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Marble North Missing Spur, NM
mini location map2016-10-07
24 by photographer avatarimike
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Marble North Missing Spur, NM 
Marble North Missing Spur, NM
 
Canyoneering avatar Oct 07 2016
imike
Canyoneering8.00 Miles 2,700 AEG
Canyoneering8.00 Miles
2,700 ft AEG
Intermediate Canyoneering - Difficult or dangerous; Tech Climb; rope reqd; descent anchor; exit technical;
 no routes
1st trip
Partners none no partners
The intent was to finally get up into the Ortega Cut in Marble North... our oft re-scheduled exploratory of that largest of north side spur cuts. Alas, once again foiled. Today, Mary was not feeling 100%. We probably could have made the exploratory of S4, another long delayed hike, but I finally identified the entry to the Missing Cut... a drainage I spotted from high up on the south side ridge years before.

Really what I spotted was one too many cuts over on the north side. There was clearly a route we had not hiked, I just was not certain where it dumped into the main canyon. The last few outings up into Marble North I'd paid closer attention... and this morning I was pretty sure we were standing at the base. It sort of made sense we had missed it... it started out with a vertical 30' looking nothing like the mouth of a drainage. Comments were made at the bottom about how that could not be a cut...

...and yet, I felt we were there. So, we climbed. Mary nailed it. So odd to have watched her over this last year progress from turning back on our first outing, daunted by a 4' tall rock... to moving through the progressive stages of difficulty, resulting in scaling these 30' exposures. Impressive!

After we we up above the initial wall, the bedrock continued... twisting and turning and generating a variety of smaller scrambles. At times it opened up... sometimes narrowed into rock bound gullies. For the most part it just moved up... eventually to the Cactus Cliffs. There we once again got lucky... the upper cliff in the cut was another 25'+ wall but with good foot/hand holds. We were up and out without incident.

Interestingly, it crested right at the Fossil Rock... a point on the cliffs I often lead group hikes to, usually ascending the far easier Slab Cut. Looking over the edge of the cliffs at that point I would have never thought to climb up! We took an extended break, then decided to keep going up, walking the Cliffs around and above the Ortega Cut, then up and over to the "A" trail.

Everyone was a bit beat up at the end... but I had my missing canyon and Mary had her great climbing day... and she had the naming of this cut: KickAss Kut!

I doubt if the pics will capture the moments in the canyon... my hands were a bit too busy!
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imike's
362 Photosets

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