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QC- Atlantis approach boulder accident
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May 25, 2012
I thought I'd share a recent event that took place in the parking lot of Atlantis (queen creek canyon). As anyone familiar with the area knows, US60 can be quite dangerous for many reasons. A few weeks ago a woman was driving a small vehicle west downhill on US60 when she had a medical complication that prevented her from braking. She hit the north side of the canyon wall and ricocheted south. The car struck one of the large boulders at the canyon edge that block the parking lot edge. The boulder shot over the canyon edge and bounced all the way down the approach trail that climbers use to hike into Atlantis. The car miraculously stopped on the edge and did not plunge down. If you hike down the trail, you will see remnants of the boulder (impact marks) and the pieces of rock. I've seen 2 cars at the bottom of Atlantis above the dam (stolen vehicles), but never heard of a boulder shooting down the approach. Thank god no one was hiking down. Another reason to consider using the rap station!
I've heard that they are going to replace the boulder. In the mean time, it may be best to park your vehicle in that spot so that in case it were to happen again, they hit your car and not you hiking out.
Also, if anyone is going to Atlantis and wants to lend a hand hauling out some recent trash (rubber cables w/o the copper), let me know!
Ben Beard
From Superior, AZ
Joined Jun 9, 2009
140 points
May 28, 2012

It sounds like a boulder went down the old access way into Altantis just to the west of the rap area? I think that's the ever eroding and ricocheting drainage directly below where people park to look over Atlantis proper or to hang and gawk at the view?

The other more easily descended/ascended way is to go to the west of the pulloff around the small rock feature and down, it's only a dozen or so feet to the west and then down. There is less risk of somebody tossing something down. By taking this path you only cross the scree at the bottom as you cross toward the large sycamore to gain access to Atlantis.

Regardless, unfrotunately it's quite typical to find tons of junk from people down there. A few years ago some nice local Phoenix area climbers trimmed, removed, and hauled out a lot of old rusty iron pipe and cable remnants that posed risk to ropes, etc.

Fred AmRhein
Joined Feb 15, 2007
120 points

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