The Traverse you can barely make out the yellow raft to cross the moat  protecting Isolation Canyon

2nd Annual Isolation Canyon Experience 2001

May 24, 2001

Alan- Well, After a 5-1/2 hour lead-footed journey from Las Vegas I arrived at around 5:30 PM yesterday. Seeing Jeremy's truck there confirmed I was in the right place. I loaded up and proceeded to hike in (note to self: Next time, wear hiking shoes instead of sports sandals). Upon reaching the narrows I spotted the raft and smiled at the dedication and ingenuity of my host, Jeremy. Not long after safely negotiating the treacherous waters, Jeremy met me on the trail and we arrived at the campsite at around 6:30 PM. After settling in, we decided to get a few climbs in before dark. We finished the first one (Slowdive) in twilight and did two more (Morningrise & Straight to the Milkyway) by headlamp. I on-sighted the first two and top-roped the third. Back at camp we started a fire and ate canned food and after a bit of stargazing on that moonless night, we hit the sack.

Jeremy- I arrived here Thursday (May 24) morning at around 10AM. I hiked in and floated across the traverse with backpack on. I had to pump some air into the deflated canary coloured float boat. I then headed down to camp and set up the new tent. Now there are two permanent tents here, Brown (old) and Green (new). After resting for a bit, I filtered some water and ate. I figured Ben would be arriving soon so I hiked out to the traverse and floated around for awhile. After an enjoyable nap on the water, I hiked to the main entrance boulder. Still no Ben, so I rested on the slab while checking out the Winter Wall East from a distance. Looks like there should be some great routes. Still no Ben. I figured Alan and Ben should be arriving about now, so I climbed up on a ridge to get a better view of the trail in. Waited there awhile, then gave up and went back to camp. Rested at camp and read the BOM. I then decided that maybe I should go back to the traverse to help either Ben or Alan get their packs across on the raft. About half way there I ran into Alan below the main wall. After resting at camp we decided to get a few climbs in before nightfall. Alan lead and on-sighted Slowdive. He then on-sighted Morningrise by headlamp. Finally, We top-roped Straight to the Milkyway by headlamp. At camp I had a can of Dintymoore Turkey and some fruit cocktail. Bed time.

May 25

Alan- Woke up at 5:30 AM, had breakfast, read scriptures, headed out to the Winter Wall were I led on three routes and top-roped two. Descent cellular reception so I called my wife and checked my voice-mail. From there we slid down the scree and filled our bellies with water of dubious quality. After a quick power nap we went over to the Rainbow Wall where I led on two of the three pitches we did there. While hiking (sliding) down the scree I gashed the side of my foot. We were done for the day anyway, having done 7 pitches. After dinner we happily went to bed.

Jeremy- Woke up after a good nights sleep. I slept a lot better this time since I brought a blanket and thermals. We climbed at the winter wall first. We didn't bring enough water up, and started to become dehydrated. Alan led For Seeking Heat and I followed. We then top-roped When the Sun Hits. I then set up a top-rope on Golden hair and we both climbed that. Alan then led a new route to the right of Golden Hair. I followed then we headed back to the creek for water. After drinking straight from the creek and a quick nap, we scrambled to the base of Rainbow Wall. Alan led Movement and didn't even use the mandatory knee move. I cleaned, and then he led the first pitch of his later to be named favorite route, Shadow Play. I led the second pitch. I wish I had a couple more #4.5's for the beginning of this pitch. Oh well, I was happy to have at least one. Back at camp I did laundry and ate dinner before calling it a night (I wore two pairs of socks tonight).

May 26

Alan- I have to leave at 8AM this morning to be able to get back to Vegas for a friend's house warming party (Gabriel & Shahdi Joseph) well do a couple of 1st ascents right here next to camp before I leave. Had a blast!!

