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 Peak(s):  Shillelagh Canyon - 4,750 feet
Blarney Canyon - 4,800 feet
Lucky Charms Canyon - 4,700 feet
 Post Date:  04/11/2011
 Date Climbed:   04/06/2011
 Posted By:  Furthermore

 North Wash Wonders   


Shillelagh Canyons East and West Forks
3A II
Blarney Canyons East and West Forks
3A II
Lucky Charms Canyon
2A I


April 6, 2011
~10.3 Miles, ~2,200 Gain


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Since the weather was supposed to be questionable, my partner and I decided to do a bunch of short canyons so we could evaluate the weather after each fork. I was really hoping to descend the Poison Springs Canyons. Oh well. We broke down our camp and made the short mile drive from where we were camping to the mouth of the Shillelagh canyons and were hiking by 8:15 AM. Heading up canyon, we found a nice slick rock climb to the rim of the canyon and hiked on the west side of the canyon to the head of the western fork where we encountered our first 30 foot rap off of a deadman anchor at 9:00 AM.

Approach to Shillelagh.
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Looking down the first rap into West Shillelagh
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First rap into West Shillelagh. Photo by Tony.
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Shortly after our first rap, was our second rap of 60-70 feet off of an another deadman anchor in a gorgeous setting. The view down canyon was impressive and this was probably my favorite canyon of the day. After pulling our ropes, we continued down canyon where there were some easy down-climbs and too quickly we encountered the junction with the east fork.

Second rap into West Shillelagh. Photo by Tony.
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Tony on the second rap into West Shillelagh. Photo by Tony.
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Down-climb in West Shillelagh.
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End of West Shillelagh.
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Right at the junction, we found a class 3 slick rock climb to gain the east rim of the canyon. Once on top of the rim, we found a well packed trail which took us right to the start of the East fork of Shillelagh where we arrived at 10:40 AM. As it seems with most of these canyons, we had a rappel to start the canyon which was short 40-50 foot rappel with a bit of an under-hung start. There was a nice ledge which led us to our second rappel of 100 feet.

Toadstool at the beginning of East Shillelagh.
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Tony on the first rap in East Shillelagh.
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First rap in East Shillelagh. Photo by Tony.
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Looking down canyon after the first rap in East Shillelagh.
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The anchor for the second rappel was a long webbing runner placed around a large boulder. Since the rappel was 100 feet, we ended up using a biner block so we knew our 1 60 M rope would reach the bottom. Tony rapped first and I followed. It was a fantastic rappel down a beautiful chute and after the rappel, we pulled our rope and continued down canyon. Again, some easy down-climbs. Once we reached the junction with the West Fork, we took our same slickrock route back to the eastern rim of the canyon.

Tony on the second rap in East Shillelagh.
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Looking down the second rap in East Shillelagh.
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Second rap in East Shillelagh. Photo by Tony.
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Second rap in East Shillelagh. Photo by Tony.
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From the rim looking down East Shillelagh.
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We followed the well packed trail and this time took the trail that took us to the start of Blarney Canyon where we arrived at 1:00 PM. To reach the first rappel, we down-climbed a short slabby section on the eastern edge of the mouth of the canyon. The first rap was a short 30-40 foot and shortly thereafter was another 20-30 foot rappel into some narrows. Continuing down canyon were some tricky down-climbs and our third rappel which was anchored off a chockstone. This rap had another interesting start and chimneying down the first portion of the rappel was definitely the better technique. The narrows after the third rappel were gorgeous and within no time we arrived at the junction of the east fork.

Tony on the first rap in West Blarney.
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First rap in West Blarney. Photo by Tony.
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Tony on the first rap in West Blarney.
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Second rap in West Blarney. Photo by Tony.
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Second rap in West Blarney.
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Neat narrows.
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Somewhere in West Blarney.
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Third rap in West Blarney.
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Looking back at West Blarney.
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Heading up some slick rock on the east side of the canyon we looked for a way to gain the rim. We were not so lucky and had to down-climb back into the canyon where we slogged our way out to the mouth of the canyon. After a short break, we continued up slick rock to gain the western edge of the Blarney Canyon and found our familiar trail. This time we continued past the west fork entrance of Blarney and reached the mouth of the east fork of Blarney at 3:15 PM.

Again, we started with a short 30 foot rappel which was the only rappel in the canyon. We found some tricky down-climbs but we managed and traveled fairly fast through the canyon. We arrived back at the car just a little after 4:00 PM.

Only rap in East Blarney.
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Only rap in East Blarney. Photo by Tony.
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Down-climbing in East Blarney.
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Good narrows in East Blarney.
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Down-climb in East Blarney. Photo by Tony.
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Since we still had some time, we decided to give Lucky Charms a quick run after a 20 minute break. From our same parking spot, we headed to the mouth of Lucky Charms and climbed up canyon. Nothing too difficult to climb up but we had to bypass one short dryfall to the west. Once on the top of the canyon rim, we found no easy passage into a large canyon to the west of Lucky Charms. At the down-climb point, there were tons of bees that appeared to be in a stoned state.

Being stung and falling down into this other canyon would have been bad news so we just hiked around the rim of the canyon and found a slick rock down-climb that took us back to the road and back to our car where we arrived a little past 5:00 PM. I think reversing this route would be a better option. Sweet canyons and I can't wait to get back for others in the area.



Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
 


  • Comments or Questions
Dancesatmoonrise


Wow...     2011-04-13 15:55:17
Made the most of some impressive photo opps! Especially like the first and last shots.



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