The Three Forks of Leprechaun in a Day (North Wash)

Andy hiking toward the East Fork drop-in

East Fork - Leprechaun Canyon

Starting early one morning from Sandthrax Camp at North Wash, me, DB, Mike Cressman, Rick Kent and Andy from Colorado hit the slickrock for a link-up of the East and Main Forks of Leprechaun Canyon. The Leprechauns, particularly the strenuous Main Fork, are known for being tight!
And down we go!

With a nice rappel for the drop-in after the beautiful approach, the canyon got going right away. Not terribly difficult, it was a spectacularly beautiful canyon with some nice sections of slot and a handful of fun downclimbs.
Mike stems out to avoid getting wet

It was fall and the morning weather was cool, so as we splashed through a couple of wet potholes, Mike worked hard to stem around any wet obstacle we encountered. It was a great time!
DB and CP in a nice section of canyon

How could it not be a great time? This was our Second Annual Middle-of-Nowhere Canyoneering Weekend! A tradition in the works that Mike, Rick and I had begun with a trip to Robbers Roost the previous fall.
CP rappelling in the lower East Fork

Soon enough, we reached the confluence of the East and Main Forks. It was time to head down-canyon a bit, climb up and out, and start all over again...this time in the more difficult Main Fork!
Hiking down the Main Fork from below the confluence of the East-Main

Main Fork - Leprechaun Canyon
Hiking toward the Main Fork drop-in

So the five of us marched back around to the drop-in for the Main Fork. The tightest of the three, I think we all wondered how Mike, a trim yet still burly 225 pounds, was going to work through it.
CP and DB (Henry Mountains in the background)

As it turned out, Mike did indeed have some difficulties, though not as many as DB, who was probably the smallest of the group (I say probably, of course, because micro-Rick and micro-Andy were with us).
Mike just barely squeezing through

When stemming higher at one point was the way to go, DB lost her footing on the adjacent wall and found herself wedged in the bottom of a particularly tight section. It took about 30 minutes of hard labor for Andy and I to free her. As one might imagine, she was anxious for the canyon to widen up again!
DB stuck!

All too soon, we reached the recognizable confluence of the Main and East Forks, a place we'd been only a couple hours before. It was time to head on outta there and back to camp...
Hiking down the Main Fork

But I had other thoughts...

West Fork - Leprechaun Canyon
Near the head of the West Fork

"Well, guys, isn't the West Fork right over there? And we're right here..."

So off we went. Well, Rick, Andy and I. DB and Mike had enough already and wanted to get back to camp.
CP prepares to drop into the West Fork

While the West Fork wasn't the finest of the three great forks of Leprechaun Canyon, it was a good fork and I'm glad we did it. We returned in time for a cold dinner.

*Photos courtesy of Rick Kent