Unsuccessful canyon descent

I talked one of my adventurer friends, Tomas, into exploring a coastal canyon with me last week, said canyon with a full creek, descending to the ocean and having, at one point a 200′ steep drop and waterfall to the creek bed below. Tomas is a rock climber and brought his climbing rope. We walked down the fern-filled deep canyon until we got to the cliff. I showed him where I wanted to tie the rope (to a metal post on an old concrete dam) and he said, “No way!” Everything was wrong. You need 3 points of attachment, he said, plus if we tied up to the dam, line-of-sight gravity would not allow a smooth descent down the side (to the left in below photo), but would rather pull the climber back over into the waterfall, and who knows what would happen then. It’s not the first time in my life I’ve been saved by friends from doing something dumb.

About Lloyd Kahn

Lloyd Kahn started building his own home in the early '60s and went on to publish books showing homeowners how they could build their own homes with their own hands. He got his start in publishing by working as the shelter editor of the Whole Earth Catalog with Stewart Brand in the late '60s. He has since authored six highly-graphic books on homemade building, all of which are interrelated. The books, "The Shelter Library Of Building Books," include Shelter, Shelter II (1978), Home Work (2004), Builders of the Pacific Coast (2008), Tiny Homes (2012), and Tiny Homes on the Move (2014). Lloyd operates from Northern California studio built of recycled lumber, set in the midst of a vegetable garden, and hooked into the world via five Mac computers. You can check out videos (one with over 450,000 views) on Lloyd by doing a search on YouTube:

4 Responses to Unsuccessful canyon descent

  1. thats below PRBO at Palomarin isnt it?. If so, i climbed from the bottom to almost the top a couple years back. Couldnt quite make it to the top though.

  2. It is such a difficult balance to be bold enough to try crazy things, while also staying alive. Unfortunately, I err on the side of wimp. I've made it a long time without a lot of physical damage, but I have missed out on a lot in life. Its the same in my chosen craft of woodworking – its hard to try out a new joint on a fine piece of lumber, the temptation is to do it on some soft pine or fir first. But that ends up not teaching you much about how it will really behave in that beautiful piece of figured maple. Sometimes you have to go for it… but I am glad you took the reserved route on this occasion.

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