How long to wait to climb on sandstone after rain?


Original Post
Ryan Dirks · · Eugene, OR · Joined Jul 2012 · Points: 0

I'm heading to Moab for the first time this weekend, but unfortunately it is looking like a moderate chance of rain for part of the time. Can I get some advice / recommendations on what to expect for drying-out time? Obviously it is impossible to predict exactly given the uncertainty of the forecast, but I'm looking for guidelines. Does it usually dry out pretty fast? If it rains a bit at night will it usually be dry by afternoon? Should I even bring my climbing gear?

Maybe a better question is what is your rule for establishing whether it is safe to climb? 24 hours of dry sunny weather, or a dry dusty base? Gut feeling?

I'm not sure if it matters but we'll be looking for some relatively moderate climbs, probably wall st or ice cream parlor.

BrokenChairs · · Seattle · Joined Feb 2015 · Points: 182

If the ground around the climb is dry and sandy then you're good to go. If the sand is damp it's a pretty good indication that the rock is also still wet. As far as time frames it really depends on how much rain and for how long. Unfortunately you'll probably see people still climbing Wall St. right after a rain storm so don't fall into the if they're doing it it must be okay and make your own assessment. I would still bring your gear and if you get rained out there's plenty of things to do in the area. There's great skiing in the La Sals, biking/hiking trails.

Guy Keesee · · Moorpark, CA · Joined Mar 2008 · Points: 105

Depends on the sandstone.... the soft stuff like Stoney Point can stay very weak for a long time... sometimes holds ripp off weeks after the rain and there is still water- mud on the back sides of the hold...

The sandstone in the Sespie is bullet hard... you can climb on it when it is raining. It has traction and grip.... Supersandstone!

I have never been to Moab... do what the locals say to do.

Charlie S · · Ogden, UT · Joined Aug 2007 · Points: 1,308

https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Ffriendsofindiancreek%2Fposts%2F1093238040734506%3A0&

Don Ferris · · Eldorado Springs · Joined Nov 2012 · Points: 0

At least 3 weeks. 6 weeks for the fishers.

DanielHart · · Carpinteria ca · Joined Dec 2016 · Points: 0

I would wait a minimum of a week probably longer in the desert. I climbed two days after a rain in Dayton Tn with really hard sandstone and dry soil on the ground and pulled a 64lb undercling off and broke my finger into 7 pieces , I had to get 12 stitches in the tip of my finger. Not only is it selfish to climb wet stone it can be harmful to your health.

other · · San Diego, CA · Joined Apr 2006 · Points: 0

It rained hard in moab yesterday and may rain today. It probably rained in Indian creek. I've read 36 hours after rain is ok. Never read longer except in this thread. How long are people waiting to climb the creek?

Matt Pierce · · Denver, CO · Joined May 2010 · Points: 183

Dont fuck this up people. We drove to the creek from Denver last year and hiked up to Way Rambo and managed to be the first party at the base of Blue Sun but soon realized that it just seemed a little too wet/had probably rained in the area overnight. So we made the very difficult choice to just leave. That's a tough choice when you travel all the way out there. But it's the responsible thing to do. As we were leaving it actually started raining lightly. We passed a party actually climbing and the leaders comment was "well it seems dry up here..."

Whatever dude.

Desert Rain Rules

other · · San Diego, CA · Joined Apr 2006 · Points: 0

The scrawled note doesn't answer the question. Need to know before driving there if it's wet or if there's mud. Need an actual timeframe in hours or days after rain stops.

Rob T · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jun 2006 · Points: 10

Depends on the weather. The same rain storm will dry differently if its 80 and windy vs 40 and overcast. If you lack self control or don't enjoy alternative activities I'd recommend not making the drive.

Fernando Cal · · Long Beach, CA · Joined Dec 2015 · Points: 0

Depends on how wet the rain is.

other · · San Diego, CA · Joined Apr 2006 · Points: 0

Amazing how hard it is to get a real answer to a direct question from passive aggressive people. Obviously in high desert Utah in march it's closer to 40 then 80 and it's generally not highly windy.
If you have no idea just admit it.

other · · San Diego, CA · Joined Apr 2006 · Points: 0

The comments in this thread have been worse then useless. Three weeks? Hahahahaha

Matt Pierce · · Denver, CO · Joined May 2010 · Points: 183
other wrote:The scrawled note doesn't answer the question. Need to know before driving there if it's wet or if there's mud. Need an actual timeframe in hours or days after rain stops.
WRONG - we left the wet Way Rambo and headed over to The Wall and it was bone dry. Sometimes you dont know until you get all the way out there. And if you get out there and it's muddy walk back to camp and have a beer. Another mistake people make is checking weather in MOAB - the creek isn't MOAB.

And the sketch photo - it came from Friends of the Creek Facebook page...if anyone knows about this shit it's Lisa Hathaway, Sam Lightner Jr and crew...
Dave-o Friedman · · Boulder,CO · Joined Jan 2006 · Points: 0

72 hours

Rob T · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jun 2006 · Points: 10
other wrote:The comments in this thread have been worse then useless. Three weeks? Hahahahaha
The irony being comments like that are aimed at people looking for hard and fast rules.

If you need to have a hard number, 3 weeks with out rain probably covers every possible variable combo.
Charlie S · · Ogden, UT · Joined Aug 2007 · Points: 1,308

Amazing how hard it is to get a real answer to a direct question from passive aggressive people.

Hmm. I thought the graphic (provided in a link and as an image) were rather complete in the process.

slim · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Dec 2004 · Points: 930

it may be a direct question, but there isn't really a straight forward answer.  it just depends on so many things.  was there a predominant wind during the rain?  this can blow a lot of water into some cracks, while cracks on the lee side could be dry.  was it windy or calm after the rain?  wind can help dry things out faster.  was it humid/muggy/cloudy after the rain or hot and dry?  what was the duration of the rain?  if it rained continuously for several hours, then you will probably need 2 or 3 days to dry.  if it was just a quick sprinkle and the sun came blasting out afterwards you might only need an hour or so.

if you are driving from san diego for a short trip i would probably bag it, or at the very least have a backup plan.

Marc801 C · · Sandy, Utah · Joined Feb 2014 · Points: 0
other wrote: Amazing how hard it is to get a real answer to a direct question from passive aggressive people. Obviously in high desert Utah in march it's closer to 40 then 80 and it's generally not highly windy. If you have no idea just admit it.

Your question is similar to "How long will it take me to climb 13a?"

other · · San Diego, CA · Joined Apr 2006 · Points: 0

Not really it's just the sarcastic trolls or engineer types that love to needlessly complicate everything.  36 hrs is the correct answer

other · · San Diego, CA · Joined Apr 2006 · Points: 0

After reading all the douchetard control freak anal retentive answers, the best plan is climb while it's raining. That should piss them off great. You're welcome 

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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