Eyeing up the goods. Serious bidness in that there slot. (photos from Ram)

Wednesday. The day we got into some serious business. Malia had to head back to Torrey to work, and most of the crew decided to go check out some canyons in the Dry Fork near Spooky and Peek-a-boo. Ram had joined us the night before and told us he wanted to take Doc Science into an X-rated canyon called Frosted Flakes, though we were planning on bypassing the hundred yards of X, thus making it a stiff “R”. B heard this and was instantly fixed on going. I’ve never been in anything like that before, so I was a little more hesitant, not sure if I was good for it. I’m not the climber the other guys are, and certainly don’t enjoy the exposure. But, I can’t say I’m not curious.

I asked Ram what he thought. “You think I can handle it?”

“I doubt it.”

Not exactly the vote of confidence I was hoping for.

“Seriously though?” I asked again, hoping he was just joking.

“You’ve never been in something like this. You’ll either slip and kill yourself, or exit a transformed canyoneer.”

“Uh… Okay. Does that mean I’m not going?”

“It’s up to you. You can decide once we get there.”

So off we went. I felt pretty confident I could handle the R sections, but I had decided I could run rim crew or something if I wasn’t up to it. The hike up wasn’t the usual laid back stroll shooting the shit with the others. It was more like an interrogation, with B and Ram trying to figure out if I was up for it, and my own conscience lobbing a few doubts around. Doc kept to himself, but at least I knew his name was Doc. Not sure if he was a doctor or not, but it seems comforting, regardless.

After an hour or so, we approached the rim and got a look at the prize. The skinniest slot I’ve ever seen incised deep into the sandstone below. Wow. That’s the business right there. Ram asked me again if I was good to go. It was obvious the exits were few and far between. I was already sore from 4 days of canyons previous. But damn, that slot looked fun. I told him we had better go check out the upper part of the slot, see how I moved, see if I was up to it, before I committed.

It was hot out, and the upper slot is exposed to full sun. The upper section is a sold “R” but it has a few exits. It is a nice little test to see if it is a good day or not. It was alot of work, considering what is downcanyon, has some interesting moves, but no penalty points. I moved easily and comfortably. In fact, I felt pretty good. After about a half hour, we got to an exit. I looked to B and Ram to see what they thought. Finally, a vote of confidence. Ram, the hard-ass becomes Ram the facilitator. We would continue, but we would bypass the most dangerous 100 yards or so, and drop back in where the exposure was a little reduced. And on to one of the finest canyon days I’ve had.


B and Doc, taking a breather in the first section of slot.
More slot, more stemming.
The nastiest section of Frosted Flakes. Skinny and deeeeeeep.

With some restored confidence and a renewed focus, we headed in. The downclimb alone was pretty shaky. There is a ledgy nose that slopes steeply ito the canyon. It has just enough for a toe here, a crimp there. We edged our way back in, until the other side of the wall was close enough to stem the gap. The step across I called the “Lean of Faith,” as you are 40 feet or so off the deck, and you just have to lean over your feet and catch yourself on the other wall.

Coming down the nose to the “lean of faith.”
Ram loves torturing the new guys. Look at that devil in his eyes.
Farther down into the business.

Immediately, the canyon is serious. The stemming is relentless, long stretches at a time. 30 feet of exposure, but it felt like 60. It’s an odd sensation, knowing just your two feet on the wall opposite are keeping you up, while your pack silently swings below you, occasionally scuffing to a stop. I inch a few feet down the wall, take a deep breath and take it all in. A significant silo appears just a few feet down canyon, the first I’ve ever seen from this high. I look back upcanyon to see Doc and B coming down, smiles smiles smeared across their sweaty faces. They’re loving it, and I’m just trying to survive.

Long way down. (Photo by Ram, showing off them lovely legs)

A small rest before the super skinnies again. Fantastic light in there. Poor Ram can’t keep his camera still though.
Gearing up for the first rappel.


Me on rope duty.
More stemming. Check out the fashionable knee pads and shorts.
B not smiling, but still loving it. I’m smiling, but not quite loving it.
Cold water. Warm light.
Me and B gawking at the canyon we’ve just experienced. Simply unbelievable canyon.

After a few hours of simply unbelievable character, the canyon relents a bit, and rewards for the price of admission. Finally, I’m able to fully appreciate what we just experienced. A fantastic subway section, a deep dark slot, challenging climbing, and an exit hike through a riparian oasis that alone would be worth the hike down. Definitely the most strenuous day I’ve spent in the canyons, but man, did the Flakes ever deliver. Who wants to go back and do the X now?