Practice skills in one of the best keeper pothole playgrounds

Learn how to escape keeper potholes

Add to your canyoneering skills toolbox

Keeper potholes—just the thought of these challenging obstacles creates excitement and trepidation in the most seasoned of canyoneers. Learning the essential tools and techniques to escape these deep, dark and intimidating obstacles is a requisite for all who venture into wild and remote canyons. Completion of this keeper pothole course will provide you with the fundamental skills and experience you need to escape keepers safely, confidently and efficiently.

$395 per person | 2 days

Trip Details

Price

Tuition for the course is $395 per person


Departure time

8 AM


Meeting point

Goblin Valley Road


Availability

May 16-17, 2020; September 12-13, 2020


Duration

2 days


Group size

2-8 people


Experience level

You must have previous technical canyoneering experience and be a confident swimmer to participate in this course. Students aged 12-17 will be considered on a case by case basis.


Difficulty rating

4

Level 1
  • Activity:
    • Hiking: Easy hiking on well maintained trails
    • Canyoneering: Easy hiking and scrambling using hands and feet for balance and support A rope may be used for handlines, belays, rappels and lowering packs
  • Distances: Hike up to 2 miles
  • Surfaces: Easy terrain
  • Elevation Change: Little to none. Short sections of uphill travel.
Level 2
  • Activity:
    • Hiking: Easy to moderate hiking
    • Canyoneering: Easy to moderate hiking and scrambling using hands and feet for balance and support. A rope may be used for handlines, belays, rappels and lowering packs.
  • Distances: Hike up to 3 miles
  • Surfaces: Flat or rolling terrain with some steep ascents/descents and uneven trails
  • Elevation Change: Up to 600 ft/day
Level 3
  • Activity:
    • Hiking: Moderate, off-trail hiking on rugged trails
    • Canyoneering: Moderate, sustained, climbing and scrambling using hands and feet. A rope is required for handlines, belays, rappels and lowering packs
  • Distances: Hike up to 6 miles
  • Surfaces: Rolling or mountainous terrain with some steep ascents/descents and uneven trails
  • Elevation Change: Up to 1200 ft/day
Level 4
  • Activity:
    • Hiking: Difficult, off-trail hiking on rugged, technical terrain
    • Canyoneering: Difficult, sustained, climbing and scrambling using hands and feet. A rope is required for handlines, belays, rappels and lowering packs.
  • Distances: Hike up to 10 miles
  • Surfaces: Rugged, exposed terrain with steep ascents/descents and uneven trails
  • Elevation Change: Up to 3000 ft/day
Level 5
  • Activity:
    • Hiking: Very difficult, off-trail hiking on rugged, technical terrain
    • Canyoneering: Very difficult, sustained, climbing and scrambling using hands and feet. A rope may be used for handlines, belays, rappels and lowering packs. May require advanced canyoneering techniques including guided rappels, multi-pitch rappels, complex ropework difficult pothole escapes, and advanced problem-solving and anchor building.
  • Distances: Hike up to 14 miles
  • Surfaces: Extremely rugged, exposed terrain with steep ascents/descents and uneven trails
  • Elevation Change: Up to 4000 ft/day

Solitude rating

5

  1. Expect to be around other hikers and travelers most of the time.
  2. Expect to have some solitude, as much as an hour at a time without seeing other groups.
  3. Expect several hours of solitude at a time.
  4. Expect to see no more than one or two groups on your trip.
  5. Expect to see no other hikers or travelers on your trip.

Included

  • Instruction
  • Course handouts
  • All team canyoneering equipment (i.e., ropes, webbing and rigging)

Not included

  • Lodging
  • Meals
  • Transportation
  • Personal equipment
  • Gratuities or tips for instructors and guides

What to bring

We will send you a complete equipment list for your trip upon booking.

What Lies Ahead of You

Study with a professional and knowledgeable instructor

Build your confidence and ability to overcome keeper potholes

Learn and practice 15 different techniques for pothole escape

Practice skills in both wet and dry keeper potholes in the San Rafael Swell Wilderness (weather dependent)


What You'll Learn

Specific skills you will learn in the Pothole Escape Course include:

Getting Last Person at Risk (LAMAR) In

  • Pack Drag
  • Partner Capture
  • Sand Trap Taco
  • Sand Trap Tostada
  • Water Trap
  • Wanchor
  • Pot Shot Tower

Getting First person Out

  • Beached Whale Solo
  • Pack Toss Solo
  • Partner Assist Standing
  • Aquaman-Partner Assist Deep Water
  • Pot Shots Multiple Lines
  • Pot Shots Single Line
  • Foot Loop and 1 Rope Grab
  • Two Rope Grabs

Jumping Analysis: Depth and Floor

Other Important Information

We offer multiple tours in the Utah wilderness. See where we guide!

 

If you’ve decided to stay a little longer, take a look at our list of Utah recommendations(opens in a new tab), including the nearest towns with the best accommodation and restaurants. If you have any further questions, please get in touch with us!

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes. Previous canyoneering experience is a requirement, however, you’re welcome to check out our beginner’s course if you’re looking to learn the basic skills.

Wear clothes you can move in and don’t mind if they get “worn-in” by the canyons. We recommend wearing clothing that covers your knees and elbows. Layers are also key! For your feet, comfortable medium-weight hiking shoes or boots work best. You definitely need closed-toed shoes that you’ve worn before and broken in well.

Entrance fees are included in the price. Students are responsible for their own meals during the course. Students will be sent a course gear list after registering.

Have more questions? Head to our FAQ page to read more!

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