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UBERFest: Death Valley (Canyoneering for New Years!!)

Death Valley Canyoneering

for New Years!!

Alrighty folks!  I've reserved a group site at the Furnace Creek campground in Death Valley National Park for December 28-January 1!  Let's ring-in the New Year with some TECHNICAL ADVENTURE, SOME SIGHTSEEING, SOME CAMPING, and a whole lotta CAMARADERIE!

The only fee for this trip will be sharing the cost of the campground .. should be about $20-30 per person ... just bring it with you to camp!  This is a national park, so if you do not have a National Parks Pass, each vehicle will need to pay the entrance fee (no exceptions .. and I will check!)

The Technical Canyoneering portion of this event is for students who have graduated from Uber Adventures' 3-day Technical Canyoneering Course and people who have SIGNIFICANT canyoneering experience! NO BEGINNERS (those without training) WILL BE ALLOWED TO SIGN-UP FOR CANYONS!  Participation in the Canyoneering portion of this event is subject to my approval. I will lead a canyon each day and I hope others will lead some as well.  Days will be extremely short and most Death Valley technical canyons are enormous, therefore I will be choosing the least committing/challenging/time-consuming of the classic canyons ... though they are still physically aggressive, technical, and will take all of our available daylight!  (AWESOME!)

We're going to be there for New Year's Eve .. so let's make it special!

Let's have a potluck dinner on Tuesday evening, followed by either a campfire (if they'll let us) or cards & board games while we anticipate midnight ... AND ... Let's toast in the new year with champagne at midnight ... or earlier ... or repeatedly, all night!!  (I'll bring a couple bottles of champagne for the toast ... feel free to bring more!)

Some of the logistics:

Camping at Death Valley/Furnace Creek Group Site H, will accommodate 10 cars and twice as many people.  So that nobody has to take Friday off work to drive to Death Valley, I've reserved the campsite for Saturday afternoon till Wednesday noon.  There are toilets and water, a few picnic tables ... nobody will be allowed to park an RV, tent trailer, or sleep in their car/truck/vehicle ... it's against the rules of the group campsite ... you will have to pitch a tent!   I will bring a community 2-burner stove for heating water for breakfasts, etc at camp .. please contribute some propane to keep it fueled.  Bring a tent, warm sleeping bag, camp chair, pots/pans for your meals and your potluck dish preparation, stove if you have one, plates/forks/bowls, etc, cooler, food, and your favorite cup/glass for toasting champagne in!

Weather:  The average temps for December/January are:  Highs of 60F and Lo's in the 30'sF ... so make sure you have a warm sleeping bag, warm clothes, mittens and a beanie for camp!

Gear:  You're responsible for all your own personal technical gear including harness, helmet, carabiners, tether, rappelling device, shoes, clothes, pack, food, water, etc.  Plan on helping to provide for some of the group gear like first-aid kit, ropes, ropebags, rapides and webbing.

Technical Permits are not required (yet) for canyoneering in the park.  We will probably choose from canyons like 'Natural Bridge', Helios, Grotto, etc .. http://bluugnome.com/canyoneer_tripreport_list_death-valley_cal.aspx

Activities:  The park has awesome hikes, arches, technical canyoneering, human history, geologic uniquities, a visitor's center, scenic drives, museums, restaurants, a general store ... and a CASTLE! (maybe we could do the 2 tours of it .. it's incredible!)

Carpooling:  Do it!

...further details will develop in the conversations below!

Join or login to comment.

  • Brian of the Swan C.

    Great time! This trip definitely made all of us better canyoneers!

    1 · January 1, 2014

    • Abby W.

      Pleasure to meet & canyon with Nathan, Ryan and Brian. Sorry I didn't get to meet the rest of you in daylight (you'll be spots of light to me until then . . . )

      1 · January 1, 2014

    • Brian of the Swan C.

      Yes, well put, Ryan! I'd also like to thank Abby, Mike and Cody for taking Nathan and I through Styx. Thanks to Ron for the GPS skills and thanks to everyone else for being smart, capable canyoneers! Of course, thanks to Klaus for putting it together!

      January 2, 2014

  • Ryan P

    Campsite Thread: i am bringing marshmallows, cocoa and vodka and some scooby snacks to share. Also bringing maybe 10-15 pieces of firewood. Need: firestarter logs, graham crackers, chocolate, etc to share. Post your camp share stuff here, please!

    December 27, 2013

    • Nathan

      Invasive species

      December 27, 2013

    • Brian of the Swan C.

      Bugs ride along in dead wood so buying wood somewhere and transporting it can spread these beetles that are killing the forests.

      1 · December 28, 2013

  • Klaus G.

    Howdy Folks! Just a heads up that I've been sick-as-a-dog. I've been in bed for a week coughing, sneezing, aching and runny nose ... you get the pic. I'm arriving tomorrow to greet y'all ... I might only stay for a day to get you all squared away and all introductions made, etc. I won't be leading or joining in for canyons .. and will probably head back home on Sunday while you are in your first DV canyon. The canyons in DV lend themselves well to big groups, so you don't have to divide up into smaller canyoneering groups. Abby is the resident expert on all things Death Valley, including canyoneering. Choose small/short canyons ... start at dawn, and bring headlamps ... as the days are kinda short. All DV canyons are marginal natural anchors and must all be fully inspected. I'll be there tomorrow afternoon and evening to help get you oriented. K-

    December 27, 2013

  • Fernando

    I sked myself for Sunday & Monday only but due to some developments, I decided to cancel. My 2 short days for both canyon & photography might not be enough. you guys enjoy!

