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Epic Quandary

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Mike Zampino, Jul 22, 2020.

  1. Mike Zampino

    Mike Zampino Canyon season never ends.

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    So who can tell me about doing Epic Quandary (Going up Quandary)? I've been told it can be done. What obstacles will we need to defeat?
  2. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    I think you mean the Epic Quandary/Knotted Rope Loop; a Ramoo specialty!

    Tom
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  3. Mike Zampino

    Mike Zampino Canyon season never ends.

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    That'd be the one.
  4. Ram

    Ram

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    Quandary-Knotted Combo Platter

    4B IV 5.7
    11-15 hours
    -Start at the Muddy Creek crossing off Factory Butte Road. Road VERY bad when wet
    -Hike to the mouth of Quandary, first up Muddy Creek and then the wash to the mouth of the canyon. 3 to 5 crossing of Lower Muddy Creek. North side faster usually. The watercourse changes with floods
    -The first problem is passed on the right looking up canyon and follows slickrock ledges
    -From the shallow rim, drop back into the canyon at a nose between lower Quandary and a small northern tributary of the canyon.
    -Ascend canyon, (wetsuit likely wanted) with some potholes in the canyon or slightly left of the bottom via boulder problem and low rim. Some mid 5th class moves. Not much exposure
    -Enter and route find through large boulders, just right, at the bottom of the direct section. This connects you with steep slabs of the bypass route, on the right looking up canyon.
    -Ascend slabs. Enter into the canyon just above the top of the direct section
    -Descent the direct section and loop back to the top of it (optional but highly recommended)
    -Climb up canyon thru potholes to a chute. Some left side bypasses possible on the way to the chute. Climb the 30 foot chute in the canyon bottom. Mostly Class 4+ until the the final 6 feet, then a balance 5.7 finish with exposure. Can be spotted somewhat, from a stemming position in the chute with partners. Once one person is up, belay others.
    -Scramble up canyon, in a widening canyon with route latitude.
    -When you arrive at the larger natural bridge with the flat top, remove wetsuits.
    -Gain the ledges at the top of the bridge, on the left side, looking up canyon. Follow the ledges up to the divide with Knotted Rope, at the low pass just right of the large cliffs. Maybe 500 feet vertical gained (?)
    -Descend by the easiest route, left of Knotted drainage until you are forced into the bottom with many potholes.
    -Descend potholes to the standard side exit on the left, up to the ridge, then right on the ridge and then down the escarpment, down to Muddy Creek
    -Take lower Muddy Creek back to the crossing and your car

    -Variation....One can continue all the way up to the top of Quandary. The two upper problems solved on the right, looking up canyon. One easy and direct, the other exposed with somewhat poor rock
    -Variation....the shallow valley of lower Knotted is an easy walk around. It is also a steep slabbed, series of slides through a water park. If you have time, try the latter
    -Variation....There is a a large rappel in the bottom of Knotted. Tom has done it and I heard rumor of it being a 300 footer. Tom?

    This is from memory and it has been 7+ years but should be pretty close
    Time tested classic, but start early, nail the route and stay on task
    Ram
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2020
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  5. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    Yes, the rap at the end is 300 feet. Anchor is a huge boulder 40 feet back from edge. Rope retrieval is unlikely. Leaving the anchor rigged is inappropriate. The rock at the top is very, very soft. Would groove up almost instantly.

    ==========================
    In regard to making your way up upper Quandary...

    Ram said: "-Climb up canyon thru potholes to a chute. Some left side bypasses possible on the way to the chute. Climb the 30 foot chute in the canyon bottom. Mostly Class 4+ until the the final 6 feet, then a balance 5.7 finish with exposure. Can be spotted somewhat, from a stemming position in the shoot with partners. Once one person is up, belay others."

    My memory says when I did this w/ Ram, we easily found a non-technical walk around of the climbing obstacle.

    Tom
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2020
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  6. rick t

    rick t

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    Did a different combo with the famous Talboys duo of Tom and Sharon, along with my son Scott, quite a few years ago. We dropped into Quandary from the top, and did the Direct route down almost to the creek. Then we climbed up a bowl on the right to the ridgeline, I remember the searing sun and heat more than the difficulty of the climb, and then dropped down the other side, into the bottom of Knotted Rope. Then we just went up Knotted Rope, reversing the usual descent, up the watercourse. All the way to the top, then hiked out to our car. I remember it took some pretty creative going to get up KR, and some partner assisting, but we took no special tools, and did not ascend rope at any point. In one pothole we were stumped as to how to get out, until my 6'4" climber son found a handhold we could not even see, by just reaching up and feeling, and he was able to climb out using that hold. A pretty stiff day but a lot of fun. In subsequent trips down Knotted Rope I have to admit it boggles my mind that we went all of the way up it, I have no idea what we were on that day, I give the credit to Tom.
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