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North America, United States, Utah, San Rafael Swell, 1990

San Rafael Swell, 1990. On April 25, 1990, I climbed Lightbulb, a bizarre 170-foot tower named for its overhanging bulbous shape. Located near the San Rafael River Campground, it is clearly visible from the road and requires a 30-minute approach. The first pitch, which goes free, starts on the far right or northern edge. Fingers to hands to fists, it wraps around left to a good ledge. The final short pitch ascends bolts up the inverted bulb. (II, 5.10, A1.) On October 29, 1990, Allan Murphy and I climbed The Daughter (III, 5.10, A1) in the Southern Swell, south of I-70. It is the middle tower of the five-tower formation called Family Butte. Mike Friederichs and Gene Rousch made the first free ascent during the second climb of the tower, rating it 5.11b. Friederichs and I added a second route (III, 5.10 +, A2) on the same tower on November 3, 1990. Both routes ascend the south side on excellent Wingate sandstone. On P 7601, north of and visible from Family Butte, Friederichs and I then climbed the west face (III, 5.10d, A2). Mike led an impressive 165-foot, left-facing dihedral hand-to-finger crack in the first steep pitch. On the same tower but on the northeast comer, Seth “ST” Shaw and I added another route (III, 5.9, A2) on November 19, 1990. These two climbs are actually on separate towers as a 20-yard cleft divides them.

James Garrett