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UT: Moab Elephant Butte--Nov 19, 2016

Discussion in 'Trip Reports' started by Sandstone Addiction, Nov 21, 2016.

  1. Sandstone Addiction

    Sandstone Addiction Headed South

    Messages:
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    Location:
    Salem, Utah
    Elephant Butte has been on the short list for a while now and we picked a beautiful late autumn Saturday to check it out. This canyon is perfect for the cool season with limited daylight. The view from the summit is second to none. Absolutely stunning.

    Our group of 9 started hiking at 9:30am and were back to the TH by 3:20pm.

    Overall, fantastic day spent with great friends on a very fun and mostly relaxing canyoneering/scrambling route in a gorgeous section of Arches NP.

    EB 1 (1024x683).


    Charlie just past the first boulder section.

    EB 2 (1024x576).


    Fun ramp to ascend.

    EB 3 (683x1024).


    Stealth rubber was welcome on this route.

    EB 4 (1024x576).


    Adam on crux.

    EB 5 (1024x576).



    EB 6 (576x1024).


    Large platform at 1st rap.

    EB 7 (1024x683).


    2 separate anchors...we opted for the one that is easier to get on rappel.

    EB 9 (1024x683).


    Jack having a great time.

    EB 10 (683x1024).



    EB 12 (1024x683).



    EB 14 (1024x683).


    My son, Brandon (13).

    EB 15 (576x1024).


    Adam on rappel.

    EB 16 (576x1024).



    EB 17 (1024x683).



    EB 18 (683x1024).



    EB 19 (1024x576).



    EB 20 (1024x683).


    Charlie working his way up the crack that gains the summit.

    EB 21 (683x1024).


    Adam checking out the summit register.

    EB 22 (576x1024).


    Shane mentions that it is fun to read the register...some entertaining reading for sure. Some very generous person left this as well. (And yes Bishop, we left it like we found it...He He.)

    EB 23 (1024x576).


    Our group: (L to R) Crystal, Adam, Tammy, Jack, Mykal, Brandon and Charlie. I took the photo.

    EB 24 (1024x683).


    Brandon trying to walk on water.

    EB 25 (1024x576).


    Near the final rap.

    EB 26 (1024x683).


    I was about to get my toes wet.

    EB 27 (1024x576).


    The ancient pipe anchors driven into a crack in the small pothole 8' below the piton anchor were very interesting.

    EB 28 (576x1024).


    Very fun rappel. Everyone loved this route, definitely on the list of canyons to do over.

    EB 29 (1024x683).
    Rachel_from_oz, danf, darhawk and 5 others like this.
  2. gajslk

    gajslk

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    Nice. I haven't been up there in 30+ years. Did you bag Ribbon Arch?

    Gordon
  3. Sandstone Addiction

    Sandstone Addiction Headed South

    Messages:
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    Location:
    Salem, Utah
    We didn't. Is Ribbon Arch a spur of the normal summit route or is it on it's own. Looks like it is ways from the top of the butte.

    Does look magnificent though.
  4. gajslk

    gajslk

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    It's a spur.

    Gordon
    Sandstone Addiction likes this.
  5. Moab Mark

    Moab Mark

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    I'd like to know the history on that pipe anchor? On the last rappel. Very strange

    Sent from my SM-G935V using Tapatalk
    Sandstone Addiction likes this.
  6. Ram

    Ram

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    I have heard a few times over the years, all second hand, that a ladder once adorned this spot and tourists could access the upper mountain that way

    Comment from the web. I have observed Gringo steps among the timbers too

    Rappel 45-50 feet down the overhanging drop. Part way down are some pipes jammed in the cliff. Notice the timbers scattered about. I imagine that during the old survey days, a wood ladder of some sort was rigged to get above the drop, which would make a quick ascent route to the summit.
  7. Scott Patterson

    Scott Patterson

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    I have heard the same story, but heard that it was for only surveyors rather than tourists. Wooden ladders up such places were somewhat commonplace on points that made good survey points, but had only one technical pitch to surmount by ladder. Similar artifacts exist on Rabbit Ears Peak in Colorado, for example. That one also has pipes jammed in the cliff and the remains of an old ladder.

    I do vaguely remember however that the datasheet for the benchmark on Elephant Butte says it was reached by helicopter, so maybe it was really for tourists?
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2017
  8. Scott Patterson

    Scott Patterson

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  9. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    Location:
    Mount Carmel, Utah
    When was the previous map surveyed? Maybe the ladder was from the previous iteration.

    T
  10. Scott Patterson

    Scott Patterson

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    That is possible if there was a different benchmark is the same location.

    It would be interesting to find out about the history of the ladder.
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2017
    Sandstone Addiction likes this.
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