Granary Revisited

One month after our experience getting an injured group member out of Granary Canyon in Moab, we returned to the canyon to finish what we had started. After a little confusion with rides, and an unfortunate mechanical problem with Bryan's car we made it to Moab at around 8:30 p.m. on Friday night to find that our campground from the previous trip was occupied. This particular campground was one we had chosen to go back to because when your driving through this kind of terrain at night, you can't see anything but the road, so when you wake up on this outcrop with 400' cliffs on 3 sides of you and the sun rising over the La Sal Mountains, It's pretty cool. We retreated back up the road to a sandy little nook and set up camp. We got on the road the next morning bound for Jug Handle Arch where would leave the shuttle car, at about 9 a.m. Jug Handle Arch is located about 14 miles down Potash Road in Moab, along the climbing mecca 'Wall street'. 

I led the group on a bit of a misadventure when I realized my gps wouldn't recognize the format of the coordinates I had, and was therefore trying to just use a map. We were hiking back towards the head of the canyon, which we passed (my fault), when we noticed another group of canyoneers down inside the canyon. I asked them what route they were doing and they told us they were doing the route with the 'onion' rappel, which turned out to not be true (no thanks to ajroadtrips.... again), but I think everyone was getting eager to get in the canyon, so we dropped in off a little tree right behind the other group. From the little tree where we dropped in, we could see the scree pile and the spot where Steve broke his ankles, Katie and I got a kick out of how far we made it into the canyon before we had to turn back (about 100 yards). The canyon was enjoyable, a few big rappels, and a few good obstacles requiring some climbing moves, but no real downclimbing or stemming. 

There were some of the nastiest looking pools of water in the canyon on this trip. 

At the top of a 70' rappel Dakota had his phone on his lap and forgot about it, when he stood up it went flying over the edge, bouncing off the walls and slamming into the wet sand at the bottom. A member of the other group picked it up and, to our amazement, informed it was still working. Down from this a little ways the canyon widened out quite a bit and the other group exited and headed back to their car. We soon came around a corner to find the canyon deepening dramatically.

After this rappel there wasn't any vertical obstacles until the exit rappel. It was just a lot of boulders for a little ways and then a very sandy hike. We came around another corner to see we were on the top of these HUGE 500' wingate cliffs overlooking the Colorado River. We searched a little bit for an area where we could rappel with a 200' rope. We found a place that had a 60' rappel and then another 120' rappel to the bottom. My phone was dead by this point, so I dont have any pictures, I will add them when I get some from other members of the group. After the final rappel we navigated around huge boulders for what seemed like close to an hour and then Cody, who sprinted from the bottom of the rappel to the car, met us to shuttle the group back to the Subaru at the top. We piled into the back of his Mazda with 4 people in the back seats and backpacks and gear on our laps reaching the ceiling of the car. We made it to the junction of US 191 and US 313 and Cody's car was having some serious problems. We pulled over with the hood up for a few minutes when an extremely nice couple from Bountiful pulled over and offered me and Bryan a ride back to the Subaru. We had parked the Forester at the end of a fairly aggressive 4WD trail and I did all but beg the couple to turn around and let us walk to the car in fear that they would damage their Subaru Outback being such good Samaritans. They however, took us right to the end of the trail with no problems. We made it back to Moab, met with Cody and Daina at Jax and enjoyed a burger. Because we didn't really want to drive back to our campground and we wanted a shower, we took a little advice from my cousin Kyle and booked a room at the Lazy Lizard Hostel. 

All I have to say about the Lazy Lizard is that it was awesome! One of the best nights sleep I have ever had.


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