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3 Photosets

2016-03-02  
Mule Dead Elk Spur, NM
mini location map2016-03-02
36 by photographer avatarimike
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Mule Dead Elk Spur, NM 
Mule Dead Elk Spur, NM
 
Canyoneering avatar Mar 02 2016
imike
Canyoneering12.00 Miles 3,400 AEG
Canyoneering12.00 Miles
3,400 ft AEG
Basic Canyoneering - Scrambling; easy climbing/downclimbing; frequent hand use; rope recommended; easy exit
A - Dry or little water; shallow or avoidable water; no wet/dry suit
 no routes
1st trip
Linked linked
Partners none no partners
Early start on oddly warm morning. Met Mary at trailhead, and moved slowly up canyon to the south side Spur. Side Ridge options, but we decided to check out the bottom of the overgrown cut. Slower going as we cleared a route. The rock base was good (next time up it should be interesting when we are not stuck with all the shrubs). Side walls soon surrounded and we were up and into an impressive mini-canyon. the progression was only hindered by the dense shrubs... the climb was steady and even; no great challenges. Elk and Sheep tracks strongly suggested that this route might top out... and it did. We came across the an Elk Carcass... head removed by a hunter who then discarded the body over the upper cliff edges.

Once on top, we took the time to check out the upper drainages of Arrow and Lead... they look promising.

Hiked the ridge top road back to a point above the huge main canyon dryfall... enjoyed an easy sidehill entry to the canyon bottom... then the nice upper downclimbs, including the not so fun scramble around the big falls.

Even though the mileage and elevation were not that great, it was all hard earned. Long Hard Day. Everyone was tired by days end, but it was great to score yet another route that topped out. We spotted five or six additional exploratory potentials... might be able to top out on Long Ridge...? Might not!

Good Day.
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