GRANARY CANYON

Granary Canyon. Moab, Utah.

 Last day in Moab and I wanted to get to Granary Canyon as I have heard that it is one of the premier canyons in the Moab area so I stayed up at the top in the Island in the Sky so I could have cell phone reception which also helped with the drive to the trailhead the following day.
Granary Canyon. Moab, Utah.
 The road was a hardpan sand dirt road which could have been a disaster and a bit of a trick in wet conditions but luck was in my favor and the snow melt has diminished to just a mild wet sand so the subby was able to make it with out any issues at all.  Now the day before, I attempted to find this trailhead but instead took the wrong road and ended up driving 10 miles on high clearance road to the middle of the desert. Always check your map, compass, and GPS, if using one to verify it is all correct...mistake 1.  I did not as I thought this would be a casual ride but I ended up getting lost and ended up in some interesting situations a the bottom of Granary Canyon.

Granary Canyon. Moab, Utah.
 I wanted to travel light and thought that this would be straightforward as the other canyons were so I opted to not take extra webbing, fiddlestick, and just wore comfy hiking boots instead of my lifeless 5.10s which turned out to be items that I needed the most, mistake 2.  Always bring everything to every canyon no matter what the canyons rating is.
Granary Canyon. Moab, Utah.
 I started my hike down the desert and meandered around some of the high canyon ridges to get to what I thought was Granary Canyon.  I descended down the slick rock surface to the bottom of a canyon and negotiated around some small dry falls until I got to the first drop.  What is interesting is that there was webbing in place but the way point said I was another .5 miles from the entry into Granary Canyon, which can be a lot when dealing with canyons. It turns out I was in the wrong canyon after looking at my map, so where does this canyon lead to?..
Granary Canyon. Moab, Utah.
 I find a way to hike out of the canyon so I can make sure I find the right entry point and not find myself raping down into a drop just to be kept in a canyon that has a drop over 200ft (longer than my rope) and no way out. I continued to follow my Janky GPS unit to the first drop of Granary Canyon and eventually, after climbing down another canyon and following the wash, I made it to the majestic view point where the canyon drops deep into the red rock. I could see the fangs and the sand flats in the distance which was really interesting to see. There was only one anchor point with no quick link attached, so I set up my own anchor and attempted to keep it all away from the V lip rope sticker so the rope would get stuck. I kit up and proceed to rap down to the first shelf and proceed to the second shelf which all included around a 100ft of descent, pull the rope and wham, stuck.  I attempted to unstick the ropes multiple times with out any success, So here I am, solo, stuck on a shelf in the middle of the desert. I am prepared for this kind of incident so I don my frog but while I was doing that I was looking at the crack in the wall and it appeared to be climbable, especially after climbing Castleton tower yesterday, I chimney up almost to the top of the spur.
Granary Canyon. Moab, Utah.
 there was a 5.11 climb that I did not notice with hand holds that broke as I would grab them and a fall at this point would dock me too many points with the payment of a broken bone so I attempted to climb up another section and the rock crumbled below my feet and I almost took a fall down another keeping sandstone caldera. not cool!  I stopped my efforts and went back down to the rope and climbed up SRT to un-hook the ropes, re-direct them a bit more and rapped back down to pull the ropes with success. That wasted a lot of time and I should have just SRTed up the rope instead of trying to climb out of the canyon, mistake 3..make a list and review at the end of this blog on not what NOT to do.  Always bring your full gear list, know your route, and if in doubt SRT out of the canyon. In a situation like this though, it will all depend as you can look at the walls and they appear to be climbable but find out that the last 15-20ft is the crux of the climb and you can put yourself in a sketchy situation so see the route before attempting to climb it.
Granary Canyon. Moab, Utah.
 After the third rap I was at the bottom of Granary canyons first three drops. The drops were interesting but I was starting to get a little fed up with the canyon and was looking forward to popping back out into the desert to hike out. the first three drops are right after one another and are 100ft or less, just make sure to set up a fiddlestick or rig to another location at the first drop to unstick the rope.
Granary Canyon. Moab, Utah.
 I came up to a couple more raps and some small pot holes to negotiate around which was not to difficult to do. One of the raps had a nice arch just before the drop which was interesting to see. Finally I popped out in the valley wash and made my way up the sandstone hill back to the desert, to the 4x4 road (which can be hard to spot) and after around 3 miles of hiking in the desert, I made it back to my car. I would give this route a 3BIII if you are doing the loop hike and for the rope stick risk involved.  It was a great canyon, beautiful, and majestic views but the day was a bit longer than I anticipated and when I got back to the car, I headed back out down to Moab for the phattiest burger I could find!
Granary Canyon. Moab, Utah.

Powered by Blogger.