Royal Arch Route, AZ. Rappel and upclimb options.

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louie
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Royal Arch Route, AZ. Rappel and upclimb options.

Post by louie »

Wondering what people use for anchor points on the rappel or handhold line if down climbing and also for the upclimb. Is it bolted for an upclimb? Or if we’re planning on descending and ascending this section is the best option to leave a top rope for the climb back up?
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Re: Royal Arch Route, AZ. Rappel and upclimb options.

Post by The_Eagle »

@louie
You'll never get your 25' motorhome down there without chains and a very strong winch.
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louie
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Re: Royal Arch Route, AZ. Rappel and upclimb options.

Post by louie »

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nonot
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Re: Royal Arch Route, AZ. Rappel and upclimb options.

Post by nonot »

About 10 feet back from the drop is a rock wall that has been carved out by wind, usually people have tied a webbing anchor to this and setup a rappel line that is left there, though you cannot count on it for sure. If you plan to use your own rope and pull it you will need a rap ring or quicklink, and probably webbing, to build your own anchor, and you leave the anchor behind.

If upclimbing it, you free climb it, there really isn't another option as it is not bolted or protected, it is a 5+ climb. I looked at it after I rappelled down and it didn't look like anything I'd want to free solo. There are some holds due to holes carved by the wind.

Your best option would definitely be to leave a rope if you are going down and up again. Disassemble the anchor and take it with you, along with the rope, once you are done.
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kyleGChiker
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Re: Royal Arch Route, AZ. Rappel and upclimb options.

Post by kyleGChiker »

nonot has a good answer. I did this trip back in 2017 and we did it the "proper" way with a helmet, rope, webbing, etc. When arrived, there was a fair amount of webbing already tied around the rock. W and a nice (read: good condition) rope with knots tied every few feete felt confident in itsthe , so we of the webbing just used our rope and biner. Got t and rappelled downo the bottom (there were four of us), and "That was way over-rated, let's climb back up and get our carabiner." So we climbed up the knotted rope that was there before we arrived and then went back down the knotted rope. I should add that while the knotted rope is usually there, you can't count on it and should be prepared to get up/down without it. If I remember, I'll send you some pics of the rappel when I get home from work. Otherwise, feel free to PM me.
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louie
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Re: Royal Arch Route, AZ. Rappel and upclimb options.

Post by louie »

@kyleGChiker Good info. We’re bringing the full compliment of gear. I don’t think many people have been down this route the last year due to the road being blocked by the tribe. I’ll definitely do a trip report when we get back. We’re doing this the end of the month.
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kyleGChiker
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Re: Royal Arch Route, AZ. Rappel and upclimb options.

Post by kyleGChiker »

@louie
Here are a few photos to show what it's like.
The anchor point, showing plenty of room to move around and tie things:
DSC_6776.JPG
One of our group members on rappel:
DSC_6781.JPG
The entire cliff face after lowering down our packs. This should give you an idea of the holds available for upclimbing:
DSC_6795.JPG
Climbing back up the knotted rope:
DSC_6813.JPG
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friendofThundergod
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Re: Royal Arch Route, AZ. Rappel and upclimb options.

Post by friendofThundergod »

@kyleGChiker Now that’s an extended rappel!
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kyleGChiker
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Re: Royal Arch Route, AZ. Rappel and upclimb options.

Post by kyleGChiker »

@friendofThundergod
Sometime we want to do the whole rappel down Royal Arch canyon. Those get to be 100+ feet and you have to do a single rope with a pull string. That would be exciting!
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louie
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Re: Royal Arch Route, AZ. Rappel and upclimb options.

Post by louie »

@kyleGChiker Thank you for those pics. Yeah I’m a novice climber and would want to be locked into something on that upclimb. In that upclimb you’re just hanging onto that rope to keep from falling, correct? How long was that rope you guys used for the rappel? And it would work using that same length for a belay, correct? I’m going with people that climb all the time and know what they’re doing, but for someone like me I just want to make sure I have a belay option on the upclimb.
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Re: Royal Arch Route, AZ. Rappel and upclimb options.

Post by kyleGChiker »

@louie
For the upclimb, I'd say the footholds are pretty decent, but I felt like the handholds were lacking, so I was hanging onto the rope for upper body support. But I'd say the majority of my weight was on the feet on the rock. I'm not a rock climber at all. My brother's a climber and had just a standard length rope (60 meters, I think), and of course it was heavy, but it wasn't worth buying another rope for. We did a double rope rappel since we had the rope length. It's only like a 20 ft cliff, so most any rope should work.
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