American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

North America, United States, Utah

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1984

Northeast Utah. A series of first ascents and new routes were made in Dry Fork Canyon (north of Vernal) and Dinosaur National Monument in 1983. Dry Fork Canyon features a variety of spires as well as cracks on the desert-varnished canyon walls. The red sandstone is gritty, brittle and of fair quality. Vulture’s Roost, a 100-foot spire located directly across Dry Fork Road from Remember the Maine County Park was climbed November 8 by Don Lum and me (5.6). The following towers are also located on the west side of Dry Fork Road and are north of Remember the Maine County Park. The 150-foot Ty rolean Towers are connected by a lower wall. The eastern tower was first as cended by the north crack (Rawhide, 5.9, by Tony Reed, Eric Winicov, and me on August 29), and later by the prominent off-width south crack (Teflon Crack, 5.10, by Eric Werenskjold and me on October 18). The western tower (Jeep Patrol Tower) was first ascended via tyrolean traverse on September 8 as an exercise by Uinta County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue (Jeep) Patrol by Terry Shiner, Kevin Olson, Roy Wilkins, Eric Winicov, and me. Winicov claimed the first ascent of Jeep Patrol Tower by an actual climbing route (Open Air Chim ney, 5.7) also on September 8. The partial crack on the south side of this tower was climbed on November 19 by me (Blood and Snow, 5.8). Further north along Dry Fork Road is a prominent twisted and thin 150-foot spire. I soloed a two-pitch route (5.8, A4) following an old line of some fixed hardware on the north side on September 20. However, there was no hardware within 10 feet of the top, where the sandstone changed its consistency to that of wet sugar. There was no sign of a previous summit visit and no place for slings; a rappel bolt was placed. Hence, this may be a first ascent via an old route! For lack of name, the route is called “Who Dun It” and the tower is named the Red Twister. At Dinosaur National Monument, Winicov, Richard Bennett, and I made the first ascent of 200-foot Elephant Toes Tower (Lichen Run, 5.7), a unique desert friction climb on Navajo sandstone. Penis Point, a prominent 100-foot tower of Weber sandstone atop the Split Mountain rim, was ascended on October 25 by Don Lum and me (Semen Chute, 5.5, A2). The four-hour approach involved a crossing of the Green River and third-classing of much steep terrain in the deep canyon leading to the west side of the rim. Unreported from 1982 are my ascents of Bullwinkle’s Wrinkle (5.11) near the Quarry housing area and Doc’s Crack (5.10) at Prophecy in Stone. Doug Roberts and I also added a first-pitch vari ation in August 1982 to Emily’s Crack (5.7), the 300-foot outstanding chimney crack at Prophecy in Stone which was first ascended in the late 1970s by Mike Friedman and Pete Mills. Dinosaur National Monument, the Peregrine Falcon Fund, and Utah Department of Wildlife Resources sent Ed Byers, Dan Chure, and me on the first ascent of Where Peregrines Dare (5.6), a three-pitch climb on Split Mountain on October 22. The route was used to place a hackbox on a cliff ledge for the purpose of rearing young falcons. Because of the sensitive projects conducted by the Peregrine Falcon Fund on Dinosaur’s canyon country walls (including Steamboat Rock), climbers should check with Dinosaur’s chief ranger before attempting any climbs. The rare peregrine falcon needs the coop eration of climbers to respect its rights to its ancestral cliffs and to insure the survival of this species.

James Detterline

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