Ascent of Islands in the Sky Point 6308 on 2019-05-03

Climber: William Musser

Other People:Solo Ascent
Only Party on Mountain
Date:Friday, May 3, 2019
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Islands in the Sky Point 6308
    Elevation:6308 ft / 1922 m

Ascent Trip Report

This was an interesting this is a very picturesque arch. You hike to it and disappointingly small compared to all of the ones in the Arches NP. Then as you see snow capped mountains and red rock buttes through the window and it is a great photo. Then you look down and thru the arch and it is a massive fall! The arch is actually pretty cool. So i had been eyeing this peak from the road with its very triangular conical shape and looked easy to scramble and thought why not backcountry hike to it?

One issue was there is another slick little peak with completely vertical slopes nearer to the arch called Point 6290T. that peak being a bit lower than this one would have less prominence so I set out for 6308. But, I was turned around and as we started up 6290 we noticed that the bands looked very steep and precarious without rope protection. Perhaps there was a safe way up once you got up there but I did not want to chance it with Karen late in the day and it was not my peak so Karen headed back to the car. I worked my way over to peak 6309 and took a bad angle. My GPS route got up to another tricky sandstone smear that was doable going up but scared the heck out of me going down without a rope. It was at least class 4 but perhaps 5. I tried the backside and it was very exposed long fall of lower class 5. So I dropped pack with my GPS and climbed down and around and found a better safer route. This does not show on my GPS as my phone stayed in the backpack.

My caution to anyone following those coordinates to the base of the last 15 feet or so is - that is heading you up a very exposed smear climb area and I would scout around carefully and make sure you find a route you know you can down climb safely without a rope or keep looking.

on the way back I hiked up the other easier clump of rock which was all class 2, 2+ and far easier than the other two USGS points, thus getting some extra views and gain on the way back.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:498 ft / 151 m
    Total Elevation Loss:310 ft / 93 m
    Round-Trip Distance:2.2 mi / 3.5 km
    Quality:7 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Open Country, Bushwhack, Scramble, Exposed Scramble
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:358 ft / 109 m
        Gain Breakdown:Net: 188 ft / 57 m; Extra: 170 ft / 51m
    Loss on way in:170 ft / 51 m
    Distance:1.3 mi / 2.1 km
    Route:see GPS track plus explanation TR
    Start Trailhead:Mesa Arch TH  6120 ft / 1865 m
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:140 ft / 42 m
    Gain on way out:140 ft / 42 m
    Distance:0.9 mi / 1.4 km
Ascent Part of Trip: Canyon Lands NP

Complete Trip Sequence:
1The Knoll2019-05-03 a136 ft / 41 m
2Aztec Butte2019-05-03 b262 ft / 80 m
3Graneries Butte2019-05-03 c77 ft / 23 m
4Islands in the Sky Point 61702019-05-03 d90 ft / 27 m
5Islands in the Sky Point 61202019-05-03 e140 ft / 43 m
10Whale Rock2019-05-03 g222 ft / 68 m
11Upheaval Dome2019-05-03 h307 ft / 94 m
12Island in the Sky Point 62602019-05-03 i258 ft / 79 m
13Islands in the Sky Point 63082019-05-03 j498 ft / 152 m
Total Trip Gain: 1990 ft / 607 m    Total Trip Loss: 1152 ft / 350 m
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip

 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by William Musser
Click Here for a Full Screen Map
Note: GPS Tracks may not be accurate, and may not show the best route. Do not follow this route blindly. Conditions change frequently. Use of a GPS unit in the outdoors, even with a pre-loaded track, is no substitute for experience and good judgment. accepts NO responsibility or liability from use of this data.

Download this GPS track as a GPX file

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