There are moments in canyoneering when you stop and think to yourself “why on earth would anyone willingly do this?” and then you look around and realize “oh. this is why.” And then 20 minutes later you’re swearing off nature for life once again.
Lytle Creek was that moment. Over and over. I hiked, I swore, I stopped and ate a powerbar and then swore some more.
There were a few technical challenges with this canyon, and I am not afraid to say that I was in no shape to do this one properly. You see, it was overnight. As in, backpack in to the canyon. With a tent, supplies, and all of the normal (may I say heavy) canyoneering gear on top of that. My pack was huge, I had never backpacked before, and I jumped in the deep end. And promptly drowned.
We started late, and ended up hiking in the dark to get to our campsite. My slight phobia of predators set in, and I was mentally unhinged pretty quickly. It was gorgeous, I wish I could have stopped and taken in the moment a little more.
We finally got to camp, set up, and promptly got EATEN ALIVE by mosquitoes. I had mosquito bites everywhere – and I’m talking *everywhere* people. It is so hard to be lady-like when you’re itching yourself all day.
The next morning we re-packed the bags for the canyon, leaving the campsite set up as a home base.
The hike up to the canyon itself wasn’t physically challenging but had some technical parts, including traversing some loose rock and dirt. Honestly it’s sad – I don’t remember much of the canyon proper, more just the misery of the night before. I was still trying to take it in though, and it paid off enough that I would try this canyon again.
In the end, it was a huge challenge. But thanks to my friends and family supporting me and cheering me on, I had a (relatively) good time.