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 Peak(s):  Winter Warmer Canyon - 5,300 feet
Repeater Jr Canyon - 5,350 feet
Tidwell Canyon - 5,100 feet
Low Spur Canyon - 5,150 feet
 Post Date:  03/26/2013
 Date Climbed:   03/13/2013
 Posted By:  Furthermore

 Random Slots from The High Spur to Arches      


Winter Warmer Canyon 3A I
Repeater Jr Canyon 3A I


March 13, 2013
~4.5 Miles, ~600 Gain (Winter Warmer)
~2.0 Miles, ~300 Gain (Repeater Jr)
Trailhead: Winter Camp Ridge Road (High clearance recommended)(~6 hours from Denver) (N38.79375 W109.44345 Winter Wamer)( N38.79710 W109.43008 Repeater Jr)


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Since I got off work at midnight on the 12th, getting an early start on the drive to Utah wasn't reasonable so I had to find some short canyons to fill half a day. Both of these canyons were a good option to break up the long drive to the High Spur. My wife and I finished packing and left Denver around 8 AM, arriving at the trailhead around 1 PM.

The La Sal Mountains from the trailhead for Winter Warmer.
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Finishing our final packing, we were hiking towards the rim of Winter Warmer Canyon at 1:40 PM. Due to some lousy beta, we ended up hiking to the rim of the canyon and then hiking east back to the mouth of the canyon which wasted 30 minutes. Leaving the road at (N38.79473 W109.43828) and hiking south to the rim would be a much better alternative. Once at the start of the canyon (N38.79280 W109.43855), I rigged a 60M fixed rope for the 160-170 foot, two stage rappel off of a tree on the north side of the canyon.

Interesting rock.
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Head of Winter Warmer Canyon
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Donna starting the rappel into Winter Warmer.
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Rappel in Winter Warmer.
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We rappelled into the canyon and enjoyed a short slot section and then slogged down canyon to our exit. Luckily, the temperature wasn't too hot and we left the canyon up another shallow canyon just past some cottonwood trees. Hiking north out of the shallow wash, we intercepted the road.

The slot of Winter Warmer.
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Looking back up the rappel into winter warmer.
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Pretty.
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Hiking down winter warmer.
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Cottonwood trees marking our exit soon.
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Hiking out of Winter Warmer.
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Once I reached the road, I ran back up the road, retrieved my fixed rope and returned to the car at 3:40 PM. A short and sweet slot. I probably wouldn't not make this canyon a destination canyon since there are better canyons in the area.

Since we were in the area and had plenty of time left, we decided to descend Repeater Jr. From our parking area (N38.79710 W109.43008) we hiked east on an old 4WD road until we intercepted the wash that led to the mouth of the canyon (N38.79746 W109.42529 would be a better intercept for the wash).

A short hike later, I fixed a 60M rope for the 180 foot rappel at the mouth of the canyon. The rappel was not straightforward. It was awkward, slotty, poor for rope management and not really much fun. I think a better option would be to rig a fixed line on either side of the canyon, 50 feet north of the mouth, and then rappel down.

With some cursing, I finally reached the bottom of the canyon only to find a dead cow. Damn, did she stink. More cursing commenced. My wife, not fond of the amount of cursing and not knowing what was going on, shortly followed me down. She wasn't as shocked as I was about the cow.

Dead cow in Repeater Jr.
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Dead cow in Repeater Jr.
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Heading down canyon, we enjoyed only a few hundred yards of slot before the short slog began. We left the canyon at an intersection (N38.80412 W109.42184) and hiked back to the mouth of the canyon to retrieve my fixed rope. We returned to the car at 5:50 PM, visited a local arch and continued our long drive to the High Spur.

The slot of Repeater Jr.
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The slot of Repeater Jr.
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Repeater Jr.
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Nearby arch.
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Tidwell Canyon 3A II
Low Spur Canyon 3A I


March 15, 2013
~10.5 Miles, ~1000 Gain.
Trailhead: Tidwell Ranch Drill Hole Site (N38.46653 W110.16058) (4WD recommend, High Clearance required)(~8-9 hours from Denver)


Being a bit tired, my wife didn't really want to do two canyons before we started our long drive back home. Reading the beta, I decided to solo Tidwell. I woke up at 6:45 AM and with a short shuttle to the trailhead (N38.46653 W110.16058), I was hiking northeast toward the mouth of Tidwell around 7:30 AM.

