Author Topic: Death Valley geology  (Read 2252 times)

JC w KC redux

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Death Valley geology
« on: March 20, 2019, 08:45:59 AM »
Kat and I spent some time in Death Valley last week.
The highlight was hiking a slot canyon that branches off Sidewinder Canyon.
The coolest geological feature I saw was this exposed fault plane on the side of Sidewinder.
The rock in the canyon was volcanic breccia - very similar to Pinns but with cobbles and lodestones over a billion years old!
Death Valley is an incredibly large pile of sinking, expanding crud.


Brad Young

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Re: Death Valley geology
« Reply #1 on: March 20, 2019, 08:55:02 AM »
Is there a climbable crack between the fault planes (asking for Mr Mud)?

JC w KC redux

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Re: Death Valley geology
« Reply #2 on: March 20, 2019, 09:17:35 AM »
Is there a climbable crack between the fault planes (asking for Mr Mud)?

I honestly don't recall...

Brad Young

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Re: Death Valley geology
« Reply #3 on: March 20, 2019, 09:21:37 AM »

I honestly don't recall...


Grasshopper... if you're not looking for cracks between any planes of rock that you see... your training is not yet complete.

clink

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Re: Death Valley geology
« Reply #4 on: March 20, 2019, 11:12:47 AM »
Currently, the fault with planes is automation error.
Causing trouble when not climbing.

briham89

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Re: Death Valley geology
« Reply #5 on: March 20, 2019, 11:25:09 AM »
Quote
Currently, the fault with planes is automation error.

 :lol:

And it was on this day that clink won the internet

mynameismud

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Re: Death Valley geology
« Reply #6 on: March 20, 2019, 01:36:21 PM »
It will go
Here's to sweat in your eye

F4?

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Re: Death Valley geology
« Reply #7 on: March 20, 2019, 06:01:20 PM »
Why not spend time at the Pinnacles?

Looks cool and would go free...
I'm not worthy.

JC w KC redux

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Re: Death Valley geology
« Reply #8 on: March 21, 2019, 08:54:03 AM »
Why not spend time at the Pinnacles?

We stopped by Trona Pinnacles on the way to Death Valley and did some scrambling to summits.
Some surprisingly solid limestone considering they are tufa towers.

We spent 3 days at Pinns on the way home. :ihih:

JC w KC redux

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Re: Death Valley geology
« Reply #9 on: November 29, 2019, 10:03:17 AM »
We stopped by Trona Pinnacles on the way to Death Valley and did some scrambling to summits.

We made another side trip to Trona on the way to Death Valley this year. There were some big rockfalls evident from the earthquake that happened there some months ago. We scrambled to a few new summits and enjoyed the solitude until a convoy from L.A. arrived - nice timing as we were just getting ready to leave.

We headed to Death Valley and did the Sidewinder Canyon side slots again - this time going farther than last year, since Craig and Deb were not afraid to do a bit of climbing.
We had a bit of a scare when a significant rockfall happened just two minutes after we passed through a narrow section. It was sobering and we waited several minutes for the dust to settle before we hurriedly passed back through.

Got to see some really cool rocks in Mosaic Canyon. The Noonday Dolomite there is some of the slickest polished rock I've ever seen or scrambled on. We climbed several dry falls and backed off a hideous ridge of shattered shale. No one wanted to attempt the final dry falls. It was listed in the guidebook as 25 feet but looked higher to me and even though it was "only" 5.8, it had several bulges and sections of highly suspect-looking rock. The good sections of rock were slick, with very few holds and it was pure face climbing. We had time to hike the Mesquite Dunes later in the day.

We visited The Grotto on our last day and climbed some incredibly slick, water polished chutes. The last one was only 9 feet high but had me gassed. It was a super awkward size (between squeeze and full chimney), vertical and slicker than snot.
Deb and I made it up but Kat and Craig passed. Luckily, it was easier to get back down.
There were tons of slickensides exposed along the sides of the canyon but none as impressive as the one I posted last year.

We left for the Alabama Hills as weather started to move in with gusty winds and dust. Otherwise, the weather was perfect.     

 

Brad Young

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Re: Death Valley geology
« Reply #10 on: November 30, 2019, 07:47:55 PM »

...we climbed several dry falls and backed off a hideous ridge of shattered shale. No one wanted to attempt the final dry falls. It was listed in the guidebook as 25 feet but looked higher to me and even though it was "only" 5.8, it had several bulges and sections of highly suspect-looking rock. The good sections of rock were slick, with very few holds and it was pure face climbing.

...we visited The Grotto on our last day and climbed some incredibly slick, water polished chutes. The last one was only 9 feet high but had me gassed. It was a super awkward size (between squeeze and full chimney), vertical and slicker than snot.
Deb and I made it up but Kat and Craig passed. Luckily, it was easier to get back down.
There were tons of slickensides exposed along the sides of the canyon but none as impressive as the one I posted last year.



Two questions:

-  I assume that you're talking about short sections of technical bouldering done in order to progress farther up the canyon, and not anything that would involve ropes and pro?

-  Are there actual guidebooks to this stuff? What's the title of the one you mention above?


JC w KC redux

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Re: Death Valley geology
« Reply #11 on: December 01, 2019, 08:18:47 AM »
Two questions:
-  I assume that you're talking about short sections of technical bouldering done in order to progress farther up the canyon, and not anything that would involve ropes and pro?

-  Are there actual guidebooks to this stuff? What's the title of the one you mention above?

Short sections of climbing with a little trickery involved. We had a cord that we used for aid in one spot. An aider and a few hooks and some small cams would work in a few spots too. The 25 foot fall that stopped us is considered by the park to be the end of the trail at Mosaic Canyon. I looked on Google Earth and it looks like there is a trail around it but it's way out of the way and the terrain we were on to check that out was pretty hideously loose. Deb and Craig have a guide book for the hiking that has geological info and a little bit about the climbing. I think it was this one.
Hiking Death Valley: A Guide to Its Natural Wonders and Mining Past Paperback January 15, 2004
by Michel Digonnet