American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

North America, United States, Utah, Canyonlands

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1981

Canyonlands. In the Canyonlands, several new important climbs have been made on the larger spires. Undoubtedly the increased use of Friends in desert climbing will see more new and demanding free climbs in the near future. In April of 1979 several new climbs were done, including the Lightning Bolt Cracks (NCCS II, F10+) on North Sixshooter Peak by Pete Williams and me, and the first free ascent of the north face of Castleton Tower (II, F11 ) by Buck Norden and me. Both routes were soon repeated, the former by Bob Rotert from North Carolina and the latter by Bruce Leila. Also just after the previous climbs, I rope-soloed a major ascent of the east face of Moses, the Primrose Dihedrals, taking two days, not to mention a 50-foot fall. Six months later Steve Hong joined me to make the first free ascent of Moses via the Primrose Dihedrals (IV, F11 + ), a seven-pitch route, certainly a desert classic. On this ascent Friends played an important part protecting long, parallel cracks. In addition to these new free climbs, Ken Trout and Bruce Leila made a mid-winter repeat of the Sundevil Chimney route on the Titan in the Fisher Towers. Les Ellison and Mike Stone also repeated Brer Rabbit (VI, F9 to F10, A4) on Cottontail Tower in the Fisher Towers. They took four days, trashed their ropes and had considerable difficulty retreating. Ellison considered the route the hardest he had climbed in the Desert. Cottontail Tower, 850 feet high, has now been climbed three times since the first ascent in 1967.

Ed Webster

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