Jeremy- Woke up later this morning. After washing up, we decided to check out a couple of routes next to camp. Alan led the crack/corner and I followed. We then top-roped and cleaned the face route. They were both very enjoyable. The face looks like it has enough gear, but should be a little sporty at the crux. On the hike out we ran into Ben and Shannan. Chatted for a bit, then kept hiking to the cars. Our packs weren't too heavy so we made good time. There is a girl's camp going on up here (Peoria Stake). Some five girls were camped out in the back bed of my truck (they thought it was one of theirs). I ate and rested while waiting for Shaun to show up. It's a little after 12PM and still no Shaun, so I'm going back to camp. Floated across the traverse then pumped some more air into the raft. Met Ben and Shannan at the campsite. After they had a chance to get situated we racked up to finish "Catch the Breeze". Shannan had the hammock set up and was reading a good book, so I am told. What an incredible route! Ben led the first pitch, which we had previously done a few weeks ago. This time he went straight up to the anchors rather than wandering out left by the corner with shrubs. I followed then prepared for the unexplored huge corner up above. I ventured out onto the clean face with minimal gear and great in-cut holds. I climbed up and to the right, but later when Ben followed we determined that up and left was more protectable and better climbing. After about twenty feet of face, I came to a descent two-foot wide ledge at the base of the huge corner. It consists of a wide crack paralleling the wall and a thin crack going into the wall. The low angle face was pleasantly jugged. I placed a #3 Camalot and the "Fat cam", a #4.5 Camalot. I joyfully topped out on a large ledge with tons of scary scree rock. Delicately stepping my way to the back of the ledge, I set up a good belay. Ben followed and cleaned some of the loose stuff and cacti. He then led the next section, which was awesome. Some good (key) stemming and shoulder/head camming works great on this pitch. There is an almost body width chimney on your left that is made up of a huge detached block and the main wall itself. There also is an OK crack just right of the chimney that works great for holds. To the right another few feet is a beautiful crack for gear and holds. After about twenty-five feet Ben topped out onto a ledge. There WAS a small cactus growing right at the top of the crack, but I disposed of it. He then went out right up a small ramp to a shrub before cranking up a face and wide crack for about 15 feet to the top. He belayed me off a tree and I did a little cleaning, but there is still some work to do. I figure we can clean another time when no one is in the canyon. We proceeded to scramble off the top out right. It's a little dicey at parts, but if you are deliberate and careful, it is OK. Down the scree we went. I washed some clothes then had the best dinner as of yet down here. Shannan and Ben brought tin foil dinners. I could barely finish it, there was so much. We also cooked some hash browns. I am so tired. I went to wash my pot, then laid out on the slab to watch the stars. The sun was still barely lighting the sky so as to leave a faint silhouette of the walls and ridge behind me. If you lay down and look back over your head, the ridge looks like a huge amphitheater with the stars as the main act. We saw what we believe are satellites. They were moving very fast. Ben and Shannan joined me in some stargazing. Bed time. Good night. Oh, I almost forgot to mention that we went swimming. Ben went first then Shannan and I followed. The large pond by DT's Roof is shallow enough at parts so that it is not too cold. It was very refreshing. We need to start doing that every afternoon after siesta time, 1:30 PM.

May 27

Ben- I'm sitting in the hammock on a lazy Sunday morning out here in Isolation Canyon. Toby's dug himself into a hole in the sand in the shade, taking a nap. Shannon is eating cereal (cranberry apple crunch w/ oatmeal) and Jeremy is trimming branches by the two new routes he and Alan did yesterday. We finished the upper section of "Catch the Breeze" yesterday afternoon. Awesome climbing! The two crack systems above the first pitch were super great for gear and the climbing was amazing, with good face holds, stemming, etc. The second crack is steeper, but really fun and well protected. We exited out right and walked off the tier to the right of the pyramid. The route still needs more cleaning. We cleaned a lot of rocks off the ledges, but near the top there's still more to go. The wall that we found a few weeks ago, Winter Wall East, should have some really good shorter routes on it (100'+). We'll probably get to do some of those tomorrow. Another area I want to try sometime is just north of Shadow Play about 50 yds. Looks like a good face up to a small roof and then who knows what from there. I hope we have time to get to that area. Today is mostly a rest day, and that is why I am REALLY enjoying this hammock right now! More later...

