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Thread: Sandthrax crux location.

  1. #1

    Sandthrax crux location.

    Hi, I am doing Sandthrax on Dec 5th, and I am hoping someone who knows about it will help me out. I am trying to figure out the location of the crux relative to the beginning/end of the canyon. I hope to be able to rap in and leave a backup rope before committing. From reading various trips reports and beta my best guess is that it is on the second half of the canyon somewhere between 60% and 70% of the way in??
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  3. #2
    I'd say the crux is at the 75% mark. But don't let that fool you as about 80% of the canyon is a crux. It's just one point is slightly more difficult that a bunch of other difficult spots.

    Honestly I found the most difficult part of the canyon to be the sustained high stemming where you are climbing for long periods of time with no rest. Most of the climbing is not too difficult (5.4 to 5.6), but you will be doing it unprotected for hours and you can not make a mistake. That is the real crux of the route.

    Beta is here: http://climb-utah.com/Powell/sandthrax.htm

    This is pretty much the canyon start to finish.


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  5. #3
    Woa that was quick. Thank you. Definitely seen that video along with the rest of em on Kaplan's Youtube channel. That stuff is really helpful.

  6. #4
    Content Provider Emeritus ratagonia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by badwobot View Post
    Hi, I am doing Sandthrax on Dec 5th, and I am hoping someone who knows about it will help me out. I am trying to figure out the location of the crux relative to the beginning/end of the canyon. I hope to be able to rap in and leave a backup rope before committing. From reading various trips reports and beta my best guess is that it is on the second half of the canyon somewhere between 60% and 70% of the way in??
    the clearly-defined crux, the 5.11 OW upclimb, is at about the 75% point. Very hard to rig a rope down to it without people (a rim-team) to meat-anchor it. You might be able to get it with two 300' ropes tied together.

    This pictures shows what might be the best place to hang a rope.


    The canyon has collected a bunch of bolts over the last couple of years. Retro-bolts, climbers would call them. Please take a few out while you are in there - they are all unnecessary.

    Tom
    Attached Images Attached Images  

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  8. #5
    This is awesome! exactly what I was looking for. Maybe you know about this. From reading around online I am under the impression that there is a bolt to anchor from above the crux. Is this one of the bolts you do like?
    What I was hoping to rig was a rope from the top of the crux to the bottom of the crux. Was hoping that 400 feet of rope would be enough to reach the top of the crux from the rim using a meat anchor. From there, anchor my shorter crux rope to the bolt or if its not there, then using a chokstone or a big bro. Then I would ascend back out and do the canyon from the beggining.

    Quote Originally Posted by ratagonia View Post
    Please take a few out while you are in there
    I totally will, what size wrench should I take.

  9. #6
    Content Provider Emeritus ratagonia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by badwobot View Post
    This is awesome! exactly what I was looking for. Maybe you know about this. From reading around online I am under the impression that there is a bolt to anchor from above the crux. Is this one of the bolts you do like?


    What I was hoping to rig was a rope from the top of the crux to the bottom of the crux. Was hoping that 400 feet of rope would be enough to reach the top of the crux from the rim using a meat anchor. From there, anchor my shorter crux rope to the bolt or if its not there, then using a chokstone or a big bro. Then I would ascend back out and do the canyon from the beggining.

    I totally will, what size wrench should I take.
    There are no bolts in there that I like. The canyon has been done many many times by people before the bolts got put in. There was one pin put in by the second descent team, that is very far from necessary.

    We are disappointed that the canyon has been Disneyfied by the placement of many bolts, that are entirely un-needed.

    Why don't you just climb the crux? Free climb hard. Aid climb not so hard.

    If you want to TASTE the canyon without actually doing it, a better idea would be to go in from the bottom as far as you can or want, and then go back out the bottom. If you are skilled, you might get all the way to the crux. I would not recommend going DOWN the crux, as it is a lot harder getting up!

    There is no chockstone to anchor a rope at the top of the crux. There might be a place where the biggest BigBro fits, but I doubt it. There may or may not be a bolt up there - there has been talk of taking it out for a few months, so someone might have gone in there and gotten it.

    If you have a meat anchor available, and can get it figured out, it would be "fairer means" to use the rope from heaven to bypass the crux. Your meat anchor will need to be at least two people - one or two to anchor the rope, and one to get close to the edge to communicate with the people down below.

