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Utah Areas restructure

Original Post
DCrane · · Brian Head, UT · Joined Jul 2011 · Points: 4,364

I am so lost looking through areas of Utah trying to find a climb or trying to figure out where to place routes not yet posted. It's been going on for years and I've gotten by fine because I grew up here and know a lot of the state. However, traveling to other states and countries there are obviously better ways to organize things than to just drop a 'fresh' climbing area straight into the Utah bracket. I have found and corrected at least 3 duplicate areas holding many of the same routes in different 'locations' over the last year or two.

I'm sure many of you share my frustrations, and I can't imagine planning a trip here from out of state and just trying to find a place to climb without knowing any of the local names. So over the next week or so I've decided to put my slightly OCD and currently unemployed brain to use and completely overhaul the organization of the entire state. Oh Boy.

I could use some input from those of you who also climb here, in an effort to make this as easy as possible for everyone to understand and to upload new areas to the appropriate place.

My vague plan is a entirely new top level structure with 6 to 10 sections of the state that anyone with a highway map can figure out:

Northern Utah (Logan to Nephi) *Mostly occupied by the existing Wasatch Range Area

Northeast (Uintas and Vernal, mostly)

Central Utah (Nephi to Hanksville to I70/I15 Jnctn)

Southwest (70/15 jnctn to St. George and also East to Grand Staircase)

Southeast (Moab to Powell)

West Desert (Everthing West of Great Salt Lake down to Milford-ish - This one is mostly already set up!)

I would love some feedback on these ideas and a place to discuss specific crags and cities and where they belong. While I've started making a few of these top level areas, this is not set in stone and I'm happy to separate them further if people think we should have a few more. I also could REALLY use some help coming up with descriptions for these areas, so please go to the pages and hit that suggestions button!

- David

Andrew Gram · · Salt Lake City, UT · Joined Jan 2001 · Points: 3,685

This has been on my radar for a long time.  I'd be happy to work with you on this.

The other big piece is to split up the Wasatch range into more manageable regions.  I'd been thinking Southern Wasatch, Salt Lake Area, Salt Lake to Ogden, Northern Wasatch, and Wasatch Back.

Brian in SLC · · Sandy, Utah · Joined Oct 2003 · Points: 20,889
DCrane wrote:

Northern Utah (Logan to Nephi) *Mostly occupied by the existing Wasatch Range Area

Northeast (Uintas and Vernal, mostly)

Central Utah (Nephi to Hanksville to I70/I15 Jnctn)

Southwest (70/15 jnctn to St. George and also East to Grand Staircase)

Southeast (Moab to Powell)

West Desert (Everthing West of Great Salt Lake down to Milford-ish - This one is mostly already set up!

Kinda brainstorming of the top of my head and I came up with a similar breakout.

An overview map could show the areas...NW, NE, Central, SW and SE.

Yeah, right now, pretty long list of areas.

I use the 'proj for a lot of trip planning...usually pull up the map first to see what's near where I'll be.  But, also use the "best climbs for YOU!" search to see where the highest gob of routes are at the grades or type of routes I prefer.

Good on ya for taking it on.

DCrane · · Brian Head, UT · Joined Jul 2011 · Points: 4,364
Andrew Gram wrote:

The other big piece is to split up the Wasatch range into more manageable regions.  I'd been thinking Southern Wasatch, Salt Lake Area, Salt Lake to Ogden, Northern Wasatch, and Wasatch Back.

Ahh I would love for that to happen too! I've always thought "Wasatch Range" was a little too all-encompassing with almost half of the state's routes.

DCrane · · Brian Head, UT · Joined Jul 2011 · Points: 4,364
Brian in SLC wrote:

I use the 'proj for a lot of trip planning...usually pull up the map first to see what's near where I'll be.  But, also use the "best climbs for YOU!" search to see where the highest gob of routes are at the grades or type of routes I prefer.

The biggest pain to me is I see things on the map, go to find it later or add something new and literally cannot find it through the menu. Like why Hanksville, which could be a hub for that entire section, is buried 4 layers deep but some place called Nuwuvi Ledge is a top level area makes no sense.

GRK · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2006 · Points: 6,250
Andrew Gram wrote:

This has been on my radar for a long time.  I'd be happy to work with you on this.

The other big piece is to split up the Wasatch range into more manageable regions.  I'd been thinking Southern Wasatch, Salt Lake Area, Salt Lake to Ogden, Northern Wasatch, and Wasatch Back.

I was just about to email you... DCrane took the initiative on the reorganization you were talking about. Its a great start! I started moving some areas to get the ball rolling. Sometimes its easier to see the bigger picture when you hash thing out on "paper". 

I like your Wasatch Range breakdown, lets try it?

Also, Brian's regional idea looks really clean! 

GRK · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2006 · Points: 6,250

This is a very rough draft, but what do you think? Maybe color each zone? Split Central?

Andrew Gram · · Salt Lake City, UT · Joined Jan 2001 · Points: 3,685

I think if you split Northern Utah and Central Utah at roughly I15 to create a single new West Desert region that looks pretty good.

DCrane · · Brian Head, UT · Joined Jul 2011 · Points: 4,364

So I did something similar for the South Island area of New Zealand, and learning from that my idea was to split everything (as much as feasible) into similar climbing styles and/or regions and by actual physical barriers. Freeways, rivers, mountain ranges all make great dividers that people can see in person. This eliminates confusion on what area new climbs should be placed into. 

