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Routes in McInnis Canyons

Cowboy Hat, The A1
Devil's Disciple I T 5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b A2
Devil's Disciple II T 5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b A1
Little Bighorn A1
Phantom Spire C1+
Pitchfork Tower - From the Depths of Hell T 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Split Decision T 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Type: Trad, 150 ft, 2 pitches
FA: Paul Stoner and Lucas Clarke
Page Views: 3,023 total, 37/month
Shared By: Paul S on Mar 6, 2011
Admins: Jesse Zacher, Jared LaVacque, Bradley Mark Edwards, Nick Reecy, Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac

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Keep on Trails, Som areas are wilderness and cannot be bolted on. Details

Description

According to some people's taste, this might not be a classic. The route is essentially all wide, but it's on mostly good rock, unique setting, and just fun, easy climbing.

The climb starts in a hallway between the tower and the buttress at a fist crack.

P1: Climb up the perfect fist crack. The wall behind you helps make this easy and secure. Once you climb out of the hallway, climb up the obvious OW for about 30' and set an anchor using big cams (old #4.5 and #5 Camalots work well). If you've gone through a window of sorts and see another wide crack system, go down a few feet and set a belay, you've gone too far. 5.8, 70'.

P2: Climb up through the "window" and wiggle/chimney up into the wide crack that splits the tower. I love this pitch, it's almost like spelunking in a way. For most of this pitch, the only protection you'll get are with Bigbros. It's fairly secure once you are fully in the crack, but a #4 Bigbro is essential if you want to protect the crux of the route (getting fully into the chimney). Wiggle your way to the top and if you chose tag the right summit via some face climbing on rotten rock and down climb back down and traverse your way to the left tower. Set a belay just below the actual summit using big cams again. 5.8, 80'.

To get down, climb to the high point, and walk across the summit to the other side of the tower, scramble about 15' down a wide crack to a small ledge with a bolted anchor. 1 rap on a single 60 m rope will get you back down to the ledge...and just scramble back down the hallway to the base of the tower.

Location

Pitchfork Tower is an obvious tower on the west side of Devil's Canyon. When hiking into the canyon take the right branch on the trail. Pitchfork Tower will be the first main tower that you will come across. It has a dual summit and is split by a massive crack. At the top of the crack, you'll see a giant chockstone. Hike up to the south side of the tower. To access the hallway, you'll need to do some easy 5th class moves, best to gear up before entering this.

Protection

3 fist-sized cams, 2 #4.5 and 2 #5 Camalots (old size) and at least one #4 Bigbro. Another #4 or #5 Bigbro would keep it from being a big runout, otherwise there'll be about a 30' runout, but it would be relatively secure.

Photos

Michael Schneiter
Glenwood Springs, CO
 
Michael Schneiter   Glenwood Springs, CO
 
Fun stuff! I was climbing this recently with my 8 year old daughter and 60+ year old aunt with MS and to make a long story short, an old #4 Camalot ended up in the 1st pitch crack, it couldn't be reached, and it was getting late. If someone is up on this route and retrieves my cam, I would happily buy beers for the favor. Nov 17, 2017
Evan Deis  
 
Took a single rack in addition to the recommended rack. There is a #0.5 placement at the end of the second pitch, but there are otherwise no opportunities to use anything smaller than a #3. I used 1x #0.5, 1x #3, 3x #4, 2x #5, 1x #6, and 1x #5 Bigbro. Oct 2, 2017
Mickey Guziak
Grand Junction
  5.8
Mickey Guziak   Grand Junction
  5.8
Thanks, Paul, for the new anchor and for putting up this gem! Apr 20, 2015
Paul S
Fruita, CO
 
Paul S   Fruita, CO
 
There's now an anchor above the long OW corner that this route eventually joins. You can rap down this with a double rope rappel. It puts you directly back at the base, and you don't have to scramble down to it like the original anchor, but it does require two ropes. Jan 28, 2015
Leave the big cams and Bigbros at home, do it all in one pitch. For her pleasure, y'know? Dec 9, 2013
Peter Blank
Grand Junction, Colorado
 
Peter Blank   Grand Junction, Colorado
 
Next person take up a bit more paper for the register. Apr 22, 2013
Airbiscuit  
 
This is absolutely the coolest, most fun, & steepest climbing for the grade of any tower that I have done. Really cool, clean chimneying. Super cruiser, 1 long pitch. A great find! Oct 26, 2012