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East Fork

March 16, 2016  •  Leave a Comment

Canyoneering Footwear

March 09, 2016  •  2 Comments

It seems that canyoneering, is one of those sports that borrows and adapts gear from other rope and aquatic sports. As the sport grows in popularity, more canyoneering specific gear becomes available. It seems that footwear has been an area that has been lacking in options. For the longest time, the only canyoneering specific footwear, (available is the US) was the venerable 5.10 Canyoneer boot.

P3080014P3080014OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Old 5.10 Canyoneers. This design held for years. The goofy look and recognizable tracks on dirt made it easy to spot them in the wild.

It looks like this model hung in there for years. The rand was kind of low, and they would wear fast in exposed areas, but early runs of this model were pretty OK. In later years, runs of this model became famous for delaminating early and often.

In 2015, my 5.10 SARs delaminated after 3 canyons.
 

5.10 replaced my Canyoneers 2 SARs with a pair of the new 3s. While waiting for the replacement, I got a pair of Bestard Canyon Guides. These are boots made in Spain and it looks like Bestard is a serious brand of mountaineering boots (www.bestard.com) from Adventure Plus

OptionsOptionsAs of spring 2016, the best options for canyoneering footware.

On the left, Bestard Canyon Guides. On the right, 5.10 Canyoneers 3. Both after a year of canyoneering.

5.10 Canyoneer 3s5.10 Canyoneer 3sMuch improved quality. They do not delaminate like the late 2's. Yet, they seem to have weak spots. Just after 1yr, the mesh in the front is desintegrating. I had to soak the front in Aquaseal.

5.10 3's Do not delaminate, but have weak spots in the front. I had to cover the front mesh in Aquaseal to keep the mesh from disintegrating.

 

BestardsBestardsHolding pretty good after a year. Weak spot seems to be the rand where the foot bends.

Bestards holding pretty good after a year. Weak spot seems to be the rand where the foot bends.

Sole ComparisonSole Comparison5.10 Stealth rubber is famous for being sticky. I found Bestards to be just as sticky. I like how the Besatrds have a better edging zone on the inside foot.

5.10 Stealth rubber is famous for being sticky. I found Bestards to be just as sticky. I like how the Besatrds have a better edging zone on the inside foot.

BestardsBestardsCool lace locking mechanism.

Cool lace locking mechanism.

 

5.10 Canyoneer 3s5.10 Canyoneer 3sNeck is useless to keep sand out.

Neck is useless to keep sand out.

 

5.10 Canyoneer 3s5.10 Canyoneer 3sSoole profile with notch unde the arch gets stuck in rock features.

5.10 sole profile with notch under the arch gets stuck in rock features.

Adidas HydrosAdidas HydrosGood for class C canyons....close to useless in sandy enviroments. Bothe the zipper ones and the laced ones develop sand pockets in the linning.

Other options are in the Adidas lineup.


Adidas HydrosAdidas HydrosZippers will fail quick in sandy enviroments.

Adidas Hydro Pro and Hydro Lace are OK for class C canyons. In sandy canyons, the zipper gets clogged fast. The lace-up model fares batter, but both models develop sand-pockets between their lining and exterior. The fine sand gets in there via sandy water. After the water dries, the sand remains there. After several canyons, your toes do not fit in the toe-box anymore. You need to slash the lining.

 

After a year of wearing both Bestards and 5.10 boots, these are my impressions:

Bestard Canyon Guides are super light and comfortable. They seem to withstand abuse better than the 5.10s. Bestard's sole pattern and rubber are sticky enough, and I like the flatter thread better with a generous edge zone for climbing. Bestards provide great ankle support. I have taken these boots in a couple of multi-day Grand Canyoneering trips with a 45 lbs pack. I feel like they are a bit too much for shorter dry canyons, and that is where I use my 5.10 Canyoneers 3s.

 

Right Canyon No 48Right Canyon No 48Look! We must be in the right canyon.

Bestards Canyon Guides in the Grand Canyon: 12 Mile approach, climbing, edging, canyoneering, rafting.

Canyoneers No 45Canyoneers No 45Canyoneering Escalante

Lee T Wilson stemming high on Bestard's Canyon Guides.

