Shenanigans |

Middle West Butler

Canyoneering Shenanigans - Middle West Butler Canyoneering Shenanigans
Middle West Butler

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TICKS & TODOS: 28 Todo Lists / 4 Ticks
LENGTH: 4-6 hours
GEAR: Standard Technical Gear
RAPPELS: 2+ to 16 m ( 53 ft. )
WATER: Generally little, but a couple of deep pools possible after heavy rain.
SEASON: Spring, Summer, Fall
Tue Hi:74 Lo:49 Wed Hi:79 Lo:50 Thu Hi:81 Lo:52 Fri Hi:83 Lo:53 Sat Hi:80 Lo:52
View Full Weather Details
So you want to get schooled on narrows slots? School is in session!

Shenanigans is one of the narrowest slot canyons I have done. They don't get any narrower than this and still allow passage for me. The canyon offers 3 distinct sections of slot. Narrow, narrower, and REALLY narrow. See the note above, bigger canyoneers simply will not fit through the last section. There are 2 outs before the final claustrophobic inducing section. If you have doubts, take them.

My First Time Through
The first time I did the canyon all the way through was with a large group, including Steve Ramras and Penny Martens. I had done the upper sections before, and heard tales of the 3rd section, so was a bit anxious when we got to the third section. Strategically, Penny was ahead of me. Her smaller size allowed for assistance shuffling packs down canyon and being generally support. Ram, who is about my size, was just behind me, and stayed close. We were the end of the group.

I didn't consider myself claustrophobic until that day. As I eased into the tightest sections, I began feeling the walls press on my back, then chest, then chest and back at the same time. First a gentle pressure, but as the canyon tightened, the pressure began to unlock the primal beast within me. I could barely turn my head, then I simply could not longer go forward.

I glance back at Ram, just behind me. I see a small twinkle of the beast in his eyes, but suspect he sees my eyes as wide as saucers with unease...ok...borderline panic. A few reassurances from Ram and Penny and I begin to wiggle down to my side to crawl (sideways) on the canyon bottom until I can stand up again. Gripping.

The last section of Shenanigans is surprisingly long. There isn't just one tight spot to squeeze through, then your done, it is sustained. The details blur for me now, but I did manage the squeeze through and keep the beast at bay. That evening, when I closed my eyes to go to bed, all I could picture in my mind was the tight section.....

By far, this canyon is one of my most memorable experiences. Smaller canyoneers will wonder what the fuss is about, but those on the borderline of fitting are likely to have a very, very memorable experience!

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