|416 page views|
|Type: ||Trad, 5 pitches, 320 feet, Grade III|
|FA: ||Chris Weidner, Kelli Rayburn, Duncan Burke; FFA Chris Weidner|
|New Route: ||Yes|
|Submitted By: ||Chris Weidner on Apr 1, 2005|
Organ Pipe Spire is located in Wedding Canyon and is part of the next peninsula of rock south of Sentinel Spire. It sits next to Pipe Organ Spire, and is the shorter of the two, furthest from the rim. The names are quite confusing! A photo of the south faces of the spires is on p.269 of Bjornstad's Desert Rock III. The best approach is to park at the Book Cliff Overlook and rappel in as you would for Sentinel Spire: Walk south to the rim (about 90 seconds from the car) and on the left (east) there is a small pine tree to rap from. Rap about 100' and leave your rope fixed. Don't forget to bring jumars for the way out. Descend slabs and follow a faint trail that winds down and eventually to the right beneath the south face of Sentinel Spire where the classic route Medicine Man is located. Hike south toward Organ Pipe Spire for about 20 minutes wrapping around the base of it to arrive beneath the south face. It is very important to walk in the drainages following a circuitous path rather than trample the fragile soil taking a direct path toward the objective. The direct path will only save a few minutes but could harm the soil for years! It is also possible to park at the Pipe Organ Overlook, hike 5 minutes to the rim and rap from there, but I found it more difficult to deal with the much longer rappel (and jumar), as well as a pesky cliff band that is time-consuming to negotiate. Pipe Dream begins in the middle of the south face at a small, left-facing dihedral about 25' left of a long, clean dihedral.
Pitch 1: Climb 15' up the dihedral, then hand traverse left on flat, sandy holds into a right-facing dihedral. Layback and jam up to a roof, turn it on the right, and jam wide hands about 10' above the roof to establish a belay on gear (#.5, #1, #3.5 for belay). 5.11, 80'. Bring all cams #3 and smaller with just one #2. The first 30' of the pitch are very sandy, but the quality of the route improves above that point.
Pitch 2: Fire up the wide hands splitter, layback up and left around an exposed arete, and tiptoe up large flakes to a small stance with two belay bolts. 5.10+, 50'. Gear: (2)#.5, (1)#.75, (1)#1, (2)#2, (3)#3, (2)#3.5, (1)#4.
Pitch 3: The crux. Climb straight above the belay, then launch into the clean, overhanging, and strenuous offwidth that finishes above the lip of small roof at a 3-bolt hanging belay. After some fist jams at the start, the offwidth dictates strenuous laybacking rather than full-on groveling because of its position in a corner. 5.11+, 60'. Gear: (1)#.5 plus everything #3 and larger.
Pitch 4: Squirm up a short offwidth above the belay, then follow the sandy crack that veers right after about 15'. Pass a fixed anchor and where the crack ends, face traverse left for 8' on flat edges until below a second anchor. Mantel up to this anchor and belay. It is also possible to continue 20' to the false summit and belay from #3.5 and #4 cams. 5.10-, 80' or 100'. Gear: 2 each all sizes.
Pitch 5: Once on the false summit, climb a very short overhanging wall on the left side of the summit block via fun yet nervewracking jugs. These moves can protect with a #4.5 cam in a hole and/or a thread. Walk to the summit. 5.6, 30'.
Descent: Downclimb to the anchor atop pitch 4 placing gear for the second. Rap 80' to the 3-bolt anchor atop pitch 3. Rap 190' to the ground - free hanging the entire way!
Note: For great crack climbing of all sizes without much choss, climb the first 3 pitches then rap. The last 100' includes some bad rock just like any tower in the Monument, but the summit is worth the effort if you're so inclined. Pipe Dream is possibly the second route to the summit of Organ Pipe Spire, and it may be the only free route.
Recommended rack in Camalot sizes:(2)#.4, (5)#.5, (4)#.75, (2)#1, (2)#2, (3)#3,(2)#3.5, (4)#4, (1)#4.5Each anchor consists of bomber bolts or drilled angles except the top of pitch one, which takes good gear.