Notes on Photography
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.
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
On the left, Bestard Canyon Guides. On the right, 5.10 Canyoneers 3. Both after a year of canyoneering.
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.
Bestards holding pretty good after a year. Weak spot seems to be the rand where the foot bends.
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.
Cool lace locking mechanism.
Neck is useless to keep sand out.
5.10 sole profile with notch under the arch gets stuck in rock features.
Other options are in the Adidas lineup.
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.
Bestards Canyon Guides in the Grand Canyon: 12 Mile approach, climbing, edging, canyoneering, rafting.
Lee T Wilson stemming high on Bestard's Canyon Guides.
The ideal canyoneer footwear should:
If you want a "do it all" tough, comfortable canyoneer boot, give Bestards a try.
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.
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.
Look at that "Game Face"....like saying: "wazz-up homie!....problemas con el raft?"
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.
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.
We decided to suit up right at the entrance, and as it turns, we were glad we did.
Sling was missing, so we rigged one.
Wet suit or not? That chest deep pool at the bottom said: "Yes"
Wet suit or not? Breaking ice in the pools.
Wet suit or not? First full swimmer.
Wet suit or not? By this time, we were plenty cold, even with wet suits.
Wet suit or not? The face tells it all....already whoa! cold!
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.
This one gave us a chance to do some little problem solving.
We skipped the change to dry clothes and hurried out to a sunny spot.