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UT: Robber's Roost High Spur lives up to expectations

Discussion in 'Trip Reports' started by RossK, Oct 21, 2017.

  1. RossK

    RossK

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    Ever since becoming captivated by Antelope and Buckskin, then discovering Utah had many such slots after buying a Kelsey book nearly 20 years ago, High Spur was in my mind as a particularly nice one. (Funny how I now meet a new internet generation of canyoneers who have not had any need for a Kelsey book). It was described as a hiking canyon. I guess perhaps it might be if you are confident in your down climbing abilities. But as the final 80ft rap cannot be downclimbed you'd have to double back and exit earlier if you wanted to avoid any rappels.

    Anyway I was due to do the canyon 3 years ago but rain was forecast So it didn't happen.

    This time my plans also looked in doubt when my planned companion had to drop out, but Anthony D - who was due to join us - kept to his word and kindly guaranteed the weekend where he generously took the lead role for 4 less experienced people both with his big truck and his canyon skills. He invited 3 other people who proved good company too, with Robin picking a fine canyon for her first. The canyon may not have posed much of a mental or physical challenge for Anthony compared to what he's used to, (and I'm afraid I can't offer members of this forum rarely visited difficult canyons), but the plus side of that is it gives extra time for photos, and Anthony was very accommodating to those of us keen to take them, so hopefully you'll enjoy these photos Anthony and so will forum members - especially the ones featuring you. (As the rangers' description a week before was "frigid, stinky swimmers with dead things in", the DSLR had its first outing in a canyoneeringusa keg, but there was only one swimmer)

    Camping at motel 6, a clear starry sky and dry forecast augured well - only for us to wake up to distant dark clouds and lightning. We headed to High Spur trying to remain optimistic but the storms remained and it was cold - not ideal when we had been warned of cold water in the canyon.

    Reluctantly we decided to bail out and drive to Blarney and Leprechaun - via a yet-to-be-earned Stan's burger and shake! - to see conditions there. Fortunately the skies looked safer so we did Blarney top down then still had time for leprechaun bottom up - each having fine sections of canyon. (will post a TR from that separately)

    (One suggestion when looking at the photos below - I noticed the verticals don't look so good when a whole photo doesn't fit on the computer screen & you have to scroll down to see one photo.. Better to shrink the page or zoom out & see a whole photo in one go, even if it's smaller)

    After a second enjoyable camp fire night of stories and laughs, the next morning I woke up to this - so you pretty much know the day is going to be good.


    _MG_9273imp.

    Amy enjoyed the view too


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    The canyon did not disappoint with its narrow twisting colourful slots. I'd brought my weighty Canon 6D so my main concern was scratching a new hole in my dry bag in the very tight early sections.





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    Not THE Wave, but pretty good all the same

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    This pic courtesy of Amy, taken by Chase.

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    Then it was the first pool - a short swimmer.


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    The compact camera took over for a while...

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    oh yes, I found a good sunrise from one of the Motel 6 mornings on this one too

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    After that the canyon became vincreasingly beautiful and fortunately Amy told me to get my camera back out its keg (the remaining pools proved lower than waist deep). For someone I've never met before I have a lot of photos of you Amy just ahead of me!


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    _MG_9303imp. _MG_9308imp.
    _MG_9309imp. _MG_9310imp. _MG_9311imp. _MG_9312imp. _MG_9313imp. _MG_9316imp. _MG_9317imp. _MG_9318imp. _MG_9319imp. _MG_9320imp.





    _MG_9321imp. _MG_9322imp 2.
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    There was a particularly nice cavern where some boulders had come down shortly before the 80ft rap (my guess on height).


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    Then it was that final rappel. Anthony starting it off as last man down

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    And then into the main High Spur


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    Sorry so many photos, but it's so hard to choose - I promise to only post about 10 of Blarney/Leprechaun!


    At the same time as I was enjoying a fabulous day in a great canyon, that evening I learned my sister had that day been rushed in to receive the liver transplant she'd waited a year for - and it went well - and my soccer team who had set an unwelcome record of failing to win any of their first 13 games, had broken that jinx with a 4-0 win. Plus a week of desert fun with sunny forecasts lay ahead Life doesn't get much better!

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    Last edited: Oct 21, 2017
  2. EvergreenDean

    EvergreenDean Master of the obvious

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    Location:
    Evergreen, CO & Boulder, UT
    Nice pics. Lots of water in there right now. When was this? Thanks for sharing.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    RossK likes this.
  3. Erin

    Erin

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    Adding this one to my list. Beautiful pics! Glad you had such a perfect day in a canyon. :)


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  4. Erin

    Erin

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    P.S. I remember when it was just me and two friends, poring over Kelsey books out in the desert, using that as our only beta. Does this mean we are old???


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  5. RossK

    RossK

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  6. Amy K

    Amy K

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    Location:
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    Great photos ross! I'll add some of mine from the trip to your post .. apologies they are all out of order! DSC_0684. DSC_0694. DSC_0762. DSC_0749. DSC_0699. DSC_0471. DSC_0747-01. DSC_0791.
    Kuenn, Ram, Rachel_from_oz and 3 others like this.
  7. Bill

    Bill ... Staff Member

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    Nice photos. Such a great slot.

    Dealing with real cameras in slots is such a pain but usually its worth it. My cameras always look abused after a few slots and no matter how many times I clean them I can always find more sand.
    RossK likes this.
  8. RossK

    RossK

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    Water too deep to carry them over your head is my main concern, although you can still slide into a shallow pool on that slick mud. As you well know, as soon as there's water the sand also sticks to everything including your hands, especially when taking off wetsuits and shoes. Last time I had a $100 bill to clean the sand out my jammed "non-real" compact camera.

    Mind you even with the DSLR most of my shots here don't look very sharp. Not sure if the site puts it up with less resolution or it's because i didn't have a tripod. The tripod I could carry, but it would be a right pain for me & those with me - & even more muddy - to keep setting that up, especially as often by looking at slots I find you never really know which shot will look best in a photo
    Bill likes this.
  9. Bill

    Bill ... Staff Member

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    I always double dry bag my cameras. My system isn't exactly convenient but Ive never lost a camera. :twothumbs: I resize my images to be 900px on the long edge to avoid the sites auto resizing and I avoid carrying a tripod down slots at all cost. :)
    RossK likes this.
  10. Chasetharp

    Chasetharp

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    To be fair, we do have the newest Kelsey book! Haha but all we needed was the navigation of this one.

    Also, Ross didn’t mention a ridiculous rappel, before the “tricky” downclimb. It has webbing around a log that I completely forgot to remove.. but the downclimb was simple for everyone in the group. The tricky one was only tricky because you have to commit before being able to see around the corner and realize all of the features to use.
    RossK likes this.
  11. wisconnyjohnny

    wisconnyjohnny Lagargar pockets

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    Awesome TR,
    I'm kicking myself in the ass for not coming now. haha.
    But I remember the timing, and how much i was working ect. I'm glad my favorite canyoneering peeps got to knock this out. They can take me there next year Chimneying Chase and abseil Amy
    Amy K and RossK like this.
  12. Amy K

    Amy K

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    We will miss you Johnny! Make sure to come back to Utah in the spring for more canyon fun!
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