Welcome to SP!  -
Areas & RangesMountains & RocksRoutesImagesArticlesTrip ReportsGearOtherPeoplePlans & PartnersWhat's NewForum

Climbing in Escalante?

Regional discussion and conditions reports for the great state of Utah, from the alpine peaks to the desert slots. Please post partners requests and trip plans here or in the Utah Climbing Partners section.
 

Climbing in Escalante?

Postby AlexeyD » Wed Feb 13, 2013 8:26 pm

Looking for info on moderate (5.6-5.9), multi-pitch routes in Escalante/Grand Staircase National Monument. So far, Broken Bow Arch is the only thing I've been able to find that seems worth doing. Looking to spend a week or more in the area some time in late April/early May. Other goals of the trip will be canyoneering and desert hiking, so not necessarily looking for a TON of climbing info, but a few cool towers, spires or something of the sort would be fun!

Thanks in advance.
User Avatar
AlexeyD

 
Posts: 2058
Joined: Thu Jun 06, 2002 11:13 am
Location: Boulder, Colorado, United States
Thanked: 56 times in 44 posts

Re: Climbing in Escalante?

Postby Scott » Wed Feb 13, 2013 8:53 pm

Looking for info on moderate (5.6-5.9), multi-pitch routes in Escalante/Grand Staircase National Monument. So far, Broken Bow Arch is the only thing I've been able to find that seems worth doing. Looking to spend a week or more in the area some time in late April/early May. Other goals of the trip will be canyoneering and desert hiking, so not necessarily looking for a TON of climbing info, but a few cool towers, spires or something of the sort would be fun!


Since the Monument is a huge place and roads are far apart, which part are you going to?

If you are on the east end, for example, the Henry Mountains aren't too far away. There are some good granite climbs around The Horn, for example.

In the Monument itself there doesn't seem to be many well known routes as most everyone heads to places such as Zion or Capitol Reef (either side of the monument) to climb. Also, leaving bolts or technically even leaving slings is illegal in the GCNRA (of which Broken Bow Arch is part of). People do climb around the arch along the Escalante River between Escalante and Calf Creek, but I don't know much about those climbs themselves. Most of the rock in the monument is pretty soft, but I guess you knew that already. You could always do the Moki route out of Davis Gulch, but it's just harder than 5.9. :wink:

Some of the canyons are technical climbs (5.10+), but that's different than wall or tower climbing. You will find plenty of 5.6 to 5.9 climbing in the slots themselves.

The canyoneering and desert hiking in the area is surpurb, so you will have plenty to do. Have a great trip.

PS, try contacting Tom Jones or Brian Cabe through the canyoneeringusa.com or Bogley websites. They would probably know more than I would about technical climbing in the monument.
User Avatar
Scott

 
Posts: 7444
Joined: Thu Aug 21, 2003 1:03 pm
Location: Craig, Colorado, United States
Thanked: 543 times in 304 posts

The following user would like to thank Scott for this post
AlexeyD

Re: Climbing in Escalante?

Postby AlexeyD » Wed Feb 13, 2013 9:09 pm

Scott wrote: Since the Monument is a huge place and roads are far apart, which part are you going to?


Basically, anything accessible from Hole-in-the-Rock Road with a Subaru Forester.

Scott wrote: Also, leaving bolts or technically even leaving slings is illegal in the GCNRA (of which Broken Bow Arch is part of).


Thank you for the heads up...definitely wasn't planning on bolting, nor leaving slings except in an emergency, but still good to know these things. It amazes me, though...somehow, it's OK to build a dam and flood an area the size of Massachusetts, then allow powerboats on the resulting lake, but putting in a few pieces of metal into a cliff is a mortal sin. Anyway, I digress...I do appreciate regulation-related beta, and will keep it in mind so as to not jeopardize access for others.

Scott wrote: Some of the canyons are technical climbs (5.10+), but that's different than wall or tower climbing. You will find plenty of 5.6 to 5.9 climbing in the slots themselves.


Oh yes...I'm not worried about finding enough technical challenge...it's more about diversity of scenery (tower one day, canyon the next). I'll have a total of close to a month in southern Utah, though, so even if there's not much in Escalanate there will be plenty of tower opportunities later :)

Scott wrote:The canyoneering and desert hiking in the area is surpurb, so you will have plenty to do. Have a great trip.


