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Pleiades July 15th, 2017

Discussion in 'Trip Reports' started by Ross Platt, Jul 16, 2017.

  1. Ross Platt

    Ross Platt

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    My wife and I descended Pleiades yesterday and had a great time. The flow was pretty strong, but manageable, and the water was cold. We had 3/2 mm wetsuits and neoprene socks. As we had never done the canyon before I do not know what it is like on average but it was stronger and faster than Angel Creek Falls in Ouray was when we did it at the end of June. Overall, it was a blast, despite having a few setbacks.

    We made good time getting to the first rappel and started off by getting very wet. The rap into the chamber is a lot of fun for being so short. It was so much fun I just had to do it again. By that I mean the rope got stuck and I had to find a place to climb out (20 yards from the rappel, LDC) in order to retrieve it. It was a pretty sketchy climb and I would not recommend doing it unless you are a skilled climber. A lot of loose rock. Turns out the rope was in the wrong place at the wrong time and had gotten wedged in a chokestone at the same time that a stick was going through the little slot. I got the rope out easily, re-rigged, and rapped for the second time. This time the pull was great.

    The second rappel was fun and wet as well. Unfortunately it must have been a bad day for me because I managed to get the rope stuck again. Luckily, I was able to find higher ground this time and managed to pull it out this time, otherwise we would have had to cut the rope.

    On the third rappel I was pretty nervous about the rope pull (as can be expected after getting the rope stuck twice) and so I broke up the two stage rappel into two raps. And then I got the rope stuck. A really bad day for me. And of course, after looking around a little more, I found a way back up that would have made for a super easy downclimb that we could have done. I climbed that, pulled the rope, cleaned the unnecessary anchor that I had just built, and climbed back down.

    Lucky for me the rest of the canyon went well and we made the last 3 rappels without a problem. We broke the fourth rappel up into two stages (the anchor was already there so I was pretty sure that this would turn out better than my attempt at breaking a longer rappel). The chute was tremendous and though my wife slipped and got pounded by the waterfall it was her favorite rappel. The last drop was running pretty strong so we rapped off of a log using a retrievable anchor. Despite the difficulties that we faced and my wife's asthma giving her problems on the exit hike we still managed 4.5 hours car to car.

    Lessons learned:
    1. Be very careful and think more about rope pull. If it is advantageous to get higher ground, look for it!
    2. Be conscious of possible downclimbs and scan an area thoroughly to find solutions to obstacles.

    Overall we had a fantastic time, even though we struggled a little bit more than we probably should have. I could not recommend this canyon more, it is probably my favorite in Moab now.

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    darhawk, Kuenn and Moab Mark like this.
  2. Moab Mark

    Moab Mark

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    Great pictures.

    Sent from my SM-G935V using Tapatalk
  3. Ross Platt

    Ross Platt

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    Thanks!
  4. Kuenn

    Kuenn

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    Looked very refreshing for a summer day in Moab!

    Just curious, for the day/conditions, how necessary was the wet suit? I know it's cooler up there in the La Sal Mtn area.
  5. Ross Platt

    Ross Platt

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    Yes, it was very refreshing! The wetsuits were definitely needed. My wife was still pretty cold when we were out of the sun but I was about perfect with the wetsuit and neoprene socks.
    Kuenn likes this.
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