    December 27, 2013

  • Fernando

    splitting my time btwn canyons & photography. since DV is a landscape photog's paradise, anybody else like to explore w/ your dslr after canyons? i got nikon & will bring a few lens to share with same gear

    1 · December 27, 2013

    • Steven S.

      Here's what's cool about this event, you can see many awesome canyons you can't get photos of unless you are canyoneering! I'm not sure if I can make it, maybe get there late Sat. and leave after a canyon on Sunday.

      December 27, 2013

    • Fernando

      Cool, I got a pelican case for the gear which fits perfectly in my pack. will take photos during & after then

      December 27, 2013

  • Ryan P

    OFFICIAL CANYONING GEAR THREAD
    Post your group gear here:

    December 24, 2013

    • Nathan

      200 feet 8.3 (no bag), 30 ft webbing, 4 rapides, basic first aid kit

      December 26, 2013

    • Rodney E.

      200' rope, 30' webbing, rapids

      December 27, 2013

  • Brian of the Swan C.

    Does anybody want to carpool from the Burbank area? I figure I can fit three people max in my car once you include equipment.

    December 17, 2013

    • Ryan P

      No, I would really like to attend a friends house party nye in la

      December 26, 2013

    • Ryan P

      Going up early and coming back early, not sure if that works for you but if so[masked]

      December 27, 2013

  • Abby W.

    Everyone - sounds like none of you are arriving in time for a canyon on Saturday. I will plan on leading a canyon Sunday, or co-leading with Klaus, depending on number of people. I can also lead or co-lead something Wednesday, if people are still here. I am not available on Monday or Tuesday since I'll be working. I live in the park, and won't be camping with you. I'll try to come by campground Saturday night. You can also call my house to coordinate stuff:[masked]

    December 26, 2013

    • Abby W.

      Okay, my plans have changed. I am now working Sun &Mon. Ryan (and anyone else that will be here early), some others and I are planning to do a technical fork of Grotto Canyon on Saturday. That's near Stovepipe Wells. I think you'd want to come out Friday, not Saturday morning, though. I don't know our start time yet, but I'd guess we'd aim to start between 6:30-8:00am.

      December 26, 2013

    • Ryan P

      I will call you in a bit to coordinate but i will be coming up Friday night and just need to know where to meet Saturday morning and if you need me to bring my rope/bag (170 ft), etc[masked]

      December 27, 2013

  • Ryan P

    Update: I will leave on Saturday afternoon, from 101/405 area, can take one person AND WILL BE RETURNING 12/31 so I can attend a friend's NYE party.

    December 24, 2013

    • Ryan P

      Update 2: leaving Friday night, probably not going to be able to take anyone else.

      December 27, 2013

  • thomas

    Too many issues on my end, especially my health condition. I need to pass this trip. Have fun everyone.

    December 26, 2013

  • Fernando

    Only got sedan but i'm willing to give ride to somebody fr around LA on Sat A.M, no need to share gas & i'll drive all the way. I'll only stay for 2 days though, Tues morn I'm heading vegas so you need to get a ride back home. PM me if interested..

    December 26, 2013

  • thomas

    Anyone wants carpooling?

    I live in LAX(zip code: 90245). If 4 people share the ride/drive, will be $30 per person.

    December 7, 2013

    • Brian of the Swan C.

      Thomas, I live in Burbank which may be kind of on the way depending on your route. Can I join you?

      December 26, 2013

    • thomas

      Hi Brian,
      I need to revisit my doctor regarding my annual check up. I may not be able to go or shorten my trip. Please do not depends on me this time.

      December 26, 2013

  • Klaus G.

    Alrighty folks! People are dropping like flies! Hope you've done some research, read the beta, looked at maps, checked the sunrise/sunsets, figured out what shuttles are required and picked-out some canyons to descend. You will likely need a gps or pretty good map-reading skills to find the correct canyon as some are somewhat near to each other. If you want to start posting your planned canyons and days now, that will allow others to join you and to make their plans. Keep in mind that there's a lot more to do in DV than just canyons. Feel free to post your non-canyon plans as well, if you want company. K-

    December 17, 2013

    • Ryan P

      Where are you leaving from, Nathan?

      December 26, 2013

    • Nathan

      Hi, I will be coming from San Diego (north county).

      December 26, 2013

  • Ryan P

    Scotty's Castle - i would like to do the house and underground tour (2 hours, $25)on either Sunday or Tuesday. Tours must be reserved so please respond here with interest (obviously timing could change).

    December 24, 2013

    • Abby W.

      You should definitely visit Scotty's Castle - of course, I'm biased, that's where I work. I would suggest it as a rest day, mabye in the middle of your days of canyoneering? Reservations aren't required, but can reduce your wait time for a tour. www.recreation.gov or[masked]

      December 26, 2013

  • alexey

    My foot is nowhere near being ready for the canyons and I have a feeling I'm getting sick on top of that so Ill have to sit this one out. You guys have fun!

    December 26, 2013

  • Barb

    I am struggling with a really nasty cold/virus and had hoped I would feel better in time for this trip. But no such luck.... boo hoo! I hope somebody else can take my spot. I am very disappointed as I was looking forward to meeting new friends and doing some new canyons. I'm sure you will all have a wonderful time and hope to meet you soon on another trip. Happy New Year!

    1 · December 26, 2013

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