Monkey Business

Where: North Wash, Utah
When: October 31, 2008
Partners: Andy Archibald

As organization of the 3rd Annual End-of-October Canyoneering Get-Together moved into its final days, there was a shifting of participants that dropped our hefty group of 13-14 people down to a more workable six. With Andy Mac coming back to join DB and I after his first time canyoneering the previous October, Andy Archibald (of St. George, Utah) also signed on, as did Bill Geist and Jason Halladay, two friends I'd met a year ago and not seen since. It was bound to be a classic weekend in the slots!

As DB snaps the picture, Andy, CP, Bill, Jason and Double-A look ultra-cool

The plan for Day #1 was a descent of Shenanigans, a canyon widely regarded as the skinniest in North Wash. Folks over 180 pounds, it's said, will not fit. With me checking in at 190 pounds and Double-A nursing a sick knee, he and I decided to head through Monkey Business while Andy Mac, Jason and Bill romped through Shenanigans. We'd all meet at the confluence and then head on out together from there. DB elected to take a "rest" day and drive in to Hanksville to score some Afrin for the ailing CP.
Andy working through upper Monkey Business

With a short hike to the head of Monkey Business, Double-A and I dropped in and soon encountered twisty narrows that challenged our already-fatigued bodies. Pulling our packs through tights slots, as is always the case, proved tiresome and tedious. But the slot was wonderful!
The slot becomes more interesting as you approach the confluence

Two-thirds way through the canyon is an interesting corkscrew rappel that can more easily be negotiated by simply rappeling down to a keeper pothole (stepping left to avoid it), then disconnecting. An awkward slide around a corner, stepping past another shallow pothole, leads to a funky move left to another anchor for a short drop of about twenty feet to a pothole.
Andy setting up the 2nd rappel in the corkscrew sequence

Below the corkscrew rappel sequence, we played our way through a couple fun potholes.
Having a good time in a pothole

The portion of Monkey Business we were looking forward to the most was a reportedly anchor-less 30-foot drop into a keeper pothole. We'd brought along Jason's ibis hook for the drop, however, when we got there, we found that a protusion had already been slung to create a funky, but convenient, anchor.
Getting on the "anchorless" rappel

Dropping into the keeper pothole

Before getting on rappel, we'd done a pack toss for the eventual exit from the pothole. Although it turned out to be a shallow enough hole for a partner assist to work well, Andy used the pack toss to escape without my assistance.
Andy climbing out of the keeper

Just down-canyon of the anchorless keeper pothole fun, we encountered the final rappel. Dispatched with joy, the fun continued, as it was time for a quick nap while we waited for our friends to join us at the confluence!
The final rappel