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UT: North Wash Sandthrax 11-11-18

Discussion in 'Trip Reports' started by Ram, Nov 14, 2018.

  1. Ram

    Ram

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    Return the prodigal son....after a 6 year hiatus from canyoneering, Aaron made a cameo as "the mystery guest" at a TomFest. On day 15 of a 17 day trip, he called to tell me when he would return home. Important info as we are job sharing. He had been in Indian Creek for 2 weeks, generally doing a 10+ mile run in the AM and rock climbing till nightfall. He was transitioning out toward the Wasatch for a day or so when I mentioned that a gang of old friends, with new friends to make, were going to be at North Wash.

    The "Mystery Guest" is an old tradition on our canyon trips. Kept secret until his arrival, it is sure to create smiles. I could not go to the fest, because Aaron was out, so I suggested he take my place. He is glad he did. Six years ago he did 2 canyons, with a friend, but really one has to go back 8.5 years, to his descents of Pintac, Long Branch, Big Tony and the 1st descent of SOS, to find the time he did canyons, before this past weekend.

    He seems to have inspired a Sandthrax descent, among some assembled there. It had been just under 12 and 11.5 years ago since he did Sandthrax, as a 15 year old. Since then he has worked hard, at become a thoroughly rounded climber, including the hated "off width". He had his eye on the crux, for a decade, after having drizzle, on his 2nd descent rob that chance. Finally someone who really knows the off width ratings, would be doing it. He shared what he thinks it should be rated, after leading it this time. I will share at the bottom of the post. Many have chimney-ed up outside the wide crack and dyno'd over to the top. Well, maybe not many, but some. But what is only using the crack, truly rated?

    Aaron was joined by Tre-C Kwan, Cassy Brown, Katie Duffy and Big John Diener. He, of course, is not in any pictures. Perhaps others on the trip will post theirs up after this. Pictures from Aaron....

    The entry. Aaron downclimbed the rap, or so I hear
    Sand01.


    Last time on the ground for awhile
    Sand02.

    John and Tre-C
    Sand03.



    Cassy dancin
    Sand04.

    X canyons are for women
    Sand05.

    Sand06.

    Up you go!
    Sand07.


    Silo
    Sand08.

    Gulp!
    Sand09.


    Sand10.


    Past the silo smiles. Crux ahead.
    Sand11.

    Kate at the crux
    Sand12.

    Aaron Chicken-Winging
    Sand12B.

    John starts the long straightaway
    Sand13.

    My favorite part of the canyon
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    "Up and over" ahead
    [​IMG]

    You take the high road and I'll take the low road
    [​IMG]

    Business
    [​IMG]

    Out
    [​IMG]


    Here is the trip report of Aaron's first time through as a teenager, for those who have not read it.
    http://www.canyoneeringusa.com/rave/sandthrax-canyon/


    Oh and he rates it at 5.9+. Maybe 5.10

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  2. Ram

    Ram

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    I have been getting reports that people are not seeing the pictures. Different people, not seeing different ones (the pictures work for me, on my computer and CC). While I am doing it the exact way it has worked in the past, there is the variable of the pictures coming from Aaron's camera. I have no idea how to fix that, but.....I can get a link to the album and post it here. There were pictures in this album that did not get posted to the trip report, so the captions for the pictures and the album do not line up. Sigh.

    https://photos.app.goo.gl/3kZ5HzqTcc11jTAB6
    Deborah Davis likes this.
  3. Brian in SLC

    Brian in SLC Brian in SLC

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    Awesome!

    And, I don't think one person's opinion is the "true rating" of a climb...but, his "maybe" estimate (true rating...ha), mirrors what I've heard a very seasoned climber from Salt Lake thinks the rating is. Around 5.9+. Ish.

    Offwidth can be such a specialists style. Hard to find someone who really knows who's been in that slot. Even then, ratings are super subjective.

    Makes me wonder if Jaybro (Jay Anderson) has done Sandthrax. He's in Moab. Relatively well known offwidth climber...(Lucille, Wide World of Sports...eek). Check out the "widefetish" website...(not sure its safe for work...).

    Get those pics to work! I can see about half.

    Thanks!
    Ram likes this.
  4. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    and... Peeps are not very good at rating climbs they find easy. When I was climbing, I could rate climbs with precision within a couple grades of my limit.

    To be clear, since I do not climb rated climbs, or much of any climbs of any difficulty, MY rating on the YDS scale is rather useless. But I will share it anyway: I thought, after aiding to as high as the #6 Camalots would fit, that from there it was 5.9+ or 5.10-.

    Thus, Aaron's (5.12/5.13 climber) or Jaybro's (ibid) etc. ratings of the upclimb is also rather useless. Or maybe I am just insulted that I could make NO UPWARD PROGRESS on a 5.9... ha!

