Ascent of Box Death Hollow Crest in 2007-05

Climber: William Musser

Others in Party:Wayne Lundberg
David Musser
Benjamin Musser
Nate Lundberg
Date:May, 2007
Ascent Type:No Summit Goal
Peak:Box Death Hollow Crest
    Elevation:7880 ft / 2401 m

Ascent Trip Report

One of the most difficult backpacking trips in the back country i have ever done. After a full day of training with guides in Escalante, canyoneering, and doing a 320 foot rapel, we set out into the middle of the Box Death Hollow Wilderness area path finding through this crazy twisted terrain. There was lots of scrambling and no trails anywhere once we left the Roundy trail we had trouble finding the crest and peak we were to find to start the backpacking trip. There were no trails back here and we were simply following a USGS map and some lines drawn on there by our rapeleing guide from the day before. He was a Sigma Chi like David and I and he met us for Pizza the night before to draw the route out. He told us that if we got back there he would come rescue us as he was the first person they called to rescue lost people in the wilderness and after all - there was only one way in and out of this area that did NOT require climbing gear.

After hiking and rehiking the ridge and backcounrty climbing we finally crested the side of this summit HP. From there - this trip was more of canyoneering with backpacks than a peakbagging expedition with lots of descents but the final climb out of the gorge from the Escalante River was worhty of logging in my peakbagging archives as it involved an exposed scramble with backpacks that ended up being one of the most difficult ascents that i have ever completed. Injured by a fall (strained ribs and back)just before the ascent and foolishly drinking our last bit of water to save weight in the backpacking climb, we concluded out trip by ascending out of death hollow via a very steep face of sandstone following the route we thought that our guides had given us. There were several times my sons had to provide a human laddder to help me climb up class 4 areas because of the pain i felt trying to climb the wall.

We were totally out of water when we made the top of the canyon and then realized we were not where we were supposed to be and had acutally ascended the wrong canyon face (likley one more technical than the guides has intended us to attempt). We then spotted our car from a nearby sandstone formation high point and treked another 2 miles, parched and dehydrated to successfully drive out.
The five of us will never forget this trip it was one of most entertaining and challenging we have ever done.

The trip was definatley an excercise in path finding, water conservation, and orienteering. The back country was desolate and beautiful. There were no signs of man anywhere. Not a trace. Incredible isolation for three days. We covered about 24 miles with backpacks and only got lost a few times.

The feature we climbed had no name but i have included the class 3 and 4 gain under "extra elevation on descent" as approximately 800 feet.

Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:2430 ft / 739 m
    Total Elevation Loss:3430 ft / 1044 m
    Round-Trip Distance:22.5 mi / 36.2 km
    Quality:8 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Unmaintained Trail, Open Country, Bushwhack, Stream Ford, Scramble, Exposed Scramble
    Gear Used:
Rope, Tent Camp
    Weather:Hot, Calm, Clear
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:1630 ft / 496 m
        Gain Breakdown:Net: 1480 ft / 451 m; Extra: 150 ft / 45m
    Loss on way in:150 ft / 45 m
    Distance:2.5 mi / 4 km
    Route:Roundy Trail then all bushwhacking
    Start Trailhead:CR 153 along Pine Creek  6400 ft / 1950 m
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:3280 ft / 999 m
        Loss Breakdown:Net: 2480 ft / 756 m; Extra: 800 ft / 243m
    Gain on way out:800 ft / 243 m
    Distance:20 mi / 32.2 km
    Route:Canyoneering down to Death Hollow
    End Trailhead:Escalante River  5400 ft / 1645 m

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