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Canyon De Chelly National Monument
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Arachnid Mesa T 
Spider Rock T 

Arachnid Mesa 

YDS: 5.10 French: 6b Ewbanks: 20 UIAA: VII- ZA: 19 British: E2 5b A4

   
Type:  Trad, Aid, 10 pitches, 900', Grade V
Consensus:  YDS: 5.10 French: 6b Ewbanks: 20 UIAA: VII- ZA: 19 British: E2 5b A4 [details]
FA: Brian Povolny, Dave Evans, and Todd Gordon, Nov., 1983
Page Views: 1,801
Submitted By: toddgordon on May 8, 2007

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Arachnid Mesa. Photo; Todd Gordon
  • It is illegal at the present time to climb in Canyon de Chelly or elsewhere on the Navajo Indian Reservation
  • Closed. MORE INFO >>>

  • Description 

    This is a long climb. It took everything we had to piece this climb together. I don't think this climb has had a 2nd ascent. Maybe some modern hot shots can blaze up the thing , but we are just plain folk, and this was one BIG-ASS adventure for us. I will give details of the actual climbing in the comments section. The Arachnid Mesa is huge, awesome, scary, and magical.


    Location 

    This mesa is located in Canyon De Chelly, just behind Spider Rock.


    Protection 

    Everything you got;...pins, RURPs, bat hooks, cams, stoppers, slings, lots of wide pro, patience, luck, desire, the spirit of adventure, and determination.



    Photos of Arachnid Mesa Slideshow Add Photo
    Dave Evans near the summit. <br />Photo by Todd Gordon.
    Dave Evans near the summit.
    Photo by Todd Gordon.
    Brian Povolny and Todd Gordon on the Summit.   Photo;  Todd Gordon collection
    Brian Povolny and Todd Gordon on the Summit. Pho...
    Todd Gordon at bivi. <br />Photo: Todd Gordon collection.
    Todd Gordon at bivi.
    Photo: Todd Gordon collection...
    Dave Evans on the 9 rappels down.  Photo;  Todd Gordon
    Dave Evans on the 9 rappels down. Photo@SEMICOLON...
    Gear used on the climb. <br />Photo by Todd Gordon.
    Gear used on the climb.
    Photo by Todd Gordon.
    Arachnid Mesa, Looking down on bivi ledge, from pitch 4. <br />Photo by Todd Gordon.
    Arachnid Mesa, Looking down on bivi ledge, from pi...
    Dave Evans and Todd Gordon on top of Arachnid Mesa. <br />Photo: Todd Gordon collection.
    Dave Evans and Todd Gordon on top of Arachnid Mesa...
    Arachnid Mesa.  Photo: Todd Gordon
    Arachnid Mesa. Photo: Todd Gordon
    The 200 foot off width section.  Arachnid Mesa.  Photo: Todd Gordon Collection.
    The 200 foot off width section. Arachnid Mesa. P...
    At the base.  Photo;  Todd Gordon
    At the base. Photo; Todd Gordon
    Todd Gordon on ptich 4.  Photo; Todd Gordon collection.
    Todd Gordon on ptich 4. Photo; Todd Gor...
    Dave Evans belays on one of the wide pitches.  Photo;  Todd Gordon
    Dave Evans belays on one of the wide pitches. Pho...
    Comments on Arachnid Mesa Add Comment
    Show which comments
    By toddgordon
    From: Joshua Tree, California
    May 9, 2007

    O K...here goes. Pitch one; start with a shoulder stand, then 7 bolts and one piton in a bolt ladder that leads to a wide crack to a ledge (5.10 A2). Pitch 2; Up a wide crack to a sling belay. at one point, climbing out outside the wide crack on thin seams to the left of the crack.. Some bat hooks too. (5.10 A3/A4). Pitch 3; Continue up the wide crack (some loose sections) a few more bat hooks, to a big ledge. (5.10 A3/A4). Pitch 4 ; A2 cams to a small roof, above the roof, tension traverse (right)off pins to cracks in a pink colored headwall. Continue up cracks to a sling belay on the left. Pitch 5 ; Up more crack systems to an alcove with all sorts of scary-looking loose balanced blocks above you. Pitch 6; instead of going up through the loose balanced blocks, tunnel through (squeeze) about 20-25' to the left like a mole to a huge chimney system, and a nice bivy spot. ..Belay here. (short pitch). Pitch 7 climb up chimney (5.8),..then chimney/walk/tunnel/squeeze forward INTO the bowells of the formation;...WAY back in there......(It's bizarre...). Pitch 8.....tunnel/climb/chimney some more until you pop into a circular "room/cave" with a window looking out......Pitch 9; Climb out of the chimney (finally) into the light of day (5.9 slot or 5.9 face to the left)and climb anothe 30 feet to anchors (on top). Unrope and walk to high point of the mesa. There is a description of the first ascent of this climb in an old Ascent Magazine. The rock and climbing on this route is not the best in the world; it;s sandstone, and there are long sections of wide cracks and chimneys. The route and adventure of this experience is top notch. It's a long, involved, challenging, scrappy route to the top of a huge mesa that has seen few feet, in a wonderful, magical place.