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The Slot, Two Buttes, and Hellish Heat

 
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Sean
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Joined: 27 Jul 2011
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Location: Monterey Park, CA

PostPosted: Sat Jul 26, 2014 11:27 am    Post subject: The Slot, Two Buttes, and Hellish Heat  Reply with quote

Even though we drove through some sprinkles to get there,



the Anza-Borrego Desert still provided plenty of heat at 6am. Over 90 degrees of it.

Keith (tekewin), Rod, and I were anxious to reach The Slot and beat the anticipated 100+ temps predicted for later in the day. We arrived a bit after sunrise.



Stepping out of the air-conditioned car, I think I started to sweat in about ten seconds. Then we dropped into The Slot and tried to bake ourselves alive.



I had never been in a genuine slot canyon before, so squeezing through the narrow spots was a neat, new experience. We found an overhanging boulder and did our best "127 Hours" poses.





Rod did some weird, yet strangely alluring, Yoga thing.



Another feature, The Scepter, was also strangely alluring.



The canyon soon broadened and the sky turned red, and we found ourselves at the doorstep of Hell, where the wandering heat threatens to instantly wither everything in its path.



It was time to return the way we came. Back at the car, we headed in the other direction, following a trail toward our next destination: Borrego Mountain (aka West Butte).



This climb would have been easy if not for the heat. Thankfully, a slight breeze would swing by periodically--basically just to tease us with momentary relief.

On the way up we enjoyed spectacular scenes of the Badlands.



And on the summit, the wind was a little more active.



We signed the register and returned to the car. Our next destination, the East Butte, was a little down the road next to a ranger station. Rod was nursing a calf injury and slept in the air-conditioned car, while Keith and I engaged in a couple-hour session of self-torture.



After walking down the jeep road and around a wire fence, we stood at the foot of our rock-chocked gully and spooked a family of coyotes.



The coyotes were out in numbers. We had seen one during the drive up, and we would see another on the drive down. If only Keith and I could rock-hop like the coyotes!



Unlike the West Butte, the East Butte was all difficult off-trail bouldering. Keith eventually favored the ridgeline,



while I continued up the gully to a saddle,



then contoured to the summit, where Keith was already waiting for me.



We signed the register and enjoyed more views,



then slowly dragged our dehydrated corpses back to the car.

Keith's reports:

http://ironhiker.blogspot.com/2014/07/the-slot-borrego-mountain.html
http://ironhiker.blogspot.com/2014/07/borrego-mountain-east-butte.html

Rod's helicopter video footage:

http://vimeo.com/101767368
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tekewin



Joined: 11 Apr 2013
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Location: Aliso Viejo

PostPosted: Sat Jul 26, 2014 12:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great report. That was also my first slot canyon.  I am not sure hiking the desert in July is the best idea, but we all survived it. I counted six coyotes on the day, including the pups on Borrego East Butte.
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Taco
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Location: Stuntin in the trap son

PostPosted: Sat Jul 26, 2014 7:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cool deal dude. I went down there when I was a kid. Was my first slot canyon as well. A real cool place. Are there many more out there, maybe around Font's Point or something?
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Uncle Rico



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Location: Pleasantville

PostPosted: Sat Jul 26, 2014 7:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice one boys. Those 127 Hours poses are totally hot.  Shocked
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outwhere



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PostPosted: Sat Jul 26, 2014 8:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cool TR, Sean... well, cool probably isn't the best description....

The photo that tripped me out pretty good was this one.  I take it this neighborhood ??? scoffs a bit when they hear all this 'Don't waste water on your lawn' talk...

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Mike P
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Location: Glendora, CA

PostPosted: Sun Jul 27, 2014 9:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Beautiful! No concerns about flash floods?
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tekewin



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Location: Aliso Viejo

PostPosted: Mon Jul 28, 2014 5:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mike P wrote:
Beautiful! No concerns about flash floods?


I think we were aware of the storm, but the wind was blowing against it and it never really moved closer to us. Strange that in the middle of a drought, it was raining in the desert.
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