Type: Trad, 2 pitches, Grade II
FA: Harvey T Carter, John Auld, Layton Kor, 5/60
Page Views: 1,439 total · 7/month
Shared By: Leo Paik on Mar 9, 2002
Admins: Jesse Zacher, Jared LaVacque, Bradley Mark Edwards, Nick Reecy, Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac

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11 Opinions

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This is an easy-to-access desert tower aka Defecating Monk.

From the West entrance of the monument, past the entrance kiosk, drive 1 mile up the Rim Drive road, park at the 1st hairpin curve. The uncapped tower is obvious. Hike down into the drainage and up to the base.

P1. The standard start starts up a crack system below and to the right of the chimney. There is an alternate 5.7+ start to the left. The crux moves are off the grounded and unprotected. Then you get a #9 hex, #10 hex, #3 Friend,& #4 Friend. This is a short pitch. There is a drilled angle, #1 1/2 & #2 1/2 Friends are useful for belay.

Pitch 2: go inside and up squeeze chimney and exit left onto a sloping ledge that supposedly had/has optional anchors. Continue out on face moves on sloping shingles of loose Windgate to the summit. This tower has no cap rock. Climb it before it is gone. There is a 3 piece anchor.

Rappel 110 feet to base.

It gets one star for the adventure of the climb.


Single set of cams to #4 Friend and #9/10/11 hexes are useful. A big cam might be useful.


I thought this was one of the worst, most insignificant desert towers I have ever done, anywhere. Prepare to do sideways offwidth through packrat spooge on loose, soft rock. Maybe I am old and sensitive, but one star seems pretty generous. Still, if you make it a point of ticking towers, I guess you gotta do it. By the way, the tower is called The Defecating Monk. -SL Mar 11, 2002
Alex Garhart
Alex Garhart  
The route is soft and dirty, but it is a good, intro level tower with a couple of interesting moves. It's easily accessible and shaded all morning in the hot summers. Jul 30, 2007
rick gardiner
Grand Junction, CO,
rick gardiner   Grand Junction, CO,
This tower you can rope solo in one pitch, with little pro. I used nothing bigger than a #2 Camalot. No need to protect the chimney, you're not going to fall out of it. It is dirty, so plan on getting sand in your gear. One 60m rope is all you need to get down. Jan 18, 2010
I soloed this route last week and found it to be quite fun. Sure, it's a little dirty and grovelly, but so are many desert towers. It's a great quick one if you're a tower collector or want a relatively easy summit.

For gear, I wouldn't bring any more than a couple medium stoppers, and a single set of cams from finger to fist. I brought twice that much, but the climbing was secure enough that I just ended up free soloing the whole thing, dragging a rope and the rack!!

There is an anchor at the top of the 1st pitch (drilled angle and webbing from mystery piece, and it takes med. cams. The only other anchor is on top, 3 bolts, well-chained.

To add to the route's enjoyment, I was accompanied by Barbie and Giant Microbe! Apr 25, 2013
Peter Blank
Grand Junction, Colorado
Peter Blank   Grand Junction, Colorado
Bring four cams. A 0.5 for the crack 15 feet off the ground. You'll use a 2 and 3 for the "chimney" and a 1 to back up the anchor on p1. You'll reuse the 3 for your only piece just below the summit. I wouldn't consider taking more than this in the future. May 9, 2013
Tyler Vaughan
Glenwood Springs, CO
Tyler Vaughan   Glenwood Springs, CO
I thought it was sweet, and a classic Monument route. Definitely belay at the beginning of the tunnel, because the rope drag is to much to do the tower in one pitch, and this tower catches the hero light in the summer sunset. 10 minute hike, sweet hang. Jan 18, 2015