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Marble Canyon - North - North Spur
8 Photosets

2017-10-14  
2013-12-19  
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mini location map2013-11-08
13 by photographer avatarimike
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Marble Canyon - North - North SpurSoutheast, NM
Southeast, NM
Canyoneering avatar Nov 08 2013
imike
Canyoneering4.50 Miles 1,550 AEG
Canyoneering4.50 Miles
1,550 ft AEG
Canyon Hiking - Non-technical; no rope; easy scrambling; occasional hand use
 no routes
Partners none no partners
This was a posted group hike, but with no one else showing up, I deviated from the plan... and headed off up to the old Marble Quarry to check out that inviting cleft in the canyon side. The old roadway is mostly washed away, but it allows reasonably easy access up and into the monster slabs of rock. Once into the pile, the scrambling is easy to make your way on to the top of the cuts... little remains of the process. There are some old cables buried among the blocks... some cable anchors still sticking out of the sides of the cliff... and one old splitting drill wedged down into a boulder, along with its splitting wedge. A few rotting timbers... and lots of obvious drill holes.

For years I've been glancing up into this area, wondering if I could access the steep drainage on the east end of the quarry... giving me a route to loop over and up to the "A" trail (T119). It might make for a nice morning loop. I figured it would connect me on the ridge about 600' above the trailhead level...?

today was the day to find out.

Turned out, there was not much to the access... I walked right over and into the drainage, scrambled up an easy waterfall, and then began enjoying a stroll up yet another bedrock sidewalk! This was not an access to a ridge... instead a discovery of yet another hidden canyon.

Time and again it appeared to draw to an end... but not. Each twist and cliff turned out to be yet another dry waterfall with more bedrock walk above to enjoy. Nothing dramatic, but nice... very nice.

finally, the canyon bottom was not much lower than the surrounding sides... it was getting very much like hiking a ridge, but then glancing up I noticed a familiar feature: another quarry! This one was the old gold mine off of T119! This canyon started and ended with quarries on both ends! How fitting: Quarry Canyon!

Instead of intersecting near the 5200' level and one mile up... I was closer to 1.5 miles up the trail and closer to 6000'? I guess I'll have to check out the specifics and do a writeup about this very nice route.

A very good outing!
Geology
Geology
Marble
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362 Photosets

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