Peak(s):  Hog 3, Razorback - 5,200 feet
Morocco Canyon - 4,800 feet
Merry Piglet Canyon - 4,850 feet
Turkey Knob - 5,499 feet
Date Posted:  04/23/2013
Date Climbed:   03/21/2013
Author:  Furthermore
 Hog 3 with Northwash Shorties.  

Hog 3 AKA: Razorback, 3A II
Morocco Canyon, 3A I
Merry Piglet Canyon 3A I
Turkey Knob, 5499

March 21, 2013
~8.6 Miles, ~2,800 Gain.
Trailheads: Upper Hog TH on Trachyte Point (N37.9722 W110.5303) for Hog 3 (~7.5 hours from Denver)
Mile marker 32.2 off of Utah 95 for Morocco Canyon (~7 hours from Denver)
Miles marker 33.6 off of Utah 95 for Merry Piglet (~7 hours from Denver)
Some 4WD road at (N38.0544, W110.5495) for Turkey Knob.


Unfinished business in the Hog canyon complex had to be completed. From the Sandthrax campsite, we made the short drive up to our familiar upper Hog Canyon parking. Razorback (Hog 3) has the longest approach but is still under an hour. We passed the heads of Hog 4,1 and 2 before starting down some slickrock benches on a ridge between Hog 2 and Hog 3. Before we knew it, we were starting down Hog 3.

Looking down the start of Hog 3.

I was impressed that Tony decided to brave canyoneering in Chacos. He had developed an enormous blister from some AT ski boots before our trip and didn't want to wear his regular boots since they hurt him so bad the prior day. Surprisingly, he did really well.

The name of the game in Razorback was elevators with constant vertical slides up to 30 feet. One interesting elevator had a rappel anchor off of a chockstone, so we decided to utilize the anchor for a short 30 foot rappel. More elevator action commenced after the rappel. As the canyon widened, we then we came to our second rappel.

Tony on the first optional rappel in Hog 3.

Elevator time.

Wide section in Hog 3.

Anchored off a large chockstone, we did an 80 foot rap, mostly free hanging, to finish the canyon. A short slog later we intercepted the main Hog Canyon. Instead of slogging down-canyon and having a car shuttle, we slogged back up canyon to our familiar steep exit. Without the clouds, the hike was a bit warmer than from the day prior.

Tony on the second rappel in Hog 3.

Looking back up the second rappel in Hog 3.

Returning back to the car with plenty of time, we decided to try one of the North Wash Shorties. Since Tony only had time for one more canyon, we decided to try the "best" of the three. Morocco Canyon.

A short drive later and we found the pull off for Morocco at MM 32.2 off of Utah 95 (N37.9771 W110.4915). Initially the approach appeared a bit tricky but we found the slickrock ramp leading south from our parking area (N37.9767 W110.4908) up to the head of Morocco. Basically, we headed right up the headwall, found a weakness and traversed on a somewhat exposed ledge around a sandstone buttress.

Approach to Morocco.

Finding our first rappel was pretty easy due to the large deadman anchor at the top of the drop (N37.9747 W110.4872). The first rappel was 40 feet into a short slot section. Our next obstacle was a down-climb followed by a jump to avoid a nasty pothole full of water. At first the down-climb appeared tricky, but was easier than it looked. We tossed the rope down and slid our packs across a line to avoid them from getting wet.

Tony on the first rappel in Morocco.

Slot section after the first rappel.

Avoiding the water.

Beyond the pothole was a really cool arch in the middle of the slot section. This also marked the top of our 2nd rappel anchored off of a large chockstone. Starting out in an awkward tight slot, the slot opened into an awesome free hanging rappel. 50 feet and we were at the bottom of the canyon where our 30M rope barely reached. A ledge 15 feet from the bottom could have been used as well.

Arch in the middle of Morocco.

Arch in the middle of Morocco.

Second fun rappel in Morocco.

