If you're looking for some real adventure then get your ropes and harnesses and head down a technical slot. There is a mix of excitement and truthfully a bit of (healthy) fear as you drop down your first rappel knowing that there is no going back and you'll have to face what ever the canyon has in store. Slots canyon conditions can be extremely variable. One week you might be swimming through the entire thing and the next it could be bone dry. It's really important to know what you're doing when canyoneering since you need to be prepared for a variety of scenarios.
With that said, please don't go canyoneering with out a guide or someone who has experience with rescue climbing.
In a perfect world I would have had a videographer/photographer come along with us! Any volunteers?! This is a compilation of everyones footage from Yankee Doodle.
Who: 10 Ladies! Ages 16-56
Where: Yankee Doodle Canyon
Length: 5 hours
Type: Technical Canyoneering
When: November 2018
Where do I even start with this trip?! The entire thing blew my expectations out of the water!
Saturday we spent the morning rappelling at a wall that is actually on the way to Yankee Doodle. This was the first time rappelling for the majority of the ladies there but you wouldn't have known it. Everyone there looked like they had been doing it for years by the time we were finished up. I was really impressed because most people have a really difficult time with rappelling. For some reason trusting the rope as you go over the lip of the cliff is tricky for people. I really shouldn't say "for some reason" because it really is incredibly thrilling, especially if it's your first time. You can see in the video that we had a fun time while we were there. The mix between the young and the old was perfect! We had this beautiful mix of energy and skills.
Yankee Doodle is considered a beginners canyon because you only have two required rappels that are relatively easy. It also isn't known for holding a lot of water and since it's also not a very deep or long canyon you can usually find some sun. What I decided by the end of our trip though is that maybe it's not really THE BEST beginners canyon and you'll see why.
Our first rappel went beautifully! Everyone was confident as they slipped down into the canyon from a juniper tree jetting out of the rock. One of the girls even put on some theme music for her self and practically danced her way down (my kind of girl). Rappel number two went almost just as smoothly as number one although there was an awkward beginning that threw off some of the group a bit. There was one tiny moment where I almost crapped my pants though because one of the girls let go of her break hand to catch her self as she went over said awkward part. Luckily I foresaw that this was a possibility and made sure everyone rappelled with a fireman belay at the bottom. We triple and double checked each other which is so important for anyone and especially a group of newbies.
The temperature in the canyon was actually pretty warm, considering it was mid November, and the leaves of the cottonwood trees where bright yellow. I actually don't think I've been down a slot so late in the fall and I was not disappointed with how beautiful the changing colors made everything. Since it was so late in the season though and a bit chilly outside I was really hoping we didn't run into too much water. Well...we did. We actually had to wade through a pool that went up to everyones chest (except for me, mrs 5'2", it was up to my shoulders) and boy was that water cold. I was nervous at how everyone would handle it but like I said, this group blew me out of the water! They were such amazing sports through it all. I even heard some of the girls say that they really liked having to wade through the water!
Another thing that I didn't anticipate but that everyone just rolled with the punches was the amount of down climbing. I've been climbing and canyoneering for 20 years now so down climbing and stemming is something of second nature. For someone who has never done it before, this can be pretty scary! The nice thing about this canyon is that there are bolts at each of the major down climbs so that you can set up a hand line or rappel. We opted to set up a rappel each time for those who were timid about down climbing which I thought was great!
By the end of the canyon everyone was tired, hungry, and cold which is just how I wanted them! Call me crazy but part of what makes a canyon really good is a bit of struggle and a need for team work!