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Independence Monument

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Geezer Highway T 
Independence Chimney T 
Otto's Route T 
Slavery T 
South Face Direct T 
Sundial Dihedral T 
Unknown handcrack T 

Independence Monument 


Photos: Recent | Best | Popular
Location: 39.09581, -108.72343 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 177,723
Administrators: Jesse Zacher, Ben Mottinger, Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monomaniac, Kristine Hoffman
Submitted By: Ben Mottinger on Jan 1, 2001
Forecast:
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Here we have a series of photos depicting just how...

Description 

This is a great tower with many different types of routes on its soft sandstone. Most routes get to the awesome summit in 4-6 pitches and all routes require double ropes to rappel. This tower should definitely be on your tick list if you haven't done any climbs here, and if you've never done any desert climbing like the Fishers or Moab, you'll get a nice introduction to that type of climbing.

The rock is generally solid, but flakes and small holds sometimes break off and all the climbing is sandy, nearly negating the need for chalk.


Getting There 

Going South on 340 from Fruita, go past the entrance to Colorado Monument on the right a couple miles. As you pass over the crest of a hill with a housing division on the right look immediately for a right turn down what appears to be a driveway to the Monument Trail parking lot. This small lot leads about 2 miles (45 minutes to 1 hour+) to the base of the monument.


7 Total Routes


['4 Stars',0],['3 Stars',3],['2 Stars',2],['1 Star',1],['Bomb',0]
['<=5.6',0],['5.7',0],['5.8',2],['5.9',2],['5.10',2],['5.11',1],['5.12',0],['5.13',0],['>=5.14',0],['',0],['<=V1',0],['V2-3',0],['V4-5',0],['V6-7',0],['V8-9',0],['V10-11',0],['V12-13',0],['>=V14',0]

The Classics

Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for Independence Monument:
Independence Chimney   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c C1     Trad, Aid, 6 pitches   
Otto's Route   5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, Chipped, 5 pitches, 400'   
South Face Direct   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a A4     Trad, Aid, 5 pitches, 400'   
Unknown handcrack   5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Trad, 1 pitch, 50'   
Sundial Dihedral   5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c C1     Trad, Aid, 6 pitches, 400'   
Browse More Classics in Independence Monument

Featured Route For Independence Monument

Sundial Dihedral 5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c C1  CO : Grand Junction area : ... : Independence Monument
A great route with exhilarating exposure and generally good rock. Route-finding is straight-forward and the line is fairly direct right to the summit. Start on the SE side of the monument at a detached pillar. It's a wide 5.10 on the right or 5.8 on the left. Climb to top of the pillar for a single bolt belay. P2: Supposedly the first part of this section goes free, but the pro is difficult to place, and there's not really a good rest stance. I aided the whole second pitch which is 100' pa...[more]   Browse More Classics in CO

