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Thread: New Moab Canyon - Quartzite Canyon

  1. #1
    Moderator jman's Avatar
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    New Moab Canyon - Quartzite Canyon

    Hello Bogley Family!

    Over the past few weeks, I uncovered a "canyon" in Moab that has not been previously descended.

    I'm sharing with you all some teaser pics, and until it becomes an official route (a law enforcement from Arches NP needs to walk the path first) - I won't share the location publicly quite yet. And unfortunately, I have to be there with him and since I'm in Northern Utah I won't be able to head back down anytime soon.

    SO......anyone from C.A.C. who lives in the vicinity of Moab want to take on this responsibility of opening a new route there? PM me for canyon details. Peakbaggers or Moab Mark, are the either of you interested in the coming weeks? I know you two have worked with Moab officials before. You would probably have a better in then me.
    The canyon is called Quartzite Canyon because of the abundance of Quartzite found on the approach. GIANT quartzite rocks that range from golf-ball size to basketball size chunks.

    Anyway, my fellow friends who tagged along on this adventure thought this canyon was "awesome" for Moab. And I would agree as well. You guys can decide.


    Features of the canyon:
    -an oasis within Arches National Park (which means easy access) with FLOWING water...well at least until June (due to Google Earth images spanning 10 years). After June, I wouldn't consider this a destination canyon. I would say the prime times are from February - May. AND AFTER a rainstorm, IF, that particular area got hit with substantial rain.
    -2 raps (both contain a free-hang). the 2nd rappel is my favorite as the flowing stream will get you a little wet. The first rap is about 20ft and 2nd rap is 30ft.
    -The route is beginner friendly.
    -The entire route takes less than 4 hours. You could do it in 2 1/2 hours if you power walk the entire thing. A big group might take 5-6 hours.
    -red-rock cascades and waterfalls are found between the upper and lower parts of the canyon, similar to what's found in Professor Creek.
    -half way through the route, located between the upper and lower canyons is what we called the "halfway waterfall" (clever name I know) which provides a great area to hear a 6ft waterfall below you while you have a lunch and take in the sights. My writing doesn't do it justice.
    -a "subway" section that is similar to something in the actual Subway in Zion. Now, granted...it's not as big or large. Keep in mind, this is Moab. But still impressive.
    -a climatic and mandatory swim that everyone will have to do at the very end. It ends with a 10ft slide (or jump) into a 15ft deep spring-fed pool. The water is COLD but very refreshing! Wetsuits are recommened in the spring, but not mandatory.
    -Low-flash flood danger which means it is a "safe" canyon while threatening and sands don't blow it out like Zion.

    Cons:
    -heavy bushwhacking in some areas at the end of the upper canyon.
    -water flow will stop in May or June (depends on snow melt) once the upper canyon drains its water.
    -you could do this canyon after the flow has stoped, but it would be hot! Although the water holes would still be there but they would be smaller and quite stagnant. Running water is much, much betta!
    -REMEMBER- for the Moab area, this will be a fun canyon. But if you are looking for the next Imlay or Lehi Canyons..haha, definitely not here. Not even close. If you hate Moab Canyons - you will hate this. If you love Moab Canyons - you'll love this one. Easy to remember, right?

    Enough preaching to the choir!! Get on with it Brett!!


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    I'll see if I can post a vid edit later tonight as well.

    Oh, and yes - it will be released here and for free (once it is official). A gift to my awesome family. :)
    ●Canyoneering 'Canyon Conditions' @ www.candition.com
    ●Subscribe to my friend Jeff's Youtube Channel - you can watch our adventures there.
    ●Hiking Treks (my younger brother's website): hiking guides at www.thetrekplanner.com
    "There are two ways to die in the desert - dehydration and drowning." -overhearing a Park Ranger at Capitol Reef N.P.
    "He who walks on the edge, will eventually fall."

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  4. #2

  5. #3
    I would have waited to post these pictures and "teasers" of a potentially sensitive resource before the powers that be have a chance to do the necessary survey/review.

    Just saying

  6. #4
    Nice report!

