High Spur and North Wash

Discussion in 'Canyoneering' started by Ross, Nov 1, 2017.

  1. Ross

    Ross Member

    Messages:
    203
    Ever since becoming captivated by Antelope and Buckskin, then discovering Utah had many such slots after buying a Kelsey book nearly 20 years ago, High Spur was in my mind as a particularly nice one. (Funny how I now meet a new internet generation of canyoneers who have not had any need for a Kelsey book). It was described as a hiking canyon. I guess perhaps it might be if you are confident in your down climbing abilities. But as the final 80ft rap cannot be downclimbed you'd have to double back and exit earlier if you wanted to avoid any rappels.

    Anyway I was due to do the canyon 3 years ago but rain was forecast So it didn't happen.

    This time my plans also looked in doubt when my original planned companion had to drop out, but Anthony D - who was due to join us anyway - kept to his word and kindly guaranteed the weekend where he generously took the lead role for 4 less experienced people. He invited 3 other people who proved good company too, with Robin picking a fine canyon for her first. The plus side of easier shorter canyons is it gives extra time for photos, and everyone was very easy-going about us taking our time, so hopefully it paid off with some nice photos.
    I'm afraid when I uploaded them they all came out in a random jumbled order below, not the order I uploaded.

    (As the rangers' description a week before was "frigid, stinky swimmers with dead things in", the DSLR had its first outing in a canyoneeringusa keg, but there was only one swimmer)

    Camping at motel 6, a clear starry sky and dry forecast augured well - only for us to wake up to distant dark clouds and lightning. We headed to High Spur trying to remain optimistic but the storms remained and it was cold - not ideal when we had been warned of cold water in the canyon.

    Reluctantly we decided to bail out and drive to Blarney and Leprechaun - via a yet-to-be-earned Stan's burger and shake! - to see conditions there. Fortunately the skies looked safer so we did Blarney top down then still had time for leprechaun bottom up - each having fine sections of canyon.

    (One suggestion when looking at the photos below - I noticed the verticals don't look so good when a whole photo doesn't fit on the computer screen & you have to scroll down to see one photo.. Better to shrink the page or zoom out & see a whole photo in one go, even if it's smaller)


    After a second enjoyable camp fire night of stories and laughs, the next morning I woke up to the pink sunrise below - so you pretty much know the day is going to be good.







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    Last edited: Nov 1, 2017
    gnwatts, Curt, powderglut and 16 others like this.
  2. Wanderlust073

    Wanderlust073 Member

    Messages:
    350
    Location:
    Colorado
    Looks awesome
     
    Ross likes this.
  3. swmalone

    swmalone Member

    Messages:
    172
    Location:
    Northern Utah
    That looks like a great trip. We took my in-laws on a pretty short, guided rappel/canyoneering trip and now they are all gung ho to find other trips to do. This one looks like it might be a good one for me to research.
     
  4. Ross

    Ross Member

    Messages:
    203
    I know Navtec in Moab take people to High Spur. My one experience with them on an overnight somewhere else was very good. It's not one of their most common canyons as it's well off paved road and an overnight and I guess they'd take at least two guides, so it won't be cheap, but their food, equipment and attention to safety was very good. (If you contact them ask for Brian and say I said 'hi')
     
    swmalone likes this.
  5. George_Washington_Hayduke

    George_Washington_Hayduke Member

    Messages:
    94
    Location:
    Salt Lake City
    Those Navtec guides are a joke. We saw a big group of navtec people "glamping" literally ontop of the old cabin at South Fork of Robber Roost canyon. Not only were they camping on the ruin, but they were having a fire in the old stone fire place. Not a single one of them new the history of where they were. One of the guides actually asked us why there were so many little game trails zig zagging on the hills.....me and my buddy looked at each other and almost laughed .....COWS man, cows
     
    Nick and regehr like this.
  6. Ross

    Ross Member

    Messages:
    203

    I’m surprised. Was it definitely Navtec. I guess maybe there’s a bit of a turnover of guides at these companies and some may be new and not as good. I went to the Maze for 5 days years ago and they camped at recognised campgrounds, practised leave no trace including dirty grey water and waste, food was excellent, a guide for just 2 people, he checked in to tell his office exactly where we were every morning and night and at start, end and middle of each hike on a satellite phone (not that we really needed it), and then the rafting man had done Cataract canyon many times in fierce conditions. Both guides were very knowledgeable and, judging by your username, you’ll be pleased to know he brought every Edward Abbey book ever written on the trip and he had read them!
     
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