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Shark's Fangs & Super Scary Miracle

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David Nelson · · Salt Lake City, Utah · Joined Dec 2016 · Points: 100

SHARK'S FANGS & SUPER SCARY MIRACLE - new area but now in Beehive Ice

WARNING: THIS MAY BE/IS COMING IN NOW (last week of Dec 2016), BUT CAUTION. These areas started coming in DEC 22, 2016, fattened & grew in four days (& still growing). But FA party in 2012 had but a handful+ of days before melted out, so if interested, be ready to go. Get a good view of area from Grandeur Peak parking lot.
Not for newbies.

Located at mouth of Parley’s Canyon (!) and south facing (!) the area has only been seen to come in ONCE (2012) and only climbed once (by party of three w/help from former friends (!) who rapped the steep, overhanging stuff to place a dozen or so bolts - that was in Jan 2012. Most routes required pro on lead; 5 long bugs, 5 wide angles, TCUs’, rack to 3, take a 4 & 2 5's, take 3 placebo Spectres. Lots of long slings. Long bolts hand drilled but easy (for better or worse). Two 70’s: do not drop.

In 2012 unusual & perfect conditions resulted in a fluke. Best viewed from Grandeur Peak parking lot, look north across fwy w/strong binocs. See Beehive Ice, best guidebook on planet. BECAUSE NOW IN GUIDE BOOK & EARLY FORMATIONS CAN BE SEEN, some are too tempted to head to a dangerous area that is not quite in shape (and may not be, hence “Miracle” in the name) and only climbed once, hence, little beta.

Large upper bowls high up feed water to rock formations below; seeps seen in summer, even running seeps in dead of summer, depending on precip. Ingredients include water soaking above in catchment basins, very cold weather but secret trick is city inversion that creeps up during the night & keeps area super cold, backs off during the day, sun increases water flow. Repeat.

W/o inversions, may be a no-go but this year, slight inversions have helped; watch weather next few weeks, pay attention to inversions – so far, it’s a pretty good “maybe”. This is a fantastic place and needs climbers on it to develop beta even though it comes in very rarely (once in last 65+ years?).

Two adjacent areas (all mixed climbs on weird rock that needs cementing by precip & cold weather): THE SHARK’S FANGS (WI 3-5 M4 to M8+) & SUPER SCARY MIRACLE (WI 3 to 5-, M4 to M8-; most M at higher end). Shark’s Fangs not very high, can do laps. SCM total commitment, serious undertaking but a blast.

Shark’s Fangs best/easiest/shortest area to start and is coming in now & fast (daily). Short (30’ to 45’ pillars), steep but can be entrained for longer climbs. In back of what in 2012 were pillars & small curtains are alcoves; were not climbed in 2012). These look to be filling in nicely (ice in back of alcoves), however, roofs of small alcoves NOT bolted/pinned. Check alcoves w/strong binocs & map; convoluted sideways & up.

Shark’s Fangs is made up of broad rock out cropping and long, thin daggers growing longer & fatter by the day. Fragile spears now, might join & thicken – time to get on them. Take care walking under currently thin Damoclean Swords. If one tries the small alcoves/mini-caves, will have to place pro (?), but pulling out of the alcoves would be done by hooking tools on weird, ice-cemented (?) rock on lip & he/she man up & over. Would be a gas to pull these. Might TR some to get the feel.

SUPER SCARY MIRACLE named for a reason. As guidebook says: “bigger brother & more serious” [to Shark’s Fangs]. Higher up mountain, big, broad & steep and getting around is half the nuke war. Follow guidebook carefully for approach to SCM. Currently look like “The Sirens of White Spear Death”, they beckon & can be seen far away if you look carefully. If caught late in the day, allow time to get off climbs & out of bowl cuz this is rather virgin territory with zero trails. Climbing up and out of bowl doable ONLY if on high climbs; do not count on it as a bailable way. If need to bail, climb down (yikes), raps would not be straight forward, or traverse east paralleling I-80, work your way down to old highway, walk west back to car. Follow the Beehive Ice guidebook.

In 2012, were spectacular, solid columns, could cruise many if fast & planned (Grandeur parking lot best for basic info, make crude map which will be worthless once in the bowl). Some hairy tension traverses on loose-ish rock to gain a pillar, rap that (or walk around to another set), do not be reading Wall Street Journal along the way.

Get Thee On It (& back), if all lines up.

View from Grandeur Parking lot; look north across freeway. Routes high on mountain, gray band but approach is about half hour.

Basic boundary of Shark's Fangs and Super Scary Miracle. Photo deceiving; they are NOT next door to each other, nor same height. SCM much higher elevation.

Shark's Fangs in summer. Note numerous seeps; usually flowing or wet in summer. See Beehive Ice for description. Alcoves not climbed in 2012 (obscured by curtains & pillars) but appears ice is forming inside small alcoves. You will have to place your own pro & can't advise what that may be.

Shark's Fangs started coming in about Dec 21, growing daily.

Super Scary Miracle summer 2012; much bigger, serious commitment, not for newbies, sorry. Long, wide seeps, some almost run length of bowl. Usually wet to damp in dead of summer, fed by water catchment bowls high up on mountain.

Super Scary Miracle about 4 days ago (Dec 24, 2016). 400+ ft high but wide angle lens distorts photo. A lot of ice can be seen, some hidden or confused with rock, some not quite touched down but look carefully; several curtains ready to climb. Ice "cements" to rock when cold, helped by city inversions which creep up during the night, recede during day, melting water, freezes, repeat. Can climb behind the pillars, stemming ice & rock.

Pro placed several days before climbing 2012. All climbs here & Shark's Fangs are mixed. Former, bad attitude friends rapped steep overhanging walls & helped team place a dozen+ bolts, pins. Helmets off to them; much outstanding, very hard work. Looks like a lot of pro, however, long slings helpful, pins can be slotted, placebo Specters. Move quickly, safely & can do more than one might think. In 2012, columns were solid, bonded well, came & went in less than 7 days so get on it. Note: Recon in summer of 2014 revealed some pro went to the climbing shop in the sky, likely freeze-thaw or swiped by Mr. Beckey.

World record ridiculous beta map drawn partially from Grandeur Peak parking lot. Good for kids coloring set. It actually makes sense; traveling the circles & ovals provides unique experience. To there and back again.
Full in Shark's Fangs, 2012. Columns can be entrained to form longer climbs, do laps. Unclimbed alcoves, mini-caves await FA's (but cannot advise on pro w/o more info). Most deep alcoves obscured by pillars & curtains.
Super Scary Miracle January 2012. Grew fast, new seeps, new potential routes seem to appear overnight. Some of this is in now, but super caution advised. May be worth the half hour hike up the ridge to take a look anyway. (See Beehive Ice guidebook for directions). Even if this melts out, plenty of winter left (& unfortunately helpful inversions) but formation is soaked in water.
David Nelson · · Salt Lake City, Utah · Joined Dec 2016 · Points: 100

Just posted Jan 1, 2017 on Utah Ice Conditions the status of Parley's Canyon (Sharks Fangs & Super Scary Miracle). They are coming in fast, esp. Shark's Fangs. Thick-ish, bonded, growing.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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