    T
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  5. John Diener

    John Diener

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    Here's a picture of Aaron in the crux zone - I believe he had a right knee jam and right arm chicken wing while carefully tilting out from the bulge so he could get a heel-toe with his left foot to leverage upward. I know very little about OW techniques, but I'm guessing the suggested rating assumes you have mastery of said techniques.
    -john
    DSCF2636.JPG
  6. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    I don't see a belay there... free-solo...

    Okay, I look closer, I see the belay. Certainly Kate would not be so foolish as to stand beneath a solo-er so casually.

    T
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  7. Brian in SLC

    Brian in SLC Brian in SLC

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    Nice shot!

    Yeah, just like anything...if you're not experienced at climbing friction routes on granite, then...Tingey's in LCC might be frightening.

    That's a really good photo to give at least an impression of what it might be rated. Chicken wing and heel/toe type stuff is in the semi realm of the possible for some of us normal humans (well...sort of). When they start doing "Leavett-a-tion" and inverting and the like...then all bets are off!

    Here's some local fare for you to hone your technique, John...(ha ha)...

    http://offwidtharmy.blogspot.com/2015/03/boulders-that-touch.html

    Seems like there's a boulder problem at the Gate...maybe the Gate Chimney? Its kinda offwidthy.

    Damn kids...ha ha...

    https://www.climbing.com/videos/wat...ch-warfare-5-12-roof-crack-with-a-circus-net/
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  8. Canyonero

    Canyonero

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    Fun to see the pictures of Tre-C. She was there on my first (only) descent at FreezeFest last year.

    Not surprised to see him say it was 9+/10. First, 5.9+ off-width is really, really hard. However, I can probably climb 5.9 off-width and I don't think I can climb that. So I think it's got to be 5.10. To be honest, I didn't really try to free it though. We just aided. I'm going to try next time. It's not that hard to protect with the right gear and a dynamic rope.

    Aaron looks kinda buff. You sure he's your son? :)
    Ram likes this.
  9. Brian in SLC

    Brian in SLC Brian in SLC

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    John...have you played around on the wide in Mo Sandy?



    Zac says offwidth is a party trick...(whatever!)...
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2018
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  10. John Diener

    John Diener

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    Ha, he kind of makes it look "fun". Haven't tried, but I have to say some of those techniques look less painful than some of the hand or finger sizes. Almost tempting.
    -john
  11. Brian in SLC

    Brian in SLC Brian in SLC

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    I've played around on the start of that overhanging OW at Momentum. Zac makes it look so casual...

    Amazing to watch someone very proficient in the technique. Had a friend who was pretty good at them. Watching him climb a burly OW was like watching a high end sport climber. Very choreographed moves, precise, fluid transitions, flawless technique.

    Fun to see Ondra spending time in Utah. Bellyful of Bad Berries on his 2nd try? Not bad for a sports climber. Was in Little Cottonwood just a couple days ago...
  12. Kate Woods

    Kate Woods Kate Duffy

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    I'm a climber too (though not much of an OW climber) and gave it a go before Aaron did and it felt pretty damn hard (the 'girlfreind redpoint' right Tom? ;) ). That said the size of your feet/hands/legs relative to the OW matters a lot. I found that what Aaron could jam was just free air for someone with skinny appendages or small feet such as myself. Or that's my excuse anyway!
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  13. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    Check...

    It has a lot of flare to it. I could get a heel-toe jam, but too far back to do any good. Size 10 feet.

    My understanding is that Aaron's ascent was tainted, since the Girl got the draws on it (in this case, got the protection in). Though on this one, as I remember (always suspicious), getting in the cams was not really a problem.

    T
  14. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    Some have suggested the postman must have been involved.

    T
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  15. Ram

    Ram

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    My understanding is, due to the efforts of Bill and Tom, the pictures work, on the original post Check um out (In conjunction with the captions)
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  16. Kuenn

    Kuenn

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    Thanks Bill and Tom....context is everything. :thumbsup:

    That's one awesome canyon! Y'all made it look way too enjoyable....everyone's a smilin'

    Or is it more like Wet Willie framed it:
    Keep on smilin' through the rain, laughin' at the pain
    Rollin with the changes til the sun comes out again
    Keep on smilin' through the rain, laughin' at the pain
    Rollin with the changes, singin' this refrain
    Ram likes this.
  17. Austin Farnworth

    Austin Farnworth

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    Was there any deep water on this descent?
  18. Brian in SLC

    Brian in SLC Brian in SLC

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    So, would that make it a "pynk point"? Ha ha.

    Great photo's!
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