Photos of Independence Monument Slideshow Add Photo
Wondering how my shadow ended up looking like Mrs. Butterworth 400 feet below the summit of Independence Monument.
Wondering how my shadow ended up looking like Mrs....
A long way from the English Lake District.... Chris Bonington and Paul Ross.
A long way from the English Lake District.... Chri...
Just another butt shot.
Just another butt shot.
While John Otto worked his way up Independence Monument, drilling holes and placing steel pipes, his wife carved into a rock nearby, the last line of the Declaration of Independence: "And so in support of this Declaration, with affirm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other, our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor."
While John Otto worked his way up Independence Mon...
Rae walking into Independence Monument.
BETA PHOTO: Rae walking into Independence Monument.
BETA PHOTO
Boulder problem at the bottom of the third pitch. <br /> <br />The Long Wait, V0-.
Boulder problem at the bottom of the third pitch.
...
Boulder problem at the bottom of the third pitch. <br /> <br />The Long Wait, V0-.
Boulder problem at the bottom of the third pitch.
...
Independence Monument is right behind Eli Powell, with Kissing Couple in the background.  Jon Cannon clowns on the right.  Taken from the overlook by the CG.  Photo by Brian Wandzilak.
BETA PHOTO: Independence Monument is right behind Eli Powell, ...
Boulder problem at the bottom of the third pitch. <br /> <br />The Long Wait, V0-.
Boulder problem at the bottom of the third pitch.
...
The Monument.
The Monument.
Full moon in the valley.
Full moon in the valley.
Carl Pelletier and Kurt Johnson enjoying a moment of meditative bliss on the summit of Independence Monument.
Carl Pelletier and Kurt Johnson enjoying a moment ...
The last part of the approach, in the shadow of the tower.
The last part of the approach, in the shadow of th...
"I think I dropped my keys!" Charles Vernon on the summit of Independence Monument.
"I think I dropped my keys!" Charles Vernon on the...
A last look back after the climb.
A last look back after the climb.
Carl Pelletier getting a different perspective on Independence Monument.
Carl Pelletier getting a different perspective on ...
Boulder problem at the bottom of the third pitch. <br /> <br />The Long Wait, V0-.
Boulder problem at the bottom of the third pitch.
...
A climber rappelling Otto's Route at the end of the day.
A climber rappelling Otto's Route at the end of th...
Boulder problem at the bottom of the third pitch. <br /> <br />The Long Wait, V0-.
Boulder problem at the bottom of the third pitch.
...
Independence Monument.
BETA PHOTO: Independence Monument.
Indy from the hike in.
Indy from the hike in.
A closer view of the south face.
BETA PHOTO: A closer view of the south face.
Comments on Independence Monument Add Comment
Show which comments
By George Bell
From: Boulder, CO
Apr 15, 2003

It looks like there is no unchipped, free route on this tower. Otto's route goes free, but using some large gouged artificial holds. It would seem unlikely to me that Otto's top pitch it could be freed without these pockets.

By George Bell
From: Boulder, CO
Apr 15, 2003

I'm just saying that surprisingly there appears to be no natural free route up this tower, at least nobody has discovered one yet. Bell Tower, Sentinel Spire, these all have free routes, but apparently not Independence Monument. No I am not saying that this justifies Otto chipping a free route up the thing, of course not. The search should now be on for a natural free route up the tower!

By phil broscovak
Nov 25, 2004

I am in total agreement with Brent on this one! Think of WHEN this was done an give the ole' boy the respect he deserves. Thankfully climbing evolves. Apparently, closed minded arrogance is eternal...

By Jon Cannon
May 24, 2005

Heading up to the Monument in a little over a week, and am stoked. Just one question: Is it possible to hike from the base of Sentinel Spire (with its convenient rap-in) to Independence Monument by way of, say, Wedding Canyon? Ideally, we'd like to have the opportunity (perhaps overly ambitious) to do Otto's Route and then Fast Draw. And if one were able to do this, how does one get back to the CG? Any and all beta would be much appreciated.

By Anonymous Coward
May 25, 2005

It would be easy to combine the two, either via x-country/trail travel, or by doing Independence and then driving up to rap in for Fast Draw.

By M.Morley
Administrator
From: Sacramento, CA
Feb 2, 2006

Jon: I just now saw your comment posted 8 months ago. In fact, it is very do-able to rap in as for Sentinel Spire, leave a fixed line, hike over to and climb Otto's, rap down, climb Fast Draw, then jug back out to get back to the campground.

I actually have a funny story about doing just that. I met my friend Robert out there a few years ago with that very plan in mind. We were both trying to travel light, so between us we just had 2 full-length ropes. We forgot that we'd need another rope to leave fixed to jumar back out! Well, luck was on our side. Robert was in-between Outward Bound courses, and driving a 15-passenger OB van with about 100 feet of retired, chopped up rope being used as tie-downs for gear on the roof rack. Well, we figured it was probably good enough to rap on, so we tied about half dozen pieces together and rapped down in. The main difficulty was in passing the knot multiple times! I don't think anybody at OB ever found out.

By Joe Forrester
From: Ft. Collins, CO
Mar 10, 2006

Does anyone have any info on the South Face or South Face II routes on the monument? I was trying to find a topo but was having a hard time locating one. Also, if anyone has done the South face clean I would be interested to hear how it went.

Thanks,

joe forrester

By Max Supertramp
May 7, 2013

You can get down with three raps with a 70m rope. Summit-->Time Tunnel; top of the 5.8 OW -->top of P1; P1-->ground.