The canyon widened for a short distance and then slotted up for our 3rd rappel from a boulder. At 20 feet, it could be down-climbed but would have required some wide stemming. Due to the anchor location, even starting this short rappel was awkward. I mostly used the rope as a hand-line while I was stemming down.

Tony starting the 3rd rappel in Morocco.

Bypassing a few dried up pools and one wet one, we continued down canyon. This canyon has a little of everything and we reached our 4th short 20 foot rappel off of a deadman anchor. We tossed our rope and heard a splash of water. Uh oh, were we going to get wet?

I started down and found a small pool that could be bypassed at the bottom of the rappel. We were not going to get wet yet. Rappel 5, at 15 feet off of a chockstone, was encountered shortly after the pools. Beyond rappel 5, we encountered an interesting down-climb that was easier to bypass by squeezing underneath a boulder. It looked like some people rappelled this short 8 foot drop.

Small pool of water in Morocco.

Our 6th and final rappel of 30 foot was off of a deadman. A short hike later, we were back on the main road where it was a short quarter mile hike back to our cars. Although short, this canyon was a blast. Lots of rappels, good scenery and some fine down-climbs.

Tony looking down the final rappel in Morocco.

Hiking back to the car.

Rappel Profile for Morocco Canyon.

With plenty of daylight left, I decided to hit one last shortie canyon. Tony had to head back to Durango to get ready for work the next day, so I decided to solo Merry Piglet Canyon. I parked at the 33.6 mile marker and found the obvious draw to start climbing up.

Scarmbling up some boulders, I found the short climb, right of the dryfall, that required a few moves of "5.6" climbing. I felt the climbing was more 5.2-4 range. Once past the dryfall, I started hiking up slickrock ramps to the north of the canyon. At first they appeared tricky, but nothing exceeded class 3 slickrock scrambling.

Near the top, I found a ledge system that I followed to the head of the canyon where my first rappel of 15 feet was off of a tree. Continuing down-canyon I encountered another rappel at 15 feet from another tree anchor. Shortly after my second rappel came the only water for the trip. A waist deep pool.

Looking down from the head of Merry Piglet.

Start of Merry Piglet.

Second anchor in Merry Piglet. (Tree is behind webbing)

Waist deep pool in Merry Piglet.

Not entirely excited about getting wet, I made the plunge into the pool. A short distance later came 3 consecutive rappels, all of which, were around 50 feet. A single 30M rope did the trick.

These 3 rappels had a short ledge before each rappel which allowed me to pull the rope and set up the next rappel. The rappel anchor was an interesting deadman for rap 1 and chockstones for rap 2 and 3. After finishing the third rappel the canyon widened and I stood atop my short 5.2-4 climb that I ascended during the approach.. Since an anchor was already in place, I made the short 15 rappel off of a bush/boulder combo to the bottom. It was a short hike back to my car.

Looking up the 3rd rappel in Merry Piglet.

Short narrows between rappels in Merry Piglet.

Looking back up the 5th rappel in Merry Piglet.

Final rappel in Merry Piglet. The short climb is 20 feet to the right.

Rappel Profile for Merry Piglet Canyon.

With a little time left, I decided to climb Turkey Knob. Following 4X4 roads I was able to get within .7 of the summit from the northeast. I climbed the north ridge which had some interesting mud rock. The summit had some really good views of the Henry mountains. What a fine day of canyons and peaks.

View from Turkey Knob.

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):

 Comments or Questions

What is this?
04/24/2013 15:55
Some sort of cave? Fancy drawing shenanigans are fancy.


04/24/2013 17:03
I remember lots of sharp white little rocks embedded in the walls of Razorback, I don't see them in your photos?

Did you make those rap profiles?

All good canyons, I really enjoyed Morocco and Merry Piglet.


Re Razorback
04/25/2013 02:13
Yeah, we had the rocks when we descended Razorback. I don't see any in the photos I posted but they were there.

I did make those rap profiles. Lack of cave survey = lack of cave cartography so canyon profiles will have to do for now. Need to keep up on Illustrator; I don't care to relearn it as once was enough. Speaking of which, I need to fix one of the profiles. I already see an error.

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