    Just one note; I don't think those rocks are quartzite. I believe that they are the coarse graded hard sandstones from the Salt Wash Member of the Morrison Formation. There actually isn't any quatzite in that area that I'm aware of, except for underground from the strata exposed in Arches National Park.
    Utah is a very special and unique place. There is no where else like it on earth. Please take care of it and keep the remaining wild areas in pristine condition. The world will be a better place if you do.

  7. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Scott P View Post
    Just one note; I don't think those rocks are quartzite. I believe that they are the coarse graded hard sandstones from the Salt Wash Member of the Morrison Formation. There actually isn't any quatzite in that area that I'm aware of, except for underground from the strata exposed in Arches National Park.

    Concur

  8. #6
    half hearted enthusiast Kashmire's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scott P View Post
    Nice report!

    Just one note; I don't think those rocks are quartzite. I believe that they are the coarse graded hard sandstones from the Salt Wash Member of the Morrison Formation. There actually isn't any quatzite in that area that I'm aware of, except for underground from the strata exposed in Arches National Park.
    It could be called, " Not-Quartzite Canyon"

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  10. #7
    Moderator jman's Avatar
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    Lolz

    We gathered a rock from within the canyon (there was a lot of this type of rock in the lower half of this "canyon") and I showed one of backcountry rangers at the visitor center and it was her conclusion that it was indeed Quartzite. But maybe you guys are right. Non-quartzite canyon. Hahahaha

    Here is a pic I took of that rock.
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    Sounds like you all just need to do it then!

    And from last report of someone doing it a week ago was that it was still flowing and creating a fun waterfall at the 2nd rap. And so far, things are looking great for official access through it. I'm hoping within the next week or two.
    ●Canyoneering 'Canyon Conditions' @ www.candition.com
    ●Subscribe to my friend Jeff's Youtube Channel - you can watch our adventures there.
    ●Hiking Treks (my younger brother's website): hiking guides at www.thetrekplanner.com
    "There are two ways to die in the desert - dehydration and drowning." -overhearing a Park Ranger at Capitol Reef N.P.
    "He who walks on the edge, will eventually fall."

  11. #8
    We gathered a rock from within the canyon (there was a lot of this type of rock in the lower half of this "canyon") and I showed one of backcountry rangers at the visitor center and it was her conclusion that it was indeed Quartzite.
    Now that I see your picture, I know what you are referring to. It looks like the white chert (which is a type of quartz) [it could also be a chunk of "normal" quartz-I'd have to see it] from the Summerville or from the Tidwell Member of the Morrison Formation. I believe the reason that it is sometimes white in that region is because it has a high silica content.



    Chert is formed as a concretion/replaced mineral. Quartzite is former sandstone that has been metamorphosed into quartzite by heat and pressure deep under the earth's surface. Since it takes a lot of heat and pressure to form quartzites, they are usually older rocks than you would find around Moab. Other than in the La Sal Mountains, almost of the rocks around Moab are from the Jurassic and Triassic (which is why there are dinosaur bones and tracks in the area) and they are between 130 and 225 million years old. Quartzite is present under Moab, but it's a long way underground. The Tintic Quartzite is much older than the rocks exposed around Moab and is more than 500 million years old.

    Unless a quartzite rock is an erratic carried there by a river, stream, or glacier, you typically wouldn't find it in isolated chunks, but as a distinctive rock layer (especially since quartzite tends to be hard, much harder than the rocks around Moab). You do however find rocks formed as replacement material around Moab and those type of rocks are in isolated chunks or nodules. Such examples are chert and concretions.

    Since chert is made of quarts, you could always just take off the "ite" in the name of the canyon (if you wanted to). Quartz Canyon still sounds cool.
    Utah is a very special and unique place. There is no where else like it on earth. Please take care of it and keep the remaining wild areas in pristine condition. The world will be a better place if you do.

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  13. #9
    Do we have an update on this canyon?
    "Good people do not need laws to tell them to act responsibly, while bad people will find a way around the laws." - Plato

  14. #10
    Moderator jman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stray View Post
    Do we have an update on this canyon?
    Yup, but I can't say quite yet currently. I know, it's weird. (And it's quite the process to get a canyon approved btw!!)

    I'm going to call one of the Rangers who has completed the route tomorrow and give you a better time frame and update.

    Oh and the name has changed into a better appropriate name. And I can't say what the name is other wise it will give away the location.

