GPS: 38.305, -109.866 Google Map · Climbing Area Map
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Shared By: Steve "Crusher" Bartlett on Feb 24, 2005
Admins: slim, Andrew Gram, Nathan Fisher, Perin Blanchard, grk10vq
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Access Issue: RAIN, WET ROCK and RAPTOR CLOSURES: The sandstone around Moab is fragile and is very easily damaged when it is wet. Also please ask and be aware of Raptor Closures in areas such as CAT WALL and RESERVOIR WALL in Indian Creek Details


Staggering Rock is the nearby sunlit tower visible in Ben Folsom's photo on the Meemohive post. There are a pair of towers together (you can see a second one just behind of, and right of Staggering Rock in the picture).

Back in the day, it caught people's eyes because the Monument Basin photo in Bjornstad's old 1988 Desert Rock book made it look more alluring than the far-off Standing Rock.

The only route so far (?) on Staggering Rock goes up the north side. It was perhaps the second tower in the basin to be climbed. It is described in Bjornstad's 1996 Desert Rock II (National Parks). But what is not included in that guide is that this now goes all clean and free, at around 5.11a.

The adjacent tower appears to have been climbed, but doing it free or clean looks to be a real challenge.

Getting There

This is in the heart of the basin. Any of the approaches for Monument Basin will work. The hard-to-find (and hard to locate) easy gully access for Standing Rock is best, as it is easy (duh) but it also dumps you out real close by. This gully is just west and north of Staggering Rock. If you try to locate this, please walk on the slickrock as much as possible. Try to park on slickrock too.

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Bryan Bornholdt
Las Vegas, NV
Bryan Bornholdt   Las Vegas, NV
After doing Standing Rock yesterday morning, Brent and I were jazzed to have ample time for another tower that afternoon. We hiked over to Staggering Rock and just a look at the north face revealed that the character would be quite different. Indeed, it is far more serious and the second pitch was probably the most serious free climbing I have done in many years. The rock quality is very poor compared to the Doric Column and pro is very difficult to obtain through the second pitch. The last pitch was on good rock over all. This route is a serious undertaking requiring a set of stoppers, cams from TCUs to #4 Camalot (double of the small to medium sizes), quickdraws, and long runners. With over 40 towers to my credit, it was a surprise. Sep 26, 2005
Bryan, sorry if you were expecting more quality here. I should have given this one star. It's hard to judge with first ascents, 'cos they are so fun and exciting. You are right, there is a huge difference between Standing Rock and any other climb in the Basin area.

About all the routes I've done around here have spicy face-climbing runouts on spooky rock somewhere on them. I've always enjoyed spooky runouts at around 5.9/5.10, so my star-rating judgement likely is way off. What can I say.

ps, I've heard of no one else doing Staggering Rock, except the people whose names are posted here. Dec 28, 2005
Bryan Bornholdt
Las Vegas, NV
Bryan Bornholdt   Las Vegas, NV
Crusher, your reply is deeply appreciated and I agree with the richness of the experience that the serious nature in a remote setting provides. My buddy reprimanded me for sticking my neck out on it and rightly so. We had agreed on a fun trip and the second tower was hard to pass on. Staggering Rock was a classic case of venturing into rarely traveled terrain. Jan 14, 2006