Box Canyon

Apr 11, 2011 Leave a Comment

Yesterday, my caving class went to Box Canyon in Socorro.  We were practicing our rappelling skills and learning how to climb a little as well.

The original plan was to rappel off a short cliff for a while and then move on to the big 120 foot cliff when we were ready.  Unfortunately, we never made it to the big cliff because these goons hogged it for the whole day.


When we arrived at about noon, they were already there and set up, so we couldn't exactly kick them out.  That would be rude.  They started off rappelling and then moved on to something a little different.  Somehow, they rigged it up so one rope was attached to the right side of the cliff and the other rope was attached to a person.  The person would start from the far end, unclip the second rope and swing back and forth, doing flips in the air and whatnot.  They seemed to know what they were doing, but the stupidest part was none of them wore helmets.  It was a really windy day and winds can go through that canyon super fast.  I would've been afraid of slamming my head into the rocks.

Meanwhile, we all did three rappels off this cliff here.

About 40 feet
Setting up a rappel is complicated business.  First you have to make your anchors, which involves tying a bunch of knots that I always forget how to tie.  Then, you tie your very expensive climbing/caving rope (also with special knots) to the anchors, hook up the rope to your harness, make a backup safety, and slide back.  Seems like a lot of work for less than a minute of rappelling, but it's really fun.  I get nervous every time I do it, though!  Haha!

After we finished rappelling, we tried our hand at climbing for a while.  It's hard!  I've only climbed once before, in grad school, and it was in a gym, which is way easier.  I got stuck for a while but my teacher helped me out by telling me where to put my feet and I finally made it up almost to the top.  Then it started getting a little difficult and I got to rappel down, which goes a lot faster and is a ton more fun when someone else is controlling the rope.

I've pretty much designated myself the class photographer, so I spent my downtime taking pictures of other people climbing.

This is how it's done
At first, I wasn't sure I wanted to go on this field trip, because of the wind, but I ended up having a lot of fun, and it makes me want to go back to try the big cliff sometime.  There's also some cool looking little caves that I'd like to explore as well.

8 comments »

  • Chloe said:  

    How cool!!
    I bet it was a great experience!!

  • Off-Black said:  

    Cooool! I've done a teensy bit of abseiling and a little bit of indoor rock climbing (although the mild RSI I got as a student makes the latter a bit painful these days), but nothing like this. I'd way prefer this to the caving. I'm not normally claustrophobic but some of the pics in the previous post give me the heebee jeebies. I'd be terrified of getting stuck.

  • Jessica said:  

    I'm sorry but....you have the BEST JOB EVER.

  • Maureen said:  

    Haha. I WISH this was part of my job. It's actually a 6 week fitness course I'm taking at the community college. The small spaces in the caves scare me a little bit too, but I usually go by this line of thinking: my teacher is a 250 lb man. If he can get throught it, so can I.

  • Chloe said:  

    haha love that comment about your teacher haha
    In response to the comment/question you left on my blog, yes that thing between the raspberries is (I don't know the equivalent in English) crème pâtissière (in French) or crema pastelera (in Spanish)... maybe "pastry cream" in English?

  • Rachel said:  

    I would love to visit here. It's just so different from any terrain we have in the UK.

    I've never done climbing - I think I'd need to build up my upper body strength first!
    Thanks for the links on my blog. I'll have a look later :)

  • Wildology said:  

    SOOOO Fun!! I climber a lot in grad school. Then came the dreaded TENDONITIS. Major suckage. So, I will just enjoy your pictures:)

  • carma said:  

    what's with the cliff hoggers :-( I am in awe of your adventurous spirit!!!!

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