Elephant

Last Candition: November 27, 2011

4.9

Default_avatar_thumb A_J
5 out of 5
Date of Trip: May 14, 2016

Love this route. A short route (usually can do it in 1 - 3 hours, depending on how fast we want to go, and how long we enjoy the spectacular views from the summit.) Contains a fun variety - climbs, chimney, rappel, overhanging rappel, etc. On Sat 5/14, the anchors were good, and all water was avoidable.

5 out of 5
Date of Trip: April 1, 2016

All dry. Lots of trails forming up top, messing with crypto. Hand over handed the first rap sans harness then tagged summit. 39 minutes car to car time. Fun.

5 out of 5
Date of Trip: March 12, 2016

No ice or snow. Water in pool before final rap is avoidable.

5 out of 5
Date of Trip: November 14, 2015

Took 6 through (5 noobs) in 3 1/2 hours. Ran into two groups who were lost after the 1st rap and looking in the 1st and 2nd drainages south of the 1st rap looking for the last rap. (It's in the "3rd drainage", btw). They told me "mountain project" (these were Rock Climbers) is never wrong and were "lost" and were sure "someone removed the bolts at the last rap". Nope! I showed them the correct way, in which, the 3 guys and a girl basically ran in front of our group so they could rappel 1st and never once said "hey man, thanks for pointing us in the right direction". Not one thanks. It's cool and acceptable to say "thanks", even to someone who is the same age as you... /end rant. 1st anchor bolts look good. Last rap is a mess with all of the webbing and ropes dangling from it. Please clean it up if someone reads this, please! We removed 20ft or so but the last bit we couldn't get. It was tied tight! And we didn't have a knife :( Otherwise, great climb/rap/route!

5 out of 5
Date of Trip: November 13, 2015

Contrary to what some beta says, GPS works pretty well in most of this climb/canyon. After reaching the saddle the rappel anchor isn't "just around the corner to the left". You have to downclimb onto a ledge and work your way left along the dihedral until it starts to curve down, then you finally see it. Pull the rope from the first landing and elevator down the next drop. Now walk around the corner and you're on the ramps to the top. Once up the ramps about half way you can see the spire that is "key" to the exit. Lots of good class 3 friction up and down, great views, and two fun rappels.

5 out of 5
Date of Trip: May 25, 2015

Got an early start and we were the only two people on the route for a long time. Many more groups showed up in the afternoon. It was our first time in Elephant Butte and misinterpretation of the directions had us experiencing new tangents and techniques before finding the first rap! It ate up some time but found that others made the same misinterpretations of the directions and ended up where we were. It all worked out and we saw views from angles that I'm guessing many have not seen! Now we know the route I bet we could do it in 2. Gorgeous views and some fun technical climbing. As with all previous reports....the route can be challenging to find!!

4 out of 5
Date of Trip: January 25, 2015

Though there is some snow and ice to be found in shaded areas, we were able to make the summit without any problem. The crux upclimb has a tongue of ice at the head of the crack. Best to climb up here from left of the crack by several feet. The small pothole just before the only rappel down has a detached, floating sheet of ice. We walked gingerly on the right side, placing our feet on the rock and the sheet of ice. The ice would move and sink a little, but did not break. This condition could change quickly depending on weather. Beautiful view from the summit - as usual. On another note; the day before we were in the Fiery Furnace and did not encounter any snow or ice problems.

5 out of 5
Date of Trip: June 27, 2014

Great fun! In my opinion, capable beginners led by experienced person would be fine. Once one person gets up the "crux," it is easy to protect/pull the others up. Route finding is the hardest part of the route but you can dumb that down as much as you want by searching the many reports and beta on Bogley and elsewhere.

Be careful where you choose to walk on the approach/exit so we don't do a lot of damage to crust, plants, etc...Now that Arches is going towards regulation, it would be a shame to have even more added because of careless canyoneering.

5 out of 5
Date of Trip: May 25, 2014

For Moab, this was a great route! Took 6 through in 3 1/2 hours (1st time for all). The route was not too-straight forward but like other posters have said below, obtain a few beta sources and bring a gps. It's important to know where to climb. In my opinion, this isn't family friendly. Everybody in the group should be confident in their climbing skills (above a 5.4 (not a 5.5 as it's not too vertical). It rained on us at rap 1 and created a "flash stream" which was scary (due to thunder) yet enjoyable (once rapped down) to witness. The pothole at the end was filled up but only knee deep, but all of us stemmed across it, and the final rap had a small flow to top the route off. Even with the rain, it didn't hold much at all. Fun Route though!

5 out of 5
Date of Trip: May 15, 2013

Awesome route! Dry and straight forward (although you'll need good route finding skills) and both rap stations are in good condition. As mentioned, not really beginner friendly unless you have a good climber who can assist (had to hand line a few climbs). Left a little skin on one of the advanced pitches (whoops!). Overall an excellent climb with two raps (first one is a tricky start). Agree with poster that there's no need to rap all the way down to bottom after first rap. Pull your ropes and then down climb the additional 15 or so feet... it's very easy and the rope grooves are really bad. Enjoy the view from the top and put your name in the register!

5 out of 5
Date of Trip: March 1, 2013

First time through and to the summit. Ice throughout the canyon/summit! Ice definitely brings the technical level up a notch, seems to be melting fast. Navigation is not exactly straight forward. I'd recommend obtaining beta from as many different sites as possible if it is your first time through. GPS is essential. Anchors in good condition. I couldn't decide where the crux was, the whole thing felt like a 5.4. :-) Took us 6 hours because of the difficult ice!!

5 out of 5
Date of Trip: December 2, 2012

A warm December day is an excellent time to summit Elephant Butte! Currently, all anchors are in good shape. The first rap has a 5 bolt anchor. I believe the person that installed the bolts wanted the rap anchor to be on bolts #4 and #5 (away from the wall) to prevent rope grooves. Bolts 1,2 and 3 are probably supposed to be used as protection when moving over to bolts #4 & 5. That being said, the anchor is currently on bolts #2 and #3 and furthers an existing groove. The 5.4 climb is indeed a 5.4, but has no "positive" handholds or footholds to secure yourself. The penalty points for falling on the 5.4 climb are high (probably multiple broken bones). Be sure to have a good climber in your group!

5 out of 5
Date of Trip: March 24, 2012

Good anchors and multiple pieces of webbing on first rappel. Pull your rope after the first rap, grow a pair and down-climb the little drop. The rope scars are getting crazy bad unnecessarily from people pulling the rope from around the west corner after rapping the down-climb.

Final rap has nice cordelet on the pitons.

No other people. No water.

This is not a beginner canyon/climb: unavoidable and unprotectable exposure to lethal falls are numerous.

Default_avatar_thumb A_J
5 out of 5
Date of Trip: November 27, 2011

We finished our trip with the classic Elephant Butte. Access is on a paved road, so any car is fine, and any water could easily be avoided.