Where: Escalante, Utah
When: March 2008
Mileage/Gain: 18/4,000
Partners: Ram, Lil Ram, Sonny Lawrence, Nacho, Morta and Paddhi

Choprock Bench

With Ram, Aaron Ramras, Sonny Lawrence and three Spaniards (Morta, Paddhi and Nacho), we started out early for a dayhike of the legendary Choprock Slot from the Egypt trailhead. With 18 miles and 4,000 feet of elevation gain on the roundtrip, and a beefy canyon thrown into the middle, this would be Ram's first dayhike of the canyon he'd already done twenty times.

Once in the canyon, there are only three rappels and a handful of stiff downclimbs, but also a ton of cold water swimming and wading, log jams and the potential for things to go deadly wrong.
Nacho in Chop

With an initial mellow section consisting of a few downclimbs and a rappel, followed by a long riparian section, this very wet canyon then slots back up and looks remarkably similar to the upper Left Fork of North Creek (in Zion National Park). Soon, a waterpark sort of characteristic applies – a joy for all.
Ram in Choprock

Eventually, the dreaded “grim” section comes. This is the section where a couple guys died a few years back. More tight slots, swimming through narrow channels, and challenging log jams sometimes thrown into the mix. Fortunately, we encountered low-water conditions that made the canyon much more mellow than they often are. Still, not a canyon for the meek or the inexperienced.

Photos courtesy of Aaron Ramras