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Moab Canyons for beginners in mid March?

Discussion in 'Meet Up' started by Sutitan, Mar 3, 2018.

  1. Sutitan

    Sutitan

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    I usually make a trip with some friends to Moab around mid March and last time we went, I decided to take a few of thet in some canyons. We did medieval chamber and Elephant Butte which I considered to be pretty straight forward and simple. I was wondering if you guys had any suggestions for similar canyons. Looking for beginner friendly, mostly if not entirely dry, and not a ton of rappels (took some time to get everyone down, few first timers). Most, if not everyone climbs so they're fairly comfortable with scrambling, exposure, and ropes to an extent. From my quick searching, it looks like U-turn could be good but I'm open to suggestions. Thanks in advance!
  2. Kevin

    Kevin

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    If I were you I'd skip Moab and drive a little further to North wash. Plenty of stuff for beginners and the canyons are far more interesting.
    Bill likes this.
  3. Sutitan

    Sutitan

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    Most of them climb and go to Moab for climbing so it might be a hard pitch (no pun intended) to get them to go somewhere else. We're all coming from Denver, so the extra drive time probably wouldn't help my case.
  4. Iceaxe

    Iceaxe

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    Big Horn, U-Turn, Upper Cut, Lizzard Country, Fins & Things all meet your requirements.

    If you want something closer to Colorado then Undercover, MMI, Winterslot and Repeat Jr all meet your requirements. They are all considered Moab canyons but accessed from the East side of Arches NP (90 minute drive from Moab).
  5. Canyonero

    Canyonero

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    U turn is quick and easy and totally dry. It's neighbor Tierdrop, is very similar but with trickier anchors. Pool Arch/Rock of Ages is nice with very short wet sections. Dragonfly not too bad either. You'll get a little wet though.
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2018
  6. Bill

    Bill ... Staff Member

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    Another vote for U-Turn and Dragonfly.
  7. Southern Canyoneer

    Southern Canyoneer Desert Hiker

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    I vote for Dragonfly as well. A bit wet but on a hot day very nice and the walk down canyon is pretty.
  8. RockGremlin

    RockGremlin Dan Ransom fanboi

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    Another vote for Dragonfly here. It's a great blend of technical + beauty.
  9. Sutitan

    Sutitan

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    All these votes for Dragonfly are seriously making me consider, but it seems like without a doubt there will be water. I imagine the majority of the group will not have wetsuits. Ill keep my eye on the forecast, but I dont think it'll get warm enough for us to go without wetsuits. U-turn is probably still at the top of the list. Uppercut is up there but im a bit concerned with a large group hanging out on that last ledge. Thanks for all the suggestions so far!
  10. yetigonecrazy1

    yetigonecrazy1 yeti in the jungle

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    I'll throw in a x2 for Winter Camp/Repeat/Fun Size.....Three decent canyons, Winter Camp and Repeat each just one rappel, bit big but easy and straightforward. Fun Size is a tiny mini-slot right next to Repeat that is fun to scramble around in for a half hour at the end of the day. Not a lot of crowds out there either, and good views. Bit far from Moab itself but lots of fun and beginner friendly
  11. Iceaxe

    Iceaxe

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    Dragonfly is a great route. In normal conditions the standard Dragonfly route has two mandatory swims, they are both short and relatively close together. Also make sure you know how to identify poison ivy as the last half of the route has a lot of it, including the final rappel.

    Last edited: Mar 7, 2018
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  12. Sutitan

    Sutitan

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    Trip postponed to mid April! Dragonfly will probably be at the top my list assuming we have nice weather. We were there roughly the same time last year and it was toasty during the day with a bit of chill once the sun set. Thanks for the heads up on the poison ivy. if only grape vines or something I could eat would grow as quickly and be as resilient as poison ivy...
  13. Sandstoned

    Sandstoned

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    I have worn my wet suit in Dragonfly in March and April, but I have also done it is brisk conditions without the suit. I stripped down to, well, nothing, and made the short two swims ( a few swimming stokes max ) and shivered and then suited back up quickly. Being wimpy, I prefer the suit, but with swims so short, as long as its not terribly cold, you can do this hike without. Just be prepared to layer back up fast. Nano puff and hat help big.
  14. Sutitan

    Sutitan

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    Figured id give a small update and bump this thread again as im in the same boat again this year.

    Last year, per the recommendations around here, we did U-turn and Dragonfly in one day as a small group, and Pool Rock Arch/Rock of Ages the next with just my wife.

    U-turn was an absolute zoo, as is most of Moab, but I didnt expect it to be so bad. The last rappel must have had a line of at least 20 people just waiting to go down. Luckily there are plenty of boulders to anchor off of around there.

    Dragonfly was fun and short. Completely quiet and gorgeous. Super easy approach and exit. Moab canyons do make you miss narrows though.

    Pool Arch was also great and completely quiet. It was a gorgeous hike all of the way, with flowers and trees in full bloom, and great views of the La Sal's. Also completely quiet with us just seeing some people at the bottom of the last rappel. It was my first time, but I was a bit bummed out that I realized that I had completely bypassed the arch rappel. Didn't feel like climbing back up just for the rappel though.

    Anyways, this is the third annual trip we'll be doing with probably similar goals. Id like to do a beginner canyon for those that are new to the sport, as well as do a more interesting, maybe slightly more difficult canyon. Thoughts for beginners canyons were Lockjaw, upper granary. Not to sure on more difficult canyons, but Lost and Found looks fun, and id love to get into Krill/Lomatium (Never been so dont know route) or Whisper Canyon (still relatively unpublished). Im open to suggestions for any canyons again. For everyone who will inevitably suggest driving a bit further for better canyons, id be willing to drive about an hour out from Moab, but ill be back in May for a longer North Wash/Zion trip.

    3026_IMG_1179s-min. DSC_2792-min. DSC_2813-min. DSC_2817-min. DSC_2826-min. DSC_2849-min. DSC_2876-min. DSC_2885-min. DSC_2911-min. DSC_2919-min. DSC_2924-min. DSC_2935-min.
    Sandstone Addiction likes this.
  15. Sutitan

    Sutitan

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    Anyone know if Professor Creek would be feasible this weekend? Aiming to try do it top down Saturday (85F) but not sure if it'd be too early in the season to attempt. There would be no wet suits brought along for the ride.
    wisconnyjohnny likes this.
  16. Sutitan

    Sutitan

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    Ended up doing Elephant Butte, Baptist Draw, and Lomatium. Ill try post trip reports throughout the week.
    Bill likes this.
  17. Steven Nguyen

    Steven Nguyen

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    Heading there next week and have Elephant Butte on my list. How are the anchors looking?

    Were you able to find someone to guide you through Lomatium?
  18. Sutitan

    Sutitan

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    Anchors at elephant butte were fine. They moved the first rappel since I last saw it 2 years ago to some chains (vs the old webbing) that just go off of the main face rather than to the left as I see most beta online calling out. Its a much easier pull now for the rappel.

    No guide for Lomatium.
    wisconnyjohnny likes this.
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