    So many secrets!!!!! I know...I know... Just hang tight.



    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    ●Canyoneering 'Canyon Conditions' @ www.candition.com
    ●Subscribe to my friend Jeff's Youtube Channel - you can watch our adventures there.
    ●Hiking Treks (my younger brother's website): hiking guides at www.thetrekplanner.com
    "There are two ways to die in the desert - dehydration and drowning." -overhearing a Park Ranger at Capitol Reef N.P.
    "He who walks on the edge, will eventually fall."

  15. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by jman View Post
    Over the past few weeks, I uncovered a "canyon" in Moab that has not been previously descended.
    interesting.
    looks almost identical to to willow springs canyon.
    pretty sure ryan corina (aka ajroadtrips) beat you to it by at least a few years. he's had the beta out on the web for a while now.

    http://www.roadtripryan.com/go/t/uta...rings#overview

  16. #12
    Moderator jman's Avatar
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    New Moab Canyon - Quartzite Canyon

    Quote Originally Posted by Moose Droppings View Post
    interesting.
    looks almost identical to to willow springs canyon.
    pretty sure ryan corina (aka ajroadtrips) beat you to it by at least a few years. he's had the beta out on the web for a while now.

    http://www.roadtripryan.com/go/t/uta...rings#overview
    The one I "found" is not willow springs. Probably 8miles away or so.

    I've hiked willow two years ago and it's a entertaining hike with a little water. And Willow doesn't have rappels which this new one does.
    ●Canyoneering 'Canyon Conditions' @ www.candition.com
    ●Subscribe to my friend Jeff's Youtube Channel - you can watch our adventures there.
    ●Hiking Treks (my younger brother's website): hiking guides at www.thetrekplanner.com
    "There are two ways to die in the desert - dehydration and drowning." -overhearing a Park Ranger at Capitol Reef N.P.
    "He who walks on the edge, will eventually fall."

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  18. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by jman View Post
    I uncovered a "canyon" in Moab that has not been previously descended.
    Jman, I'd encourage you to consider how no footprints or anchors is poor evidence of no previous descent. In this case, when I went down in 2004 I certainly was not the first. I'd also encourage you to consider how much more fun you folks had without beta, and that there is little value in detailed info on a dead easy canyon/wash which never gets further than 3 miles from a paved road. Perhaps you want to keep it off the net and lets other have the same experience you did.

  19. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by DC View Post
    I'd also encourage you to consider how much more fun you folks had without beta, and that there is little value in detailed info on a dead easy canyon/wash which never gets further than 3 miles from a paved road. Perhaps you want to keep it off the net and lets other have the same experience you did.
    I can agree that the sense of discovery does heighten the excitement and authenticity of a canyon or trail as you are experiencing it for the first time.

    But I can also argue that if I stumbled upon a canyon like this and turned away because I didn't know if perhaps there was a rappel longer than what I had rope for, then I come home to find out it is a really cool canyon and I should have taken my responsible group through it because we did have sufficient gear with us, that would suck.

    There is the argument that secrecy will protect canyons, but there is a counter point that if somebody thinks a canyon is unknown, they could abuse it and nobody would know.

    There is the opposite argument that if you are the first to publish a trail or canyon, you have more influence on others with how to respect the location, how to keep it open for future guests, and how to come together as a community for it's protection rather than trying to protect it all by yourself in secret, when you finally have time to get around to it alone.

    I tend to side with sharing responsible information, involving the community to help protect a natural resource. Vandalism or even poor treatment for the canyon will happen, but you have a better chance at correcting the damage when the community is involved.

    If somebody wants to experience the feeling like discovery of a canyon, they can just avoid seeking out beta for it.

    But if others want to be prepared for a canyon, I think it's unfair to keep it secret because a few people want to experience it without seeing pictures first.

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    Moderator jman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DC View Post
    Jman, I'd encourage you to consider how no footprints or anchors is poor evidence of no previous descent. In this case, when I went down in 2004 I certainly was not the first. I'd also encourage you to consider how much more fun you folks had without beta, and that there is little value in detailed info on a dead easy canyon/wash which never gets further than 3 miles from a paved road. Perhaps you want to keep it off the net and lets other have the same experience you did.
    I've done a lot of thinking since the initial post but stand by it.

