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Tabeguache Tower 

YDS: 5.9+ French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI ZA: 17 British: E1 5a A1 R

Type:  Trad, Aid, 3 pitches, 350', Grade II
Original:  YDS: 5.9+ French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI ZA: 17 British: E1 5a A1 R [details]
FA: Bill Duncan, Steve Anderton, Matt Simpson, FFA: Ben Rueck & Rob Pizem
New Route: Yes
Season: spring, fall
Page Views: 1,464
Submitted By: Bill Duncan on Aug 14, 2006

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BETA PHOTO: The first topo of Tabeguache. I used to draw them...


It has fine climbing on good rock with an excellent view of Rough Canyon and Grand Mesa from a very small, 1 person summit. It is located near Grand Junction, east of Colorado National Monument. The route ascends an obvious crack system on the east face.

Pitch 1: Begin on a thin crack (A1/C1), follow this until a blocky section is reached which can be free climbed (5.8) to a good belay ledge atop a large block. 120 feet (37m)

Pitch 2: Climb a fist crack (5.8) to a large bombay chimney. Move left around a huge fin inside the chimney and climb some offwidth and squeeze to a small roof, (5.9). Aid the roof (A0, #4 Camalots) and climb 30 unprotected feet (9m) up a squeeze chimney (The Time Warp), then past some loose rock to a 2 drilled-pin belay at the saddle, 5.9R. 150 feet (46m).

Pitch 3: Aid climb with Beaks in drilled holes and a couple of Knifeblades to a 2 drilled-pin anchor 10 feet (3m) below the summit, (A1). Scramble to the summit with a leash.

Descent: Rap to the anchors at the saddle at the top of the 2nd pitch. Rap to the west, to the saddle between the tower and the wall. Scramble down and to the north to some webbing around a large block on the opposite side of the gully. Rap to the ground.


Park at the Tabeguache Trail parking area and hike 1/4 mile (.4 km) south on a rough road to a small canyon. Go left or east, following this canyon about 1/2 mile (.8 km) to where the canyon joins the large valley of Rough Canyon; some scrambling down will be involved. Tabeguache Tower will be obvious at this point, 10 minutes up the hill to the south. The tower is also visible from the rim of the canyon, a short hike down the Tabeguache trail.


Rack: Standard desert rack with 3 #4 Camalots, 1 #5 Camalot, 2 #4 Big Bros, 3 KBs, 6 baby angles (1/2"), 2 5/8" angles, 3 Bird Beaks.

Photos of Tabeguache Tower Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Tabeguache Tower.
Tabeguache Tower.
Rock Climbing Photo: Matt on the summit pitch.
Matt on the summit pitch.
Rock Climbing Photo: The 1st pitch and a half of Tabeguache Tower.  Bil...
The 1st pitch and a half of Tabeguache Tower. Bil...

Comments on Tabeguache Tower Add Comment
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By rob pizem
Mar 23, 2013
rating: 5.12 7b+ 27 VIII+ 26 E6 6b C0

Ben Rueck and I freed this route at 5.12. Bring some thin pieces for the first pitch and gear to 5 inches. Doubles from the smallest stuff you have will work out great! Super climbing on pitch 1, and pitch 2 has a nice roof with a great squeeze chimney.
By rob pizem
Mar 24, 2013
rating: 5.12 7b+ 27 VIII+ 26 E6 6b C0

I don't mean to give it an aid rating, but I was unable to take it off.
The route goes 5.12, 5.11, 5.12-.
One 60 or 70 meter rope to get down.
It faces the south and can be climbed on a cold day in the sun!
There are anchors at the summit ASCA and at the saddle for rappel ASCA. A worthy adventure for those who love desert sandstone. Rap off the back into the gully, and then walk over to the other side for the final bolted rap station.
By Evan Deis
Jan 2, 2015

A beak ladder? It seems to me that if one drills a hole, he should install a bolt. What is the thinking here?
By Bill Duncan
From: Jamestown, CO
Mar 31, 2015

1/2" deep holes are faster to drill than 4" deep holes, and bolt ladders are overkill. One places a bolt once in a while. Besides, beaks are fun.
FWIW, Jesse Zacher may have added some gear on this pitch a few years ago.

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