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2018-05-31  
U-Turn Canyon - Arches National Park, UT
mini location map2018-05-31
10 by photographer avatarKBKB
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U-Turn Canyon - Arches National Park, UT 
U-Turn Canyon - Arches National Park, UT
 
Canyoneering avatar May 31 2018
KBKB
Canyoneering2.50 Miles 810 AEG
Canyoneering2.50 Miles   4 Hrs   41 Mns   0.68 mph
810 ft AEG   1 Hour    Break35 LBS Pack
Intermediate Canyoneering - Difficult or dangerous; Tech Climb; rope reqd; descent anchor; exit technical;
A - Dry or little water; shallow or avoidable water; no wet/dry suit
I - Short 1-2 hours
 no routes
1st trip
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Partners none no partners
U-Turn Canyon is an easy technical canyon in Arches National Park. Parking is at the Park Avenue Trailhead and you finish by hiking up Park Avenue back to the Trailhead.

We got the beta on this canyon from the book, "Moab Canyoneering: Exploring Technical Canyons around Moab" by Derek Wolfe. It's a well written guidebook which told us exactly what to expect on this route.

I had read on SummitPost that a 70 meter rope might be required to do the final rappel, so we brought a 60 meter rope plus a 60 meter pull cord. It turned out, however that the final rappel was doable as a double line rappel with just the 60 meter rope. This turned out to be a good thing, I think, since my daughter doesn't have a lot of experience with rappelling and doing a double line rappel provides more friction than a single line.

So, anyway...

The approach was up a sandstone ramp / dihedral. I went up first and my daughter spotted my wife on some of the harder moves. As usual, my daughter cruised though all of the class three terrain, making it look easy.

There are four rappels - the first three are fairly short and at least two can be bypassed by downclimbing. We did all four of the rappels because I wanted my daughter to get rappel experience. The final 95 foot rappel has a few free sections. My daughter had trouble with these - she found that the waist belt on her harness constricted her abdomen making it hard to breathe. I think the weight of her backpack probably had something to do with this issue. (She was carrying the pull cord.) She used her climbing harness and has never had this problem when being lowered on overhanging walls at the gym.

My wife was very happy with this outing - a good thing, since her previous technical canyoneering outing with me (Minnow Canyon last October) was really scary. My daughter enjoyed it too, though she had more fun doing the scrambling / climbing than the rappelling.

We took our time on this route and spent some time wandering around taking in the views. This increased the distance that we hiked somewhat over the 1.5 miles listed in our guidebook.
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