Big Tony |

King Mesa

Canyoneering Big Tony - King Mesa Canyoneering Big Tony
King Mesa

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Overview

RATING: 4A X
LENGTH: 8-10+ hours

Fri

64 | 38

Sat

66 | 37

Sun

58 | 33

Mon

62 | 33

Tue

62 | 33

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SEASON: Spring, Fall
GEAR: Standard Technical Gear
RAPPELS: 2+ to 20 m ( 66 ft. )
WATER: Generally little.
FLASHFLOOD: Moderate

Fri

64 | 38

Sat

66 | 37

Sun

58 | 33

Mon

62 | 33

Tue

62 | 33

View Full Weather Details
The stunning approach to Big Tony.  Picture courtesy Tom Jones (www.canyoneeringusa.com)

The stunning approach to Big Tony. Picture courtesy Tom Jones (www.canyoneeringusa.com)

Ah, BIG Tony, with emphasis on BIG! This one of the first X-rated canyons I did, and it packs a wallop! Like many of the neighboring canyons on King Mesa, this one has plenty of exposure and climbing to keep your attention!

The upper section of the canyon contains hours of high stemming. Most of the high stemming is at a reasonable width (or was for me!) and felt pretty secure, though a couple of crux wide spots will get your attention. Looking down 12 m ( 40 ft. )+ as you stem across a wide section reaching with all you've got to make sure you have enough width to cross the silo is intense.

Below the upper section, the lower part of Big Tony mellows and becomes sublime with convoluted narrows so deep you may want a headlamp. Stunning.

Warning: As noted, this is a hard canyon for expert canyoneers and climbers only. You will be stemming for at least a couple of hours, unprotected, and 12 m ( 40 ft. )+ off the canyon floor. A slip could easily be fatal. All members of the group must be at an expert level!
Note: An alternate entrance, the Pothole Fork, drops in right below the hardest section of the canyon. This entrance makes Big Tony an R/X- rated canyon instead of an X-rated canyon but still requires solid skills and has a bit of high stemming. The Pothole Fork entrance is described below. This entrance has two short rappels that generally require ferrying rocks for a deadman, or a sandtrap style anchor.
Note 2: This is a long day. I recommend late spring or early fall when temperatures are still reasonably cool, but the days are long.
High Stemming in Big Tony. Picture courtesy Tom Jones (www.canyoneeringusa.com)

High Stemming in Big Tony. Picture courtesy Tom Jones (www.canyoneeringusa.com)

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