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Descending Cattail Canyon

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Offline Hawkeyes39

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Descending Cattail Canyon
« on: January 11, 2013, 07:57:37 PM »
Hey all,
Planning on making a descent of Cattail Canyon this coming spring and have a few Q's.  I plan on taking the alternate route around Bryan's Falls.

Besides Bryan's Falls, what's the longest single rappel?  I usually carry a single 200' rope combined with a 200' pull-cord that allows me to rap a roughly 200-foot face in a single pitch. 

How much water is in the canyon in say, a typical March?

Also, what is the anchor-building situation like? Boulder/trees to sling at all of the rappels?  Or would bringing a set or two of stoppers be necessary?  I'd like to try to use macrame/omnisling techniques to minimize the amount of webbing left behind. 

Happy trails,
Josh

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Offline Lance

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Re: Descending Cattail Canyon
« Reply #1 on: January 11, 2013, 08:09:57 PM »
This would be a good a question for Buck..
He's been in Cattail Canyon alot.

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Offline Picacho

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Re: Descending Cattail Canyon
« Reply #2 on: January 11, 2013, 10:22:58 PM »
Are you asking for the purpose of drinking water?  If so, there was plenty of water in there a few years ago in April when I crossed the canyon between Ward and Pt. 7070.  There has been a huge drought since then but we have had some good winter rains and snows recently. 

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Offline Hawkeyes39

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Re: Descending Cattail Canyon
« Reply #3 on: January 12, 2013, 06:55:22 PM »
Picacho, thanks for the help.  I guess I'll have to just wait and see what the weather does until then, but it looks like we should be in good shape.  Lsnead, thanks for the reference. I'll have to send him a PM.

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Offline Cookie

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Re: Descending Cattail Canyon
« Reply #4 on: January 13, 2013, 09:27:03 PM »


Besides Bryan's Falls, what's the longest single rappel?  I usually carry a single 200' rope combined with a 200' pull-cord that allows me to rap a roughly 200-foot face in a single pitch. 


http://www.bigbendchat.com/portal/forum/el-saloacuten/on-the-edge-an-exploration-of-cattail-canyon/msg18689/#msg18689

They took 765 ft of 11mm rope. If you haven't read this thread, you should.

~Cookie

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Offline Hawkeyes39

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Re: Descending Cattail Canyon
« Reply #5 on: January 14, 2013, 10:59:39 AM »
I've read the account.  They also did a double-rope rappel wheras we'll be using a 'biner block and pull-cord (meaning we can carry half the amount of rope).   It's also kind of misleading saying that they had 765' of rope, because that 765' was split into three sections and one member of the party sadly wasn't trained on how to pass a knot while rappelling.  They also rappelled the big pouroff.  On his first trip to the canyon, they took a route around the 400' pouroff because they didn't have enough rope to reach the bottom.  If you read the end of his account he says he went back and did a double-rope rappel with two 500' static lines, the Bryan's Falls is less than 500' high, meaning it would be possible to negotiate it using a 500' rope and pull-cord.

I may just end up breaking down and buying a 500' static rope though, especially if I can't get confirmation that the longest rappel besides Bryan's Falls can be negotiated with a 200' rope and pull-cord.

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Offline Lance

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Re: Descending Cattail Canyon
« Reply #6 on: January 14, 2013, 11:28:45 AM »
Sounds like one heckuva trip!  To get the information you need, you might consider contacting okiehiker himself, if you haven't already.
I haven't been able to find a while lot of specific details or photos on exactly what is expected when descending Cattail Canyon.
I'm very curious myself, and would love to do a similar trip but right now I lack the experience with ropes to feel confident I could do it.  I plan to change that.
If you need/want, shoot me a PM and I'll give you my email.  I've made several maps and marked alot of locations of things within the canyon.  Might be useful.
Or if you're feeling confident, just go for it.  I know a lot of folks on the board are reluctant to share information on Cattail, especially the park since it's such a rugged/dangerous place. 

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Offline mule ears

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Re: Descending Cattail Canyon
« Reply #7 on: January 15, 2013, 07:29:21 PM »
I've read the account.  They also did a double-rope rappel wheras we'll be using a 'biner block and pull-cord (meaning we can carry half the amount of rope).   It's also kind of misleading saying that they had 765' of rope, because that 765' was split into three sections and one member of the party sadly wasn't trained on how to pass a knot while rappelling.  They also rappelled the big pouroff.  On his first trip to the canyon, they took a route around the 400' pouroff because they didn't have enough rope to reach the bottom.  If you read the end of his account he says he went back and did a double-rope rappel with two 500' static lines, the Bryan's Falls is less than 500' high, meaning it would be possible to negotiate it using a 500' rope and pull-cord.

I may just end up breaking down and buying a 500' static rope though, especially if I can't get confirmation that the longest rappel besides Bryan's Falls can be negotiated with a 200' rope and pull-cord.

Hawkeyes39 the longest drop above Bryan's falls is no more than 50' if you bypass the first 250' drop by using the talus slope on the left going down canyon, see my posts here about that section read this carefully.  Okiehiker describes several more rappels between the first big drop and Bryan's falls than the 3 we did but then we were able to climb around several that he may have rappeled instead.  If you are going around Bryan's falls to the east (right side going down canyon) then you will encounter no drops until the final ones down into the desert.  I have never read of anyone making the final drops all the way but Buck has gone down at least the first few.

Anchors we used were all trees or boulders or horns, not any difficult set ups but it was 38 years ago  :icon_eek:.  Water all depends on recent rain fall but should be pretty dry in March unless we keep getting the kinds of unusual winter rains like last week. 

You sound as if you have quite good experience but as everyone will warn you, this is not an easy traverse, long, difficult and very hard to access.  Make sure you have the skills and fortitude to make it in a day or don't try it.  If you do, make sure to report back.
« Last Edit: January 16, 2013, 03:59:06 PM by mule ears »
temperatures exceed 100 degrees F
minimum 1 gallon water per person/day
no shade, no water
http://40yearsofwalking.wordpress.com/

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Offline Buck

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Re: Descending Cattail Canyon
« Reply #8 on: January 16, 2013, 11:19:04 PM »
Be sure and camp out in the canyon.  Take lots of photos.  Post them here.
"Hey, how 'bout a Fandango..?"

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Offline mule ears

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Re: Descending Cattail Canyon
« Reply #9 on: January 17, 2013, 06:07:54 AM »
Be sure and camp out in the canyon.  Take lots of photos.  Post them here.

I think you meant to say camp out of the canyon.  Don't want any incidents do we Buck  :icon_wink:
temperatures exceed 100 degrees F
minimum 1 gallon water per person/day
no shade, no water
http://40yearsofwalking.wordpress.com/

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Offline mule ears

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Re: Descending Cattail Canyon
« Reply #10 on: January 18, 2013, 06:21:49 PM »
Hey Hawkeyes39 check your messages at the top of the page.
temperatures exceed 100 degrees F
minimum 1 gallon water per person/day
no shade, no water
http://40yearsofwalking.wordpress.com/

 


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