Elephant Butte Climber's Log
[ Sign the Climber's Log ]
|Good times with RAM!|
|Posted Feb 12, 2013 2:13 am|
|Garon Coriz||First Canyoneering Trip |
Date Climbed: Oct 6, 2012
|Felt more like canyoneering to me. The crux wasn't much of anything. The rappels were fun as heck, proving a challenge to my friends, Bianka and Michelle.|
|Posted Oct 8, 2012 2:02 am|
Date Climbed: Jul 7, 2012
|Green's description was spot on without giving everything away. I was glad to have rock shoes while I climbed around trying to figure out which way to go after climbing up to the bench.|
|Posted Jul 13, 2012 12:22 pm|
|mansfieo||Great Adventure! |
Date Climbed: Apr 6, 2012
|What a great adventure. It's easy to get lost so take along good beta. We had The Falcon Guide's Best Climbs of Moab, which was very useful|
|Posted Apr 27, 2012 12:34 pm|
|Diggler||great adventure! |
Date Climbed: Jan 30, 2012
|Not sure of what I'd be getting into when I started this route. Green's description in Best of Moab (Falcon Guide), while only showing 1 photo, good, though. Stood around in a various sections for some time pondering the correct direction & my fate. Made a wrong turn or 2. |
Crux seemed a bit iffy while doing it, although I only did it after assuring myself I could reverse the move if I was going the wrong way. 5.3 sounds about right in retrospect. After seeing a footprint in the sand after pulling it, then the rap' station, I knew I was on-track. Rest was obvious.
Views from top were spectacular! Ranger had just placed new register 4 days before, so I was the 1st to sign it! As I only had about an hour before sunset when I got to the top, the unknown descent was a bit stressful, but again, the descent information in the guide was pretty spot-on, & it worked out fine.
All in all, a great outing! ~2 hours up, 1 hour down. Could definitely see doing this again. A delight.
I'd recommend to would-be summiters via this route comfort at the grade- at the crux there are few pro' opportunities. Unfamiliarity with area sandstone slab (like me) could also lead to difficulties- it's certainly different than granite! Give yourself a fair amount of time to do the route, as it's easy to get lost. Extra webbing to back up the rap' stations isn't a bad idea. Finally, don't forget your camera!
|Posted Feb 2, 2012 6:08 pm|
|chicagotransplant||Back For More |
Date Climbed: Nov 20, 2011
|Second time up the West Fins route, went with Jamie, Brian and his wife Jen. Route seemed more straightforward the second time around, but still a lot of fun. Some interesting areas off the sides of the route to poke around and explore in too, just a really cool area!|
|Posted Nov 21, 2011 12:45 pm|
|Brian C||Day 2 of climbing |
Date Climbed: Mar 27, 2011
|Third time for me and the first for my wife. I love this hike and it's a great way to see arches!!!|
|Posted Apr 1, 2011 11:33 am|
|GregHaz||Great short trip!!!|
|I think I have done it 3 or 4 times. It is a wonderful short day climb and that makes it great for exit days.|
|Posted Jan 18, 2011 8:13 pm|
|blueshade||Great Scramble |
Date Climbed: Oct 29, 2010
|Very fun scramble, but very short (depending on how much exploring you do). Also did it in about 2:30 despite some playing. Still well worth it considering that it is right off one of the main drives. Near 360 degree view on top. |
Not that I know ratings all that well, but I would consider the 5.4 rating accurate. However, it is really only a couple of moves and not overly exposed. Protection, solid climber in the group or otherwise, people shouldn't be trying climbs, scrambles, 14ers, canyons or whatever unless they are comfortable with heights and confident in their OWN ability. Ropes and spots give a false sense of security and don't make you learn to trust yourself.
11-6-10 Went again with two mostly inexperienced climbers. Did the whole route in about 2hrs. Upon climbing the "crux" again, I think that I'd agree it's only 5.2. It just looks somewhat intimidating with the chute below you.
|Posted Oct 30, 2010 2:19 am|
|Brian C||Great |
Date Climbed: May 30, 2010
|Climbed for a second time. Rappel slings in good shape. Had to replace one though. One of my favorite routes. Very engaging!|
|Posted Jun 2, 2010 7:45 pm|
|pyerger||great adventure |
Date Climbed: Apr 27, 2010
|This was a great adventure. I found the route finding to be the crux of the trip. Very windy day, which added to the exitment!|
|Posted May 3, 2010 1:49 pm|
|vanman798||Fun scamble and great Rappels |
Date Climbed: Apr 11, 2010
|Did this one with the Utah Climbing Club. With a group of over 20 it only took us four hours round trip.|
|Posted Apr 12, 2010 11:35 am|
|chicagotransplant||West Fins |
Date Climbed: Nov 7, 2009
|Climbed through the maze of fins with Jamie, he had been there before so the routefinding went really quick. Only used the rope for the two rappels, we felt the class 5 sections were brief and not too difficult, but all parties should asses their owns skills and risk threshold when it comes to where to rope up, and where not to.|
|Posted Nov 9, 2009 10:39 am|
|shanahan96||maze of fins |
Date Climbed: May 19, 2009
|10/15/10- back visiting an old friend w/steve and jim on a beautiful utah, bluebird desert day. always love this adventure!|
11/28/09- toured a cold elephant butte w/aaron and mike garratt. didn't want to linger too long in the shade before a late sun started making things comfortable.
