Some goodies in Mystery.

On Sunday, I ran by the visitor’s center real quick to see what permits would be open for Monday. At 8am, there were still some for Mystery available. I snatched those up quick and tried to recruit some victims to come along. Only Aaron wanted in, so we arranged a car shuttle to the top (I know, it’s cheating…) and headed for the gully.

The gully descent is nasty. There is a clearly visible trail, but it is still ugly. Loose rocks, steep slopes, and rooty traps made for a slow walk down. We had heard rumblings earlier in the week that Mystery was horrendously overbolted and covered in trash, so we were anxious to count all the bolts, and see if we could pick up some trash. We totaled 31 bolts, but not a single scrap of trash. I thought the canyon looked in great shape. Depending on your comfort level, at least 4 drops that are bolted can easily be downclimbed. Aaron downclimbed 7 of the bolted drops, I did 5. After seeing the family that was coming in behind us though, I wouldn’t say it was ridiculously overbolted. Just kinda overbolted. Most of the unneccessary bolts are relics that have yet to be pulled. That would take out at least 6 or 7.

The springs rappel has a new rapide installed that is much safer. We tried to replace the last rapide on the waterfall rap, but I couldn’t get it off, nor could I fit a smaller rapide over it. We attached a rapide to the last link of chain, and to the side of the huge rapide. The rope pulled easily. Hopefully another crew will be able to get the big one off.

Mystery was good, but certainly not in the top tier of Zion canyons. Great way to avoid the heat yet again.

The view into “Death Gully.”

I handed Aaron the camera for a few shots so we could get my mug up at least once or twice. Start of the “Rock Narrows.”

Me again, farther down the rock narrows. This section of canyon is fantastic, lots of good light today.

I take pictures, Aaron bags ropes. We make a good team… At least I think so.

What’s that term the kiddies use nowadays? “BOMBER!” Bolt is a historical relic, for sure.

Aaron downclimbs an optional rappel. Bolt is above his head to left.

Downclimbing another rappel (also bolted), as the canyon makes the distinctive left turn. Awesome slot through here.

Slogging up the landslide (not bolted).

Aaron at the Mystery Springs rap. (5 or 6 bolts, at least three relics)

Aaron again from the side.

Looking down at the North Fork Freeway. Actually not too busy yet. We only had to clear one kid out of the way.

Doing some ropework on the last rappel. There is a monster rapide in this anchor, we tried to replace it but had no luck. We attached a small rapide to the side, and the rope pulled easily. Don’t use the big one, it will pass a block easily. (2 bolts)

Aaron can’t downclimb the falls.