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Pleiades conditions

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Stephen, Jun 2, 2015.

  1. Stephen

    Stephen

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    Hello, All--
    I am new to the collective. My name is Stephen. I wonder if anyone has been through Pleiades lately and if so what the flow conditions are like? I have been through once in the fall when there was only a trickle but being late spring I am assuming there is more flow. Anyone been through recently? Thanks,
    Stephen
  2. Scott Patterson

    Scott Patterson

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    I haven't been through, but saw the La Sals recently. My guess is that the canyon still has quite a bit of snow and ice in it. It is probably too early.
  3. Ram

    Ram

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    Sure was a lot of snow up in the peaks when I drove past a few weeks back. Was most of that snow spring snow from the wet May storms? I ask because there is the deep freeze/winter of the place that lets go, often in April or May and then there are the spring storms that impact at that altitude for a few days here and there. I wonder what its like in there a few days into June? It is easy to check it out. The hike is short and its an excuse to get out of the heat and one need not pull the trigger if one finds snow before the first rap.

    here are some pictures from May 10th 2012
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  4. Scott Patterson

    Scott Patterson

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    Was most of that snow spring snow from the wet May storms?

    I believe so. The La Sals looked to be fairly snowy high up and in the shaded canyon, I'd expect snow and ice is still in there. The last snowstorm I know of was Memorial Day weekend.
  5. Scott Patterson

    Scott Patterson

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    This post was made on 14ers.com (bu kaiman). It pertained to hiking, rather Canyoneering in the La Sals, but it may be useful:

    ..the current snow level is around 11,000 feet but there are significant snow drifts below tree line down to 9,000 feet or so. As of yesterday (6-1-15), when I spoke with the Forest Service, the only roads that are snow, mud, and dead fall free and open to the end are the Warner and Oowah Lake roads. The Geyser Pass road is closed by snow drifts a bit past the Gold Basin turnoff (about 3 miles from the top), and the Beaver and Miners Basin roads are still closed at the bottom.

    Also, the La Sal Pass road near Old La Sal is blocked by snow drifts about 1/2 mile past the creek crossing or 5 miles from the top of La Sal Pass, which would add about 10 miles round trip if you were planning on climbing Mount Peale via the standard route from La Sal Pass. That being said, it should only take a couple of weeks before things fully melt out. It is currently in the 90's here in Moab this week, and despite some rain showers forecast for Friday and Saturday, it looks like the summer temps are finally sticking around.

    In the meantime, the peaks in the central and norther part of the range (such as Haystack Mountain, Mount Waas, Manns and Tomaski, etc.) are accessible from Warner and Oowah Lakes if you have some snow gear (waterproof boots, gaiters, microspikes or crampons, and an ice axe or trekking poles) and are interested...
  6. Stephen

    Stephen

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    Thank you Scott for your replies. The point from the 14ers is useful...there is a lot of snow still up top. But kaiman's take is that things are and will be melting off nicely now that summer time temps have hit the area. Fair enough. Id actually not be out that way until the last week of june so according to kaiman's thinking regarding snow melt off, I may be in okay position to try Pleiades by then. Or perhaps all that melted snow will mean volumes of strongly flowing water in the slot.
    Thanks Ram. I realize its a short stroll out to bromley creek where I can simply check out the flow, so we will be in a position to make an on the spot decision when there. As far as that pleiades ice...were there any drops where the regular natural and artificial anchors were inaccessible...and you needed to sling a pillar of ice, or sink a screw?

    Thanks both of you and if anyone drops through Pleiades in the upcoming weeks be great to hear what you encountered.
  7. Ram

    Ram

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    There seemed to be an abundance of anchor options at each drop and nothing unusual was used. The ice was late season hard as heck ice and a tad slippery to rap on, but nothing requiring anything to aid footing. We did run into a problem based on my stupidity. Rope bags recommended. Here is the tale for those who have not read it yet
    http://www.canyoneeringusa.com/rave/aron-ralston-pleiades-canyon-stuck-rope/
  8. Matt Snow

    Matt Snow

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    We did it in April one year and found no bolts/webbing acessible. There were, as Ram said, an abundance of natural anchors though we did use a hook (on rock) at one drop.
  9. Stephen

    Stephen

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    Thanks Matt. Curious, was the hook necessary or just a tool in the pack you had so decided to use for the experience of using it?
  10. Matt Snow

    Matt Snow

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    Maybe could have left webbing somewhere but an anchor wasnt obvious except for under 12" of clear solid ice.
  11. Brian in SLC

    Brian in SLC Brian in SLC

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    From 12 June 2010. Fairly big snow year in the La Sals I dimly recall. We bailed after the first rappel in. Flow too high for us.

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  12. Ram

    Ram

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    OMG!!!!!!
    Very dangerous...you go first!:twothumbs:
  13. Kevin

    Kevin

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    Hiyo!
  14. Stephen

    Stephen

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    Yikes. Thats a lot of water. I was thinking about going at the end of June.
  15. Matt Weyen

    Matt Weyen

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    Anyone know what the conditions are like as of recent? I've gathered that it was a big snow year in the La Sals. Hopefully it's good to go for this weekend.
  16. Phavant

    Phavant

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    I went and checked it out on 6/11. The flow was higher than what was shown on the video above. There was no way I could have even gotten to the spot where they are dropping in. It would have had to been off to the side. Based on the flow I saw it would have gotten really interesting when it slotted up further down. We hiked back out.
    Ram likes this.
  17. Matt Weyen

    Matt Weyen

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    After some research, what I discovered is that Mill Creek has virtually identical head waters as Brumley Creek and Mill Creek has a USGS live feed of it's CFS numbers http://waterdata.usgs.gov/nwis/uv?site_no=09183500. Seeing Mill Creek's CFS drop significantly recently, I decided to go take a peek. Our group rigged the first three rappels and I cleared out a tree from the third rappel's rope path. A couple of us went down one more rappel to determine the safety of continuing. The water course has changed significantly before Taygeta Falls since the last time I had been through (June 2013). What I found was that the water was too high for our group. Maybe an extremely highly qualified group of class C canyoneers could have nailed it. I probably would have attempted it with a really highly qualified group. When we were in Brumley Creek (Pleiades), Mill Creek was running at approximately 45 CFS. My suggestion for future Pleiades canyoneers is to skip this canyon unless Mill Creek is under about 20 to 25 CFS. I ascended back up to Sterope Falls (I think, maybe it was Celæno Falls?) where our group climbed out of the canyon via a break canyon left. The ridge on top of that break lead directly to the exit trail.​

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    Last edited: Jun 21, 2016
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  18. Brian in SLC

    Brian in SLC Brian in SLC

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    That right there is good beta!
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