    I agree that footprints/anchors is "poor" evidence of a no previous descent. Now granted, we didn't leave any trash behind or install anything, but we did leave a lot of footprints. And while we didn't seen any rope grooves either, it doesn't mean that it is has NOT been descended.

    I did a LOT of searching online and asking people, asking the NPS, asking other Moab locals about this "canyon" and no one ever descended it or hiked to it. So with that, we took it as a indicator that it wasn't descended or at least a "first documented".

    But none of that matters. But what does matter is what the NPS says.

    They really liked the route. However, since a rare plant was found on the route and goes through sensitive riparian sections, they are prohibiting me from publishing the full route online.

    However, which I clarified and had them repeat several times, you CAN still do the canyon. If it's found in any publication online or in print - they will "take action" (which can also be litigation if serious enough) against that person. Which they have done several times for rock climbing routes in Arches that were found.

    Essentially its a canyon that will be in the same league as Lomatium and Krill. A "show don't tell" (which I hate). It's to protect the masses from destroying it he (law enforcement ranger) said. The park will not publish it or tell anyone that it exists, although he did say something cryptic about another "three canyons being that same way" with within the park...


    Do you have a picture or two from your descent DC? I'm be interested in seeing them if you don't mind.



    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    ●Canyoneering 'Canyon Conditions' @ www.candition.com
    ●Subscribe to my friend Jeff's Youtube Channel - you can watch our adventures there.
    ●Hiking Treks (my younger brother's website): hiking guides at www.thetrekplanner.com
    "There are two ways to die in the desert - dehydration and drowning." -overhearing a Park Ranger at Capitol Reef N.P.
    "He who walks on the edge, will eventually fall."

  22. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by jman View Post
    If it's found in any publication online or in print - they will "take action" (which can also be litigation if serious enough) against that person. Which they have done several times for rock climbing routes in Arches that were found.
    This is pure bullshit and if anyone actually told you this they are an idiot or attempting to use a scare tactic so you'll keep your mouth shut.

    As a guidebook author and sprayer of beta I can tell you that posting the beta is protected under the first amendment and there is zero they can do to you personally for posting anything that has to do with the route. The only things the park can do is "manage the route", which means they can prohibit the route, limit access to the route, permit the route, you get the idea.

    And for the record the reason I have never publicly betaed Lomation and Krill is I didn't want to see the access tightened or prohibited. Being inside a special access area (the Fiery Furnace) it would be easy for the park to tighten or eliminate access. Where in other areas it's not so simple for the park as they have to provide and prove reason to close or limit.

    I kind of went through a similar situation when I outted the Lost Springs Canyons. The park wanted to keep the area very limited and seldom visited. Before Undercover Canyon was published Iess than 50 people a year visited that section of the park. After the canyon was published 50 people a weekend was not uncommon.

    I also get all types of threats and scare tactics used against me with regards to posting the location of rock art and ruins, but again there is really nothing anyone can do legally to stop me.

    Anyhoo... if you decide to post or not is up to you. Just make your decision based on facts and not myths or scare tactics.

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  24. #17
    I believe the potential to vandalize or damage a site could be more possible if it is kept secret and the vandals don't think anybody will ever find out about it because it is secret.

    At least if the site has beta on it, the community can jump in and help protect these resources.

    Imagine how difficult it is to protect a site if you know it's a secret, are you going to take this responsibility on yourselves? It's only a matter of time that some A-hole comes along and wants to trash/steal/vandalize something. Some think if the location is public, it only invites more vandals. But with that line of reasoning you must accept that there is an exponentially larger number of people who want to protect these known sites, bringing harsher consequences to those who damage them.

    In the end I believe it's easier to protect something if you have the community helping you, rather than doing it yourself and keeping it a secret.

    Keeping the government from taking over and blocking access for everybody is a whole 'nuther tangent. But if things are kept secret, they eventually are damaged and those of us who want to protect it never had a chance.

    And thus we revisit the two points of view regarding beta. But I believe ongoing discussions like this are progressive, not negative.

  25. #18
    Over the long haul education is the only way to really protect rock, ruins, canyons, ect. Everything else is just a bandaid over a festering wound.

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