Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Constrychnine Canyon

Sequential video edit descending Constrychnine Canyon.
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Constrychnine is full of rappels, downclimbing, stemming, and very deep, dark slots. 

It is located in the Poison Springs area about 20 miles south of Hanksville, Utah. It is six miles off the highway on well maintained dirt roads. My Toyota Camry made it to the trailhead without any issues.

Looking down into Constrychnine before the start.

Constrychnine Canyon has a 190 foot rappel which is one of the longest of any slot canyon in the area. If the webbing is rigged so it's right at the start of the cliff (which makes it much easier to pull your rope), it is probably more like 170 feet. 
Midway through the longest rappel.

We did four rappels in total but you may do as many as seven, or as few as three depending on your ability and how well you know the canyon. 
This rappel could have been downclimbed but it was dark 
and we couldn't see how it looked below until we rappelled down.

This first rappel can be done with a single 60m rope if the 
webbing is rigged just off the edge of the cliff.

There was only one area in the canyon where we were forced
 to get wet and the water was up to about mid thigh.

Just after finishing the technical section.

If you do Slideanide or Constrychnine this is your turn off 
of the main streambed to go up Arscenic (left) and exit.

The exit hike goes right past this arch.

Driving the sandy road in my Camry.

There are three canyons which all share the same trailhead and exit hike. Arscenic is the shortest distance from the trailhead followed by Slideanide and finally Constrychnine. 

When we went through the canyon there was no trail for the approach hike or the exit hike so make sure to use a GPS and drop into the right canyon. It's possible the rains washed the trail away over the winter, but I'd guess these canyons don't get a lot of traffic. 

There are a few places to camp along the way to the trailhead. The trailhead is probably the best spot which isn't saying much. For explicit route information including GPS waypoints, join the "Circle of Friends" at climb-utah.com.

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