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North America, United States, Arizona, Chinle Spire

Chinle Spire. Jutting out off the north corner of the wingate sandstone, Round Rock is a spectacular reddish spire, some 300 to 400 feet high. It is very apparent while driving along Monument Valley to Canyon de Chelly. Eric Bjørnstad and I spent two days making its first ascent, concluding the climb on a windy 29th of March. There was a surprising amount of free climbing on the lower half; rock was good for desert standards, so that we were able to use mainly ¼-inch bolts on the long summit bolt ladder. In all, 18 pitons and 32 bolts were used. Grade III or IV.

Fred Beckey