Jeremy- Today we just relaxed and hung out. After some reading, we decided to go on a little hike to the south of the canyon. We did a little bouldering and even found a few great problems. One of them involves climbing on a roof and pulling through it onto a face. We weren't able to pull it off, so it looks like we have another project. We also tried a couple of really hard face problems to the right with good landing. This whole little area has a lot of sand for landings. That's why we call it "The Beach". Home of "The Three Minute Egg". A few of these other problems, that we tried, will also become classics once we can pull them off. We hiked a little further then decided to lounge in a nice shallow pool of water. It was almost like a little Jacuzzi (minus the hot water). After about 15 minutes of relaxation, something snapped at Ben's toe. Startled, he jumped to his feet to discover a large crawdad peeking out from under a boulder. He was probably curious to see what this new object in his pond was, so he tried to grab Ben's toe. After that, we became savage crawdad hunters. We fashioned two pronged spears, out of tree branches, for pinning them. After many failed attempts we soon gained experience and technique for capturing them. Four or five hours latter, we were back at camp with a number of catches. The last one was huge! Ben and I, by headlamps, found this guy in a shallow pool near "Catch the Breeze". For dinner we had potatoes, mixed vegetables, and crawdad. Yummy!! More laundry and stargazing tonight.

May 28

Jeremy- Woke up late after a great nights sleep. Ben and Shannan climbed "Slowdive" first thing. We then all played on the incredible campground classic "Shine". After packing up camp, we worked our way over to the Winter Wall East. We left most of the extra gear at the traverse, while hauling up just climbing gear to the base of the wall. Ben roped up for the first lead. He cruised up the initial face to a small ledge. After examining the crack system above, he decided to have a look around at other possible options. Nothing looked very good from his position. The cracks looked to house some loose blocks and gear was questionable at best from his viewpoint. He came down and I went up to the same ledge. After making it to the ledge I soon became aware of what he meant. You can't tell if there will be any gear or not from where you stand. I decided to go up the crack corner to the right. A beautiful corner with solid gear. After about 60 feet of rope dragged climbing, I came to a tough section. It involved some traversing above descent gear on good incut holds. The angle was slightly steeper and I could feel a mild pump starting to set in. Quickly and methodically I moved left and up to a large chimney that I was hoping would contain gear. Unfortunately there wasn't any and I was already runout. After stringing together a few bad placements (courage placements) I carefully topped out to a big tree belay. As I was topping out I noticed that one of my placements, which was kind of a blind one at the time, was actually pretty solid. Next time we do this pitch, I am going to climb straight up the corner, rather than traverse in from the left. I had to this time because of the agave and large cactus towards the bottom. It was getting late, so after Ben followed, we hiked out to the cars. We decided to start our own "Oscar's" tradition. We went to a place called "El Rancho" for dinner. They must have found us weird. We went through a bunch of chips and a ton of food before leaving. Ummm, good!

We'll, once again it was a great annual trip. This year saw a number of first ascents and beautiful routes at that. Some great bouldering, crawdad hunts, swimming, and a canary coloured float boat. Hope everyone enjoyed it. For those who could not attend, we hope to see you there next year. Cheers...Jer

2001 participants

Jeremy on "Slowdive"

Alan at the start of "For Seeking Heat"

this is where the fun starts on "For Seeking Heat"

another day at the "Office"

Alan enjoying "When the Sun Hits"

pond of dubious water

sinking a cam at the beginning of "Movement"

1st pitch of Alan's favorite "Shadow Play"

coming off of "Shadow Play"

campsite in the morning

Alan starting up "Shine"

Ben on the third pitch of "Catch the Breeze"

Ben at the crux third pitch

Toby in his favorite spot

topping out on the shaman boulder

Jer on the Shaman

Ben throwing down on the roof

Jer trying to pull the mantle

Shannan working a corner

The water hole

Crawdad pond the crawdad came out from under the boulder by Ben's foot

let the hunt begin

the catch

back at camp

crawdad dinner

Ben enjoying some suculant crawdad meat


Shannan on the beautiful campground route "Shine"

pulling the crux of "Shine"

Winter Wall East

Souvlaki Space Station and the large swimming pond


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