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North America, United States, Utah, River Road and the Moab Area

River Road and the Moab Area. Second in new-route activity only to the Potash Road and Long Canyon area, the River Road and Moab area experienced an unprecedented number of ascents this season. Mark Whiton, solo, climbed a variation on Dolomite Spire when he aided the Off Route section designated on the topo on page 148 of the Desert Rock climbing guide (III, 5.8, A2). The Anasazi Wall Artist’s Tears was soloed (3rd overall ascent) by Jason Keith (IV, A4). This ascends 400 feet of overhanging Navajo Sandstone. Brad Nauman climbed Radon Man (I, 5.7–), a variation of Radon Daughters. This short pitch is one of the easier climbs in the desert, since most of the free climbs are in the 5.10 plus league. On the road to Canyonlands Island-in-the Sky and Dead Horse Point (State Highway 313) Rob Slater and Jim Bodenhamer climbed Elvis Memorial Corner (I, 5.12a). In the same area Earl Wiggins, Charlie Fowler and Katy Cassidy made the first ascent of Class Act (5.11–). In Little Canyon, Bender Over Crack (5.11a) was climbed by Steve Mesdough, Chris Haaland and Doug Frost. The route ascends a prominent overlapping two-crack system on the second buttress system on the left as you enter Little Canyon. On the Tombstone, a second route, Tres Gatos (II, 5.11, A0), was put up by Cassidy and Wiggins. It is on the far right side of the west face in a shallow left-facing comer leading to a large roof. Just north of Moab, on Monitor Butte, Cassidy and Wiggins climbed the right side of The Plank (II, 5.9, A0). On the same landform, the team was joined by Peter Gallagher for the first free ascent of the original route. Cassidy, Wiggins and George Hurley climbed Stand and Deliver (II, 5.11, A0) on Merrimac Butte a few miles north of Moab. The route ascends a right-facing flake/crack in the middle of the face. On the same landform, Cassidy, Gallagher and Wiggins teamed up for the first ascent of Keel Hauling (II, 5.9). The route ascends an obvious left-leaning system on the south face, directly below the summit. It is the left of the two diagonaling lines seen from below. Lawnchair Lizard (III, 5.8, A3) was put up on Aeolian Tower by Katy Cassidy, Art Wiggins and Earl Wiggins. The route starts on the north ridge of the tower. It diagonals up and right to a belay below a straight-in crack that splits the Entrada Sandstone cap-rock. In the remote Harrah Pass region south of Moab, Robert Warren and Max Kendall climbed Attila s Thumb (II, 5.11) on the prominent Mitten and Thumb formation visible from much of northern Canyon- lands National Park. In Hatch Wash, Warren and Steve Johnson climbed two new routes on the Crows Foot formation. The Bovine (1,5.10 + ) is just right of the Raven route ascending to the notch of the prominent Wingate tower. Raven (II, 5.11) is the first crack system right of Bovine on the Crows Foot. Nine new routes were established in the La Sal Mountains, southeast of Moab. They were climbed by Ken Trout, Andrea Stoughton, Paul and Linda Siebert and Sonja Paspal. They are below the first bridge reached when you drive the La Sal Mountain road south from Moab. The climbs are all in the solid 5.10 range.

Eric Bjørnstad