It’s cold. In case you’re somewhere else, thinking about how great it would be to be in St. George right now, you can relax. It’s cold, so cold that we’ve coiled the ropes and taken the cue to start our bouldering season. But first, we drove down to Moapa to check out the rumors that it would be warmer and less windy in Arrow Canyon due to the lower elevation and sheltering narrow corridor (which was a veritable wind tunnel on the day we were there). Plus, we’re lazy and have a habit of scoping out new areas in lightweight mode before we make an actual effort and lug all our gear in. We had to park about 3-tenths of a mile short of the BLM gate access point and walk because the rest of the road was undrivable for the Element. It was what we would call a long hike (about an hour), but not out of the question.
The canyon is gorgeous, rich with geological and anthropological wonders. Unfortunately, more modern natives have seen fit to add their own mark to those left by the original inhabitants of the area, and it’s hard to distinguish the authentic petroglyphs from the inspired signatures and “artwork”.
The routes look to cover a pretty wide range of styles and lengths: moderate and technical vertical terrain, short power problems, a cool looking pocketed wall, and the steep Millenium and Swamp Caves. The Millenium Cave is home to two 5.14d’s. Swamp Cave has a roster that’s a bit more accessible, with one 5.11 warm-up and a bunch of 12’s and 13’s. It was definitely not as balmy and temperate as we’d hoped, but we were both psyched about what we saw, and we’ll be back!
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