    I don't really see why you would want to do a canyon that you cannot actually do, by cheating. This is one thing that leads to retro-bolts being put in to an established canyon route. Although, as long as you don't add bolts or otherwise leave trash, I guess the style at which you traverse the canyon is a matter between you and your conscious.

    Tom

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  11. #7
    Content Provider Emeritus ratagonia's Avatar
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    Generally, a 6" adjustable wrench is the usual tool, although an 8" one or a cheater stick for the wrench (or both) can sometimes be required. Filling the hole with PC-11 Epoxy Putty is also a good idea, though not required.

    Tom

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  13. #8
    Challenge accepted! Wont be taking epoxy though.

  14. #9
    haha ya i figured that as another alternative. doing the canyon backwards to see this crux from the top before committing.

  15. #10
    There is a spot not too far downstream from the crux where the north canyon rim dips down to within 30' of the canyon bottom and makes a good place to set a rope the allows you to climb in and out of the canyon for visiting the top of the crux. It requires a 120'-150' rope to rig if I remember correctly as the reach to an anchor is long. I've been in and out at that spot a couple of times on fixed ropes, but the last time was 10 years ago. The spot is not difficult to locate if you are looking for a way into the canyon at about the 80% mark.

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  17. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Iceaxe View Post
    There is a spot not too far downstream from the crux where the north canyon rim dips down to within 30' of the canyon bottom and makes a good place to set a rope the allows you to climb in and out of the canyon for visiting the top of the crux. It requires a 120'-150' rope to rig if I remember correctly as the reach to an anchor is long. I've been in and out at that spot a couple of times on fixed ropes, but the last time was 10 years ago. The spot is not difficult to locate if you are looking for a way into the canyon at about the 80% mark.

    Thank you so much. All this stuff is great.
    Is this the spot youre talking about? http://www.canyoneeringusa.com/image...axapproach.jpg

  18. #12
    I believe those are pictures originally from Hank Moon, and it was Hank that first showed me the 'Short Cut' in and out of the bottom section. Somewhere in the world the original high resolution of the picture exists, I had a copy but can't find it at the moment. If I had the high res copy I could probably give you a better answer as I could see our anchor, which was just a small, short, fat "toad stool".

    I have attached a mark up where I think I've gone in and out, but what is marked as the low point was probably done by hank at the time we were exploring what it would take to complete the canyon so that could also be correct. As I said, it's been a while for me.

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  19. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Iceaxe View Post
    I believe those are pictures originally from Hank Moon, and it was Hank that first showed me the 'Short Cut' in and out of the bottom section. Somewhere in the world the original high resolution of the picture exists, I had a copy but can't find it at the moment. If I had the high res copy I could probably give you a better answer as I could see our anchor, which was just a small, short, fat "toad stool".

    I have attached a mark up where I think I've gone in and out, but what is marked as the low point was probably done by hank at the time we were exploring what it would take to complete the canyon so that could also be correct. As I said, it's been a while for me.
    Hey no worries, you've been great help. I really appreciate it. Im confident we can figure this problem out.

  20. #14
    How'd it go in Sandthrax? Pull any bolts?

  21. #15
    So I took a crescent wrench in with me but I only used it to tighten a loose bolt. It was a great time. Here are some pictures.

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    Attached Images Attached Images  

  22. #16
    For anyone that's interested, I should add that we gave up the idea of lowering/climbing up to the crux. Instead, two people stayed behind. And three of us committed to it.
    Nobody had a particularly difficult time though the entire canyon was difficult and with few resting spots. Here is a short video from the bottom of one of the downclimbs still towards the first half. https://www.dropbox.com/s/cpexbic2ag...R4522.MP4?dl=0
    We had packed two 5's, one 6, and a 4 big bro. I lead the crux like a climbing route using the two walls available.
    Here is another picture
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    First I placed a 5, then a 6. Then continued without it as I didn't feel like I needed it. And it was more tiring to place the gear than to just climb.

    In regards to the bolts. While I was happy to see some of those, in my opinion the canyon can do without about half of them (or perhaps all of them). But that did not cross my mind while we were in there.

    It took the three of us 4.5 hrs.

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  24. #17
    Content Provider Emeritus ratagonia's Avatar
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    Good on ya.

    Of course, the canyon has been done many many times without using any bolts, so by definition the canyon can do without any bolts.

    Tom

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  26. #18
    Sandthrax: Utah's premiere sacrificial x-Xish slot !

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