Spook Canyon

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Last year I tore my ACL and Meniscus and had my surgery done in Mammoth. As a result I drove up and down from LA several times staring at the mountains for good things to see. One Line always looked amazing to me from the car. Once I pulled over and looked up at the map and saw that the couloir was called Spook Canyon.

spook canyon from the road

After some searching Spook Canyon was not listed in any of the guidebooks, but there I was able to find a trip report about it.

After several times scoping the route it became clear that the couloir was hanging (i.e. had a big cliff at the bottom of it). My friend Ben is usually up to ski anything so on when he found out that he had a day off on Wednesday we decided to go for it. We didn't really know what we would need to get over the cliff (if we could get over the cliff) so we decided to jsut bring my entire trad rack, 70m rope, and climbing shoes and hope that the climbing wasn't that hard.

We left Burbank at 6:15pm the night before with Ben's giant van ([vantonio vanderas|https://www.pinterest.com/corchaki/antonio-banderas/]) with the hopes on getting up the mining road on the North side of Spook Canyon to the second switchback which would allow us to just traverse directly to the base of the cliff.

We arrived at the base of the mining road around 10pm, and Ben thought it looked great, I thought the road was the scariest thing that I had ever seen. I spent the next hour trying my hardest to think of excuses to get out of the van (i.e. moving rocks) and leaning my eight to one side in an effort to prevent the van from rolling off the mountain. Ben, however just seemed to enjoy my fear and the ride. After an hour we made it safely to the second switchback and took a nap until 4:30am.

We were moving by 5:00am and a quick traverse through safe brush and next to a black widow brought us to the base of the cliff that guarded our couloir. It ruend out that there was a gully on the lookers left side of the Couloir that turned the cliff into a a 20 foot 4th class scramble (which was pretty scary for me in ski boots), but Ben grabbed my backpack from me and I made it up without needing to use my rope of any of our gear! The view from the top of the cliff was amazing.

Ben dropping his climbing gear with the sunrise behind

The view from the couloir was amazing. The line faces directly toward the Owen's Valley and the walls have a V shape which leads to sweeping view of the desert floor. Sort of like an infinity pool to the Owen's Valley. As we were booting up, I could not help but to look back and enjoy.

Ben Booting, view behind

We made it to the top of the line before 9am, but the snow was already mush. Several flowing wet releases came down as we skied and the snow was ripe and rotten corn. But the views and skiing such a rare line way made up for anything the snow was lacking.

Ben ripping the spook

We got back to the cliff before 10 and decided to rap down to avoid downclimbing what we climbed up and because rapping is fun.

Rapping down the spook cliff
Map up spook