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Monitor and Merrimac Buttes
> Southeast Utah
> Tusher Canyon
Access Issue: RAIN, WET ROCK and RAPTOR CLOSURES: The sandstone around Moab is fragile and is very easily damaged when it is wet. Also please ask and be aware of Raptor Closures in areas such as CAT WALL and RESERVOIR WALL in Indian Creek
WET ROCK: Holds rip off and climbs have been and will continue to be permanently damaged due to climbers not respecting this phenomenon. After a heavy storm the rock will remain wet, sometimes for several days. PLEASE DO NOT CLIMB IN MOAB during or after rain.
RAPTOR CLOSURES: please be aware of seasonal raptor closures at the Cat Wall and Reservoir Wall. They occur annually from March 31st until August 31st. *Due to the federal hiring freeze in agencies such as the BLM of Monticello, no official closure for 2017 has been issued and the laws which have been put in place in previous years are not being enforced. Please, for the sake of fragile desert ecology, DO NOT CLIMB at stated walls. These raptors return to the same nesting sites every year to raise their nestlings.
These are two impressive formations that can't be missed as you drive about 3 miles southwest into Tusher Canyon. They are a softer sandstone; easy on your hands, but can crumble with pressure. Most climbs are hard trad mixed with aid. Be prepared to leave webbing since any you find is most likely years old. This area is not climbed in much, and the isolation is a big part of the fun. Any climb on these rocks takes big balls since the softness of the rock makes even good looking gear placements questionable.
The directions for the Tusher Canyon area will get you in view of these formation. After that, you can continue to try following the directions or, as I did, just follow any 4x4 road heading towards them. A little trial and error is just as quick as stopping at every crossing or Y to reread the directions. If you are in a jeep, and you should be, it's fun just getting there anyway. Just don't be a jerk by taking shortcuts off the existing roads. Allow yourself a full day to get in, do a climb or two and get out.