Drive back and forth between Mosquito Cove and Zion enough and you can't help but wonder about that toothy ridge above Rockville.
The most exotic-looking tooth, far left on the skyline from the road, has a short and sweet route on the backside path of least resistance. A perfect way to try out Zion sandstone without shuttles, tourists, and big wall logistics. We got beta from a drawn topo at the backcountry ranger desk in Zion and from m.project.
The rock formation you climb seems to be called either Aunt Jemima or Mrs. Butterworth's. The route name is one of those, or possibly Tooele's Tower as noted in the Zion ranger beta file.
It takes an hour and a half to get to the base. In mid May it was in the shade until 11, full sun a couple hours later. It's a little sandy and clearly doesn't get traveled all that often, but the rap stations are well established (bolts and trees).
The ranger beta called it 9+, but we thought the moves off the second belay were a little stiffer. However, you have the belay bolts at your chest so you could aid it if it felt dicey.
Fun route. Great summit with great views; a gentle adventure climb. Please try to minimize desert impact by staying as best you can on what faint trails there are to the base of the route.
Turn onto 200 E street in Rockville. Cross the bridge. Very soon the road turns right. Just before this turn, take a paved road (left turn, or sort of continue straight) which turns into a dirt road in a couple hundred yards.
The road gets worse over the next ten minutes, winding up past a cattle grate, private road, etc., until you get to a good-looking dirt pullout on the right.
It is doable at a snail's pace in a low clearance car, but take the truck if you have it.
Park at the dirt pullout. Sorry, no mileages, we didn't have an odometer, but we both thought it was the only pullout that we saw, and no turnoffs before we got there looked tempting at all.
There is an obvious, excellent dirt singletrack heading straight towards Eagle Crag from the pullout. Take this. The trail stays excellent as you walk towards the crag, then switchback up to the ridge left of the crag. The trail continues on the backside of the ridge.
Keep an eye on the Aunt Jemima/Mrs. Butterworth's formation because it looks very different from the backside.
There doesn't seem to be a climbers' trail to the actual route. The best way we found was a drainage below the backside. Take this up steep, loose, desert sand and rock and bush to the notch behind the crag, and then check out the topo.
- Double set of cams, tips to thin hands
- Single set of cams, hands to #3 Camalot
- One extra larger cam (#2 or #3)
BETA PHOTO: my topo of the route.
1/2 of the White Harlem crew circa 1997 on the sum...
|By John J. Glime|
From: Salt Lake City, UT
Jul 18, 2007
The description here about how to get to the tower sucks. There are roads and driveways all over the f-ing place out there. And no matter where you get to the tower is still a long ways off. I wasn't in the mood for a death march bushwack, so if anyone can give more detailed info via GPS or other, I eventually want to go climb that beautiful piece of stone. Cheers.
To give you credit Anthony, the topo looks great.
|By Anthony Anagnostou|
Aug 11, 2007
John- you're right. the approach beta could be better. BUT- both my partner and I think that the beta as-is should get any self-respecting climber to the base of the thing with no death-march aftertaste. there really are no tempting roads or trails or pullouts. follow the beta here and the logical line and then get off the trail below the tower backside. thats it. and bring your GPS, draw a map, and let the rest of us reap the benefits..
|By John J. Glime|
From: Salt Lake City, UT
Aug 13, 2007
Ha, that is my problem. I am not a self respecting climber. I am lazy too. For recollections sake, when you cross the bridge do you drive up that dirt road that has the big drop on the left? For what it is worth, I didn't have your directions when I tried to get there, I drove in there last year. I think Troy said something about asking people in town, and perhaps I had his directions for Eagle Crag... I'll print this page out the next time I head down there. Cheers.
|By Anthony Anagnostou|
Sep 6, 2007
Eagle Crag had an excellent trail that wrapped around the backside (as mentioned in the beta) that im guessing is a well-worn hiker's trail. so yes, im guessing townfolk would know. or the gear shop folks (btw- go to the guide shop.. the gear shop employees nearer the zion park entrance are useless for beta, as far as i can tell).
i cant remember if there is a big drop on the left on the road. cross the bridge, and drive straight like you're heading for the hills. just before the road winds right, there is a turnoff. its almost like driving straight instead of following the road right. then you're on your way. keep an eye out after you've gained some elevation for a pullout that looks like it could park a couple cars. look for the good singletrack trail.
|By Ian McEleney|
From: at large
Sep 17, 2007
My partner and I found our way there with no problems (unusual for us) with only the Park Service binder topo and a quick look at TopoZone. The above info should be plenty. Also, we found a single set of cams to be sufficient.
|By Dan L|
From: Bishop, CA
Nov 20, 2011
rating: 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a PG13
This climb was excellent. However, this tower has many loose blocks EVERYWHERE. The route sketch/diagram that is provided was very useful, however, I had read on supertopo and on mountain project that this climb was on either the Northwest or West face... It turns out, the whole climb is on a SW aspect. The approach took 1.5 hours and was a fairly easy scramble to the base (easy to find, just read beta). Crux is most certainly at the bottom of the 3rd pitch, off of the belay station. One of the two bolts and cordelette needs replaced on third belay (you can use a blue tcu to back up belay). When you leave the belay, it's a 5.10 face move with no pro (5 ft); mantle ledge; climb up (10 ft)onto a HUGE disconnected block with no or little "road bump" placements. Third pitch is fun, quick and easy. Watch out for a big loose rock about half way up the 3rd. Also when pulling ropes on rap, watch for ropes catching and snaging huge death blocks. We had a good 150-200LB rock fall, while we were rapelling. The summit is quite a view. Gear used: one set of camalots up to a 4, couple nuts and one 60m rope. (update 3-10-12) -- the tower log needs more paper and better pens!
|By Matt Desenberg|
From: North Berwick, ME
May 7, 2014
Such a fun route!
The first pitch is very laid back and felt 5.8
Pitch two had a tricky move in the finger crack that felt like the .10a crux of the route.
The last pitch is supposedly .10a as well, but there are two ways to do it. Going left of the bolts (there is no pin, I think the Supertopo said something about a pin...) was a bit dicey, but going to the right made it more like 5.9. Either way, it's not harder than .10a
Rock quality was great, and the summit is very cool with great views. It'd be nice if it was a bit steeper but a great outing nonetheless. Single rack works well.