This tower is of high quality rock in a pristine remote setting. It does have quite a bit of wide crack climbing, but it is an absolutely fantastic adventure. We would recommend not climbing it in early June like we did. It was 107 degrees during the day. (Damn work schedules!)
The route starts in the shade of the northeast face, on the left side of the tower. This tower, like the name suggests, is actually a huge vertical arch. You could drive a semi through the middle of this tower.
1) Climb the nice hand and fist crack to a nice ledge and two drilled pins.
2) Climb the vertical offwidth crack to the top of the first buttress. There are 2 drilled pins at the top of the crack for the rap.
Wiggle through the Birth Canal to get into the big notch at the center of the tower.
3) Climb up to the corner on the right on beak holes to where there is a small stance. There is a drilled pin or a bolt once in awhile for safety. Continue up and to the right on beak holes to the hanging belay, or continue on into the chimney. There is a drilled pin once in awhile for safety. The first ascent party belayed at the hanging belay, but it is now possible to set up a belay in the massive chimney.
4) Go through the tower to the south face, and climb the vertical wide crack to the top of the buttress. Groovy 5.10 A1.
The summit is mere feet away. One more move should do the trick . . .
Descent. This part is kind of tricky. The rock is very soft on the summit, negating the ability to rap directly back into the notch. Rap off the north face from the fixed anchors. As soon as you safely can, start moving to climbers left. The goal here is to reach all the way back to the notch at the center of the tower. You may prefer to stop at the belay station before the huge chimney, but this may result in an awkward angle to rap back to the ledge. Crawl back through the Birth Canal, and rap to the base from the anchors on top of the second pitch.
From the river, hike about 3 miles up the canyon, taking the left fork when you come to a junction. You can't miss it.
Standard desert rack plus . . . as the name suggests, bring lots of wide gear. I mean lots. We took 4 #5 Camalots, 4 #4 Camalots, 2 #4.5s, 3 #3 Camalots, and a selection of Big Bros. Bird beaks or a similar piece are also required (4 or 5).
|By JJ Schlick|
From: Flagstaff, AZ
Sep 4, 2006
Nice work guys, that is an amazing looking tower.
|By Jason Kaplan|
From: Glenwood ,Co
Jan 25, 2009
Nice! I took a booze cruise down that stretch a few years back and saw that tower, it's amazing. I wondered if anyone had climbed it before, nice work!