Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Bonita Canyon

There's nothing better, in my humble opinion, than rappelling down a long, gushing waterfall on a hot summer day. Cheap thrills, water and sun. Ah, life is good. So Bonita Canyon in the Lytle Creek area of the San Bernardino Mountains should be perfect. It has two monster waterfalls and even in Southern California's current drought, there was plenty of agua pouring out of some unknown source.

So I don't want to complain too much about the fact that this is also a place visited by many who have the moronic ethic of leaving their trash wherever they sit instead of carrying it out and tagging the rocks and trees with their idiotic, coded names. Assholes.

Okay, I'm grumpy when I have spray-painted boulders in my pictures instead of pristine canyon locations. Sue me.

As for the trip, our de facto leader, Rich, had been there before with Kevin and they reported that the usual approach up a steep ridge was a bit sketchy in places so we would try a different route on the opposite side of the ridge. It's no fault of Rich's but this didn't exactly work out well and two of our bunch got pretty scratched up in the cat's claw and manzanita. Next time, we'll do the usual path with all its loose rock and occasional exposure. And there will be a next time, I'm sure. The water, sun and cheap thrills were too good. Even good enough to override the graffiti.

Jerri and Kevin making their way through the boulders at the beginning of the approach.
Annette and Rich scrambling up the steep use trail we found. Hand-over-hand the whole way.
Jerri working her way down the first waterfall, a 190-foot rappel.
Annette on the first waterfall getting totally dunked. Fun.
Kevin maneuvering through a deep groove in the falls.
Jerri, post-dunking.

Annette, post-dunking and looking ready to charge off for the next rappel.
With all the non-canyoneering visitors here, apparently someone thought a chain for a rappel anchor was a better idea. It's certainly sturdy. That's my caribiner which I've hooked into the anchor for safety. We color-coded our 'biners with electrical tape so they wouldn't get mixed up and I had some brown tape laying around, so I used that.
Rich exulting in the falls. That guy loves the water.
Jerri on the second waterfall and final rappel just as the sun reached over the top of the falls.

Annette with an audience of on-lookers. Note the graffiti everywhere. Also note that none of the people in the picture were responsible for the tagging.

Kevin checking out the route below him on the second waterfall.

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