This is “extreme hiking” at its finest.
After our epic but successful Muddy Creek adventure, Russ, Spencer, and I wanted to do something else in the same vein. I’d heard about an exciting “hike” up Moab’s Parriott Mesa, so that was our goal. I’ve been to this part of Moab many times before and standing on top of another one of its landmark features (I’ve climbed The Titan, The Priest [TR and pics coming soon], and Castleton Tower) sounded awesome.
We woke up at 4, drove down to Moab, got breakfast at McDonald’s, and then drove along the Colorado River to the trailhead. The hike starts out easily enough and we made good time. Things got more interesting when we put our harnesses on and clipped in to the fixed lines on a narrow ledge above a certain-death fall. At the end of the traverse were some more fixed ropes up a chimney. Climbing up the chimney was pretty easy (low 5th class) and we used 48″ slings with klemheist knots to self belay ourselves.
Then there was an exposed step/jump across a gap, followed by another fixed rope in a 5th class chimney. At the top of this chimney is a tunnel/cave thing that goes back pretty far and is apparently worth checking out (only Spencer went in). Not too far from the top of the chimney is the final fixed rope that goes up a stepped dihedral. I don’t remember our exact time, but it was a bit less than 2 hours. We stayed on top for a while (we were there at 11:11 on 11/11/11, which was neat), explored a bit, and then went back down.
The descent wasn’t bad. Rappelling the top two fixed ropes sucked because they were fat and difficult to stuff into our rappel devices. It also took a bit more time because there were three of us. Our round trip car-to-car time was 3 hours 54 minutes.
Note: Sticky rubber approach shoes are nice to have on this one, though not essential. Also, don’t step on the cryptobiotic soil on top of the mesa. Other plants and animals depend on it and it takes years and years and years to grow back.