Sunrise on my hike to Tidwell.
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I intercepted the wash leading to the mouth of the canyon and arrived at the mouth (N38.48749 W110.14864) of the canyon at 8:15 AM. I was a bit surprised at some of the down-climbing at the start of the canyon. Fortunately, I scouted around and made sure I could re-climb out of the canyon.

After the down-climbs, I continued hiking for a while before the canyon became more interesting. Just as the slot became really narrow, I encountered my first rappel. There was a questionable pin anchor so I backed up the pin anchor with a chockstone which took me 10 minutes to dig out in order for me to sling. Since I was returning the way I was descending, I fixed my rope (A 15M or 30M rope should do).

Pin in Tidwell. I think ill back that up with a chockstone.
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Slot in Tidwell.
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The first rappel was a short,15 feet, but bell bottomed so the drop had to be rappelled. Just a few feet beyond the first rappel was my second rappel. Again, I fixed a second rope on a sling anchor and made the short 30-40 foot rappel into some very dark narrows. I continued down canyon through some amazing narrows until I reached my turn around point; a large 150-200 foot drop into a wide canyon.

Slot in Tidwell.
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Slot in Tidwell.
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Slot in Tidwell.
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Enjoying the view for a few minutes at the end of the canyon, I started my way back up the narrows. I quickly jugged my two short fixed lines and escaped the canyon up a short climb on the eastern edge (N38.48885 W110.14909). A short slog and I was back at the car around 10:30 AM.

With some time left in the day, my wife and I took the slow drive to the trailhead for Low Spur Canyon (N38.49428 W110.11806). Swapping some gear out, we were heading northwest towards the start of Low Spur Canyon. Being an open desert hike, we were both glad the weather was a bit overcast.

As the canyon narrowed, we came to our only rappel for Low Spur. We fixed our rope for our rappel and then did a 3 tier rappel to the bottom of some scenic narrows. Shortly after the rappel, was a tight squeeze and drop into a unique chamber. The chamber quickly ended and I headed down canyon for some mediocre narrows followed by a drop with a pool. If I wanted to continue down canyon, I was going to have to get wet. Knowing there only there was only a bit of mediocre canyon left, I headed back towards the unique chamber.

Narrows in Low Spur Canyon.
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Donna rappelling into Low Spur.
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Slot of Low Spur.
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The chamber in Low Spur.
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The chamber in Low Spur.
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The squeeze out of the chamber was a bit challenging. Helping my wife through went well and then I struggled as I climbed out.

The tricky squeeze out of Low Spur.
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For our ascent up our fixed line, we just attached 1 ascender and used the rope more as a handline to climb out of the canyon. Once of out of the slot, we hiked to the northeast rim and back to our car where we arrived at 2:30 PM. Although unique, not a destination canyon.

Hand-lining up in Low Spur.
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Due to GPS inaccuracy in slots, do not fully depend on these tracks. Only for general navigational purposes.



My GPS Tracks on Google Maps (made from a .GPX file upload):




Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
 


  • Comments or Questions
lordhelmut


Image #28     2013-03-26 21:43:21
is pretty awesome. While not a ”destination canyon”, I'm sure its something worth checking out in the near future.

Thanks for these canyon TR's, they are a great change of pace from peaks.


dehrlich101


Nice!     2013-03-27 13:37:17
That chamber in the low spur looks awesome. Great canyons, definitely putting these on the to do list. If you end up venturing this way again this year and need a partner I am available on Wed, Thurs, and Fri.


Furthermore



Re:     2013-03-29 08:35:06
Brain - At least someone finds these pesky canyon reports handy.

denhrilich - PM sent.


Monster5


Nice     2013-04-09 14:14:08
I like how the ”wildlife photos” icon is checked for this one



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