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More unwelcome attachees
Low Slot
First campsite
The second day is a different challenge: narrows and slots and many little downclimbs and many pools, some short, some long. It's fun, but it is also very slow, as we are a large group and are not co-ordinating all that well. By mid-day, we've made very little progress.
courtesy BConnell
courtesy JInnes
courtesy JInnes
Creekbed Clambering
Assistive Descent
Ferrying Packs
The downscrambling and long pools continue, but we do start to get better at processing through them - even so, it's slow and cold, and the initial fun factor has worn off a bit as we start to get a bit anxious about getting to a campsite before dark. Eventually we get to some sections where full swimming is required, which means getting out our inflatable tubes and floating our packs across. After a long ten and a half hours, we manage to find a not very great campsite on a sloping slickrock bench - not ideal, but we don't have much choice. Thus marks the end of our second day in Death Hollow.
courtesy BConnell
Another long watery slot
Fine Slot Canyon
Deepest and longest of upper pools
Alana's swim
Second Campsite
We're prepared for more toughness on day 3, but things start to improve: the canyon gets wider, the creek shallower, a nice clear flow of water forms, and there is very little deep water to negotiate. We make much better time. Death Hollow develops into a nice big canyon with beautiful high walls. Eventually we reach the point where the Boulder Mail Trail crosses the canyon, and we begin to encounter well-defined use paths and many nice camping locations. We push on all the way to the confluence of Death Hollow and Mamie Creek, where we snag a very nice campsite with a beautiful down-canyon view.
Getting shallower, wider
Bushy Detours
Reduced depth, increased scenery
Open Corner
Iron-rich seeps
Paths start to form
Perfect Paths
Beautiful Architecture
Third campsite
Sophie enjoys the light
Morning glow
Breakfast, Day 4
We've made good enough progress on our third day that our fourth day starts of quite relaxed. We don't have too far to go and the nicest and relatively-speaking the easiest parts of Death Hollow are all that is left before we reach the confluence with the Escalante River. The only somewhat difficult part are Death Hollow's lower narrows, which have a couple of swim sections that can be avoided with a bit of tricky edging along sloping walls. Below that, the canyon is marvelous (and the beautiful sunny day only amplifies this): easy shallow creek-walking, clear, sparkling blue-green pools, and soaring yellow walls.
courtesy JInnes
Beautiful Horseshoe Cascade
Nearing the lower narrows
The Lower Narrows
Tightest stretch of lower narrows
Skirting a swim
Grand exit
courtesy JInnes
The Wavy Deeps
Negotiating Riffles
Arriving at Confluence
After having successfully gotten to the bottom of Death Hollow, the next (and final task) is the climb up to the jeep, which is stashed at a spot called Big Flat. To get there we hike briefly down the Escalante and then hike up towards the steep slickrock wall of the south side of the Escalante Canyon. We locate a climbable way out and, with a little help of a belay line, get everyone up and out of the canyon. Once on top, we head south over some open slickrock and up to the rim of Big Flat itself. A few minutes later, we're at the jeep, and the end of a challenging but successful 4-day adventure.
courtesy JInnes
courtesy JInnes
Transitioning to dry land
Starting our climb
Leading the crux
courtesy JInnes
Belaying Gino
Topping out
Descending into shallow tributary
courtesy JInnes
On Big Flat
Mission Accomplished
We have one final day before our trip back west, and to wind down we choose a scenic drive back to Salt Lake City that allows us to sample a bit of the fall mountain scenery we had originall thought to hike. Topping everything off was getting taken out to a great Italian meal in Salt Lake City.
A quick hike
Relaxed after-hikers
Premium Italian
If you want to read about the trip in much greater detail, please go the full trip report.
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