REI Community
McInnis Canyons
Select Route:
Cowboy Hat, The 
Devil's Disciple I T 
Devil's Disciple II T 
Little Bighorn 
Phantom Spire 
Pitchfork Tower - From the Depths of Hell T 
Split Decision T 

Pitchfork Tower - From the Depths of Hell 

YDS: 5.8 French: 5b Ewbanks: 16 UIAA: VI- ZA: 15 British: HVS 4c

Type:  Trad, 2 pitches, 150'
Original:  YDS: 5.8 French: 5b Ewbanks: 16 UIAA: VI- ZA: 15 British: HVS 4c [details]
FA: Paul Stoner and Lucas Clarke
New Route: Yes
Page Views: 2,850
Submitted By: Paul S on Mar 6, 2011

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (7)
Your todo list:
Your stars:
Your rating: -none- [change]
Your ticklist: [add new tick]
Your opinion of this PAGE:    [1 person likes this page.]
Start of P1.


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.


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.


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 of Pitchfork Tower - From the Depths of Hell Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Looking up P2.
BETA PHOTO: Looking up P2.

Comments on Pitchfork Tower - From the Depths of Hell Add Comment
Show which comments
By Airbiscuit
Oct 26, 2012

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!
By Peter Blank
From: Grand Junction, Colorado
Apr 22, 2013

Next person take up a bit more paper for the register.
By Max Supertramp
Dec 9, 2013

Leave the big cams and Bigbros at home, do it all in one pitch. For her pleasure, y'know?
By Paul S
From: Fruita, CO
Jan 28, 2015

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.
By Mickey Guziak
From: Grand Junction
Apr 20, 2015
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

Thanks, Paul, for the new anchor and for putting up this gem!

Mountain Project

The Definitive Climbing Resource

MTB Project

Next Generation MTB Trail Maps

Powder Project

Backcountry Ski Maps & Secret Stashes
FREE Stickers · Gyms · RSS · School of Rock · Contact · About