AAC Publications - http://publications.americanalpineclub.org

North America, United States, Utah, Standing Rock

Standing Rock. The first ascent of the Standing Rock was made by Layton Kor and me on October 13-15. Kor led 50 feet late in the afternoon of the first day. Next day he and Steve Komito reached a point two- thirds of the distance to the summit and rappelled down. Ominous weather developed on the morning of the third day, and Steve decided to stay down. Kor and I prusiked up and completed the climb, reaching the summit about noon. This tower is located in the proposed Canyonlands National Park. Like a totem pole, it rises 300 feet though it is but 40 feet in diameter. The first lead is a direct aid pitch to a large roof on the east side, then mixed aid and free climbing on a 40-foot section of thin horizontal bands of fractured rotten sandstone blocks. This area is extremely dangerous. When Kor was attempting to place a piton in an overhanging ledge, a block weighing perhaps 100 pounds broke loose and fell upon him, pinning him to the ledge where he was standing. Miraculously, he was unhurt. The next two leads are direct aid, with one belay in slings, on vertical to overhanging sandstone of fairly good quality. The final lead is a short pitch of moderately difficult free climbing on very friable sandstone. It is an unusual and spectacular climb, although we do not recommend it because of its very great objective danger. There are other towers in Standing Rock Basin which would be as difficult, but not as outstanding. We feel that they are not worth the risk.

Huntley Ingalls