Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Scorpion Canyon

Death Valley's canyons never cease to astound me with their beauty, ruggedness, remoteness, and, oh, during the spring, DNA-broiling heat. And thus, our merry band of canyoneers wandered into Scorpion Canyon for the day. The approach is directly under the sun, climbing several hundred feet to a high of 1845' and then descends all that and more, to 50 feet below sea level. It's one of the weird features of Death Valley that so many of the canyon trips end below sea level. In between, I do believe just about every drop of water was sucked out through my skin.

The canyon itself is a geological circus, with green cliffs of decomposing mica, and pink and yellow slopes of oxidizing iron salts, wide washes and narrow slots.

The canyoneering portion was pretty straightforward and every rappel had an established anchor. We breezed through for a delightful if somewhat hot few hours of back country goodness.

Climbing away from the start in 20 Mule Team Canyon.
Hiking up a wash to the first real climbing.
Looking down to 20 Mule Team Canyon.
Top of the climb, 1845'.
Yellow, green and red from the metals and minerals in the ground.
I believe Annette was demonstrating some kind of cheerleading routine. Or maybe not.
Rich on the first rappel.
Annette on second rappel.
Narrow passage.
Kevin meat anchoring at an anchor built out of rocks.
Last rappel.

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