Agreed! I had just a small taste of it last year, and it's an amazing place...can't wait to come back! Thanks for the info and take care.
User Avatar
AlexeyD

 
Posts: 2058
Joined: Thu Jun 06, 2002 11:13 am
Location: Boulder, Colorado, United States
Thanked: 56 times in 44 posts

Re: Climbing in Escalante?

Postby Scott » Wed Feb 13, 2013 10:36 pm

It amazes me, though...somehow, it's OK to build a dam and flood an area the size of Massachusetts, then allow powerboats on the resulting lake, but putting in a few pieces of metal into a cliff is a mortal sin.


Actually, the rule actually originated from the above. The lake shore is mostly slickrock. A lot of boaters apparently figured out that taking a drill and a few climbing bolts was a good way to secure a powerboat. Bolts started popping up all over the place along the shore and thus the ban started. GCNRA has been the scene of "bolt wars" among canyoneers and other groups as well. Long story though.

Oh yes...I'm not worried about finding enough technical challenge...it's more about diversity of scenery (tower one day, canyon the next).


You will have plenty of diversity, from sub alpine on Boulder Mountain to scenic, but barren deserts. Indian Ruins and slot canyons. :mrgreen:

Some of my favorites are as follows:

South Fork Choprock Canyon
Neon Canyon
40 Mile Gulch and Willow Gulch
Davis Gulch
Coyote Gulch
Peekaboo, Spooky, and (especially) Brimstone Canyons
Calf Creek
Boulder Creek

Death Hollow is good too, but choked with Poison Ivy.

If you want some diversity, Boulder Mountain is cool and forested (probably buried in snow when you will be there). Fiftymile Mountain has many Indian ruins and spectacular viewpoints.

It's hard to find a more beautiful place than the area around Escalante. Maybe places like SE Alaska, the Southern Alps of New Zealand, or parts of the Himalaya may come close, but the scenery is completely different there.
User Avatar
Scott

 
Posts: 7444
Joined: Thu Aug 21, 2003 1:03 pm
Location: Craig, Colorado, United States
Thanked: 543 times in 304 posts

Re: Climbing in Escalante?

Postby AlexeyD » Thu Feb 14, 2013 6:14 pm

Scott wrote:Some of my favorites are as follows:

South Fork Choprock Canyon
Neon Canyon
40 Mile Gulch and Willow Gulch
Davis Gulch
Coyote Gulch
Peekaboo, Spooky, and (especially) Brimstone Canyons
Calf Creek
Boulder Creek

Death Hollow is good too, but choked with Poison Ivy.


Thank you for the suggestions! I should mention that our canyoneering experience is limited, i.e. we do not know anything about pothole escape, nor will be carrying a bolt kit (or would know what to do with one if we were :). We do, however, know how to use natural anchors, jug a line, escape a rappel in water, and things of that nature. Do you have any good recommendations for that level of canyoneering expertise?

Also, do you happen to know of any place other than Zion Adventure Company in Springdale where one could rent wetsuits for stuff out of Hole-in-the-Rock Road? We may end up bringing our own, but good to have a backup plan...
User Avatar
AlexeyD

 
Posts: 2058
Joined: Thu Jun 06, 2002 11:13 am
Location: Boulder, Colorado, United States
Thanked: 56 times in 44 posts

Re: Climbing in Escalante?

Postby Buz Groshong » Thu Feb 14, 2013 8:10 pm

Zion Adventure Company will no doubt be your last chance before the Hole-in-the-Rock road to rent any sort of gear. There's a place in Escalante where you can buy a few of the basics, but that's about it.

You probably also want to check out Red Breaks.
Oh, and get over to Phipps Arch for a bit of scrambling and interesting views.
User Avatar
Buz Groshong

 
Posts: 2798
Joined: Tue Sep 14, 2004 10:58 pm
Location: Alexandria, Virginia, United States
Thanked: 664 times in 468 posts

Re: Climbing in Escalante?

Postby Scott » Thu Feb 14, 2013 10:02 pm

Zion Adventure Company will no doubt be your last chance before the Hole-in-the-Rock road to rent any sort of gear.


Ditto. Also, if headed to and spending much time in the Escalante are, you would probably be better off buying one.
User Avatar
Scott

 
Posts: 7444
Joined: Thu Aug 21, 2003 1:03 pm
Location: Craig, Colorado, United States
Thanked: 543 times in 304 posts


Return to Utah

 


  • Related topics
    Replies
    Views
    Last post

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests

© 2006-2013 SummitPost.org. All Rights Reserved.