The following map was quickly put together and will need some refining but it's a colorful representation of what's been rolling around in my head lately:

The main things I like about this estimate is the consolidated West Desert (red) and smaller SE (orange) and SW (purple) where there are high concentrations of a similar style. Improvements I could see are splitting the populated areas of the Wasatch potentially? 

Thoughts?

Andrew Gram · · Salt Lake City, UT · Joined Jan 2001 · Points: 3,685

That looks pretty much perfect to me, though i'd put the Salt Lake in the West Desert since Antelope and Stansbury Islands belong with the Oquirrh and Stansbury Ranges.

I went ahead and reorged the Wasatch.  I moved Echo Canyon from a top level Utah area to a Wasatch Back area, which I think makes sense based on approach and who climbs there even if the geological boundary is fuzzy.  I moved Antelope Island to the West Desert.  Let me know if it makes sense, if I made mistakes, send me hate mail, and especially if climbers passionate about those areas would like to take over the area descriptions from the minimal placeholders I added.

DCrane · · Brian Head, UT · Joined Jul 2011 · Points: 4,364
Andrew Gram wrote:

That looks pretty much perfect to me, though i'd put the Salt Lake in the West Desert since Antelope and Stansbury Islands belong with the Oquirrh and Stansbury Ranges.

I went ahead and reorged the Wasatch.  I moved Echo Canyon from a top level Utah area to a Wasatch Back area, which I think makes sense based on approach and who climbs there even if the geological boundary is fuzzy.  I moved Antelope Island to the West Desert.  Let me know if it makes sense, if I made mistakes, send me hate mail, and especially if climbers passionate about those areas would like to take over the area descriptions from the minimal placeholders I added.

I'll redraw the Lake area, I like that idea. Once we get bit further I'll drop some of these maps in all the areas. A Wasatch Back area sounds perfect, and yeah Echo should go there with PC for sure. For now I'll keep plugging away at the smaller areas and fixing things up!

If anyone else out there want's to fill in descriptions we could use some help with the new major areas for Utah!

GRK · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2006 · Points: 6,250

That map looks REAL good D.Crane!   I ditto Andrew's Salt Lake idea, those regions seem to mesh. I can help with the descriptions? I've been to a handful of those spots. 

And the Wasatch Range reorg is crisp!

Andrew Gram · · Salt Lake City, UT · Joined Jan 2001 · Points: 3,685

I've started moving some stuff around.  It feels like it may make some sense to split South Central into a Central and a South Central. 

Central would have Maple and Maple-like areas, Joes, Huntington, Price Canyon, Triassic, Richfield choss, etc.  South Central would be more deserty like the Swell, GSNM, Henries, etc.  

DCrane · · Brian Head, UT · Joined Jul 2011 · Points: 4,364
Andrew Gram wrote:

It feels like it may make some sense to split South Central into a Central and a South Central. 

Central would have Maple and Maple-like areas, Joes, Huntington, Price Canyon, Triassic, Richfield choss, etc.  South Central would be more deserty like the Swell, GSNM, Henries, etc.  

I had been thinking about something like that... I can see splitting maybe Spanish Fork canyon away from the populous cities, but the border between Central and S Central could get interesting with the Swell not really conforming to easy lines but maybe I'll toy with that too.

Edit: Three post per day limit.. woops.

Thoughts on Central borders? Any other areas that need adjusted?

Glen Kaplan · · Salt Lake City, UTAH · Joined Apr 2017 · Points: 0

Dope.   Thanks guys!

GRK · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2006 · Points: 6,250

Sorted all remaining areas today. Nothing is set in stone, but its coming together nicely!

DCrane · · Brian Head, UT · Joined Jul 2011 · Points: 4,364

Amazing! Thanks for doing that! I'll start going more thoroughly through some of the bigger sub-areas soon and note anything out of place. Also working descriptions a bit more the next few days. It's looking really good guys great work!

What are people's thoughts on like Spanish Fork Canyon that's currently under a Wasatch subset? Price canyon seems to be Central to me but Sp Fork could go either way?

Andrew Gram · · Salt Lake City, UT · Joined Jan 2001 · Points: 3,685

Spanish Fork to Soldier Summit should be Wasatch I think.  Would be awkward to carve it out with nebo and santaquin south of it.

John Pikus · · Central Utah · Joined Dec 2014 · Points: 85

Just a heads up that based on the current map graphic, Joe's, Huntington, Axe Handle, Wales, and Monroe should all be in central Utah and not south-central. Thanks for the hard work!

Rob Dillon · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2002 · Points: 764

Thanks y’all!


Texas Canyon, Valley of the Gods and Comb Ridge are far from ‘Moab Area’ and should be moved up to SE UT.

Mill Creek is arguably in the LaSal Mtns.

High Valley has zero useful information and should probably be deleted. 

DCrane · · Brian Head, UT · Joined Jul 2011 · Points: 4,364

Rob and John, thank you both, this is exactly the kind of info I'm looking for to help improve all these weird areas! Keep it up and if you notice anything out of place you can hit that 'improve page' button on the area to send it to the admins quickly. We'll get working on anything posted here as well as soon as possible!

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

Northern Utah & Idaho
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