The ideal canyoneer footwear should:

  • Be comfortable enough to use on day or multi day routes.
  • Offer enough ankle support to carry heavy packs on very uneven terrain.
  • Be made out of materials that do not get degraded by constant water exposure.
  • Drain fast and not allow excessive amounts of sand in.
  • Have protection for very high abrasion enviroments.
  • Have soles that are very sticky and shed mud fast.

If you want a "do it all" tough, comfortable canyoneer boot, give Bestards a try.


Deep Sand

February 22, 2016  •  Leave a Comment

I think it was Rich Carlson who said: "We go out looking for adventure, actually hoping not to find it".

This was kind of what happened in this trip. We went out looking for a canyon and the roads leading to it, were basically sand traps. The sand was so deep that the truck will glide in random directions regardless of the steering. We got stuck a couple of times. 4L and some burned clutch smell got us out there in one piece.

Oh! yeah...the canyon was nice also.

Deep Sand No 49Deep Sand No 49Came looking for adventure, but hoping not to acutally find it.


Packraft Self Rescue

February 20, 2016  •  Leave a Comment

We set out for a session of packrafting and self-rescue / re-entry. Vic was super confident and efficient. I struggled way more. We learned that flipping the rafts with packs strapped to them, is way harder.

Slef Rescue No 1Slef Rescue No 1Vic ready to flip Vic prepares for the flipr Self-Rescue No 2Self-Rescue No 2VIc flips the raft Raft flipped! Self-Rescue No 3Self-Rescue No 3Fliping the raft back. It is way easier to do it from the other side, or the long axis Flipping the raft back. It is easier on the long axis of the raft. Self-Rescue No 4Self-Rescue No 4Using the ore as a hand-rail to get up. Using the paddle as a hand rail to get back on Self-Rescue No 5Self-Rescue No 5Back on the boat! The slide in Self-Rescue No 6Self-Rescue No 6Vic shows her "game face"

Look at that "Game Face"....like saying: "wazz-up homie!....problemas con el raft?"

Self-Rescue No 7Self-Rescue No 7Done! Show off!


Staying Wet

January 27, 2016  •  1 Comment

After staying dry last week, this week we headed for one of those canyons where you ask yourself: "Should I carry my wetsuit?". You know there is going to be some water, and is going to be cold. I personally can handle wet cold arms and legs, but once it gets to my core and there is no warming up in a sunny spot, I want my wetsuit.

YD Slot No 841YD Slot No 841Yankee Doodle Slot

Canyons change from season to season. Some a little, some allot. So, we headed to this canyon to check just how is going to look for the 2016 season.

 

Just YD No 006Just YD No 006Recon of YD for 2016

We decided to suit up right at the entrance, and as it turns, we were glad we did.

Just YD No 002Just YD No 002YD Recon for 2016. Entrance sling was washed out.

Sling was missing, so we rigged one.

Just YD No 014Just YD No 014Recon of YD for 2016. Wet suit or not? That chest deep pool at the bottom said: "Yes"

Wet suit or not? That chest deep pool at the bottom said: "Yes"

Just YD No 015Just YD No 015Recon of YD for 2016. Wet suit or not? Breaking ice in the pools.

Wet suit or not? Breaking ice in the pools.

Just YD No 018Just YD No 018Recon of YD for 2016. Wet suit or not? First full swimmer.

Wet suit or not? First full swimmer.

Just YD No 023Just YD No 023Recon of YD for 2016. Wet suit or not? By this time, we were plenty cold, even with wet suits.

Wet suit or not? By this time, we were plenty cold, even with wet suits.

Just YD No 027Just YD No 027Recon of YD for 2016. Wet suit or not? The face tells it all....already whoa! cold!

Wet suit or not? The face tells it all....already whoa! cold!

 

Just YD No 028Just YD No 028Recon of YD for 2016. I can not quite remember when this bolt went missing.

This bolt went missing. In 2015, there was a bolt here.

 

This is a May 2015 photo. The missing bolt was used for a small rap, or a handline.

Just YD No 031Just YD No 031Recon of YD for 2016. I This one gave us a chance to do some little problem solving.

This one gave us a chance to do some little problem solving.

Just YD No 034Just YD No 034Recon of YD for 2016. When this lip gets slippery enough, it gets interesting. When this lip gets slippery enough, it gets interesting.

Just YD No 035Just YD No 035Recon of YD for 2016. Forget cahnging to dry clothes...lets get out of the cold!

We skipped the change to dry clothes and hurried out to a sunny spot.

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