West Face Scramble Comments
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|MoapaPk||easier class 3+ route|
|I went up the class 4 "crux" this last weekend. I had to turn back (my poor planning, late start) at 6000'. From photos, I know I went up the "wall" you show in the photo:|
4th class wall
I'm curious about the easier class 3+ route just south of the class 4 crux. Is it just 10-100' south of the 4th class route? On the north side of the big crack, or the south side?
On the way up, I wandered the crack just south of the crux, and saw nothing particularly easy. I might have missed something obvious, but came to that uncomfortable Zion sugar-covered sandstone at uncomfortably steep angles. On the way down, I went a bit S of the 4th class wall, and saw the top of the same steep crack, but did not feel real comfortable about going down it blind, so we just batmanned down my doubled-over 50' webbing.
On the way up, while waiting for other folks, I wandered N for a bit at about 5700'. There was a flattish area just north of a very deep crack (about 2' wide), and there were many sheep prints with lots of turds. I'm guessing that means there must be an easier way to that point (well above the crux).
I looked at the GPS data on Donnie B's site. That file seems to be corrupted as of Mar-19-07, so I wrote a program to decipher the data and pull out the tracks (now as gpx format). Since the tracks head through deep canyons, I'm guessing they are partly limited by signal loss, and may be off a bit. I did find Donnie B's tree cairns and so forth to about 5900'. That canyon had a rather funky 4th-class chimney/chute with a small (1-2') chockstone at the top. At the top of the chute, the canyon forked, and the right 2nd-class chute led to the higher "flat" traverse, while the left branch led to a very tight obnoxious slot. Sound familiar?
|Posted Mar 20, 2007 3:02 am|
|It sounds like you gave it a good try and were pretty much close to the intended route, but as you could tell, if you get off route on that, your day could be over. We had to do 1 major backtrack, and that was above the 4th class Crux. We continued too far up the large crack above here and it started to drift right and got low 5th. So after a small downclimb, we got back on track. The intended route meanders left, and left, and left after the 4th Crux. |
The Easier Class 3 way just south of the 4th Crux is through a slot that sits between the 4th Crux shown in my picture, and the large crack further south. Just go about 50 feet south of the pictured 4th Crux and you should find it. It's a slabby drainage that's easier than it looks.
I'm not old fashioned or technicallly inept in any way, but I don't like personally using GPS waypoints except in life threatening situations. I've always just liked figuring it out by my instincts and I'm thankful and lucky that I've been safe and on target for so many years just using my internal compass. I did use those cairns in the trees when I was there. The only problem is when more than 1 trail of cairns develop and they might lead to a dead end, or something that's above another person's ability, so I don't normally contribute.
You have a great area down there to explore, and what's amazing to me is even though it's a NP, it's soo easy to see no one. Your close enough where you can go back and get that done sometime. I might be heading down in April for something. Take Care.
|Posted Mar 20, 2007 5:53 am|
|spencer weiler||route beta|
|I recently did this route in April 2015. I was not looking for ramps on the left side of the notch approach that allows easy 4th class, and stayed directly in the bottom. This method allows easy scrambling, then once you squeeze up a narrow chimney and through a hole, there is a very large chockstone that guards the top, requiring at least a 5.6 chimney move over 20 feet of air. Most folks who are expecting 4th class scrambling will be disappointed and stymied. One number 3 camalot and a 60' rope will protect the climb adequately. There is also a 4 bolt rap anchor at the top to assist getting down. If you feel comfortable soloing up/down a stemming chimney with good hands/feet, but exposed with serious consequences, no rope is necessary. This seemed like the most straightforward and direct route up the notch, but obviously more difficult. |
As for the upper section, once you reach the top of the notch and start descending, you should be immediately hugging the left wall. The few ascent gullies/cracks/whatever are no more than 5 minutes downhill from the top. There are freaking cairns everywhere once you start up, which makes choosing your route difficult, since every gully system has cairns in it. I found 2 fixed handlines which assisted through some steeper sections, but I found basically every option you choose will go. Once your reach the flat plateau, I got confused. Make sure to have the photos with route lines on them from SP with you. I never found very many cairns after the plateau.
Very complicated terrain up there!
|Posted Apr 24, 2015 11:08 pm|