Coffin Canyon

CP and Mike on the approach

The normal approach to Coffin Canyon requires a long car shuttle and, of course, two or more vehicles. Rick Kent and I were determined to find a better way to knock off this canyon.
DB just above the first rappel in the lower canyon

Knowing that the upper canyon had only one so-so rappel, and the middle canyon was merely wash walking, we were focused on finding a way to access the good lower canyon just above the best of it.
DB on the stunning 190-foot, clean vertical rappel

Rick, DB and I first tried to find a shortcut to the "goodies" a month or so earlier. Eventually turning around to go after other objectives, DB and I left Rick to continue on the exploratory alone. Clearly, he was more motivated than we were. But, he reported back later that he'd found a way...and the canyon was good!
That's the way this ball bounced...

Setting out one morning with DB, Rick, Mike Cressman, Mike Schasch and Cathy from Vegas, I was thrilled that Rick had enjoyed the canyon enough to do it again with us. We weren't to be disappointed.
Mike engaged in one of several fun downclimbs in the canyon

With several good rappels and downclimbs, the day's showpiece was a fabulous, refreshingly clean, 190-foot vertical rappel. Truly aesthetic.
Below sea level

And when all's said and done, the Death Valley canyoneer once again finds himself at, near or below sea level.

*Photos courtesy of Rick Kent