slot canyon.

Final rappel

Steve makes the final rappel while CP traverses the secret ledge.

Secret ledge

Ram traverses the secret ledge that allows us to avoid swimming in the dirty pool at the bottom of the final rappel.


Exiting Shenanigans.

Hike out

The group hiking toward the next adventure.

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