11/7/09- cruised this baby again w/mike. bumped into bob dawson and sharon adams along the way, whom we joined forces with for an enjoyable outing.
5/19/09- summited the maze of elephant butte with jessica and josh. they did awesome for newbies but took more time(5-5.5 hours) than i imagined. the 5.4 crux wasn't what i expected but it wouldn't be an issue for a competent climber whatsoever.
can't wait to do it again!
|Posted May 21, 2009 9:08 pm|
Date Climbed: Mar 23, 2009
|We ended our memorable UT trip with Elephant Butte, and it was my favorite climb of the weekend. Loads of eye candy and quality scrambling on this one. I wish we had more time to explore it as we had to get down before it got dark. I will have to return someday. Hard to beat the bang for the buck on this one.|
|Posted Mar 25, 2009 3:23 pm|
|SarahThompson||Two times, huge bang for the buck! |
Date Climbed: Mar 23, 2009
|3/23/09 - This climb is an absolute gem, short but very sweet. Fun and relatively easy scrambling nearly the whole way. Awesome scenery, never a dull moment. We got a late start at 4pm but it only took 2:30 car to car. The route description here worked well for us.|
4/11/09 - Returned with my brother and his girlfriend. Despite never having scrambled or climbed before, they did a great job and had fun. It rained for a few minutes during/after the ascent rappel, making the slickrock a little slick. Luckily it stopped and the rock dried out very quickly. It took us about 3 hrs this time as the newbies needed a little help here and there.
Note about the crux: We felt it was more like 5.2, not 5.4. The newbies had little problem climbing it (roped of course). Despite what the poster says below, setting up a proper belay at the top is perfectly reasonable. Its true that the leader must climb it unprotected, but exposure is minimal and a fall wouldn't be the end of the world. A spot from below would be fairly effective in breaking a fall.
|Posted Mar 24, 2009 12:12 pm|
|weeds19||Unknown Wonder! |
Date Climbed: Mar 21, 2003
|We drove down from Ogden for this climb on a sunny winter day. The route didn't disappoint as the climbing was fun and the views great. Only a few summitters over the years, but this is one of my favorite climbs/hikes that I've done.|
|Posted Oct 17, 2007 9:54 pm|
|cp0915||West Fins |
Date Climbed: Sep 1, 2007
|Posted Sep 4, 2007 10:17 am|
|haytraci||Awesome Adventure |
Date Climbed: May 11, 2007
|What an amazing adventure! Took an afternoon to find the correct entrance, but once we did, it was on. Some of the best hiking/scrambling/rappelling I've done thus far...and all in one half-day. (Not even really. Took us just over 4 hours roundtrip.) Would definitely do it again in a heartbeat. By the way, we spoke to a ranger who had climbed it the day before we did, and mentioned they had just added new webbing to the rap stations.|
|Posted May 17, 2007 11:26 am|
Date Climbed: Mar 23, 2007
|The route description is pretty good - definately enough to get you in trouble. I'd like to touch on the "5.4" climbing pitch.|
After you scramble out of the sandy beach (10' sandstone ramp to a 30' blocky corner) you arrive at a giant sandstone bowl. You enter the area from the bottom, where some large boulders are sitting. The bowl has a 3" wide sloping ledge around it that you can walk on. You have to scramble up 10' or so to the base of the climbing section and then ascend the 15' of "5.4" rock. I would rate it at least 5.5X. There is no option for pro and while a belay sounds like a good idea, it will more likely result in 2 dead bodies instead of 1. A fall on this would break plenty of bones as you bounce from ledge to ledge and hit the boulders in the base of the bowl. A solid 5.4 climber would not be comfortable doing this unless he/she can forget that there is such a danger below. Then, even if you get past this short scary part, there is a second steep face you have to get over to get to the anchors. This is no walk in the park either (not protectable).
We got lucky. An experienced climber happened to show up just as we were turning back. We weren't going to risk it. The drizzle that began didn't instill any confidence either. Dave helped us by giving us a fixed rope. Even with a fixed line, it was a little sketchy. I've never hesitated getting on a 5.4, as long as the protection was there. This move seemed ackward and harder, definately deserving an R or X rating.
After the rappel, the rain picked up. This made the ascent up tough. We got to just below the upper cliff band when our shoes became pretty slippery and we decided to head down. We were close, but didn't know how long the rain would last. It drenched the rocks and made mini streams and pools. After getting into the correct drainage, just before the rappel, the rain stopped. The pool was quite full and water was going over the edge during the rappel. It was fun. After the rappel, there is one more section of downclimbing that took a little thought. There are hand and foot holds, but they are not easy to see from above. We followed the drainage out to the road and then back to the car.
Looking back, Elephant Butte is a quality adventure. Having a solid climber in the group is a must. Just because it says "scramble" doesn't mean easy. The large pack I had was a hinderance. We never used the climbing shoes or the small amount of pro I brought. Rain makes it a lot scarier. Wet lichen is like an oil slick. Be safe.
|Posted Mar 26, 2007 4:17 am|