Poncho Wash, Middle Fork Gem Canyon, and Enigma Canyon-April 13-15 2007Participants, Mike Kelsey, Adam Pastula, and myself. Justing Etchel joined us for Gem Canyon as well. Very brief trip report:
Poncho was a dud. Two interesting raps (the second one was 155 feet), but no slot.
All canyons are worth doing once, but not twice. I wouldn't do Poncho again.
After doing the canyon, we checked all leads on the walls down creek between Poncho and Gem. Once someone started a rumor that someone did Gem via a nearby cattle trail, but he was FOS (I had already suspected since someone else "in the know" had already refuted the story). There are no cattle trails to the rim from Muddy Creek below the slope not far down creek from Dizzy Trail/Cat Canyon. The only way you could get a cow to Muddy Creek in that entire section of canyon on the north side would be to shove it off the cliff.
After carefully checking out three other places found a really rugged exit chute out of Poncho just before it hit Muddy Creek so we used it to return back to the cars.
We met Rockgremlin on Friday night. I saw his headlights wandering around the country in the dark, so I went out chasing him in my Pathfinder. After going out to Horizon Arch I met him on the way back and lead him to the vehicles.
Since we found the exit chute out of Poncho, we decided to do Gem Canyon and loop it via the exit chute in Poncho instead of doing the car shuttle. We did the Middle Fork. It was a good trip, but a very long day, especially after climbing the Chute from Heck (remember this is in Utah after all) two days in a row.
We did Enigma Canyon. Nice short canyon. Nothing quite as good as the very best canyons on the plateau, but still a pretty good one. It's very similar to a "technical Crack Canyon".
AJ and I climbed out without ropes (except the last drop), though he belayed me on one drop. We thought it would be a lot more fun than coming out the Poncho exit chute yet again. Climbs were rated around 5.6.
MK went down the last drop in Enigma and climbed out the exit chute in Poncho.