Ascent of Elephant Butte on 2021-04-20

Climber: Dave Covill

Others in Party:Patrick Thornley
Date:Tuesday, April 20, 2021
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Elephant Butte
    Elevation:5653 ft / 1723 m

Ascent Trip Report

The usual route up of course. 4 hours total. Took our time. Met climbers in there.

Rap bolts in both spots are super and much appreciated.

The first rap can be done in one swoop to the base if you go to the right from the bolts and not straight down, which necessitates a 10' Class 4 drop to the valley floor. A 60M rope will just make it to the valley floor. A 50M rope would probably get you to that intermediate step some 75' or so down if you stay left and hug the wall, then you butt scoot down to the floor.

There are 7-8 spots of Class 3 or 4 or even low 5th climbing. Keeps you focused all day long. The summit crack may have been the hardest for me, sort of a squeeze chimney.

Iffffff I ever come again I would bring a thicker rope, not a skinny glacier rope, too hard to rap with. Also I would drag it up from the valley floor where you rapped to, and lay it at the base of the skinny rock tower near the descent gulley. Then proceed to summit and return to there. It is easier to get to the summit from that area than straight up from the initial landing spot. Less obstacles.

Register has many entries, all year long. Seems to be swapped out annually by the NPS. Elephant Butte is a featured climb in the local Moab area climbing and canyoneering guidebook.
Summary Total Data
    Route Conditions:
Rock Climb
    Gear Used:
Ascent Statistics
    Time:2 Hours 10 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Time:1 Hours 20 Minutes

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