Sunday, August 8, 2010

Spelunking, day 3

We wandered around today looking for McCarty's cave. Last time we tried to find it, we found a cave with a bat. The time before that we found a cave with a candle. What would we find today?

In order to provide some direction to our search, I wanted to try to identify the rock formations known as Eyes of the Canyon, Morning After, and Willy B.

Looking to the south from the candle cave at the Eyes, Morning After, Willy B, and Green Mountain Pinnacle

Unfortunately, just like last time, we scrambled up the gully between the Third Flatiron and the Eastern Ironing Board. Along the way we rediscovered the candle cave. I think the candle was burned down a bit more, so apparently we're not the only ones who have been there in the past 2 years.

Climber on summit of Third Flatiron

Once we realized we were atop an ironing board, near the Third Flatiron's summit (again), we decided to explore the area up there. We scrambled west along the rocks and identified the shared summit of Jaws and The Fin. Then further west to the summit of the Western Ironing Board.

The Morning After (Needle's Eye), from the south

From there we descended the gully west of that Ironing Board. It was pretty miserable. The gully was steep and overgrown. We had to turn around and head back uphill a few times to get past some drop-offs.

The narrow west face of Willy B

Once we made it down that gully we explored some nearby rocks that we later discovered were the summits of Eyes of the Canyon. From there we could see the eye of the needle in the Morning after and Willy B beyond that, so we explored each in turn before descending the gully back to the Royal Arch trail. No new caves today.

Summit of the Green Mountain Pinnacle

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