Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Keyhole Canyon: Thrice

The story you are about to read is mostly true--names have been changed to protect the guilty.

I decided to head into the park to get down on some canyoneering. Along the way I met Bodysuit-Man hanging out by the side of the road.

We happened to have a permit for Keyhole Canyon and it was right there so we figured we would go for it. Three times. That may seem arbitrary at first but as it turns out, we are required to have three descents of Keyhole to advance to the next level of guide status, so it seemed fitting to get it all done in one fell swoop.

The first go-round was basically just getting me acclimated to the lay of the land, which Bodysuit-Man was very patiently willing to help me with. I bumbled about in my dry suit, feeling like I was wearing a full-body diaper, in awe of Bodysuit Mans uncanny ability to navigate the twisting and frequently awkward terrain. The first time through I led, the second time through I brought the camera and attended mainly to that. The last time through was a speed trial and we went car to car in 34 minutes flat.

On the approach hike we came across a naturally occurring bonsai tree. It was about a foot tall and absolutely intriguing.

Bodysuit Man rapping into the canyon

The remaining images were shot through our second descent of the canyon. Most of my posts are word-heavy; it may come as a relief to note that this is an exception. I am humbled by the scale of natural wonders, excited to be working in this environment and thankful for the patience and kindness of friends and loved ones, without whom I would not be here.

Hank, setting up a rappel while I shoot.

Hank dropping in...

Ok...this photo is not an award winning shot from an artistic standpoint, but you MUST recognize the inherent illness of Bodysuit Mans full body press across the gaping chasm of 49 degree water. Props to this soft-spoken super hero.

A moment of reflection while in the frigid bowels of the earth

I am looking forward to more adventuring and climbing with Hank. Good times, for sure. Also a shout out to Frank Sanders for getting me into the world of guiding and Zeke and Seth from PCGI who I had the privilege of learning from again this week during the SPI course. For those of you reading who don't know an SPI from a PCGI, just know that I have been learning from some really awesome mentors who literally give 110% of themselves to help people become better climbers, guides and people. Last but not least, Jonathan from ZAC took a chance on me by bringing me into this organization, one which I would not have taken on myself had I been judging in his stead...

Work hard, play hard, then work some more. Till next time...

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