|The Kachina Spires
First... Bjornstad's description is backwards in Desert Rock IV regarding the north and south towers. This route is listed as "Kachina Tower North," in his guide.
This seemingly minor detail cost me many hours of route finding! I also made the mistake of thinking the topo for "Beyond the 80th Meridian" belonged to this route. After aiding half-way up a loose crack right of the 80th Meridian route... the epiphany came! - this route does not start at the base of the tower!
From the descent into Hell Roaring Canyon, walk downstream past the obvious Kachina Towers above. A major wash leads up and left into a basin below the towers. After following this wash you will be forced to hike left (south) on slickrock toward the notch between the towers (80th Meridian), or right and up toward weaknesses in the cliff above (this route).
P1: 200' 5.5. Climb an angling ramp / crack that provides easy access to a bench 20' above you. Once on the bench, look for a tree to belay from. Nearly every tree has rap-tat on it.
P2: 60' 5.7. Climb a short hand crack leading to yet another bench above. Again, belay at a tree.
P3: 500'? 4th class - 5.7. Traverse on the ledge you have gained toward the towers. After one rope length, you will find yourself in a huge bowl. Continue toward the towers. (We unroped in this bowl and hiked the obvious ridge toward the South Tower.)
P4: 50' 5.7 Climb an obvious off-width crack (4" - 7"). Belay at the top of the crack.
P5: 100' 5.8 A0. Climb the bolt ladder to the summit. This requires a few free moves onto ledges. There is a single bolt and slung blocks to belay from at the summit.
One single rap to the north leads to the opposite side of the tower (you may wonder how the tower is even standing after viewing this side).
An additional single rap from a slung boulder leads to the notch between the towers.
A double rap from bolts leads to the ground. There are additional anchors about half-way down. Maybe this could be done with one rope? I didn't try.
Single Rack: 0.4" - 4", stoppers, etriers, a few tie-offs and double ropes for rappels. A 5"-7" piece would be useful on the fourth pitch, but is not necessary. Cordellete/webbing to back-up rappels.
the money pitch, just under the first mando free m...
the bowl that signals the start of the ridge trave...
start of "pitch" 1
the start wash and route
Hell Roaring Canyon from the vicinity of the parki...
the "pitch" 2 hand crack
closer look at P-1
view from the fence of the decent into the canyon
The entertaining approach into Hell Roaring Canyon...
crossing the slabs to reach the hand crack
S Kachina Tower
Erick amazed by the slabby boulder problem
the fine rock on the north Kachina Tower
rap to the largest pine tree and then to the deck ...
Erick sport climbing the offwidth pitch
about to start the crawl
evening light on the Kachina Towers
looking back toward the ramps that access the cany...
Nice view of the last 2 pitches. (photo Jay Miller...
|By Ian Pierce|
Jul 3, 2012
rating: 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b C0 PG13
Fun route, the approach was exciting (although scorching hot on the return in July)
We used 2 #1, 1 #2, and 1 #4 camalot for the 2nd pitch.
The first pitch wasn't protectable, same with third pitch,
The fourth pitch is also hard/unprotectable, only piece we got on this was a #2 TCU half way up(although not sure we did the right OW crack, there are several.)
I believe there are 7 or 8 pitons/bolts on the final pitch, I recommend not clipping the final one to avoid rope drag.
|By Alison Conrad|
Apr 2, 2013
Another fun tower tick. The downclimb to the basin is tricky to find, but once found goes fairly easy. The climb is the basin at the very end where all the trees and ledges are. Mostly scrambling with 5th class climbing. I was able to tunnel in the ow and exit out the backside- I had to remove rack and helmet. The aid pitch was interesting.
|By Dana Prosser|
Apr 4, 2013
Descent into canyon: from where you park look directly across arm of canyon to north side. This series of ledges (looks improbable) leads you down to valley floor. The picture on route description shows a ledge that is crawled on to get there..
Route location: this route is located on the west side of the formation.
Route starts about 500ft to the right of beyond the 80th meridian. Climb several hundred feet up to the start of this route on slabby low angle rock.
Fun mellow adventure!
|By paul bucher|
From: moab, utah
May 7, 2013
rating: 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a A0+ PG13
crazy good stuff. a bit of a sandbag. the directions sound a bit vague but work well enough if your there and follow them. although, from the other comments it sounds like we pulled it a little differently. we pulled the left side of the wash from the tree and talus high point. angled up and right on a crack/ramp like it said. poor pro and harder than 5.5. more like 5.7. pitch #2 was easy enough (5.6) and the best 15 feet of crack on the thing. pretty much a scramble to the base of the off width from there. we agree with the 5.7 for the O/W. bondo placed a 4, 5, and 6 camalot on that one. bring a least one fattie or your going solo. the money pitch had the usual pins hanging 1/2 way out. i felt the first bit of mandatory free climbing was about 5.8. however i thought the move off the last pin was a lot closer to 5.10 than 5.8. perhaps i pulled it wrong. we rapped off the south side to the base of the O/W with a single 70. then walked back above the route and made 2 easy raps from trees to the deck. cleaned and replaced webbing and added rap hardware. if your rapping the north side, bring 5 miles of webbing. it's a mess from the top down. sic little bag. big adventure. fun. good air and great location with stellar views.
From: Bishop, CA
Mar 10, 2014
Aside from the last 2 pitches, the route is more of a hike plus a few boulder problems. The setting and varied topology help offset the lack of sustained climbing.
Apr 22, 2014
Best rope system for this route is a single 70 meter rope. A single 60 meter rope may be sufficient, not sure.
Ian's beta I have a few disagreements with. The first and third pitches are protectable. The third pitch is tough to protect the opening moves for the leader, but a couple of small cams protect the second. Also, if you don't clip the last piton on the final pitch and you blow the tricky move past that, you would fall a long way, possibly decking on the ledge below. Clip the last piton!, and deal with the slight rope drag that ensues.
To protect the OW pitch 4, a #6 camalot is nice. A #5 is probably sufficient.
To descend, a single rap from the summit to the base of the OW pitch 4. Then coil the rope and walk back to the saddle (top of pitch 3). From the saddle, do a short rap to the first ledge. From this ledge, walk skiers left to the end of the ledge and to the biggest tree. This ledge has some exposed spots - might want to stay roped up. From the big tree, one long rap gets you off the technical terrain.
Cool tower, cool summit!